COMMERCIAL AWARENESS ACADEMY 2021

 
Data on a Touch Pad

COMMERCIAL AWARENESS ACADEMY

Future City Lawyers’ Commercial Awareness Academy is an intensive and live 5-day course over 5 weeks  designed for students to consolidate and enhance their understanding of complex financial and commercial topics. The course is structured so that on each of the intensive five days you will receive 2 two-hour lectures on various commercial and financial topics – with each day having a one and a half hour interactive case study to test your learning and understanding from that days’ teaching.

Over the course of the five days, you will receive twenty hours' of live and interactive lecture content - and seven and a half hours' worth of live case study practice!

The Commercial Awareness Academy will be taught by Mr Viskovich, a dual qualified Australian and English lawyer with over 20 years experience in the City.

Price: £375

Tickets for the August course have SOLD OUT!

Due to high demand, we will be running the course again in early 2022 over a 5 week period.

Tickets for the early 2022 course to be announced shortly!


If you are interested, please place your name on our waiting list for early access tickets!

Scroll down below to see the structure of the course!

 

THE WEEK

 Find out more about each lecture in the Commercial Awareness Academy below!

Law Firm

LECTURE 1 - THE BURDEN OF LEVERAGING AND THE ANATOMY OF LAW FIRMS

Day 1 - Morning

10:00 - 12:00

  • The first part of this lecture will look at commercial risks and how lawyers identify and mitigate those risks.

  • Then you will be introduced to the world of debt financing and the options available to companies to raise debt. 

  • You will explore such topics as secured or unsecured loans, bonds and more complicated debt financing such as mezzanine finance and other hybrid financing options.  

  • In the final part of the lecture, we will examine the structure of a law firm, how they maximise revenue and how they operate as a business.

  • Other aspects of a law firm that will be covered include the recent mergers in the mid market, the stock exchange route and future commercial challenges that law firms face.

Image by Martin Sanchez

LECTURE 2  - TO MAKE OR BREAK AN ECONOMY: HOW PRIOR EVENTS HAVE AND MAY SHAPE THE WORLD IN THE FUTURE

Day 1 - Afternoon

13:00 - 15:00 GMT

  • This lecture will not only explore how key global events (the 2008 Financial Crisis, Covid-19, Brexit, Trade Wars) have impacted the economic landscape, but also focus on the changes in international trade.

  • The first part of the lecture will consider the major causes of the 2008 financial crisis and how it transformed the financial world. 

  • You will also look into the impact of Covid-19 on the financial world and future implications for the economy.  

  • The second part of the lecture will consider the importance of international trade and the fall of protectionism through free trade agreements. 

  • We will also examine Brexit and its potential effect on the UK’s future trading environment. 

  • Lastly, you will examine the current trade wars and their geopolitical and economic consequences. 

Monday Case Study - 15:30  to 17:00 GMT

Image by Adeolu Eletu

LECTURE 3 - THE CORE OF FINANCE: BUILDING UPON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL MARKETS

Day 2 - Morning

10:00 - 12:00

  • This lecture shall offer an in-depth insight and analysis into financial markets. 

  • The lecture will begin by detailing information about financial markets in general, and in particular the stock market and the bond market.  

  • We will also consider key financial ratios that enable companies, investors, businesses and banks to make important business decisions and how to interpret these ratios.

  • Finally, the lecture will provide an overview of the role of auditors and their importance.

Image by Firmbee.com

LECTURE 4 - THE GRIND TO GROWTH: EQUITY FINANCE & SWOT 101

Day 2 - Afternoon

13:00 - 15:00 GMT

  • In this lecture we will explore one of the two common financing methods a company employs to raise capital - equity financing. We will also cover the importance of SWOT analysis for both a company and a future city lawyer. 

  • Beginning with an in depth overview of when a company uses equity finance, the sources of it and how equity finance compares to debt financing. 

  • You will explore one of the most topical financing methods used by companies - an IPO (Initial Public Offering). You will examine each stage of an IPO and gain a valuable understanding of the vital role of lawyers in ensuring a successful IPO.  

  • Lastly, we will provide an insight into when, why and how companies utilise SWOT to evaluate performance. 

