Legal Ethics in a Corporate Context


Course Objective

This course provides an introduction to professional ethics for lawyers
in the corporate sector.

Course Content

In the last decade, the financial crisis and the wide range of corporate
frauds (Enron,, Volkswagen) have spurred the debate in legal
ethics about the professional responsibility of corporate lawyers. More
recently, the leaked ‘Panama Papers’ led to public critique on the
apparently limited sense of responsibility of the lawyers involved.
This course focuses on the topic of lawyers' ethics in a corporate
context. It is based on the idea that lawyers' (mis)conduct cannot be
explained exclusively by the choices of individual lawyers. Instead, a
full explanation needs to take into account the influence of the social,
organizational and political context on the functioning of lawyers.
Hence, this course takes up an interdisciplinary and contextual approach
by combining insights from law, legal ethics, social psychology,
sociology, economy, moral-, social- and political philosophy.
The following three interrelated parts constitute the core elements of
the course:
a) a general introduction to professional ethics;
b) an interdisciplinary analysis of lawyers' ethics in a corporate
c) an examination of the relation between personal and professional
integrity in corporate lawyering.

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Paper, presentation and participation.


T.b.a. The reading material will be distributed by the course

Target Audience

This course is only open to students of the programme Law, Markets and

General Information

Course Code R_LEEMP
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator prof. dr. J.L. Smeehuijzen
Examiner prof. dr. J.L. Smeehuijzen
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group, Lecture