LLM lecturer awarded OBE

LLM lecturer awarded OBEAndrew Beale, a lecturer in Intellectual Property (IP) on the Swansea LLM programmes is to be made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to intellectual property and to business in Wales.

The announcement was made in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List, published on Saturday 13th June. Mr Beale was recently seconded to the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva to work with the small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) Division on helping SMEs to understand the importance of managing their IP. The purpose of the secondment, which is jointly funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and Swansea University, is to produce a handbook for SMEs, Intellectual Asset Strategies for Open Innovation. The dynamic of the relationship between large and smaller firms is changing and the booklet seeks to enable SMEs to best position themselves within global supply chains.

Mr Beale is also Director of the IP Wales initiative, part-funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Union. The project has advised over 750 Welsh businesses, leading to over 200 patents, 60 trade marks and 25 IP licensing agreements. IP Wales is seen by WIPO's SME division as an example of Best Practice in assisting smaller businesses with intellectual property issues.

Mr Beale said: "I am honoured to have received the OBE and I hope that, through this award, further recognition will be given to the importance of intellectual property in delivering the political aspiration of a sustainable knowledge economy for Wales. Many companies fail to appreciate the value of their IP. This can lead to real commercial and financial difficulties, especially for smaller businesses. Taking steps to manage and protect IP can give companies much greater commercial freedom and a legally enforceable monopoly in their marketplace.In the present economic climate more and more Universities are looking to enhance their interface with Industry and it is so rewarding to see Swansea University's work in this area being recognised as such an important part of the team Wales approach. I hope this Award will offer a springboard for Wales to engage even more actively with the international IP agenda".

Professor Andrew Halpin, Head of the School of Law at Swansea University, said: "We are delighted with this highly deserved accolade for the immense value that Andrew has delivered to the Welsh business community over the years with IP Wales, and through his international work with WIPO."


City of London Welcomes Swansea LLM Students

A delegation of LLM teaching staff and students recently visited a number of commercial law firms and centres at the city of London with a view to enhancing their practical understanding of shipping and insurance practice.

The day started with a trip to the offices of the prestigious international law firm Ince & Co where the delegation attended a presentation on the commercial and maritime practice by several partners of the firm. The presentation was followed by a reception, which was very well attended by partners and personnel of the firm, during which the students had the chance to speak directly with members of the firm.

 LLM students attending the presentation at the Ince & Co's offices in London

LLM students attending the presentation at the Ince & Co's offices in London

The delegation then proceeded to the Lloyd’s of London to witness a typical day work at this famous institution. The day ended with a visit to Thomas Miller, one of the world class providers of insurance services.  At Thomas Miller the delegation had the opportunity to meet key member of the firm and receive a presentation in relation to mutual insurance.

 The student delegation at Thomas Miller

The student delegation at Thomas Miller

The student body found the whole experience very informative and insightful. The student delegation also commented that the London trip provided them with the opportunity to have personal contacts with key players within the industry.

Sports Day

Although the LLM Programme is only for one year, it does not take long for Swansea LLM students each year to form a close community. Apart from attending various excursions organised by Swansea University or the School of Law or themselves, LLM students also benefit from the tremendous sports facilities Swansea University offers.

Having established a football team (men) and a volleyball team (ladies), LLM students played several friendly matches in the course of 2009.

The LLM  Volleyball Team

The LLM  Volleyball Team

Perhaps, the most significant day in this year’s sports calendar was the 7th March 2009 when the Swansea LLM students had an opportunity to play against their counterparts from Southampton University. It was a tremendous day for the Swansea LLM students both on and off the pitch: Having shown great hospitality to their guests, Swansea LLM teams went on to win both the football and the volleyball match very comfortably. The score of the football match was 8-1 to Swansea LLM. Also, Swansea LLM won the ladies volleyball match 2-0.

The Football team surrounded by members of the teaching team and LLM students af

The Football team surrounded by members of the teaching team and LLM students after the victory over the Southampton LLM team


LLM Students Benefit Immensely from the Experience of Our Visiting Fellows

Swansea Law School is dedicated in developing legal and practical skills of its LLM students. In order to enhance our LLM students’ understanding on how practice works, each year several eminent guest lecturers are invited to deliver lectures as formal part of some LLM modules.

