SOAS University of London

School of Law

Comparative Company Law

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 2

This module will examine legal aspects of an English company, including its formation, management, financing and if insolvent, its rescue and/or liquidation. The similarities and differences of the same aspects of a company formed in France, being a civil law jurisdiction, will be explored. Finally, the same aspects of Chinese company law (a system of law rooted in civil law traditions but with socialist characteristics), will be compared and contrasted


  • 2 hours lectures and 1 hour seminar per week

Scope and syllabus

1.An examination of the legal nature of a company formed in England and Wales, France and China and the legal significance of it being a separate legal entity from its shareholders.

2. Consideration of the management structure within an English, French and Chinese company and the legal duties and potential liabilities.

3. An exploration of how an English, French and Chinese company is financed including an examination of shares and security provided for loans.

4.The impact of insolvency on an English, French and Chinese company is examined and rescue procedures and liquidation are studied.

Method of assessment

  • Exam: 60% (2 hours)
  • Essay: 30% (2,500 words)
  • 2 Presentations: 10% (10 min each)

Suggested reading

  • Davies, P. and Worthington, S. Gower's ' Principles of Modern Company Law'  Sweet & Maxwell (2016)
  • Gu, M. Understanding Chinese Company Law HKU Press (2010)

Note: that there is no up-to-date textbook in the English language, on French Law but there is more than adequate material online to support the cours


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules