The course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the
interlocking fields of private law and financial regulation from a
European perspective. Having followed the course, students can navigate
the complex area of financial regulation. They are able to analyse and
evaluate the application of contractual and other private-law techniques
to problems arising in finance, taking account of the interaction
between private and regulatory law.
The course is organised around the following four clusters of financial
• Funding: acquiring finance, indirectly through intermediation by
commercial banks or directly by issuing securities on primary markets
(eg ‘going public’ through an IPO, an initial public offering of
• Investment: the provision of funding by institutional and other
investors (eg pension funds investing in alternative assets, such as
private equity funds, which themselves invest directly in companies);
• Infrastructures and Services: the institutions and activities
supporting financial transactions and positions (eg stock exchanges,
derivatives exchanges, and central clearing of transactions effected on
• Risk Transfer: risk and risk management, in particular through
derivatives, financial collateral and synthetic finance (eg the use of
credit default swaps to ‘insure’ against default).
Financial Law takes an integrated approach to financial phenomena,
combining the study of relevant EU regulatory regimes with the analysis
of private-law techniques. The latter have often evolved into market
practice (‘de facto harmonisation’, or even a lex mercatoria), as
exemplified by the extensive use of standard documentation by financial
market participants. Where useful, attention will be paid to the ongoing
European harmonisation of private law.
Detailed information about reading materials and the topics to be dealt
with in class will be available on Canvas.
This course is only open to students of the programme Law, Markets and