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Private law aspects of the law of finance

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

The idea of this course is to pull together some of the most significant aspects of private law that relate to finance. This course essentially covers the law of finance in the sense that this is the law that is practiced by finance law practitioners. The course covers the key concepts of contract law, fiduciary law and many equity and trust law principles and asks whether or not we can synthesize them with the private regulatory standards that currently exist to develop a more specific law of finance.

Module A: Fiduciary liability in finance


  • Background: finance law
  • The role of fiduciaries in finance law
  • Liability for misfeasance in a fiduciary office
  • The overlap between fiduciary duties and financial regulation
  • The limits on a financial institution’s fiduciary duties.

Module B: Stranger liability in finance


  • Dishonest assistance
  • Knowing receipt
  • The commercial context of stranger liability
  • The overlap between substantive law and regulation.

Module C: Issues in the creation of financial contracts


  • Issues with the creation of contracts
  • The structure of master agreements
  • Default protection in master agreements
  • Security structures in financial contracts.

Module D: Suitable conduct and unconscionable conduct in financial transactions


  • Undue influence in financial transactions
  • Suitable conduct of business
  • The overlap between conduct of business regulation and substantive law
  • Unfair contract terms
  • The liability of financial institutions for mis-selling financial instruments.


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you complete Module A first.

How to apply

You can either apply for these modules individually or as part of the Postgraduate Laws programme. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • Common Law
  • Corporate and Securities Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Financial Services Law
  • International Business Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws