Corporate, business or company law is an incredibly diverse legal field related to the laws and regulations governing how companies can operate. Corporate lawyers therefore need to have a specialised understanding of the many rules affecting the successful running of corporations. This blog will explore the role of and the steps to become a corporate lawyer.
Australia has many laws which govern how companies can be formed and do business (both internally and with other businesses), and how they can be terminated. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) oversees these processes, according to the Corporations Act 2001.
In their day-to-day duties, corporate lawyers can deal with topics such as:
– creating, buying and selling a business;
– protecting business assets;
– financial planning;
– banking, finance and investment;
– employment law;
– insolvency and bankruptcy.
Corporate lawyers may therefore touch on a variety of areas such as taxation, international trade (if trading in exports and/or imports), workplace relations, or many other fields which relate to the running of a company. Corporate lawyers may work in large, multinational or boutique legal firms, and the complexities of the work will relate to the field in which it operates.
In many circumstances, the directors or shareholders of a company are protected from personal liability arising from their actions, and a corporate lawyer would work to ensure that the company follows all necessary laws, particularly in regards to areas such as taxation and workplace relations. A company can enter into contracts, buy and sell property or undertake legal action on behalf of its shareholders, therefore most companies will need the services of a corporate lawyer at some point.
Understandably, if you want to become a corporate lawyer you need to have not only a superb understanding of Australia’s corporate laws, statutes and regulations (and if the company does business overseas, also an understanding of other countries’ corporate-related laws), but also very specialised skills in regards to negotiation, communication, analysis, and attention to detail. The ability to work in a team is also vital as corporate lawyers will usually liaise with people within and outside a company engaged in different roles.
Through Leo Cussen’s Practical Legal Training (PLT) courses, students are able to undertake a professional placement within a law firm specialising in corporate law (or any other field of their choice), giving them the experience, knowledge and contacts to successfully begin their future career in law.