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Master of Arts in Law;work with your supervisor to agree an appropriate title and outline plan before undertaking your Independent Project through directed self-study.

Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)

Independent Project
LRIP Topic List 2018 – 2019
The Independent Project is an assessed 6,000 word academic piece of research in an area of English Law selected from the list of Topics set out below.
The Topic List provides details of twenty diverse areas of English Law beyond the Foundation Subjects in which the University holds relevant expertise to supervise and assess a piece of independent research.
You must create your own research question in ONE of the Topics specified on the list. You will need to confirm your topic area by the end of the first semester through the submission of a Choice of Topic form. Based on that selection you will be allocated a supervisor with relevant expertise in that Topic area. You will then work with your supervisor to agree an appropriate title and outline plan before undertaking your Independent Project through directed self-study.
The Topics are listed as general areas of law (eg Employment Law) but your research question must be on an aspect of that area of law as specified in the Coverage column. For example if selecting ‘Employment Law’ your area of research should be on an aspect of Employment Rights – possibly Wrongful or Unfair Dismissal, Redundancy, Equality legislation or Employment Tribunal procedure. If you want to research an aspect of Employment Law outside those specified areas then this would have to be approved by the Programme and Student Affairs Lead at your Campus. The Topic List also includes details of some current issues in each of the identified areas of law. These are simply suggestions to get you started in your research and you are not required to limit your research question to these identified current issues.
When submitting your Choice of Topic form at the end of the first semester, you should include the number of the Topic selected, the topic itself and the specific aspect considered eg Topic 1: Employment Law – Equality legislation. For the avoidance of doubt, your research question can span across two or more specified aspects in a single Topic but can NOT span across Topics.
Guidance will be given in Workshops / Units 6 and 7 of the Legal Research and Independent Project module on formulating your research title and completing a Title Proposal for submission to your supervisor at your first meeting. It is recommended
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
that you consider both the ‘Topic’ (area of law) and the particular aspect you want to research as soon as possible to make sure you are happy with the choice of Topic as this can not be changed after you have submitted your Choice of Topic Form.
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
Potential current developments
Employment Rights including Wrongful and Unfair Dismissal, Redundancy, Equality, Employment Tribunals
Including cases and new regulation on;
Worker status.
Gender pay gap.
Termination payments.
Jurisdiction for employment contracts.
Commercial Law
Domestic and International sale of goods and marketing arrangements including ecommerce, distribution agreements and agency.
Use of mass digital processing in ecommerce.
Data protection regulation on sales.
Selective distribution agreements for online platforms.
Choice of law clauses.
Customs arrangements post Brexit.
Competition Law
Anti-competitive agreements (including anti-trust US Law from an English Law perspective), abuse of market power, competition
Major anti-trust cases like Google.
Regulating increased global online trade.
Impact of Brexit on Competition and Markets Authority /
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
authorities in UK and EU.
integration with European competition authorities.
Intellectual Property
Ways to protect intellectual property including; Trade Marks, Passing off, Copyright, Design rights, Patents and Confidentiality
Regulation of shared content.
Liability for copyright breaches on streaming.
Negotiations to remain within the EU trade marks framework.
Does the current system of registration and protection of patents go far enough in encouraging entrepreneurialism?
Business Law
Partnership Agreements, the formation and running of Private Companies.
Recent cases on directors’ duties.
Impact of provisions in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
Potential for reform of the law governing corporate liability for economic crime.
Public Companies
Listing requirements for London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Alternative Investment Market AIM and regulation of
Changes to UK corporate governance code: transparency – financial reporting.
Executive pay,
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
transactions / new deal structures
Customer /supplier voice.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Share acquisition (private company), Asset acquisitions (ongoing business) Private equity and Group restructures
