UCL Faculty of Laws


LLM in International Commercial Law

Professor Alex Mills, Professor of Public and Private International Law at UCL Faculty of Laws, shares some further information on the LLM in International Commercial Law for prospective students:

What are the backgrounds or interests of students who normally select this specialism?

It is one of the features of this specialism that students come to it from a wide range of backgrounds and for a variety of reasons. Some have recently completed undergraduate studies, and are looking to increase their specialised knowledge of commercial law to focus and enhance their career prospects as a solicitor or barrister. Others will be studying after some time working as a lawyer, in England or elsewhere, and are looking to deepen their understanding of their areas of practice, or to shift or expand their expertise. Some will have studied or practised previously in the UK, while others will be in the UK for the first time, often drawn to London by its status as a leading international business and dispute resolution centre, and by the important role which English law plays in international commerce.

It will also be of interest to students who wish to study Maritime Law.

What do you think are the top highlights of this specialism? 

One of the major highlights of taking this specialism is its internationalism. It is international both in terms of the subject matter which is studied, which provides plenty of opportunity to understand commercial law in an international and comparative context, as well as in terms of the profile of the students, and the opportunity this presents to meet and work alongside law graduates from around the world. Another important highlight is the chance to be taught by experts who are leaders in their fields, and who draw on their research to inform their teaching, giving you a real understanding of current issues and controversies. Another benefit of studying this specialism is that the study of commercial law is brought to life by being in London, one of the world’s most exciting and dynamic commercial centres. UCL has its own very extensive events programme, including in the field of commercial law, and beyond this there is an overwhelming variety of lectures, seminars and conferences focused on commercial law issues in London, run by law firms, barristers chambers, research institutes etc., which provide innumerable opportunities to learn about cutting edge legal questions from different perspectives.

What do students who have studied this specialism usually go on to do?

One of the attractions of studying commercial law is the variety of possible career paths it opens up. Some students who take this specialism naturally go on to practice in England as solicitors or barristers, or to work as in-house legal counsel. Others go into (or back into) legal practice elsewhere around the world, whether as a practising lawyer, judge, or as part of a commercial enterprise.

Which books, podcasts, blogs or newspapers do you recommend to students interested in taking this specialism?

Commercial law is such a diverse specialism that it’s hard to recommend any single book or blog, but there are plenty out there to choose from depending on your particular interests. For those starting out in their careers, one important piece of advice is to get into the habit of reading the business section of a broadsheet newspaper. This is helpful not just to understand the technical language of commerce, but also to understand the major issues facing the business world. Those issues are often also the problems which commercial lawyers are asked to address through drafting or litigation, and it is essential for any good lawyer (commercial or otherwise) to understand the needs of their clients.  

What would you say to a student who is considering taking this specialism but hasn’t made up their mind yet?

This specialism offers a fantastic opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of commercial law, learning from leaders in the field. There are a lot of modules to choose from at UCL Laws, in this specialism and beyond – read through them all carefully and take the time to put together the right LLM programme for you.

Find out how to apply to one of our LLM programmes