The Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law has been set up by five members of The School of Law, Edinburgh University. The Centre is a research centre and its principal focus lies on the development of commercial law in Scotland. The Centre stages different types of events with this focus in mind, such as academic seminars, book launches and lectures from UK and international legal experts. One particular aim of the Centre is to foster closer links within the Scottish legal community, bringing together academics, legal practitioners and the judiciary. The five original members are able to do so through the provision of continuing professional development training to UK law firms, and through collaborative writing projects.
The Director of the Centre is Laura Macgregor, and the associate directors are Gillian Black, David Cabrelli, Parker Hood and Scott Wortley. The honorary Chair of the Centre is the Right Hon Lord Reed.
The Centre was inaugurated in March 2008, the inaugural lecture being provided by Lord Woolman. During the whole of academic year 07/08, many Centre events were held. High profile academics gave seminars wtihin our series on diverse subjects such as commercial agency, private equity and securitisation. Other seminars were given by prominent legal practitioners such as Lindy Paterson, Dundas and Wilson CS LLP, who provided us with her perspective on the drafting of exclusion and limitation clauses. At each of these events we successfully achieved our aim of bringing together different parts of the legal community in animated discussion.
Perhaps the highlight from the first year of the Centre's life was the annual Centre lecture which was delivered by Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG. He provided us with his views on interpretation of contract. This particularly difficult subject has seen a great deal of recent analysis both in the House of Lords and the Scottish courts. Lord Bingham's views were frank and often challenging of received wisdom. The fulll text of his lecture is now available, see ‘A New Thing Under the Sun?: the interpretation of contract and the ICS decision’ in (2008) Edinburgh Law Review pp. 374-390. No doubt this year's annual Centre lecture by Lord Hoffmann will prove equally fascinating (provisionally booked for 12 May 2009).
There was also time for lighter relief when guests were invited to celebrate the launch of books co-authored by members of the Centre, for example, Gillian Black's contribution to Business Law in Scotland (2008, Greens) or Laura Macgregor's contribution to Commercial Law in Scotland (2008, Greens).
This blog will provide the members of the Centre with the opportunity to publicise forthcoming events, but perhaps more significantly to comment on recent cases and developments and to explore research related ideas in the general field of Scots commercial law. We hope you find it interesting, and would be interested to hear any comments or questions you have.