Commercial law is a field of law that encompasses all the legal services associated with businesses.
Most often, the commercial lawyer’s job will be to defend the business interests of the individual and drafting up commercial agreements and disclaimers.
The field requires an in-depth knowledge of the industry the lawyer specialises in, as well as a keen interest in the management and affairs of businesses.
Commerce and trade are huge for the economy, and while you would assume they run smoothly, for the most part, it’s the commercial lawyers who can sometimes acts as the cogs in the machine ensuring transactions go through as intended.
What is involved in commercial law?
There are many facets to commercial law, and they range from commerce and merchandising to sales and trade.
Most of all, though, in commercial law it’s the individuals’ relationships to the transactions and businesses that are the most pressing issue.
Here are some of the biggest branches of commercial law:
Corporate law doesn’t sound like the most interesting branch to many, but there’s an awful lot to it which can be fun to get to grips with.
This branch of commercial law encompasses everything related to corporations, including management, termination, the raising of capital, shares, and so much more.
If you’ve ever been curious about how corporations are run and what is legal, then this could be a good branch to dive into.
Tax law as you might imagine is all about the various taxes that individuals and businesses have to pay to the government.
This branch of commercial law covers everything from sales taxes to profit distribution taxes.
Business regulations refer to a set of laws that government lays out for trade unions, factories, and business organisations.
Property law is all about ownership, though as a sub-branch of commercial law, here we are referring to the sale and leasing of property more than its relationship to the owner.
Intellectual property law
Intellectual property law is all about protecting the work of creatives, be it in the form of a copyright to an album or a patent to an idea.
Contract law is a branch of commercial law concerned with the creation of contracts, as well as what happens if an individual or entity breaches a contract.
Why study commercial law?
There are many reasons to study commercial law, but just in case you’re wondering whether it’s the right choice for you, here is a couple:
- Gain a deeper understanding of business
Through studying commercial law you will be able to more greatly appreciate what happens behind the scenes with business deals and how exactly companies are managed at different levels.
If you’ve ever been interested in businesses or corporations and what keeps them ticking, then this will surely be one of the biggest reasons to specialise in commercial law.
It isn’t an easy field to pursue, but then, you didn’t choose law because you thought it would be easy, did you?
Plus, if it is as difficult as people make it out to be then you will be constantly challenged in your job which is a great way to improve your skills and climb the career ladder.
- It’s a constantly changing field
Business, like technology, tends to move quickly and there are constant changes in the market.
This can make it tough to stay on the pulse of the latest trends, but it also helps keep you on your toes.
That’s where technology comes into play, too, since its integration in the workplace will lead to more complex laws and your responsibility will be to get to grips with these changes on the fly.
Your role will be to thrive in a field that’s always moving, which can be immensely rewarding if you allow yourself to get caught up in the winds of change.
- It’s a lucrative field
While you will probably work long hours as a commercial lawyer, the rewards are certainly there if you’re willing to put in the effort.
The financial incentive to embark on a career in commercial law is great, with salaries well into six-figure sums for senior practising lawyers.
There are also generous bonuses that keep your motivation high even when the work can seem repetitive.
Is commercial law in demand?
Absolutely, in fact, the demand now for commercial lawyers and corporate lawyers is huge especially in light of the creation of new businesses during the recent pandemic as well as huge technological leaps that breed innovation.
Since capitalism allows society to move forward at an incredible pace, there is always the need for commercial lawyers who understand business and can adapt to changing times and different trends in the market.
During the covid-19 pandemic, many business owners have been forced to go over existing business contracts for negotiation purposes or alter their deals with clients and customers. As a result, commercial lawyers have in theory had plenty of business as people need a keen legal eye to ensure everything runs smoothly regarding transactions and contracts.
If you’re curious about other in-demand fields of law, here are a couple of the most popular:
How do you become a commercial lawyer?
So you want to become a commercial lawyer?
All you need now is a roadmap to follow which will one day lead to a fruitful career in the field. Here are the most common steps required to get into commercial law:
- Get a law degree
One of the most important prerequisites for the majority of law-based jobs is an undergraduate law degree.
Don’t panic, though, even if you’ve chosen a different subject for your undergraduate degree you can still make it as a layer by converting the degree with a one-year law conversion course.
The benefits of completing a law degree are numerous, but the main reason most law firms require it is that it lays the foundational knowledge necessary to succeed as a practising lawyer.
- Seek out work experience
Work experience is hands-down one of the most important factors to consider regardless of what field of law you want to get into.
Without it, you will struggle to get onto training contract programs and won’t be able to compete with others who have some.
Work experience also provides unique opportunities to make connections within the industry and develop useful skills that could serve you well later in your career.
Even if you get work experience that isn’t directly related to law, that would still be better than nothing.
Law vacation schemes are one of the best ways to secure work experience at a law firm, and they tend to last anywhere up to a month. Of course, if you can find a firm that specialises in commercial law, that would be much better for pursuing a career in the field.
- Get a training contract
For commercial law, one of the best ways to get into the field is to get your hands on a training contract.
A law training contract is one of the last stages you can go through before you become a practising lawyer, and it’s essentially a period of two years of training carried out at a law firm.
This training contract can be very competitive, so you want to make sure you go into the process with a solid application and have a fair amount of work experience under your belt.
- Complete a LPC
After completing a training contract, you will need to fund and complete your LPC (Legal Practice Course) which will grant you the ability to practice law.
Who does commercial law interact with?
As we’ve already established, it’s mostly business owners that come into contact with commercial law, though it also applies to a wide range of institutions within society.
Commercial lawyers will work with clients who own banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and will work with governmental agencies and more.
As a result, a commercial lawyer who is just starting out might expect to work on a variety of projects consisting of contracts, trusts, tax, financial regulation, insolvency, and land.
This makes it an intriguing field of law since you will work with people at all levels of society and all different types of organisations, both public and private.
Usually how it goes down according to professionals is you will start a deal with a client that will last anywhere in the region of 1-6 months. In that time period, you will be expected to draft up loan agreements, assess the structure of the deal, and take care of all the necessary paperwork.
You will communicate with lawyers on the other end of the deal, too, so it’s vital that you work on your communication skills if you want to do well in the job. Ideally, the end of a deal with a client will indicate the successful completion of their contract.
Superprof has a wide range of qualified law tutors that you can work with either online or in-person, so if you need to brush up on commercial law you can find someone who’s experienced in the field.
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