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Adjective collocations

aMatch the adjectives (1-6) with the nouns they commonly collocate with (a-f).

1 limited

2 sole

3 third

4 constitutional

5 corporate

6 publicly listed


b documents





b Use the collocations to complete these sentences.

1 ... Lirnl^....^cl^.......... is attractive to investors, as it greatly reduces their

personal financial risks.

2 Once you have filed the required statutory forms as well as the

................................ with Companies House, a certificate of incorporation will

be issued to you.

3 If you decide to form an unincorporated business yourself, you will be what is known as a

4 The................................. on which many researchers depend is sometimes

considered ethically problematic.

5 All motor insurance policies now automatically give................................... cover

throughout the EU.

6 If a business offers its shares for sale to the general public, it is known as a

6 I Commercial law


1 Commercial law is the body of law that governs trade and commerce. Discuss
these questions in small groups.

1 What bodies of law govern commerce in your jurisdiction?

2 How would a contract dispute between two companies from different jurisdictions be settled?

3 Which international bodies do you know that set guidelines for commercial transactions?

Reading i: Commercial law

2 Read the text below and decide whether these statements are true (T) or false (F).

1 Commercial law is a general term for a number of diverse areas of the law which regulate trade and commerce.

2 Contentious work includes the drafting of contracts and advising clients.

3 The Uniform Commercial Code applies to commercial transactions in all of the member nations of the European Union.

4 The World Trade Organisation checks to see if countries follow the trade agreements they have signed.

Commercial law deals with issues of both private lawand public law.It developed as a distinct body of jurisprudencewith the beginning of large-scale trade, and many of its rules are derived from the practices of traders. Specific law has developed in a number of commercial fields, including agency,banking, bankruptcy, carriage of goods,commercial dispute resolution, company law, competition law,contract, debtor and creditor,sale of goods and services, intellectual property, landlord and tenant, mercantile agency, mortgages, negotiable instruments, secured transactions, real-propertyand tax law.

The work of a commercial lawyer may involve any aspect of the law as it relates to a firm's business clients, and the role of the lawyer is to facilitate business clients' commercial transactions.It is essential for a commercial lawyer to have not only a good knowledge of a lot of substantive law,but also a thorough understanding of both contemporary business practices and the particular business needs of each client.

A commercial lawyer may be asked to advise a client on matters relating to both non-contentiousand contentious work.Non-contentious work largely involves advising clients on the drafting of contracts, whereas contentious work commonly involves the consequences of breach of contract.

Many jurisdictions have adopted civil codesthat contain comprehensive statements of their commercial law, e.g. the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which has been generally adopted throughout the USA. Within the European Union, the European Parliament and the legislaturesof member nations are working to unify their various commercial codes.

A substantial amount of commercial law is governed by international treaties and conventions. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) regulates international trade in cooperation with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The WTO is responsible for negotiating and implementing new trade agreements,and is in charge of policing member countries' adherence to these agreements, which are signed by the majority of the world's trading nations and ratifiedby their legislatures (for example, Parliament in the UK or Congress in the USA).

Key terms: Fields, institutions and concepts in commercial law

3 Look at the areas of activity in commercial law mentioned in the first paragraph
of the text above and answer these questions. Use the glossary if necessary.

1 Which field deals with the legal rights associated with products of the mind, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks?

2 Which field involves the laws and regulations governing market behaviour, particularly agreements and practices that restrict free enterprise?

3 Which institution deals with the supply of credit information about business organisations to other businesses and financial institutions?

4 Which field is concerned with the legal relationships between the shipper (or owner) of goods, the carrier, and the receiver/consignee of goods?

5 Which field focuses on the laws regulating money paid to the government in connection with commercial transactions?

4 Choose the correct word or phrase to complete these definitions.

1 'Agency' is the term for the relationship of a person who acts in addition to / on behalf of / on account of another person, known as the principal.

2 Bankruptcy is when someone cannot pay what they owe / own / won, and all their property is surrendered to a court-appointed person who liquidates the property to pay the claims of creditors / owners / debtors.

