Commercial and Economic Law

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At Birmingham Law School our research in the field of Commercial and Economic law covers both domestic and international commercial law. Our interest is as much on the relationship between two individual contracting parties as it is on the contractual relationship between two companies or a company and a state or even the regulation of trade between states.

Commercial and Economic law is central to the activities of the School, with a range of modules offered on the LLB and the LLM.

The impact of our research extends beyond the university. Our work has influenced the development of the law both in the United Kingdom and internationally. We publish widely, present our research at international conferences all over the world and have advised a range of policy-makers.

Banking and Finance

Our research interests in the field of banking and finance covers both domestic and international finance. Nelson Enonchong’s work examines the extent to which guarantees given to banks can be avoided on the ground that the guarantor’s consent was vitiated by some wrongdoing, such as undue influence, on the part of the debtor. His monograph on the independence principle of letters of credit and demand guarantees explores the extent to which the interests of both the exporter and the importer are adequately protected when these instruments are used in international trade finance.

Contract Law

At the heart of most commercial transactions are the contractual relationships between the parties. Our work in the field of contract law covers a range of issues from questions relating to the validity of consent in contract formation, through questions of illegality of the agreement, to remedies for breach of contract, in particular damages. The second edition of Nelson Enonchong’s book on duress, undue influence and unconscionable dealing explores the extent to which a contract can be avoided on the ground that the consent of a party was vitiated by any of these factors. His earlier monograph on Illegal Transactions was the first to offer a detailed examination of this subject in the UK. Djakhongir Saidov has explored the law of damages in international sales in a monograph. He is also co-editor of an important collection of essays on contract damages (domestic and international perspectives).

Corporate Law and Taxation

Our work is mainly in the field of corporate governance, regulation and insolvency. Geoffrey Morse is the general editor of Palmer’s Company Law. Rilka Dragneva-Lewers has worked on company law reform in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in relation to issues around investor protection. Her interest relates also to the dissemination of international and EU norms in the field. She is currently engaged in a study of corporate governance reform in Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus (and the relative extent of EU influence). Katharina Moser has research interests in company and insolvency law and the comparative aspects of these subjects.  In the area of taxation, Geoffrey Morse is the co-author of the sixth edition of Davies, Principles of Tax Law. James Lee’s work is in the area of restitution of overpaid tax. Dominic de Cogan writes mainly on public law and regulatory matters relating to taxation law.

International Economic Law

The global and regional regulation of trade and investment is a key aspect of our work. Luca Rubini’s monograph on the definition of subsidy and state aid is the first attempt to offer a conceptual framework of analysis of the various definitional issues of subsidy in the WTO and the EU. N. Jansen Calamita’s research focuses on the resolution of international investment disputes and the nature of the investment treaty regime. Rilka Dragneva-Lewer's interests include regional economic integration in the post-Soviet space and comparative law of regional integration more generally. She is currently working on an edited book which deals with key aspects of the Eurasian Customs Union.

International Energy 

Our work is also focused on international oil and gas law. Djakhongir Saidov has research interests in comparative and international oil and gas law (both upstream and downstream). Nelson Enonchong’s interests include both international oil and gas law and international commercial arbitration in the oil and gas sector.

International Trade and Shipping

Contracts for the international sale of goods and transportation of the goods by sea form an important part of our work in international commercial law. Djakhongir Saidov is currently working on a project examining the conformity of goods and documents under the Vienna Sales Convention. He currently acts as a Rapporteur to the CISG Advisory Council.  Martin George is working on conflict of laws issues in relation to the transfer of the contract of carriage evidenced in the bill of lading from the exporter to the importer.