GLB: Accountancy and Finance for Lawyers

Provided by: Tilburg
Bachelor's degree (EQF level: 6)

At the end of this course, students are expected to be able to

Know, describe and apply the basic concepts of finance and accounting, including for example the differences between equity and debt financing, from a legal and economic perspective;
Understand and interpret key financial information (including for example balance sheets and income statements) of a company, and make a judgment on the financial situation of a company;
Calculate and explain the net present value of a project, and advice a company on the basis thereof with respect to financing decision making in a case-study;
Know, describe and apply the basic concepts valuation from a legal and economic perspective and apply these in a case study;
Understand the key differences between corporate finance and entrepreneurial finance; and
Advise an entrepreneurial firm or investor with respect to a venture capital term sheet.

Lawyers are increasingly faced with the challenges from the financial world. The conventional way of legal counsel team working on a business transaction, i.e., sitting aside and waiting for the financial and accounting people to first finish with the numbers and then stepping in for the “legal part”, is no longer appreciated by clients. Given the increasing magnitude and complexity of current business transactions, students must be ready to respond to the strong market demands for new type of lawyers, who are not only able to understand key finance and accounting issues, but can also add value to real life transactions by designing the best tailored legal solutions to suit concrete business needs.

This course is divided into three blocks. The aim of block I is to familiarize students with the essential background knowledge that business law attorneys need for the purpose of interpreting and making sense of the accounts and financial statements of a corporation. It will make realistic explanations on the fundamentals of business firms, focusing on the essentials of the accounting terms, instruments and reporting standards. In block II, students will be equipped with the key concepts of corporate finance, among which the time value for money and the capital structure of a corporation and corporate valuation. Differing considerably from corporate finance in a number of key assumptions, entrepreneurial finance will be the focus of block III. Students are exposed to a venture capital series A financing term sheet, and are expected to take up the role of a value-adding business lawyer to help either the entrepreneurial firm or the VC investor in negotiating the best terms out it. Overall, the goal of this course is to not only help students broaden their knowledge horizon now, but also prepare them for their legal careers in the future.

Teaching and assessment methods
The course is taught primarily through seminars, while students are expected to read and self-study at home. In addition, students also get homework assignments and case studies, and they form groups to solve them and present their perception of the actual business problems and potential solutions in class. It is mandatory to attend all lectures. Students get a final take-home exam during the exam period, consisting mainly of open essay questions and case questions. Grading consists of the following two parts:
Take-home exam: 70%
·Assignments: 30%

  • Fall Semester 2022/23

    Course start date 2022-09-01
    Course end date 2022-12-23
    Language English
    Credits 6 (ECTS)
    Grading scheme: Grades will be awarded on a 10 point scale where 6 is the passing grade