It is the dream of many law students and lawyers to work as a M&A or private equity lawyer.
It is definitely also one of the most attractive practice areas if you want to work as a lawyer and M&A and investment law combined is one of the largest sources of employment for highest paid corporate lawyers.
There is no large law firm that does not have a big M&A and investment transactions team. Along with that, institutional finance covers banking laws and transactions, which is another major practice area for most corporate law firms. Incidentally, knowledge of institutional finance and investment laws, along with M&A, are complementary.
Not only law students and young lawyers, these subjects are very relevant for other professionals, like bankers, management consultants and accountants, as well as corporate executives, who are interested in gaining legal proficiency.
There is no doubt that knowledge of law is massively empowering, and often provides significant competitive advantage in the corporate environment.
However, there is little scope to learn M&A laws, or investment laws, or banking laws for that matter, unless you are a practitioner in these areas and put in the years learning from seniors.
Full time courses on these subjects do not exist and naturally so, as the people who want to learn these things the most can rarely find time to attend classes.
There are also few people who can really teach these subjects as well. While a few of top law schools have the requisite faculty to teach these subjects (in India, only a handful) or manage to get guest faculty, these classes cannot be attended by the majority of the seekers.
Also, it rarely makes sense for one to pursue a full fledged LLB course, sacrificing 3 years from professional life, to learn 3-4 modules of business laws.
However, advent of online education offered a new opportunity, to start online courses for professionals and lawyers who want to learn these laws, taught by global experts who can teach from their desk without having to travel.
This is the background of National University of Juridical Sciences launching a masters degree course with a specialization in M&A, Investment and Banking laws.
The course was launched in 2016, and received a tremendous response, as top bankers, CEOs, practicing lawyers including some Advocates on Record (AoR) of the Supreme Court, accountants and even IAS officers enrolled into the course.
NUJS Kolkata is one of the most well known and reputed premier law institutions of India.
NUJS Kolkata has been a pioneer in the area of launching online courses for a global audience.
In collaboration with technology partner iPleaders, it has in the past launched courses like Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws, Intellectual Property Laws, Cyber Laws, Competition Law, etc. available on it’s online courses portal. These courses are delivered through online courses marketplace Lawsikho.
About the online course on M&A, Investment and Institutional Finance
The M.A. in Business Laws with specialization in Mergers and Acquisitions, investment and institutional finance is a comprehensive study of the Business laws with specialization in Mergers and Acquisitions laws, investment and institutional finance.
It is a fully online two year Master’s Degree course.
The course is divided over 12 modules covering the basic and important legal requirements of a business from its inception, business structuring, governance of the business, dispute resolution, protection of its Intellectual Property, raising funds through equity investment and debt financing with its documentation, foreign direct investment, securities market, mergers and acquisitions and competition laws.
The course helps you to understand the legal procedure and regulations involved in setting up of a business, managing the business and the skills required for negotiating and dealing in other financial transactions.
Why a course on M&A, investment Laws and Institutional Finance is Relevant
M&A activity is at its peak as the industry and economy has experienced high rate of growth over more than a decade.
As attractive growth rate in India and other emerging economies has been attracting global attention and capital, M&A, major investment and finance transactions have been increasing rapidly year on year.
Here are some major drivers of M&A, banking and investment activities:
- Major multi-nationals are looking at India and other emerging markets for further growth as developed countries cut government spending, and growth has been sluggish. How do they enter? They either acquire fast growing companies, enter into JV with Indian players or invest in startups. Institutional finance is often relied upon where deal sizes are huge or big projects are set up.
- Homegrown Indian companies have become confident on back of domestic profits and are looking to expand into other territories and increase their global presence.
- In 2017, the business culture is being dominated by the start up ecosystem and the boom in the start ups is changing the old school methods of doing business. The start up boom has pushed the big giants to infuse innovation by acquiring these start ups.
