Mergers and Acquisitions LAW RESEARCH ESSAY
What: An M&A law research essay
Length: 4,000 words
Topic: One of Fifteen Topics (see below)
Referencing: Australian legal citation (see attached)
Plagiarism: NEVER (I have caught the last writer literally paraphrasing the whole essay off the web and got him sanctioned and 50% of my money back)
The students will undertake a research essay that pursues in-depth, an aspect of the subject through sustained research, reflection and writing 4,000 words.
The students will have a choice of fifteen essay topics, mainly Australia-focused (see below). The 4,000 word count includes all discursive text, such as any textual discussion in footnotes, but not citation information in the bibliography or footnotes. Students may exceed the word limit by ten per cent without penalty.
You are required to choose one of the following fifteen questions for the essay. Please be aware that, since these essays are Australian-focused, you are strongly encouraged to use and work around Australian sources including high quality secondary sources (journal articles, reports, regulatory guidance) and primary sources (cases and legislation). Please keep online newsletters, law firm commentaries, blog posts etc to a minimum:
1. Is s 444GA (which provides for the power to compulsorily acquire shares during a deed of company arrangement) consistent with the scheme of takeover regulation in Ch 6 of the Corporations Act? Is this appropriate and why?
2. To what extent does a takeover bidder need to demonstrate certainty of funding arrangements? Is the Panel’s guidance on this issue clear, consistent and commercially appropriate?
3. Should s 411(17) be repealed or reformed? Critically examine the arguments for and against such reform.
4. Critically evaluate the challenges arising from a takeover or a scheme involving stapled securities. Does the current law need reform?
5. Is the current law regarding underwritten rights issues as an exception to the takeover prohibition in s 611 commercially fair and appropriate? Does the current law need reform?
6. What challenges does the use of equity derivatives pose for takeover regulation in Australia? Does the current law need reform
7. To what extent can target boards legitimately frustrate an announced or proposed takeover?
8. Critically evaluate the concept of class voting in schemes of arrangement. Is this requirement necessary and commercially appropriate?
9. When could a scheme proposal be refused on the basis of commercial morality?
10. Should Australia introduce a mandatory bid rule for Ch 6 takeovers?
11. Should the ‘truth in takeovers’ policy be revised or removed? Does this adversely affect appropriate commercial outcomes in takeover bids?
12. Should Australia’s foreign investment rules related to takeovers be reformed? You may wish to undertake a comparative analysis with the foreign investment laws of another country.
13. Should a target board be allowed to enter into commercial arrangements (such as joint ventures, business licensing or asset spin offs) after being approached by a potential bidder? Consider panel guidance and case law on this issue.
14. Does the law require shareholders in a bidder that is undertaking a reverse takeover be required to vote on the bid proposal? Should this area be reformed?
15. Critically evaluate this statement:
Should shareholder activists that are pushing for influence over the management of a company (such as by pushing for board representation) may obtain the benefit of control without paying a takeover premium and therefore should be required to launch a takeover bid.
Some personal guidelines for the preparation of research essays:
The purpose of a research essay: A research essay gives you the opportunity to show your research skills on your selected topic. You should display your ability to find, read, consider and analyse the researched materials, and express your reasoned views. A research essay is more than a mere narrative of the materials. Marks are awarded on the process of legal reasoning rather than the conclusion reached, although obvious errors in reasoning to that conclusion will lose marks. In other words, your arguments/views/analysis are important provided they are properly argued and supported. Fundamental to success is a properly organised and structured essay. A cogent structure can take several forms, but a suggested structure is set out below.
Organisation and Structure – A research essay has five broad parts:
1. Introduction: An introduction should be a succinct summary of the essay. Introductions should be 400-600 words in length. The marker should, after reading the introduction, have a clear understanding of the topic and a broad overview of the problems/issues and the student’s methodology used to address those problems/ issues.
2. Background: Depending on the topic, setting out relevant background may be necessary, for example, defining key terms or concepts, identifying and briefly discussing relevant law or industry practice or government policy, identifying and summarizing published materials in the area, etc.
Discuss what is significant, necessary and relevant to your analysis. Avoid irrelevancies.
3. Identify the problems/issues: Clearly set out and discuss the problems and issues identified. The use of subheadings for each distinct problem is useful.
4. Resolving the problems/issues; methodology: Having identified the problems/issues you should identify the methodology used to analyse/discuss/consider/resolve the problems/issues. In Parts 3 and 4 (the key components of any essay) an examiner will look for various features including: your arguments; identifying and critically discussing other published works in the area; identifying the significant and important problems/issues; consistency and logical development of argument; consideration of the concepts applicable to solving the problem; original research/ideas; how you use existing knowledge and relate that to new knowledge; the application of theoretical ideas to industry practice; critical evaluation of existing case law (where relevant); etc.
The essays will be marked according to:
– addressing the question with relevant and high quality legal authorities evidence of high quality research beyond the prescribed readings
– detailed use of primary authorities (legislation and cases)
– critical analysis of the question
– clarity of writing and structure and
– appropriate and consistent referencing using the Australian Guide to Legal Citation
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