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Corporate Finance Law (LLM)

Course Description

The Corporate Finance Law LLM offers an enhanced qualification for professionals working, or planning to work, in a technically demanding and dynamic global industry. Knowledge of corporate finance law is essential for lawyers, bankers and financiers who are keen to develop professional skills in corporate fundraising, deal structures and transactional management. It will appeal to both recent graduates and practitioners considering various fields of work, including law, investment banking, corporate finance, private equity, securities, investments, financial regulation, government agencies and international financial authorities. You will focus on learning how the financial markets work, from the primary markets involving the issuance of equity, debt and derivatives, to the secondary markets involving trading and investments, as well as very large financial transactions in the international capital markets. Importantly, you will also learn how to take account of legal and regulatory risks facing financiers and bankers, structure financial instruments to suit commercial priorities and social welfare policies.

Course content

This course aims to give you a comprehensive understanding of the practical processes and innovative products of the international corporate finance market, including equity and debt capital, derivatives, structured finance, risk management and investment portfolio products. It also develops the soft skills you will need in this area of practice, including negotiations and network building, with meetings with senior lawyers and directors of major companies.

Core modules:

Dissertation or Project
The dissertation module allows you to extend your research into a topic of your choice within the broad field of corporate finance law. You will need to agree the topic with the module leader, and it must not replicate materials covered in other areas of your coursework. The Project Module enables you to independently explore research and analyse a given topic or question. It will draw from the areas of general corporate finance law and will be of an applied nature.

• Investment Banking Principles and Practices
This module covers the key investment banking principles and practices. You will develop the skills you need to examine, assess and prepare professional level business plans, private placement memoranda and prospectuses. You will also study confidentiality agreements, fundraising from the investment banking perspective, initial public offerings, and stock exchange trends and market requirements.

• Legal Aspects of Corporate Finance
You will develop a broad and deep understanding of the legal issues concerning corporate financial transactions, including the interaction of corporate law and finance, and the legal mechanisms for fundraising in the financial markets. There is a special emphasis on the regulations, customary rules and practices of the venture capital market. The areas you will cover include basic accounting, basic drafting, corporate structure, exit routes, finance contracts, regulatory issues, sources and types of investment, tax, and transfer of shares.

Option modules

These modules are recommended if you are looking to specialise in the financial industry. If you opt for the dissertation you must select four option modules. If you opt for the project you must choose five option modules.

You will examine the law and practice relating to structuring, documenting and executing structured derivatives, capital markets and finance transactions. It will enable you to identify, analyse and mitigate the legal and reputational risks inherent in structured finance transactions. The module will give you the tools to analyse, as lawyers, the complexity of international financial transactions relating to derivatives and structured finance, and the skills to examine and critically assess financial products and techniques that constitute the building blocks of modern structured finance.

Corporate governance is increasingly regarded as vitally important to individual companies, the wider market and the economy as a whole. In this module you will examine the legal risks of directors of corporations and stakeholders, and analyse their ethical duties in varying contexts of corporate culture. You will also investigate how decision makers make judgements in an increasingly informationrich and complex world, consider the impact of corporate cultures and values on managers’ strategic financial decision making, and examine the impact of global risks, ethical duties and socio-cultural values in financial and corporate capital decision making.

Focusing on large-scale, capital-intensive projects throughout the world, including oil and gas projects, LNG projects, power generation, renewable energy, and energy infrastructure, you will examine the key stages of the energy finance process, and assesses the major legal models used in international energy transactions. You will learn to address risk allocation and risk mitigation, and analyse and construct legal documentation concerning financing sources, environmental issues, bilateral and multilateral credit support, loans, collateral, and permits.

This module focuses on large-scale, capital intensive projects throughout the world, including power generation, energy, infrastructure and urban regeneration. Project finance lawyers/consultants predict and resolve a large number of potential risks involving political, commercial, credit quality, insurance, default and bankruptcy issues. They draw up documents which capture a ‘mini-legal system’ reflecting the entire legal process for a wide range of project participants. You will learn to address risk allocation and risk mitigation, and to analyse and construct legal documentation concerning financing sources, environmental issues, bilateral and multilateral credit support, loans, collateral and permits.

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of investment theory and practice, including regulations governing investment professionals. You will examine the major factors influencing the decision making process in investment management, with special emphasis on issues concerning socially responsible investments. Other areas covered in the module include asset pricing models, hedge funds, new financial products to solve social problems, portfolio theory, strategic product development, and structured risk management products.

This module will give you a full understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of Islamic finance and banking, and the essential principles underlying Islamic finance. You will review and assess the modes and legal structures of major financial transactions by Islamic finance institutions, and their corporate governance structures. You will also undertake a legal and financial analysis of securitisation structures in Islamic finance.

International finance is increasingly transforming itself into a borderless activity, frequently sourcing capital and undertaking investment transactions throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, China and other jurisdictions around the world. During this module you will examine the dominant legal models influencing international financial and investment transactions, especially in light of risk management practice and theory. You will learn to use relevant legal components to analyse and construct innovative financial products.

You will examine the risks from and remedies for white-collar crime, and evaluate national legislation and international conventions dealing with white-collar crime. You will also be able to identify types of criminal behaviour, determine the liability of those participating in that behaviour, analyse and apply the defences available for defendants, and identify the importance and use of computers and the internet in white-collar crime.

Please note that option modules are subject to student demand and staffing availability, therefore not all modules will be offered in the same academic year.

Associated careers

This course will be of benefit if you are seeking to work in any of the range of disciplines involved in corporate finance law, including accountancy, corporate banking, corporate finance, corporate law, investment banking, private equity and venture capital, as well as in related fields.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Corporate Finance Law (LLM) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will need to hold a good Second Class Honours degree (or non-UK equivalent) with an average of 55 per cent or above in Law or a related subject. We will also consider applicants who lack standard qualifications but have significant professional or managerial experience in a relevant field. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. The University offers presessional summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.

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