module specification

LL6010 - The Law of Finance and Taxation (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title The Law of Finance and Taxation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
 
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   1,500 Word Essay
Unseen Examination 80%   Two and a half hour part-seen examination comprising a researched seen question and two out of four unseen questions
Running in 2018/19 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Companies and Governments frequently need to raise money from Individuals and organisations to fund their activities This module is intended to provide students with a lawyer’s perspective and understanding of the financial and taxation systems and the significance of fiscal policy. The module will introduce students to taxation, investment, financial markets and transactions and examine how core legal concepts are applied in practical contexts. Students will analyse the regulatory and legal framework, the relationship between substantive law and financial regulation, questions of law and risk in financial markets, the legal aspects of taxation, banking, lending, securities and derivatives activity, and the legal and regulatory context of financial market failures. Consideration will also be given to the interplay between law and ethics within the realms of finance.

In light of the central role that finance and taxation plays in the economy this module will be particularly relevant to students wishing to embark on careers in law, commerce, industry, central or local government or with regulators or professional bodies. It will be of interest to any student who wishes to develop an understanding of the relationship between law and finance.

Module aims

The principal aim of this module is to enable the study of the law of finance and taxation at undergraduate level. The module will apply students‘ knowledge of core concepts of law to the contexts of UK and EU taxation, financial regulation and financial practice. Students will understand the requirements of governments and corporations for raising finance and the benefits and requirements of investment for individuals and organisations. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of the law of taxation and understand the conflicting demands of the Government to maximise receipts and those of the taxpayer to limit payment. Students will obtain a detailed knowledge of  taxation in relation to the self-employed and employees and understand the principles behind and importance of  corporation tax and capital gains tax together with important current issues of international business taxation and financial issues so far as they impact upon the UK economy. Students will analyse topics which will include areas such as the overlap between substantive law and financial regulation, questions of law and risk in financial markets, the legal context of financial crime and market abuse, standard market contractual structures, the role of fiduciary duties in financial transactions, practical issues of security in financial transactions, , specific legal aspects of banking, lending, securities and derivatives activity, and the legal and regulatory context of financial market failures. Students will also be introduced to the concepts of Project Finance and Public/ Private Finance Initiatives.

The module requires students to undertake self-directed research on a designated topic and present their findings succinctly in coursework and under examination conditions.

Syllabus

The syllabus includes the following:

Introduction to money, finance, taxation, investment, ‘risk’, key financial markets, products and instruments and their commercial significance in a national and global context. An introduction to the sources of finance and taxation law.
Corporation tax: the imputation system; computation of profits; loss relief; charges on income; groups and consortia; close companies.
Capital gains tax: introduction and scope; persons chargeable; disposal of assets; exemptions and reliefs; computation.
Taxation of income  for individuals - the self-employed - trading receipts, deductible expenditure and employees - benefits in kind, deductible expenditure .
Residence: individuals, partnerships and companies: acquisition and loss of UK residence for tax purposes.
Initiatives to combat international tax avoidance: tax havens and controlled foreign company legislation; EU impact on taxation; taxation of e-commerce

The Regulation of Financial Services in the UK and EU.
Themes in the overlap of private law and financial regulation.
Regulation in theory and practice and issues relating to compliance, compensation and redress for investors. The role of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

An overview of UK securities regulation including offers of securities to the public,
Transparency obligations, listing of securities and liability for issues of securities
Issues concerning the authorisation and approval of regulated Individuals together with the issues of breach of fiduciary duty and the concept of fiduciary liability in finance law

An Introduction to financial crime, specifically the offences of market abuse and insider dealing and money laundering.

An overview of banking law and regulation including the banker-customer relationship, payment systems and principles of banking regulation.
An introduction to lending transactions, both ordinary lending and syndicated lending.
Bonds project finance and public/private finance initiatives.

The legal context of the financial crisis of 2007- 12
An introduction to innovative financial products and their regulation.

Learning and teaching

The module is taught by lectures, workshops and seminars with students required to read from specified case law and legal journals.  There is a logical progression through a complex syllabus.  Students are given the opportunity to discuss theoretical issues as well as practical problem solving.  Students are supported in undertaking on-line research using electronic law databases and encouraged to use Westlaw on a weekly basis. There is a virtual learning environment (VLE) containing handbooks, lecture notes, weblinks, discussion groups, past assessments, study skills materials and assessment criteria.  Blended learning pervades the delivery of the module and is actively encouraged as students engage with digital materials, use on-line discussion groups (blogs) and achieve a competent  standard of digital literacy during their studies.
 
Two formative assessments are set and marked promptly with opportunities for feedback both in class and individually.

Knowledge of the topics covered will enhance students’ employability both within the legal profession and more generally in a range of commercial spheres.

Students’ study responsibilities are to attend all classes, research and prepare for seminar discussion and academic debate, engage in interactive IT related activities and to undertake all formative and final assessments.

 

Learning outcomes


On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Possess a contextual commercial awareness of the importance of finance and taxation to the Government, organisations and individuals;
  2. Comprehend and manage a substantial body of legal knowledge on Finance, Investment and the UK tax system;
  3. Demonstrate a knowledge of the application of income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax;
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of financial regulation, a knowledge of the relevant principles of English and EU law, an analytical understanding of the principal issues relating to the legal analysis of financial markets, and a critical understanding of the social impact of financial law and regulation.
  5. Synthesise relevant case law, statutes, regulations and practice, understand and present conflicting arguments and present solutions for practical problems; analyse issues arising from the inter-action of principles of private law, financial regulation, and statute to the specific context of financial market activity; analyse the manner in which financial markets inter-act with law and with regulation; exercise critical judgment in relation to such issues.
  6. Possess a critical understanding of the current ethical and practical issues concerning finance and taxation with an awareness of possible solutions and approaches;
  7. Display competence in the benchmark skills outcomes of subject knowledge, application & problem solving and analysis, synthesis, critical judgement & evaluation, autonomy and ability to learn and to reflect critically together with the key skills of communication and literacy, numeracy and with Information technology.

 

Assessment strategy

The learning outcomes will be examined each year by an essay and a two and a half hour examination.  The essay will be 1,500 words. The examination will comprise one researched seen question (with choice) plus two out of four unseen questions from a sectionalised examination paper. The essay will be worth 20% of the overall module mark and the examination 80%.

Bibliography

NB Students must use the most recent edition of the books cited.

Baldwin, R, M Cave & M Lodge,  Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy and Practice, (Oxford University Press)
Hudson, A, The Law of Finance, (Sweet & Maxwell)
Lee, N, Revenue Law Principles and Practice,( Bloomsbury Professional)
Morse, GK, D Williams & D Davies: Principles of Tax Law, (Sweet & Maxwell)
Rider, B, & M Ashe, Guide to Financial Services Regulation, (Croner CCH Group Ltd)
Rutterford, J, & M Davison, An Introduction to Stock Exchange Investment, (Palgrave Macmillan)
Stoakes, C, All You Need to Know About the City, (Longtail Publishing Limited)
Tiley, J, Revenue Law, (Hart Publishing)
Train, J, Money Masters of Our Time, (Harper Business)

Electronic sources

Westlaw and Lexis Library databases
The Financial Times www.ft.com
The Economist www.economist.com