3 A secured transaction is a loan or credit translation / transaction / termination in which the lender/ loaner/ debtor acquires a security interest in certain property owned by the borrower and has the right to repossess the property if the borrower cannot pay.

4 Negotiable instruments are documents which represent a right of charge / payment/ credit for a specified sum of money on demand or at a defined time.

Unit 6 Commercial law

Listening t: Profile of a commercial lawyer

]ust as commercial law itself encompasses many distinct fields of law, commercial lawyers often deal with different areas of commercial activity in the course of their careers. You are going to hear the podcast of an interview with Michael Grant, an associate at a commercial law firm, which appears on the website of the alumni association of an Australian university.

5 ^6.1 Listen and answer these questions.

1 Why has he decided to return to university?

2 What does he advise law students regarding career choices?

6 4 $6.1 Listen again and tick the work he did before joining Ravenstone, Altman
and Ofner, LLP.

1 Preparing notices of dismissal □

2 Interviewing junior lawyers for positions at his firm Q

3 Analysing technical documents Q

4 Submitting patent applications O

5 Writing patent drafts D

6 Drafting maritime legislation Q

7 Resolving charter party disputes □

8 Handling cargo claims □

9 Litigating ship collisions □

Language use: Adverb functions

Adverbs are often used to describe the action expressed by the verb. We distinguish adverbs of time (e.g. often, usually) and adverbs of manner, which describe how an action is carried out {slowly, carefully). Adverbs can also be used to qualify adjectives (e.g. particularly interesting).

7 a Underline the adverbs in the sentences below from Listening 1 and then

decide which function the adverbs have (a-c).

a describing time of action b describing manner of action c qualifying an adjective

1 He's currently undertaking a Master's of e-Law at Monash University.

2 There's something about the challenge of taking a complex commercial transaction and expressing it clearly and concisely that really appeals to me.

3 I also had to write patent drafts, which are incredibly detailed descriptions of the inventions in precise legal terms.

4 It was interesting, although at times extremely difficult and demanding.

5 But I quickly realised that what I liked best was working closely with the other lawyers on litigation, defending or enforcing patents.

6 I usually spend most of the day reviewing documents, drafting agreements, meeting with clients and, of course, answering emails.


Where are the adverbs placed in relation to the verbs?

8 For each of these sentences, decide which adverbs don't fit.

1 My work often / carefully/ regularly involves litigating charter party disputes, although I occasionally / sometimes / remarkably handle collision cases as well.

2 Maritime salvage claims can be closely/ extremely/ incredibly challenging due to the complicated legal situation.

3 The remarkably / quickly / extremely fast pace of change in the area of information technology law means that lawyers at our firm have to mainly/ regularly/ often attend seminars about the effects of new legislation.

4 Researching technical innovations carefully / extensively / extremely is a(n) very/ extremely/ regularly interesting step in the process of writing a patent draft.

Speaking i: Internships

n Listening i, Michael Grant described his internship with a maritime law firm. It is ommon for law-school students to work in the summer months as an intern in a law rm, government department, non-profit group or organisation. An internship can be paid r unpaid. Some internships lead to course credits which count towards a law degree.

9 Discuss these questions with a partner.

1 Have you done an internship? If so, describe the organisation and your duties there.

2 What do you think makes an internship a valuable experience? What can be gained from it?

3 What would your ideal internship be?

ext analysis: Letter of application for an ternship

students often write a letter of application to apply for an internship in response to a cific advertisement. However, it is also common for a student to write what is known a prospecting letter, or letter of interest, in which the sender asks if there are any nings for interns at the company or institution.

Quickly read the letter on page 64 written by a student. Is it a prospecting letter or a letter of application replying to a specific advertisement?

Read the letter again and answer these questions.

1 What kind of organisation is she applying to?

2 Which areas of the law is she interested in?

3 What legal work experience has she had?

4 Which documents are enclosed in the letter?

Underline the adverbs used in the letter. Why do you think the writer uses so many adverbs? What effect does it have?

Julia Schwende

1 Marktgasse 17

1210 Vienna


2 1 November 2008

3Robson, Mumsen and Meech LLP 8 Hawthorn Road Saffron Walden Essex CB11 3KL

4 Dear Sir or Madam

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