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Whether you are an individual or a company, you understand that dealing with business is a significant part of every day life. You also know that there are always risks whenever commercial arrangements are made, from the simplest to the most complex of transactions.
Commercial law involves all aspects of commercial transactions and disputes, and so it is vital to obtain sound legal advice about the legal risks involved in setting up and running a business.
Areas of Commercial Law we cover:
Our expert commercial lawyers specialise in a range of commercial law matters, including:
- Intellectual property (contracts and disputes)
- Corporate law, including corporate governance
- Sale of goods and consumer law/trade practices
- Business law
- Contract law
- Commercial litigation and dispute resolution
- Employment law
- Property law
- Personal Property Securities
What does Commercial Law involve?
Commercial law governs all aspects of commercial transactions. Commerce is a broad area and so commercial lawyers are involved in a range of areas aimed at managing risks to business and individuals who are involved in or dealing with trade and commerce.
Commercial law is related to both business law and corporate law, however, it is broader than both. Commercial law involves lawyers who understand laws and provide legal advice on all aspects of commercial transactions (such as contract law, property law, tax law, employment law, corporate governance and consumer law), as well as represent individuals and businesses in dispute resolution and commercial litigation.
In Australia, commercial law is an area that is highly regulated, so often also involves dealing with State and Federal government agencies. This means that often, commercial law involves aspects of public law such as administrative law, regulation (whether securities and investments, competition, prudential regulation, or foreign investment).
What do commercial lawyers do?
A commercial lawyer will carry out a range of tasks, but will generally practice in one of two main areas:
- Corporate law and advice/transactions work; or
- Commercial litigation and dispute resolution.
Transactional lawyers advise clients on a range of matters such as tax, sale of goods or consumer law, employment law contracts, and intellectual property protection, as well as aspects of corporate law. Often, a commercial lawyer will specialise in one or a few of these areas, as each can be complex.
Litigation lawyers, on the other hand, focus on disputes which arise in a commercial setting. These lawyers will generally advise clients on dispute resolution, and represent those clients in negotiations, mediation or arbitration, or in Court. Given these lawyers generally specialise in skills such as negotiation and in Court procedures, commercial litigation lawyers can often practice more broadly than those who focus on transactions.
How do you become a commercial lawyer?
To become a commercial lawyer, you must first complete a law degree at law school (either an undergraduate Bachelor of Laws, or a postgraduate Juris Doctor), both of which require a certain number of credit points. Enrolment at law schools in Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne is extremely competitive, often requiring a strong UAC ranking to allow admission.
Many students who enrol in a university law school will choose coursework subjects in their degree which focus on commercial law, with a view to learning about various types of commercial law and how they operate in practice.
Many students will also complete internships (or clerkships) at a legal practice during their student enrolment in order to gain practical experience, as the study of law can be quite different to practice and law firms typically value this kind of initiative and experience when hiring junior lawyers.
Once a person is qualified as a lawyer, they might choose to undertake further study options with a greater focus on an area of commercial law of interest, such as a postgraduate master of law in commercial law.
Once a person is qualified as a lawyer and has a demonstrated interest in commercial law, this will generally qualify them to seek employment as a commercial lawyer.
The above is general legal information and should not be considered legal advice. You should speak with one of our migration lawyers for legal advice tailored to your specific legal matter. The courts and tribunals deal with matters on a case by case basis. It should also be noted that there may be delays due to COVID-19.
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Frequently Asked Questions.
Commercial law governs all aspects of commercial transactions and disputes. It is a broad subject area in which many people specialise in specific areas such as corporate law, commercial litigation, employment law, consumer law or intellectual property.
Like many areas of law, commercial law can be complex and confusing. Law students must study a range of subjects to gain knowledge of how commercial law operates in practice. This study equips those students with the basic knowledge to then understand further, more complex aspects of commercial legal practice
Commercial lawyers can be paid well. Average salaries depend on the size of the legal practice, the experience of the lawyer, and the city in which you work.
Commercial law includes corporate law, intellectual property law, tax law, contract law, commercial litigation, property law (such as property transactions including sale and bailments), consumer law and trade practices, private law, personal property securities, sale of goods, employment law, banking, investment and finance.
Commercial lawyers advise on a range of commercial dealings and transactions, including draft and negotiate contracts and other legal documents, and advise and represent clients in commercial dispute resolution.
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