SQE Business Law Syllabus: Comprehensive Study Guide

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SQE Business Law Syllabus: Comprehensive Study Guide

If you’re preparing to take the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), it’s crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the business law syllabus. Business law is a vital component of the exam and covers various topics that future solicitors must be proficient in. In this study guide, we will break down the key areas of the SQE business law syllabus, provide valuable study tips, and recommend resources to help you succeed in your preparation.

1. Contract Law

Contract law is the backbone of commercial transactions, and a sound understanding of its principles is essential for any aspiring solicitor. The SQE syllabus includes topics such as formation of contracts, terms of the contract, breach of contract, and remedies for breach. To ace this section, make sure to grasp the fundamental principles and analyze case law examples extensively. Understanding landmark cases like Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company and Donoghue v Stevenson will not only impress the examiners but also deepen your understanding of contract law.

2. Company Law

Company law is a crucial aspect of business law, focusing on the formation, management, and dissolution of companies. Some key areas of company law include the formation of companies, directors’ duties and responsibilities, shareholder rights, and corporate governance. Familiarize yourself with both the Companies Act 2006 and relevant case law, such as Salomon v Salomon. Understanding the intricacies of company law will showcase your ability to advise clients on corporate matters effectively.

3. Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property (IP) law protects an individual’s or company’s intangible assets, such as inventions, trademarks, copyrights, and designs. The SQE syllabus covers topics such as patents, trademarks, copyright infringement, passing off, and design rights. Stay up to date with current industry practices and cases, including recent developments in online copyright infringement and software patentability. Familiarize yourself with key IP case law, like Apple v Samsung and Warner-Lambert v Actavis, to strengthen your knowledge in this area of law.

4. Employment Law

Employment law governs the relationship between employers and employees, covering areas such as employment contracts, discrimination, wrongful dismissal, and redundancy. The SQE syllabus requires a comprehensive understanding of the Employment Rights Act 1996, as well as relevant case law, including Walker v Innospec Ltd and R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor. Knowing the legal rights and obligations of both employers and employees will enable you to provide sound advice on employment matters.

5. Consumer Law

Consumer law focuses on protecting the rights of individuals as consumers when engaging in commercial transactions. The SQE syllabus covers topics such as consumer rights, unfair contract terms, product liability, and consumer protection agencies. Understanding key consumer law legislation, such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015, is vital for providing effective legal advice to clients. Keep up to date with recent cases like Mastercard Inc v Walter Hugh Merricks CBE to enhance your understanding of consumer law concepts.

6. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

ADR refers to methods of resolving disputes outside of traditional court proceedings. The SQE syllabus includes ADR methods such as mediation, negotiation, and arbitration. Familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of each method, as well as their legal frameworks. Understanding ADR processes and associated legislation, such as the Arbitration Act 1996, will enable you to provide clients with alternative options for dispute resolution.


Success in the SQE business law syllabus requires a comprehensive understanding of various legal principles and their practical application. By dedicating sufficient time to each topic, staying up to date with relevant case law, and utilizing reputable study resources, you can confidently tackle this significant section of the exam. Use this study guide as a starting point, and refer to our related articles below for additional preparation materials:

Remember, mastering the business law syllabus is essential to becoming a successful solicitor. Good luck with your SQE preparation!

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