Tuesday Case Study - 15:30  to 17:00 GMT

Image by Markus Winkler

LECTURE 5 -  THE GOOD AND THE PERCEIVED BAD: ETHICS VS HIGH RETURNS

Day 3 - Morning

10:00 - 12:00

  • This lecture primarily provides an insight into different private financing options available to companies. 

  • It will give an overview on private equity, venture capital and hedge funds focusing on how these private funding methods and organisations operate in the market. 

  • It will also analyse the commercial implications that arise from these financing options which lawyers need to be aware of to provide advice to their clients. 

  • Finally, it will also give an overview on the increasing importance of ESG in a changing corporate landscape which lawyers must consider in today's financial landscape.

Image by Annie Spratt

LECTURE 6 - FLESHING OUT THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Day 3 - Afternoon

13:00 - 15:00 GMT

  • Many law schools do not cover one of the most important topics covered in assessment centres - Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). We at FCL recognise this and therefore have dedicated three lectures for this crucial topic. 

  • You will discover the different types of M&A deals, hostile and friendly takeovers and actively engage in discussions about the roles and incentives of all parties involved in the process (law firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and other advisors). 

  • The lecture will also explore M&A in the legal industry, including recent law firm mergers and acquisitions, the potential benefits and risks involved, and the role of a corporate lawyer, from trainee to partner.

Wednesday Case Study - 15:30 - 17:00

Shaking Hands

LECTURE 7 - HOW DOES IT WORK IN PRACTISE? THE STAGES OF A M&A DEAL

Day 4 - Morning

10:00 - 12:00

  • This lecture will cover every stage of a M&A deal, providing a detailed account of mergers and acquisitions from the buy-side, and sell-side. 

  • You will understand the strategy and criteria that companies use to identify targets, and the specific due diligence tasks law firms undertake on behalf of their clients. Participants will also explore the different agreements between parties, and the key terms involved. 

  • Finally, the lecture will identify different financing strategies, and the necessary regulatory approval for deal completion - resulting in participants gaining a clear understanding of how M&A works in practise. 

Business Handshake

LECTURE 8 - THE CORPORATE ARENA: HOW AND WHY COMPANIES INTERACT - AN APPLIED APPROACH TO M&A.

Day 4 - Afternoon

13:00 - 15:00 GMT

  • An in-depth analysis of mergers and acquisitions and how and why they materialise in global markets. This lecture will seek to provide an applied approach to cross-border and global M&A transactions (including the requirements of the UK takeover code). 

  • You will also examine practical M&A examples, as well as highlighting current market trends including the impact of ESG and CSR and how they influence the M&A process. 

  • You will further explore the role of regulatory bodies such as the CMA and FTC with respect to anti-trust laws governing M&A activity and finally offer insight into alternate methods of acquiring companies such as the use of SPAC’s.

Thursday Case Study - 15:30 - 17:00

Investment Chart

LECTURE 9 - DERIVATIVES AND SECURITISATION - SHIELDING YOURSELF FROM RISK OR PASSING RISK ON.

Day 5 - Morning

10:00 - 12:00

  • Part I - Derivatives: A complicated area for many law students as this is normally covered at Masters level. 


  • This lecture will provide you with an insightful examination of what is a derivative and the importance of these products.


  • You will gain an understanding of what they are, how they work and their use. We will discuss the different types of derivatives, how they trade and the associated benefits/drawbacks of each. 


  • Part II - Securitisation: The second part of the lecture will explore the concept of securitisation, how they operate and the benefits and dangers for the parties involved .

Revewing Graphs

LECTURE 10 - PICKING UP THE PIECES- HOW COMPANIES RAISE MONEY  IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY CAN’T PAY DEBTS.

Day 5 - Afternoon

13:00 - 15:00 GMT

  • In the first part of the lecture, you will examine financing topics which many law schools do not have an opportunity to learn about. 


  • We will explore the key concepts of project finance and asset finance, the commercial reality, how these transactions are structured, risk allocation and the role of lawyers.


  • In the second part of the lecture, you will learn about Insolvency, an important topic - which is especially relevant during an economic recession. 


  • The lecture will examine why companies get into financial difficulties and what insolvency procedures are available to protect creditors, lenders and investors and what happens if all these fail (insolvency).

Friday Case Study - 15:30 - 17:00