In the academic year of 2008-09, the following practitioners were involved in the teaching of certain modules:

Mr Måns Jacobsson (Past president of IOPC Fund) (delivering parts of the Admiralty Law module);

Peter Macdonald-Eggers (Barrister, 7 King’s Bench Walk) (delivering parts of Marine Insurance module) and

Mr Christoph Benedict (Legal Director for ALSTOM) (delivering parts of the Globalisation, Law and Commerce module).

LLM Students Benefit Immensely from the Experience of Our Visiting Fellows
Mr Måns Jacobsson delivering the Admiralty lecture

LLM students were delighted with the input of these guest lecturers into their LLM experience. One student commented: “It is clear to me that I have made the right decision in coming to Swansea. The School and the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law are well-known in practice and they clearly have the power to attract eminent personalities from practice as guest lecturers.”

More Electronic Legal Sources Are Made Available for LLM Students

Our LLM Programmes, delivered by a group of dedicated academics and practitioners, are designed in a manner to develop legal research skills of LLM candidates. To this end, library sources are central in the legal education provided at Swansea and our library is well stocked containing a wide range of books, monographs, journals and law reports in the realm of maritime, trade and commercial law. Students also benefit from electronic legal sources such as Westlaw, Lexis Nexis and Juris.

In an attempt to improve its library provision even further, the School has recently subscribed to the complete i-law  service from Informa.  The subscription enables LLM students to reach electronically practitioner texts (such as Bills of Lading, Time Charters, Voyage Charters, Civil Jurisdiction & Judgments, Contracts of Carriage by Land and Air, Freight Forwarding and Multi-Modal Transport Contracts), law reports (such as Lloyd’s Law Reports and Lloyd’s Law Reports plus) and journals/newsletters (such as Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, Lloyd’s Maritime Law Newsletter and London Maritime Arbitration). The subscription to i-law is yet another indication of the School's commitment to supplement its LLM teaching and learning.

Director of Taught Master Schemes Meets LLM Graduates in Shanghai

LLM graduates have had the recent opportunity to become reacquainted with their former mentor, Dr Baris Soyer, during his latest visit to Shanghai. Dr Soyer, the Director of Taught Master Programmes, informed participants of recent exciting developments taking place in the Law School and the University and emphasised the importance the School places in keeping in touch with its graduates both at home and internationally.  Indeed, all graduates present at the gathering were students of Dr Soyer's whilst in Swansea and were delighted to reunite with him several years after graduation. The pleasure was shared by Dr Soyer who added that he was proud to see Swansea graduates holding important positions particularly in shipping and financial sectors soon after their graduation.  Dr Soyer noted that the roles occupied by our graduates in China are varied and impressive. 

Director of Taught Master Schemes Meets LLM Graduates in Shanghai
Dr Soyer with some Swansea alumni in Shanghai

Mr Liang Zhang, for example, is currently working at the Maritime and Administration Shanghai Aids to Navigation Department as the auto identification system manager. Mr Zhang, who completed the LLM degree in International Commercial and Maritime Law in 2006, indicated that the foundations laid down by his LLM had been instrumental for him in securing his current job.

Mr Li Yun Kong also acknowledged the support he was given at the School of Law and added that Swansea University was well-known particularly in commercial and maritime circles giving a distinct advantage to its graduates. Mr Kong is currently working as a corporate and financial attorney at law in the Shanghai branch of Allbright Law Offices.

Mr Ye Tian, a graduate of the LLM degree in International Commercial and Maritime Law in 2005, is working as a ship broker at Optima, focusing on 2nd hand ship sales and purchases. Optima is an international co-operation with offices at Shanghai, Athens and Dubai.

Mr Chuan Xu, another recent sucess story from the LLM, has begun work at Shanghai Overseas Talent Centre, a governmental organisation offering services for returning Chinese and foreign students.    

Dr Jinlei Zhang, on the other hand, decided to follow an academic career after completing our LLM Programme in 2003. We are delighted to report that Dr Zhang recently completed her PhD in the realm of marine insurance, again at Swansea University, and has been appointed as a lecturer at Dalian Maritime University. She said that she was grateful for the education she had received during her studies at Swansea and added that the international reputation of Swansea Law School enabled her to secure a lectureship in one of the China’s most famous law schools.