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What is commercial awareness and where do I get some?!

New society getting students clued up on current affairs and their consequences

The Queen Mary Commercial Awareness Society is a new society that aims to improve our members’ understanding and awareness of current affairs, and their consequential effect on legal and commercial sectors.

This will be done primarily through informal fortnightly meetings. Here, members will be able to bring up and discuss current affairs, whereby critical discussions of relevant commercial issues, their impacts and significances will be addressed. Furthermore, commercial workshops (done in partnership with our increasing list of sponsors) and guest speakers throughout the year will allow you to enhance your grasp on the legal and commercial context of current affairs.

For example, there are several interesting upcoming talks that we have scheduled. The first is a talk with Reed Smith, one of our partners, discussing US and EU trade controls and sanctions aimed at Russian activity in Crimea and Ukraine. The situation in eastern Ukraine has become increasingly intensified, with Russian and Western relations becoming strained, and measures becoming simultaneously as complex. It is this rapid development of tensions and measures, the need for it to be closely monitored, and its rippling effects on business, that will be essential to becoming commercially aware of the issue.

Another talk taking place aims to address and elaborate on the consequential issues of David Cameron’s statement about wanting the UK to be the centre of Islamic Finance. This talk will be held with the Islamic Finance Council, a specialist advisory and development body established to promote and enhance the global Islamic and ethical finance industry. Cameron’s statement opens the UK to more methods of project financing in the UK, primarily compatible with Middle-Eastern and North African countries for deals, potentially increasing international trade, for both small and large businesses alike. As such, there will also be a visible pressure on law firms to increase their finance departments reach to accommodate Islamic finance deals and litigation if they want to remain competitive.

This talk will be of particular benefit to anyone hoping to do a vacation scheme or training contract, particularly as training contracts normally include a seat in banking and finance departments. The talk is also of valuable insight to anyone wishing to undertake a training contract with a secondment in the Middle-East, such as Dubai.

Membership to this new and exciting society is open to all Queen Mary Students. To join us, simply go to our website, The price of membership is £5, which enables you to attend our fortnightly meetings, partake in workshops, and attend lectures by commercially aware guest speakers. For any more information, contact us via our website.

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