Nov. 3, 2023

UCalgary Law students cross the pond to gain new knowledge in corporate law

Summer London Program gives students a leg up in working on behalf of clients in the U.S. and U.K.
The London Program 2023 participants standing in front of a bush.
London Program 2023 participants Bryce Tingle

After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the University of Calgary Faculty of Law’s London Program returned strong this past summer for its second time running.

The program takes students to London to study corporate law abroad for three weeks.

Bryce Tingle, KC, a professor of law and N. Murray Edwards Chair in Business Law, first had the idea for the program during a trip to Oxford over the summer of 2018, when he discovered the venerable university filled with American law students on various summer programs and questioned why Canadian universities didn’t do something similar.

“Canada is not a very big country; most corporations in Canada of any size do a lot of business outside of Canada,” says Tingle. “They raise money in the United States and the United Kingdom; they go public on other exchanges; they acquire businesses elsewhere in the world.

“I think it is very useful to go to one of the world’s legal and financial centres and get the experience of being there, meeting lawyers there, seeing how things are done, and learning the differences between the U.K. and American legal systems when it comes to corporate law and the Canadian system.” 

London Program participants in a London building

London Program participants

Bryce Tingle

 During the program, students take two classes, which allows them to reduce their course load the following semester. The program also hosts guest speakers and a panel of UCalgary Law alumni now working in London to give students an idea of where corporate law could take them.

The students have their weekends free to experience London, but they also receive guided tours of places in the city that are significant to law, such as the City of London and the Houses of Parliament.

“It was great. It’s always fun … because the students are having a terrific time. They’re in a very good mood and, as a professor, that is an enjoyable group to teach,” says Tingle.

Jonah Secreti, a third-year law student, hopes to practise commercial or corporate law. For him, the program provided valuable insight into what that could look like.

“This program broadened my perspective on exactly what are emerging areas that maybe haven't really hit the news stream in Calgary yet,” says Secreti, BEd'21, BA' 21.

“Talking with lawyers about the importance of sanctions law or critical minerals, and then coming back to Calgary and being able to cater my education towards those emerging areas, I think it'll be really invaluable having that perspective outside of the jurisdiction I'm working in. But, inherently, that will allow me to be successful as a lawyer in the short term and long term.”

Secreti adds that he really enjoyed the extra London activities he was able to take part in, including viewing a boxing match, seeing plays and watching a rugby match.

Alec Fader, a second-year law student, found it interesting to see what corporate law looks like outside of Calgary. “Despite Calgary punching above its weight class in terms of business and head offices and things like that, it was really interesting to kind of get that experience in one of the financial capitals of the world,” Fader says.

“Being in London, there just being a much larger market … that was an awesome experience.”

Both Fader and Secreti encourage future law students to enrol in the program, adding that there are financial aid and scholarships available. Enrolment for 2024 starts Nov. 10.

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