Subject LAWS50051 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 23-Nov-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

This subject has a quota of 60 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law JD website for further information about subject quotas

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours


Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
November, Semester 2
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 1
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the School's programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  • The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Mr Andrew Godwin


Phone: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

The purpose of this subject is to give students an advanced and integrated understanding of (1) the ways in which commercial deals are structured; (2) the ways in which core legal principles from a range of law subjects are relevant to commercial deals; and (3) the role that lawyers perform when advising on and executing commercial deals and the skills that they require for this purpose. The issues are considered within the context of a business acquisition in Australia. Students will critically analyse the ways in which a business acquisition is structured and the applicable legal issues that arise in areas such as contract, property, torts and company law. Drawing on the theories of scholar such as Ronald Gilson, students will consider the role of business lawyers as transaction cost engineers and the technical and professional challenges that they face in performing this role.

This subject is of particular interest to students seeking to practise commercial law.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should have an advanced understanding of, and be able to critically analyse:

  • The structure of a business acquisition and the associated commercial drivers;
  • The applicable legal issues and how those issues are treated under the laws of Australia;
  • The role that lawyers perform when advising on and executing commercial deals and the skills they require in order to perform that role effectively (including advisory, drafting and negotiation skills); and
  • The importance of developing a commercial awareness so that lawyers can function effectively as legal advisors in a commercial context.

  • Class participation, including participating in simulated drafting and negotiation exercises that are designed to highlight the relevance and application of core skills at an advanced level (hurdle requirement). Students will be expected to participate actively in class and to draw on their collective experience in identifying, analysing and advising on the legal issues that are relevant to commercial transactions.
  • A 1,500-word piece of written advice (30%);
  • A 3-hour open-book examination (70%).

The due date of the above assessment will be available to students via the LMS.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will also be made 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 will have developed high level skills in the following areas:

  • Cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to apply that knowledge (including core legal principles and concepts studied in compulsory JD subjects) in the context of a commercial deal;
  • Specialist understanding, interpretation, critical reflection and synthesis of legislation and cases relating to business acquisitions in Australia;
  • Technical skills in relation to designing and analysing complex legal structures and issues, as well as communication skills in relation to advising legal and non-legal audiences on such structures and issues, as demonstrated in the interim assessment task;
  • Technical skills in relation to negotiating transactions and drafting legal documentation in the context of a business acquisition in Australia, as demonstrated in the deal simulation exercise and the examination; and
  • Communication skills effective for the delivery of complex concepts to a diversity of specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Related Course(s): Juris Doctor

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