The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.
ANATOMY OF BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS: A TRANS-DISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE ON EXPERTS AND EXPERTISE (LAWSG156) Credit value: 15 credits (6 ECTS)
Assessment method for Masters students: 3,000 word coursework essay
Assessment method for SIL students: 3,000 word coursework essay
Legal practice increasingly involves the systematic collaboration of lawyers with experts from different fields of knowledge and professional backgrounds (economists, financial experts, accountants, other forensic experts). This is particularly the case for legal advice provided in the context of complex business transactions. For example, lawyers frequently hire expert economists to evaluate damages in competition law, tort, or IP infringement litigation. Judges often hear economic evidence in competition law and regulatory cases. Mergers and acquisitions often require the collaboration of lawyers, financial experts, economists and accountants. Complex investment projects involve lawyers along with specialists of corporate finance, asset management and valuation analysts. The practice of law thus changes from an autonomous and rather isolated activity to a trans-disciplinary venture. It becomes thus important to understand the way epistemic communities oustide law operate and how their principles/methodologies evolve in order to accommodate legal practice. How ought one to go about mapping, using and evaluating the operations of this external to law expertise? The module combines a theoretical and a practical perspective.
The first part of the module will focus on the meaning of expertise, its language/discourse and the different context, rules and structures within which it operates. Particular emphasis will be given to the emergence of different professions involved in the design of complex business transactions and to the evolution of their professional project, identity and methodologies, as a result of their meeting with the legal system. The module will also examine the way experts are heard in courts/ regulatory proceedings and the rules on the admissibility, submission and assessment of expert evidence in Europe and in the United States.
The second part of the moduel will delve into specific case studies of business transactions where other professionals (than lawyers) are frequently involved. We will look, among others, to cases involving the evaluation of damages, a merger and acquisition operation and a complex investment project. This part of the module will involve speakers from the industry and legal practice (lawyers, judges or forensic experts) who will explain the challenges they face in their day to day work with professionals with a different disciplinary background
The following topics will be examined in this module
What is expertise and the role of experts in decision-making
The rise of the professions: impact on the concept of expertise
The rhetoric of experts (focus on different disciplinary discourses/identities: economists, accountants, lawyers)
Reason and argument: how non-legal sources become legal arguments (an ethnographic approach)
The context, rules and structure of expert evidence assessment : the legal framework in Europe and in the United States
The politics and practice of judging experts (a case study approach)
Anatomy of business transactions I: evaluating damages in a trans-disciplinary world
Anatomy of business transactions II: mergers and acquisitions
Anatomy of business transactions III: an investment project
A.D. Abbott, The System of the Professions: an Essay on the Division of Expert Labor (University of Chicago Press, 1988).
L. Baum, Specializing the Courts (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
*E. Beecher-Monas, Evaluating Scientific Evidence: An Interdisciplinary Framework for Intellectual Due Process (CUP, 2006)
Y. Dezalay & D. Sugarman, Professional Competition and Professional Power (Routledge, 1995).
D. Dwyer, The Judicial Assessment of Expert Evidence (Cambridge Univ. Pres, 2008).
M. Fourcade, Economists and Societies (Princeton University Press, 2009).
M. Fourcade, ‘The Construction of a Global Profession: The Transnationalization of Economics, (2006) 112(1) American Journal of Sociology, 145-194.
P.A. Gaughan and R. J. Thornton (eds.), Litigation Economics (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1993).
*J. Goldstein, ‘Foucault among the Sociologists: The Disciplines and the History of the Professions’, (1984) 23 History and Theory, 170-192.
*S. Jasanoff, Science at the Bar (Harvard Univ. Press, 1997).
*M.S. Larson, The Rise of Professionalism – A Sociological Analysis (University of California Press, 1977).
B. Latour, The Making of Law (Polity, 2010)
R. Thornton & J. Ward, ‘The Economist in Tort Litigation’, (1999) 13(2) The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 101-112.
R. Torstendahl & M. Burrage, The Formation of Professions: Knowledge, State and Strategy (Sage, 1990).
Max Weber, Science as a Vocation (Tubingen, 1922)
Max Weber, The Objectivity in Social Science and Social Policy, 15 The Methodology of the Social Sciences 50-112 (1949)
Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics : Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979 (published by Palgrave, Macmillan 2008)
Other information: N/A
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.
The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.
Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.
IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014
The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.
The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.