company law

| May 21, 2015

“The doctrine laid down in Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd [1897] AC 22 has to be watched very carefully. It has often been supposed to cast a veil on the personality of a limited company through which the courts cannot see. But that is not true. The courts can, and often do, draw aside the veil. They can, and often do, pull off the mask. They look to see what really lies behind” – Lord Denning in Littlewoods Mail Order Stores Ltd v Inland Revenue Commissioners [1969] 3 All ER 442.
Discuss the above statement with the aid of relevant legal authorities.

General Instructions:
• The essay must be word-processed
• The essay should not exceed 1500 words.
• You should endeavour to conduct independent research and use academic sources in your essay. Remember to acknowledge and reference your sources properly using the Harvard System of referencing.
• Plagiarism is strictly forbidden and may result in the score of 0% being awarded for the essay.
• The essay accounts for 30% of the overall marks for the unit.
• Submission of the completed coursework must be done electronically via Moodle Turnitin (USE THE COURSEWORK RE-SUBMISSION TAB IN THE FIRST SECTION OF THE BUSINESS LAW PAGE) and in hard copy via the Assignment Submission (Blue) Box.
• The submission deadline is 8 August 2014. No extension of time for submitting the essay would be granted.

Assessment Criteria:
The following factors would be taken into account in marking your essay:
1. Relevant knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter
2. Discussion, analysis and evaluation of the subject-matter
3. Use and application of source materials, including statutes, decided cases and academic articles
4. Presentation and structure


The essay, like all essays, should have three broad sections: the introduction, the body of the essay, and the conclusion.

The introduction
An introduction is a very important part of an essay. It should provide an abstract/ summary of all the issues you wish to discuss in the body of the essay. This is your roadmap to the essay and should attempt to capture the attention of the examiner. It should tell the examiner where you are going and how you plan to get there. An essay without an introduction is akin to sending somebody on a journey to an unknown destination without a road map or direction.
The body of essay

This is where you develop your thoughts in full. Discuss one after the other the issues you have already indicated in the introduction. These issues should be discussed/analysed in an orderly and sequential manner in order to engage and retain the interest of the reader. Critical evaluation of the issues is also expected. This is the section where academic and judicial authorities should be used in support of your discussion.

You should, as much as possible, sub-divide the body of the essay into sub-sections under sub-headings. You should also make your points in the form of discussion, arranged in paragraphs. Avoid the use of bullet points. Numbering should also be avoided unless necessary.
The relevant issues for discussion include:
1. The incorporation of companies and the effect thereof;
2. The doctrine of separate legal personality;
3. The case of Salomon v Salomon;
4. The concept of lifting the corporate veil; and when this could be done;
5. Relevant legal authorities, including decided cases.
6. Analysis and evaluation

The conclusion

This should be a summary of the issues you have discussed in the body of the essay. It gives you the opportunity to neatly wrap up your thought and leave a positive and lasting impression on the mind of the reader.

An essay without a conclusion is like an unfinished painting. It leaves the examiner with a sour taste in the mouth and a bad impression of your essay.

The use of legal sources/authorities
One of the purposes of the course work is to determine how much you are aware of the current state of the law on the topic under discussion. You are therefore expected to demonstrate that you have read and consulted relevant texts and authorities on the subject. Therefore, you should support your discussion with:
1. Academic authorities – i.e. textbooks, articles, etc. Do not cite your handouts as academic authorities since they are not recognised and widely available publications.
2. Judicial decisions (try to use additional cases not mentioned in your handouts where possible).
3. Relevant sections of applicable legislations
4. Analysis and evaluation

An essay, which is not supported with relevant authorities where these exist, is little more than a statement of your opinion that does not count for much. It is the hallmark of academic laziness and warns the examiner that you have not invested much effort in the writing of the essay. A similar conclusion might be reached if you did not make reference to any material discoverable by independent reading.

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