Your Questions on Commercial and Contract Law, Answered by an Expert

LAW   |   6 minutes  |   August 28, 2017

A surge in international contract law firms opening in South Africa has lead to increased demand for experts in commercial law and contract law.

Are you interested in stepping into the sought-after role of a Commercial or Contract Lawyer?

Hear from industry expert, and Head Tutor on the UCT Commercial and Contract Law online short course, Melanie Louw, as she answers four frequently asked questions about these two specific areas of law.

1. What’s the difference between Contract Law and Commercial law?


Contract Law is an aspect, or an element, or a subdivision of Commercial Law. See Commercial Law as the big umbrella and Contract Law as a specific element or silo under that umbrella. Commercial Law could encompass other areas as well. So, for example, Labour Law would also fall under Commercial Law. That would be one specific area, such as Contract Law.

2. Why pursue a career in Commercial Law?


Commercial Law is developing in leaps and bounds because we all are in some way or the other involved in commerce, which means that we’re selling goods, we’re selling services, we’re all in employment, and we plow those funds back into commerce.

So, for commercial lawyers, there’s always scope and opportunity because not only can we review the specific entities in which people trade in – we can provide tax advice – but we can also provide sound contract law advice. So, there will always be scope for legal professionals who want to specialise in Commercial Law.

3. What is Commercial Law all about?


Commercial Law is also known as Mercantile Law, and it actually describes it better, because in the old days we refer to merchants or traders – people that sell and people that buy. So, Commercial Law, or Mercantile Law, refers to all transactions where there’s actually a sale or a purchase of goods or services.

4. How does Contract Law affect businesses?


Contract Law affects businesses because all businesses are either providing a service or they’re providing a product which means that they have to purchase, they have to resell, or they have to render services. For each and every one of these transactions, a contract should be in place. That contract states whether those services are being purchased or sold at the specific price and what the terms and conditions are. So, that contract is usually the be-all and end-all of all the transactions that businesses enter into.

Want to become an expert in contract law and commercial law by taking a contract management course?

Find out more about the UCT Contract and Commercial Law online short course.