Skip to main content

Unit information: Insolvency Law in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Insolvency Law
Unit code LAWDM0118
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Furey
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit examines the role of the law in allocating loss following from individual or corporate financial failure, considering such issues as the justification for a mandatory bar on the enforcement of individual creditor’s claims in favour of a collective realization and distribution policy. The unit examines the justification for such an approach, the rules of distribution and the extent to which creditors can improve their share, for example, by taking security over the debtor’s assets, the use of trusts or reservation of title. The unit covers both bankruptcy (of individual debtors) and liquidation (of corporate debtors). It also looks at the procedures designed to aid the rescue and rehabilitation of insolvent businesses via administrative receivership, administration and voluntary arrangements. Some background knowledge of the Common law in contract, trusts and property is essential

Intended Learning Outcomes

Understanding of how the law follows certain fundamental principles when dealing with the realization and distribution of insolvent debtors’ estates; how these principles reflect efficient economic allocation of resources; how they impact on the procedures for rescuing viable but insolvent businesses. The unit develops students’ research skills through preparation for seminars and essays. These also develop students’ critical judgement and writing skills. The seminars also develop students’ oral communication skill and ability to sustain an argument. The unit enables students to see the relationship of contract, tort, property and trusts etc. in a particular context. The unit also develops students’ legal problem solving ability and the ability of students critically to analyse and evaluate law and its operation in this area.

Teaching Information

11 x 2 hour seminars

seminar discussion, debate; practice at answering essay and problem questions

Assessment Information

3 hour closed book exam.

The assessment will assess all the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

Goode “Principles of Corporate Insolvency” 4th edn. (2011)

Jackson “The Logic and Limits of Bankruptcy Law” (1986)

Additional reference will be made to key journal articles and academic monographs as well as discussion of the relevant case law.