Corporate Structures in Practice (CLAW6002)


The corporation is the dominant structure adopted for business undertakings globally. This unit aims to demystify corporate regulation and its impact in the contemporary commercial context with a view to introducing students to the types of issues they will encounter in the real world of corporations. The unit reviews business structures (joint ventures, partnerships, trusts and companies) from a business perspective with a focus on the corporate form. The unit also examines the different options available for the conduct of businesses and the different stages of the corporate life cycle, including: how corporations are brought into existence and the characteristics attained upon incorporation; how corporations undertake certain activities (including entry into contracts, fundraising, issuing shares, paying dividends); how corporations are managed and power is distributed between participants, how the law places certain duties and obligations upon those who manage corporations; the consequences which may result from any breach of those duties and obligations; and managing corporations in financial distress, liquidation and de-registration. It takes an application-based approach which gives the unit a practical as opposed to theoretical orientation. Current issues in corporate regulation in Australia and internationally are discussed to provide students with an understanding of the types of issues which confront different types of corporations, and how these issues impact upon their management and the discharge of corporate responsibility.

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Further unit of study information


One three hour class per week which may include one or more of the following: lectures; seminars; tutorials or workshops.


Executive report (30%), mid-semester exam (20%), final exam (50%)


Jason Harris, Anil Hargovan and Michael Adams, Australian Corporate Law , 5th edition (2015), Corporations Legislation 2017 Edition (Annotated version by Thomson Reuters)

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Unit of study rules



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.