What is Commercial Law?
Commercial Law is a collection of laws that governs the management of businesses and business transactions, whether you want to buy safe products, use reliable services, or have a fair employment contract. Company law is not only important for businesses. It affects us all. A Commercial Lawyer basically deals with commercial matters. It means anything related to commerce. However, businesses do not exist in isolation from other areas of law, and running a business means dealing with many other areas of law as well. For example: Contract Law, Tort Law, Shipping Law, International Trade or tax or consumer protection law, Employment, Human Rights, Environmental Competition, Criminal Law, IP Law, the list goes on and on.
What specifically does a Commercial Lawyer do?
There’s no typical work of a Commercial Lawyer. A commercial lawyer may be specialized in particular fields such as any one of the fields mentioned above. Whereas one Commercial Lawyer may be a specialist in negotiating, drafting and executing mergers and acquisitions. Another may be focused on giving client advice on legal compliance with data privacy and amendments to technology law. He or she may be a solicitor working for a law firm with many clients, a solicitor working in house serving only one client or a barrister who specializes in Court Advocacy dealing mainly with Commercial Contract Disputes or claims in Tort or he/she may be a specialist in litigation or more transactional work.
Non Contentious work of a Commercial Lawyer
This means matters which don’t involve litigation or fighting in Courts. So the Lawyer would first receive instructions from his or her client on a matter. For example: this could be to draft an employment contract to give advice on compliance with an amendment to law or review as sale of goods contract between buyer and seller. Each aspect requires different tasks to be completed including meeting with a client and the other party to negotiate and draw up. It may include an agreement and research to understand and stay up to date with current legislation. If a dispute arises between the client and the other party, the Lawyer will be dealing with contentious work.
Contentious work is work which involves a dispute and which could potentially end up in litigation with the parties fighting in courts in this situation. The lawyers will meet with a client to understand the facts of the case, carry out research into legislation and case law, especially to find relevant precedents which can support the case, prepare various documents for Court such as witness statements and arguments and liaise with clients to keep them up to date. Often parties try to reach a settlement outside of court through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which involves resolving the disputes through Conciliation, Mediation, Arbitration, Neutral Evaluation, Settlement Conference or Community Dispute Resolution Programs. In each of these, the Lawyer will have a crucial role to play negotiating settlement deals and mediating between parties or presenting in an Arbitration Tribunal.