Subject LAWS40091 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours.
Prerequisites: Obligations; Torts; Contracts; Property or Property A; Corporations Law; Trusts or Trusts A.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
Subject Overview:

The purpose of this subject is to give students an understanding of the way in which commercial deals are structured, the common legal issues that arise and the role that lawyers perform in advising on and executing commercial deals. The issues are considered within the context of a business acquisition deal. Students will analyse the ways in which this deal is structured and study the common legal issues that arise in areas such as contract, property and torts. Drawing on the theories of scholars such as Ronald Gilson, students will consider the role of business lawyers as transaction cost engineers and the technical and professional skills (including negotiation and drafting skills) that they need in order to perform this role effectively.

The subject is of particular interest to lawyers seeking to practise commercial law.


On completion of this subject, students should:

  • Understand the structure of a business acquisition;
  • Identify the common legal issues that arise and how those issues are resolved under the laws of Australia;
  • Understand the role of lawyers in advising on and executing commercial deals;
  • Understand and apply transaction skills, including negotiation and drafting, in the context of a business acquisition.
  • 2,500 word piece of written advice due at the end of week 5 (40%);
  • Three-hour, open-book examination during the University examination period (60%).
Prescribed Texts: Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • The capacity to identify the commercial drivers behind a business acquisition;
  • The capacity to apply core legal principles and concepts in the context of a commercial deal;
  • The capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources;
  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information;
  • The capacity to communicate effectively in a range of oral and written formats;
  • The capacity to identify and apply transactional skills, including negotiation and drafting, in the context of a business acquisition.

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