Impact of cases on clauses within acquisition agreement on obligations to provide information to buyer.
Interpretation of indemnity provision.
Operation of share options.
Change of rules on stamp duty on shares.
Banking Law
Loan facilities including syndicated loan arrangements, and Banking securities including guarantees, debentures and debt securities
Regulation of capital requirements
Passporting of investments post Brexit.
Potential improvements to the system of secured commercial transactions.
Insurance Law
Contracts for insurance (public and professional indemnity, life, marine and personal injury), Handling procedures, the insurance market and reinsuring
Impact of recent changes following the Insurance Act 2015 on duty of disclosure, warranties and fraud.
The extent to which the right of subrogation against a co-
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
insured has been extended in light of recent case law.
The impact of technology on the insurance industry and insurance law, with reference to presentation and acceptance of risks.
The differences between consumer and commercial insurance law in any relevant sector (with reference to recent legislation).
Joint Ventures
Joint venture structures (contractual and company), formation, operational arrangements, deadlock, termination
Duty of rationality when exercising discretion on share options
Impact on joint venture structures in UK of tax changes.
Real Estate
Registered land, Leaseholds (domestic and commercial), Covenants and Planning
Role of Neighbourhood plans.
Increased obligations on environmental reporting.
The new National Planning Policy Framework.
Proposals to amend the Community Infrastructure Levy including the Government’s White Paper and recent developments on this.
The commonhold scheme and its solution to the perceived
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
problems of the leasehold market.
Private Client
Wills, Trust and Estates planning including tax and power of attorney.
Proposals for amendment to provisions on Inheritance Tax and Probate fees,
Use of power of attorney,
Protection of elderly clients.
Immigration Law
British citizenship, Entry clearance (Tier 1 and Tier 4), Employment and family rights, Asylum, Deportation
Impact of Immigration Act 2014 altering immigration appeals process.
The implications of Appendix FM for those wanting to join partners and children of families in the UK.
Personal Injury
Road Traffic accidents, clinical negligence and employer’s liability including stress at work.
Proposed government reforms in Prisons and Court Bill on PI sector.
Claims Management Regulation.
National audit office report on clinical negligence.
Is the discount rate in calculating future loss
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
justifiable? Is there potential to reform this area?
Family Law
Divorce, cohabitation, financial orders, domestic abuse and children’s law.
Recent high profile cases on pre-nuptial agreements and proposals for reform.
Owens v Owens – an unhappy marriage is not grounds for divorce: should there be an end to ‘fault based’ divorce?
Legal position of cohabitees on relationship breakdown in comparison with married/civil partner couples.
Adequacy of Local Authorities’ powers and duties to safeguard children.
The role of ADR to resolve family cases.
Professional Legal Ethics
Legal Profession codes for Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Bar Standards Board (BSB), money laundering and terrorist funding and the Duty to Court and Client
The SRA and BSB publish annual reports identifying areas of concern, as does the Professional Ethics and Standards Committee.
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Civil Procedure including injunctions, and search orders, mediation, arbitration and jurisdiction
Disclosure Pilot scheme
E-Disclosure (and the use of predictive coding).
The use and abuse of super injunctions.
Tiered Dispute Resolution provisions.
Case law on Appeals under the Arbitration Act.
Criminal Evidence and Sentencing
Criminal court procedure including the capacity of defendants, abuse of process, witness procedures, proceeds of crime and sentencing guidance
Several high profile cases on the disclosure of unused material.
Sentencing in acid attacks.
The law in relation to corporate manslaughter and in particular whether the Corporate Homicide Act 2007 was successful or requires reform in light of its stated aims.
Civil Litigation and evidence
Civil Court procedure including limitation periods, statements of case, requests for information, default and summary judgement, disclosure of documents, interim orders and judgements, orders,
The proposals for fixed recoverable costs in the Jackson Report, 2017.
The success or otherwise of costs budgeting.
Master of Arts in Law
(MA Law)
enforcement and costs
Proposals for the Online Court and digitisation of the Court system.
The impact of the new electronic Bill of Costs.
Legal Aid and introduction of Tribunal Fees
Rules for provision of court charges and legal aid alongside introduction of fees for employment tribunals
Consideration of impact of changes to provision of legal aid and charge of fees for tribunals.

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