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Unit information: Company Law in 2018/19

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Unit name Company Law
Unit code LAWD20037
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Russell
Open unit status Not open

Contract or Foundations of Business Law



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will cover: function of companies and company law; comparison of companies, partnerships and sole traders; legal personality and limited liability; classification into public and private companies; memorandum and articles of association; agency problems; management of companies; directors' duties; transactions involving directors; issue of shares; payment for shares; dividends; rights of shareholders; derivative claims; just and equitable winding up and unfair prejudice orders.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

• Consider the historical origins of company law and appreciate the relevance of those origins to understanding modern company law. • Discuss the key concepts of company law.

• Analyse the nature of problems which arise when company law is applied to smaller private or closely held companies.

• Critically consider some of the controversies surrounding company law.

• Apply independent critical skills in answering essay and problem questions.

Teaching details

23 lectures and 7 tutorials

Assessment Details

2 formative assessments: 1 x 1,500 word coursework. Formative assessments do not count towards final mark and can be optional.

1 summative assessment: 1 x 3 hour exam in the Summer Exam Period. Summative assessments do count towards final mark.

The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • Textbooks

o B Hannigan, Company Law (4th edn., OUP, 2015)

o P L Davies, Gower and Davies’ Principles of Modern Company Law (10th edn., Sweet and Maxwell, London, 2016)

o Dignam and Lowry, Company Law (9th edn., OUP 2016)

  • Casebooks and Text and Materials Books

o Sealy and Worthington, Cases and Materials in Company Law (11th edn., OUP 2016)

  • Books

The best of the more detailed and comprehensive texts are:

  • Brenda Hannigan, Company Law, (4th edn., OUP, 2015).
  • Gower and Davies: Principles of Modern Company Law (10th edn., Sweet and Maxwell, 2016).