Manual of the mercantile law of Great Britain and Ireland: comprising[:] international commerce. Restraints on trade: patents. Copyright. Joint-stock and banking companies. The law of partnerships. Bills of exchange. With remarks on partnership with limited liability.

London, Smith, Elder & Co., 1854.

8vo, pp. xxiv, 286, [2, publisher’s advertisements], 16 (publisher’s catalogue), with an errata slip; partly unopened in the original brown embossed cloth, spine lettered gilt; edges slightly bumped, short split to lower joint.


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First edition. ‘The present volume contains the laws which affect international commerce, individuals who exercise the mercantile profession, partnerships and companies formed for commercial or banking operations, and the most useful of all mercantile instruments, bills of exchange and promissory notes’ (preface).

Levi (1821–1888) was largely responsible for the establishment of local chambers of commerce and of permanent tribunals of commerce consisting of a legally-trained judge with mercantile assessors. His ideas were set out in two pamphlets, Chambers and Tribunals of Commerce, and proposed General Chamber of Commerce in Liverpool (1849) and The state of the laws of arbitrament, and proposed Tribunal of Commerce (1850). The Liverpool Chamber of Commerce was founded after a public meeting in November 1849, with Levi as its honorary secretary. Similiar institutions followed at Leeds, Bradford, Hull and eventually London. ‘In 1852 Levi was appointed professor of the principles and practice of commerce and commercial law at King’s College, London. His later books drew on his lectures there, and dealt with the economic context of international law and the role of international arbitration’ (Oxford DNB).

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