A group of Notre Dame Law School students spent a week during spring break visiting banks, legal and financial firms, and academic institutions in London to see the practice and regulation of international capital markets.
The experience was part of a short course, Venture Capital and Institutions of Transnational Financial Markets, developed by Associate Professor of Law Patrick Corrigan.
The one-credit course used venture capital deals as a starting point to study cross-border deal-making and comparative corporate legal and regulatory perspectives. The goal of the course was to provide students with a more in-depth look at the comparative perspective on the laws that govern business organizations and how they are financed.
“The Law School is always trying to expand our international footprint and connect students with learning and research opportunities worldwide. This trip provided students the chance to look at deal-making from an international perspective and consider issues such as the organization and structure of firms, the financing of firms, and the challenges that arise in regulating the provision of capital across borders,” said Corrigan.
One of the first stops on the trip was a visit to the venture capital firm CrossBoundary Group, a mission-driven investment firm that specializes in unlocking capital in underserved markets. There they met with Jake Cusack, a University of Notre Dame graduate and the co-founder and managing partner of CrossBoundary Group.
For Jamal Wilson, a second-year law student, the group’s visit to CrossBoundary was extraordinary.
“I went on this trip and enrolled in this course hoping to explore my interests in becoming a corporate transactional lawyer who can leverage my skills and relationships to serve businesses that serve, or are driven by, members of underrepresented communities,” said Wilson. “Our time with CrossBoundary affirmed that my ideals can become a reality. I now have a better understanding of what issues are important to a business like theirs and how I can best serve them in my role as an attorney.”
The students also spent time touring the University of Cambridge and Churchill College with Bobby Reddy, associate professor at Cambridge and a visiting faculty member in Notre Dame Law School’s London Law Programme.
Third-year law student Phenia Hovsepyan said, “The most memorable part of the trip was our day in Cambridge. It was incredible to not only see the storied college town, tour the colleges, and go to the pub where the announcement of the DNA double helix occurred, but to also experience all of the layers of connection at Notre Dame Law School. We had dinner at Churchill College, hosted by Professor Bobby Reddy, who is a titan in his field, and joked around with him about everything from the stock exchange to late-night deal closings gone wrong.”
The students met with Dr. Simon Witney, a senior consultant at the international law firm of Travers Smith LLP and visiting professor in practice at the London School of Economics and Political Science. They also met with Marc Moore, professor of law and chair in corporate/financial law at University College London as well as a visiting professor with the Notre Dame London Law Programme.
The group also toured the East London Tech City, an area with a cluster of high-tech companies, and the City of London financial district, including a stop at the Bank of England, to see where banking and financial instructions were located as far back as medieval times. Andrew Hoffman, senior legal counsel and manager at the Bank of England, met with the students to discuss financial architecture and legal issues that arise for central banks.
As part of the course, students worked in teams to execute a simulated negotiation of an investment. One team served as a hypothetical start-up company and the other as a venture capital firm and together they negotiated an investment in the preferred stock issued by the hypothetical start-up company.
Mike Kowalski, a third-year law student who spent his second year of law school studying in the London Law Programme, was excited to be back.
“It was great to be back in one of my favorite places. I had spent most of my previous time in London learning about its past, but Professor Corrigan’s course offered me a chance to dig deeper into the city’s vibrant business community,” said Kowalski. “Getting to meet with leading practitioners and professors in their fields provided a human aspect to international business law that was welcomed. I also had the chance to make new friendships with other students who I otherwise might not have had the chance to connect with.”
Corrigan said that the students were a fantastic group. “They asked really great questions and had engaging conversations and discussions with everyone we met throughout the trip,” he said.
Originally published by law.nd.edu on April 05, 2023.at