Book Reviews

Business Law

Publisher: Routledge

Authors: David Kelly, Ruby Hammer & John Hendy

Price: 35.99

Edition: 2nd Edition (April 2014)

ISBN: 978-0-415-72306-0

Buy from Routledge: Click Here

While it is primarily designed for undergraduate students on business courses, Business Law aims to offer a comprehensive coverage of all of the key aspects of business law in a straight-forward manner which is easy to understand for business students.  This is, of course, an ambitious aim given the vast areas of law which many businesses deal with on a day to day basis.  However, and to a large extent (subject to some of the errors discussed later), it broadly achieves that aim.  What Business Law also demonstrates is just how important a working knowledge of the law is for anyone in business: if you do not know the basics, you can often be exposed to significant business risks.

Written by a team of experienced law teachers, with particular expertise in a business law environment, Business Law is split into five parts: law, legal sources and dispute resolution; business transactions; business liability; business organisation; and employment law and health and safety.  This is expanded from the first edition and shows the increased focus on issues like health and safety law (which pose important civil and criminal risks).  Each part is split into a number of chapters.  For example, the part on business organisations has chapters on: agency; partnership law; and company law.  The part on business transactions has chapters on: contract; and sale of goods and supply of services.  It is, however, somewhat surprising that there is still no coverage of intellectual property or advertising law.

Because Business Law is aimed at law and business students, and covers so many different areas of law, it does not attempt to cover the topics in significant detail.  Instead, it largely provides a clear and concise consideration of the various areas of law.  It is, however, disappointing that there continues to be some key errors and omissions.  For example, when consider the (now repealed) Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, the authors suggests there is no right to cancel a distance contract where the goods have been used.  Firstly, this is wrong and contrary to former OFT Guidance.  Secondly, these regulations were replaced on 13 June 2014 by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (which are not mentioned at all; despite those regulations being made on 11 December 2013).  There is also reference to the Consumer Transactions (Restrictions on Statements) Order 1976 creating a criminal offence.  This is also wrong; it was repealed on 26 May 2008.

This second edition of Business Law will be a good companion for anyone studying law as part of a business course (particularly those at undergraduate level).  It comes with a very useful companion website (available from:  By the time of this review, there are a number of resources including multiple choice questions, cases studies and weblinks.  The errors did, however, undermine my confidence somewhat in the rest of the text (and particularly because one of the errors was raised in our review of the first edition).  It is therefore a useful companion but should be used with some caution.  If, however, these errors are resolved for future editions, there is no doubt that Business Law will continue to be an important text for business students for years to come.  When combined with the companion website, it is also well priced.

Reviewed on 28 March 2015

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