Offered beginning in academic year 2013-14

With active scholarly workshops, a rich curriculum, and a very strong Faculty complement in the area, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law is the premier Canadian centre for learning about how law and regulation impact business here in Canada and internationally.  Graduate students pursuing the concentration in the LLM program will obtain a nuanced understanding of key debates in Canadian and international business law and will have the opportunity to pursue in-depth research in the field from a wide range of topical, theoretical, and methodological vantage points.

What are the elements of the concentration in Business Law?

Students in the Business Law concentration within the Master of Laws (LLM) program can pursue coursework only, or a combination of both coursework and a thesis related to Business Law.  Entry into the concentration is on a competitive basis; participation will be limited to a relatively small group of students in the LLM program.

Click below for a list of our Faculty’s courses in the Business Law area that were offered over the past three years.  While not all courses will be offered every year, this is an illustrative list:

Courses in Business Law

  • Advanced Contracts: The Law of Contractual Interpretation
  • Advanced Corporate Law & Securities Regulation
  • Advanced Labour: Bargaining Rights
  • Applied Corporate Law
  • Art of the Deal  
  • Banking, Negotiable Instruments and Payment Mechanisms
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Business Organizations  
  • Canadian Income Tax Law  
  • Class Actions Law
  • Climate Change Law
  • Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration
  • Competition Law, and Intellectual Property
  • Competition Policy
  • Contested Corporate Transactions - Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Copyright Law, Collective Administration of Copyrights: the Canadian Experience and International Intellectual Property Law
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Corporate Transactions
  • Corporations, Individuals and the State
  • Current Problems in Contract Law
  • Digital Content and the Creative Economy
  • Economic and Social Regulation
  • Entertainment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Fiduciary Law
  • Financial Crimes and Corporate Compliance
  • Franchise and Distribution Law
  • From Blueprints to Buildings: Legal Issues in the Construction Industry
  • Fundamental Themes in Securities Litigation Practice
  • Governing Governance: Legal Institutions & Corporate Performance in Comparative Perspective
  • Innovation, Intellectual Property and the Internet
  • Intellectual Property: Copyright, Trademark and Patent
  • Intensive Course: Corporations, Individuals and the State
  • Intensive Course: Key Concepts in Trade Mark Law
  • Intensive Course: Tax Policy and Theory
  • International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration
  • International Investment Law: A New Global Constitutional Order?
  • International Taxation
  • International Trade Regulation 
  • Investment and Growth in Emerging Markets
  • Labour and Employment Law
  • Law and Policy of Public Private Partnerships
  • Law, Institutions, and Development
  • Law of Good Governance and Ethics in Government and Business
  • Law of International Business & Finance Transactions
  • Legal History of Money
  • Natural Resources and Energy Law
  • Negotiation
  • Patent and Trade Secrets Law
  • Powering the Green Economy?: New Directions in Energy Regulation
  • Principle and Policy in Contract Law
  • The Private Sector in Economic Development
  • Public Sector Labour Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Regulation of Financial Institutions
  • Secured Transactions
  • Securities Law in the Adversarial Setting
  • Securities Regulation 
  • Shareholder Activism
  • Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Trusts
  • Venture Capital Financing 
  • Workshop: Innovation Law and Policy
  • Workshop: Law and Economics Seminar

Upon acceptance into the concentration, the Associate Dean (Graduate) will review each student’s course selection in order to ensure that an appropriate number of credits are devoted to Business Law.

Why should I pursue Business Law at the University of Toronto?

The University of Toronto Faculty of Law is home to internationally-renowned Business Law scholars, and is a core contributor to UofT’s Capital Markets Institute.  Given the number of faculty specializing in Business Law subjects, students have access to a large selection of courses and benefit from small class sizes and frequent interaction with course instructors. The Faculty’s proximity to Canada’s financial core in downtown Toronto also enables leading Canadian business law practitioners and business people to make significant contributions to the teaching program.  These talented individuals bring their tremendous business expertise, as well as their experience as advocates, negotiators, drafters, and policy-makers, to the courses they teach. They offer our students valuable insights from the world of business and legal practice, and an introduction to the rigours and opportunities of various types of legal and business careers.

A further strength of the Faculty’s Business Law program is its flexibility.  Students may tailor their studies to emphasize practical skills, such as drafting, deal structuring, negotiation, and problem solving.  They may also take advantage of the Faculty’s renowned strength in corporate law or law and economics to refine critical thinking skills.   In addition, fellowships to graduate students in Business Law are available through the Faculty’s Capital Markets Fellowship Program.

Who should pursue the Business Law concentration?

Canadian and international students and lawyers wishing to deepen their knowledge and experience of Canadian and international Business Law issues, will find the concentration particularly beneficial.  Those seeking to serve in future on corporate boards or in corporate management roles will also find great benefit in the concentration. Students wishing to pursue doctoral-level studies in Business Law will find that the program provides them with a rigorous background to prepare them for further studies in the area.

Application Process

Admission requirements for students in the Business Law concentration are the same as for students in the general LLM program, with the exception that a specific interest in the concentration area must be addressed in the Thesis Proposal or Coursework Plan of Study. Applicants should substantiate their interest in and suitability for the Business Law concentration through this statement and their letters of reference.  Admission to the program is on a competitive basis, and spots in the concentration will be limited.

Students wishing to pursue coursework and a thesis in the area of Business Law, but who are not accepted into the Business Law concentration, may nevertheless be accepted into the LL.M. program.

All applicants are required to review in detail all of the information and various links within our Admissions Standards and Application Instructions webpages.  Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on our Graduate Program FAQ webpage.

Credit Requirements

All students in the LL.M. Concentration in Business Law may pursue either the LL.M. program course-work only option, or a longer or shorter thesis option.

Coursework-only Option with a Concentration in Business Law  (28 course credits):

Students in the concentration who pursue the coursework-only option would complete 28 course credits in the LL.M. program.  Students pursuing this option would complete:

  • LLM Seminar (1 credit).
  • At least 12 credits of courses from an approved list of Business Law courses.
  • Additional courses, either within or outside of the list of Business Law courses above, to bring them to 28 total credits. 
  • Just as in the general LLM program, there is also a course-related writing requirement under the coursework-only option, which must be fulfilled in a course related to the area of concentration.  Students must designate at the start of the first term one course as their ‘writing requirement’ course; this course must include writing assignments totaling at least 3,500 words (combined) throughout the course.

Short Thesis Option with a Concentration in Business Law (24 course credits):

If students in the concentration opt to prepare a short thesis of 50-60 pages (15,000 words), they would complete 24 credits in the program.  Students pursuing this option would complete:

  • Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits) and LLM Seminar (1 credit).
  • A short, 4-credit thesis in a subject related to Business Law. 
  • At least 8 credits of Business Law coursework from an approved list of Business Law courses.
  • Students would take 8 additional credits of coursework, either from the list of Business Law courses, or from outside of that list.

Longer Thesis Option with a Concentration in Business Law (24 course credits):

If students in the concentration opt to prepare a longer thesis of 150 pages (45,000 words), they would also complete 24 credits.  Students pursuing this option would complete:

  • Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits) and LLM Seminar (1 credit).
  • A longer, 16-credit thesis in a subject related to Business Law.
  • Up to 4 additional credits of coursework, either from the approved list of Business Law courses, or from outside of that list.