- Indian government has been focussing on economic and market reforms, along with a massive push for infrastructure development. This requires participation from the industry as well, and many new opportunities are opening up every year.
- Companies are trying to expand horizontally in different sectors and vertically in their size. Take the example of Quickr India Pvt Ltd, which acquired home rental start up Grabhouse. This helped Quickr to bolster its presence in the realty sector as Grabhouse provides cashless managed rentals and helped Grabhouse to scale up its operations. This was just one of the major acquisitions of 2016. And we all are aware of the surprise acquisition of Linkedln by Microsoft.
The pace of consolidation in various sectors in India is likely to increase as the economy matures.
Apart from this, Indian entrepreneurs are starting up, taking investments to scale up and seeking finance at a rate never imagined even 5 years back. The demand for investment and debt finance is likely to increase many times over in the coming years as the economy remains bullish.
This is an extremely lucrative time to enter the legal services market as a young M&A, Investment or Banking Lawyer.
The opportunity for learning, having a fulfilling career as well as making an impact in this sector, for well trained young professionals, is definitely very high.
However, there is a great dearth of learning opportunities as the experts in these area are all successful lawyers and rarely joins the academia.
If you want to begin your career as an M&A lawyer, investment lawyer or Banking lawyer, or if you are a lawyer practicing in a different area wanting to switch over, you would discover that while there is demand in the market, opportunities to train yourself to get the first break is hard to come by.
This is where this course comes to rescue.
Firstly, it helps the learner to understand various legal aspects of business right from incorporation to business expansion. It gives you an opportunity to build up your legal acumen related to businesses and their working.
Secondly, it helps you to gain specialised cutting edge knowledge in how to run real life M&A, banking or investment transactions from top practitioners and global experts.
Advantages of this course
The distinguishing feature of this course is that it provides practical knowledge of the subject and not the theoretical regular study material that is available everywhere.
Apart from top notch academicians and NUJS faculty members, the course is prepared by the industry experts, lawyers, business leaders, professionals, bankers and partners of tier 1 law firms in India who are part of an Industry Academia Panel convened by NUJS.
The advantage of having them in the panel is that they lay down the course structure with a practical approach. Being working professionals involved with everyday transactions they know the exact legal complexities involved at every step of managing the business and hence they are better able to explain and make the learner understand the ‘what, why, how, when and where’ involved.
With every module practical exercises, process documents, checklists and case studies are given so that you not only understand the application of the laws but the underlying business objectives and their treatment so that you can actually do the work when called upon.
One of the biggest advantages and definitely a boost to your curriculum vitae is the monthly exercise of writing articles on topics assigned as a part of the assessment under the course.
Every student is encouraged to write and publish articles and build up their profile as experts. This improves your legal writing, adds on to your publications, and also makes you visible in the legal and business fraternity through your articles.
If one is a law student or litigating lawyer, or a professional, it becomes a quite difficult to get the practical insights of corporate practice. The kind of knowledge available through this course is accessible to industry outsiders only when they start working.
Even interns in corporate law firms rarely get such exposure during their short stints at law firms or in-house teams, whereby, they lack in their professional development.
Besides this, the course provides the opportunity to interact with the panel and other experts and mentors through regular webinars, whereby, they share their knowledge on related topics and recent developments in the field with other details which are generally not mentioned in the textbooks like the stamp duty payable on a license agreement.
Also every student is assigned a mentor to guide them throughout this course. The mentors are working professionals working in related fields and volunteers to mentor the students. It introduces you to the legal fraternity and other working professionals even before you enter that world. You can seek their guidance over email and phone calls.
Another added advantage is that the certification under this course is given by NUJS Kolkata and it being a prestigious university, shall definitely add value to the CV.
Can students take up this course?
Students can apply only if they have already received their bachelor degree or if they are in final semester of their bachelor course.
The fees of the course is Rs. 50,000 which can be paid in 2 installments.
In case you choose to pay the entire amount in one go, then the fees is Rs. 45,000.