Book Reviews


Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Author: Derek French

Price: 36.99

Edition: 35th Edition 2018-2019 (August 2018)

ISBN: 978-0-19-881510-5

Buy from OUP: Click Here

It probably goes without saying that any student who has studied company law since the introduction of the (now repealed) Companies Act 1985 has probably used a copy of Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law.  Now in its thirty-fifth edition, it remains (for many reasons) the leading student text on company law.  It is also the kind of text that students who become practitioners will use if there is a tricky company law issue.  The reason why this text has become much-loved is because it clearly, comprehensively and thoroughly explains this complex area of law.

For this latest edition, a two-colour text design has been used (for the first time).  This gives the text a more 'modern' feel (and such an approach is common in many other texts).  But the modern feel is not the only update: Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law has undergone a thorough review (and re-write) so it focuses on the key issues in company law.  This new, and lean, approach means it is not as heavy as earlier editions (an important factor for any student!) and has a clearer layout, with more headings and a better flow.  Derek French's time spent undertaking these revisions has been very well spent.

Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law now spans five parts and twenty chapters (plus an Online Resource Centre).  The parts are divided as follows: introduction; establishment; finance; governance; and insolvency and liquidation.  Each part (except for the last) includes a number of chapters.  For example, part one includes an impressive overview (which answers many of the questions posed by students before studying company law).  Part two includes a chapter on registration and another on corporate personality (which is a topic that spans many other practice areas including litigation, insolvency and even compulsory purchase of land!).

Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law continues to given both an extremely comprehensive and a wonderfully thorough analysis of the relevant cases and statutory provisions.  Its improved layout means it is more accessible.  I am a particular fan of the 'what can be learnt from this chapter' part at the end of each chapter.  This gives an excellent summary, sets out the legal concepts and points of law, and gives a list of further reading.  This approach is one which is mirrored by many practitioners (and driven by client demand): the 'so what?' approach.  It works really well.  Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law should be the first choice for any law student, practitioner or individual interested in company law.  Its price, at under 40, also makes it excellent value for money.

Reviewed on 31 May 2019

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