SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Financial law

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 1

This module provides an understanding of the essential elements of financial law. These need to be studied (i) for their own sake and (ii) as a foundation for the following modules. The module complements the finance module 'Risk management: principles and applications' by examining the legal approach to dealing with risk. These two modules combine to give the student a comprehensive and coherent appreciation of the financial and legal aspects of the subject.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The main objectives of the course are: 

  • to provide a grounding in the legal issues of financial law
  • to provide an understanding of the national and international legal practice issues relating to financial law

By the end of the course, students will:

  • have a sound knowledge of the main principles of financial law with reference to English law and, where relevant, the law of other jurisdictions
  • have a sound understanding of the legal national and international practice of financial law and of the main terms and operation of the standard documentation
  • have an appreciation of a comparative law approach and country perspective with particular reference to the emerging financial markets in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.


This module consists of a 2-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.

This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:
Students on this module will have 3 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is in three elements:

  1. One tutorial presentation at 10%
  2. One essay of 2,500 words at 30%
  3. One unseen 2-hour written examination at 60%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted

Suggested reading

  • Roy Goode; Commercial Law (Penguin Books, 2nd ed, 1995)
  • EP Ellinger, E Lomnicka & R Hooley Modern Banking Law (OUP, Oxford 3rd ed, 2002)
  • Ross Cranston, Principles of Banking Law (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997)
Reference books:
  • Roy Goode; Legal Problems of Credit and Security (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2nd ed, 1988)
  • Simon James; The Law of Derivatives (Lloyds of London Press, London, 1999)
  • Alistair Hudson; The Law on Financial Derivatives (London, Sweet & Maxwell, 1996)
  • Alistair Hudson; Swaps, Restitution & Trusts, (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1999)
  • Ross Cranston (ed); Making Commercial Law: Essays in Honour of Roy Goode (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997)
  • Peter BH Birks (ed); Laundering and Tracing (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995)
  • Lionel Smith; The Law of Tracing (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997)
  • JJ Norton, PR Spellman and MS Dupler (eds); International Asset Securitisation (Lloyds of London Press, 1995)
  • Freddy Salinger; Factoring Law and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1995)
  • Phillip R Wood; Comparative Financial Law (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1995)
  • Phillip R.Wood; Title Finance, Derivatives, Securitisations Set-off and Netting (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1995)
  • Phillip R Wood; Comparative Law of Security and Guarantees (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1995)
  • Journals: Articles will be available on either Westlaw or Lexis.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules