Peter A Allard School of Law

Our Highlights

The Centre for Business Law Welcomes Mitchell H. Gropper Q.C. as its Chair

Farrsi Gropper

May 2018 - Dean Catherine Dauvergne and the Centre for Business Law at the Allard School of Law are pleased to announce the appointment of Mitchell H. Gropper Q.C. as the new Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee. Mr. Gropper is joined by an impressive group of senior members of the legal community that make up the Dean’s Advisory Committee, all of whom (including Mr. Gropper who has been a long-time member) have provided the Centre with thoughtful strategic direction and advice over the years. As Chair, Mr. Gropper will be taking on a role that has been held by esteemed members of the legal profession, including The Honourable Mr. Frank Iacobucci Q.C., who was the inaugural Chair when the Centre began in 2006.

Learn More About Mitchell's Appointment

China's Impact on Regulation and the Culture of Business

China Event

January 2020 - The Centre for Business Law recently convened a panel of leading practitioners and scholars to discuss how China is changing the trajectory of local and international business standards, and what lawyers could do to better prepare and navigate this shifting geopolitical and legal landscape. The event was a tremendous success with over 70 lawyers, executives, policymakers, faculty and students attending the panel and reception afterwards.

View Photos From The Event

Richards Buell Sutton LLP Donates $250,000 in Support of the Business Law Clinic

RBS Donation

October 2019 - The Allard School of Law at UBC is pleased to announce a gift of $250,000 from Richards Buell Sutton LLP to enable the law school to continue operating its Business Law Clinic over the next five years.

Read More About The Donation

Dr. Carol Liao: New Director for the Centre for Business Law

Carol Liao

September 2019 - Dr. Carol Liao, Assistant Professor at the Allard School of Law, is the new Director for the Centre for Business Law. She is also the UBC Sauder Distinguished Scholar of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at the UBC Sauder School of Business. Most recently, she was awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant to study the development of corporate law and corporate governance principles through an economic, social, and environmental sustainability lens. Prior to academia, Dr. Liao was a senior mergers & acquisitions lawyer at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York. She is a former law clerk of the BC Court of Appeal, and an alumna of the Allard School of Law.

Read More About Dr. Carol Liao

Ryan J. Black, McMillan LLP: New Business Law Clinic Adjunct

Ryan J Black

July 2019 - We are pleased to announce that Ryan J. Black, member of the Technology, Intellectual Property and Privacy group and Co-Chair, Video Games and Esports, at McMillan LLP's Vancouver office, has been appointed Clinic Adjunct in the Business Law Clinic for the 2019/2020 academic year. He has extensive experience in technology-related business law and is currently a member of the Dean's Advisory Committee for the Centre. Additionally, in 2017 he was named as one of Canada’s leading lawyers under 40 in Lexpert’s annual Rising Stars edition. He has made an undeniably positive impact on the industries he serves, and we are excited to have him bring his expertise to the Clinic.

Read More About Ryan Black

The Patriation of Canadian Corporate Law

Camden Hutchison

April 2019 - Canadian corporate law belongs within a broader Anglo-American legal tradition, sharing many of the features of other common law jurisdictions, most notably England and the United States.  This shared heritage raises an important empirical question—namely, which of these two countries has had greater influence on Canadian corporate law?  A lecture recently given by Dr. Camden Hutchison, Assistant Professor at the Allard School of Law, addressed this question by presenting a comprehensive citation analysis of all corporate law decisions by Canadian courts of appeal since 1867.

Read More About Camden's Talk

Hot Topics in M&A: Panel Discussion

Hot Topics in M and A

February 2019 - Vancouver serves as the world’s mining capital, the prime gateway to China, and operates as a hotbed for both international and national M&A activity. As such, the Centre for Business Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law was honoured to bring together industry experts from across the country to discuss current issues and trends unfolding within the Canadian M&A landscape.

Read More About The Panel Discussion

New Program Launch: Corporate Counsel Externship

September 2018 - We are pleased to announce the launch of the Corporate Counsel Externship. Generously supported by a $250,000 gift from Norton Rose Fulbright, students enrolled in the program are placed in the legal department of a business oriented organization on a part-time basis for one term.

During the program, students apply theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to practical legal and business matters in a particular industry and gain a deeper understanding of professional ethics and responsibility in practice. Students learn directly from experienced in-house counsel in a supervised educational environment. The Externship is comprised of a five-credit clinical component and an accompanying two-credit graded course component.

Erika Tse is teaching and guiding students through the Externship. Ms. Tse has been practicing law for 24 years and has extensive in-house counsel experience in various industries including forest products (Weyerhaeuser) and grocery retail (Overwaitea Food Group, a Jim Pattison company). Currently, she is Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary, and Vice-President of Human Resources for GLENTEL Inc., a large independent multi-carrier mobile phone retailer in Canada operating under the banners “WirelessWave”, “TBooth” and “Wireless Etc.” (Costco). 

We are grateful for the participation of the following organizations and principals for the fall term: 

We are grateful for the participation of the following organizations and principles for the spring term: 

  • Coast Capital (Principals: Catherine Carter & Anne Wittman) 
  • Fortis BC (Principals: Sarah Mamoser & Alison Taylor) 
  • Graymont (Principal: Celia Johnson) 
  • Overwaitea Foods (Principal: Don Eng) 
  • TELUS (Principal: Michel Belec) 
  • YVR (Principal: Argiro Kotsalis) 

Legal Experts Welcome B.C. Consultation on Financial Regulation

Dr. Cristie Ford comments on the B.C. government's proposal to review its legislation surrounding credit unions and insurance companies in The Lawyer's Daily.

Why we #PressforProgress in Corporate Boardrooms

Dr. Carol Liao, Assistant Professor at the Allard School of Law and UBC Sauder Distinguished Scholar of the Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at the UBC Sauder School of Business, comments on gender inequality and corporate governance in this Globe and Mail opinion.

Dean's Advisory Committee Appointments

The Centre for Business Law is pleased to announce two new appointments to the Dean's Advisory Committee: Janet Grove, Managing Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, and Brenda Leong, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, BC Securities Commission. "Ms. Grove and Ms. Leong bring a wealth of business and legal expertise to the Committee and I am grateful for their commitment to the ongoing success of the Centre and the Allard School of Law," said Dean Dauvergne.

Janet Grove

Janet Grove, Managing Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Brenda Leong

Brenda Leong, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, BC Securities Commission

Clinic Adjunct Position, Corporate Counsel Externship

The Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia seeks applicants for a part-time appointment as a Clinic Adjunct for the pilot year of the Corporate Counsel Externship.

Details are available here. Complete applications should be submitted by January 31, 2018 at 4:30pm.

Dr. Carol Liao Appointed as Inaugural UBC Sauder Distinguished Scholar

Carol Liao

Professor Liao’s appointment is in recognition of her exceptional research record relative to peers at a comparable career stage, as well as her ability to engage with the UBC Sauder research community. The appointment provides generous funding that enables her to promote both Allard and Sauder’s research missions through collaboration and engagement, while enhancing UBC’s position as a world leader in business and business law.


Cryptocurrency Caution: Buyers Beware the Cybercash Hype

Dr. Cristie Ford, Associate Professor and Director, Centre for Business Law, comments on cryptocurrencies and securities regulation in this CBC article.

'There Is No Escaping It': Are Telecom Companies to Blame for our Smartphone Addiction?

Assistant Professor Carol Liao comments on corporate responsibility in the telecommunications industry in this Financial Post article.

The Globe and Mail Easy Money Series

How fraudsters can make millions off Canadian investors, get barely punished and do it again 

How a simple name change can deceive regulators and allow offenders to escape prosecution

Canada’s $1.1-billion problem: Regulators dish out big fines but only collect a fraction

This investigative series on white collar crime and abuse in Canadian capital markets features Associate Professor Cristie Ford, among other leading experts.

Alternative Business Structures

Assistant Professor Carol Liao comments on alternative business structures for BC law firms and access to legal services in recent Business in Vancouver article.

Norton Rose Fulbright Donates $250,000 to Bew Business Law Student Internship Program

Externship Donation

We are very pleased to announce that Norton Rose Fulbright is donating $250,000 to launch and support a new Business Law Student Internship Program over the next five years. The program will place upper year Juris Doctor students in business law internships (for credit) with corporate and non-profit organizations. By combining classroom study and practical experience working in leading organizations, the learners gain industry insight and business acumen. 

“Norton Rose Fulbright, through its recent merger with Bull Housser, has been a significant part of British Columbia’s business community for more than a century,” said Janet Grove, Managing Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Vancouver Office. “It is our objective to develop students and young lawyers not just in law, but also in business. This new internship program is in direct alignment with our shared objective with the Allard School of Law, making its launch a natural extension of our longstanding partnership.”

In addition to this new commitment, Norton Rose Fulbright generously supports a number of ongoing student awards at the Allard School of Law, including the Norton Rose Fulbright Entrance Award, Prize in Succession, and Prize in Labour Law.

“As one of the fastest growing global law firms over the past five years, we are committed to supporting the next generation of legal practitioners at the local, national and global level,” said Charles Hurdon, Managing Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada. “In partnering with the Allard School of Law on this initiative, we are pleased to play a more significant role in the development of top practitioners in Vancouver, one of Canada’s fastest growing economies and business centres.”

“On behalf of the Allard School of Law I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Norton Rose Fulbright for this generous gift in support of our students,” said Dean Catherine Dauvergne. “This program will strengthen and extend our clinical offerings to students and will enhance the innovative pedagogy taking place at the law school.”

We thank Norton Rose Fulbright for its commitment and support of students and faculty members at the Allard School of Law at UBC.

Professor Janis Sarra to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Janis Sarra

Dr. Janis Sarra will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from ARIL (Annual Review of Insolvency Law), TMA Toronto Chapter and CAIRP (the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals) on November 9, 2017 at Chords for Chordoma. This event will take place at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The profits from Chords for Chordoma will fund research seeking a cure for chrodoma, a rare form of cancer.

Learn More About Chords for Chordoma

Forthcoming Book by Dr. Cristie Ford - Innovation and the State: Finance, Regulation, and Justice

From social media to mortgage-backed securities, innovation carries both risk and opportunity. Groups of people win, and lose, when innovation changes the ground rules. Innovation can obscure and sideline our normative priorities. It also throws up profound regulatory challenges. Looking beyond formal politics, this book argues that we need to recognize innovation, and financial innovation in particular, as a central challenge for regulation. As it evolves, innovation continually undermines, circumvents, and sidelines regulatory structures designed to accommodate it – no matter how sophisticated they may be. In this book, Cristie Ford examines the relationships between contemporary regulatory approaches and private sector innovation, and considers the implications of both for broader social welfare priorities including equality and voice. Regulation is at the leading edge of politics and policy in ways that we have not yet fully grasped. Seemingly innocuous regulatory design choices have clear and profound practical ramifications for many of our most cherished social commitments. Innovation is a complex phenomenon that needs to be understood not only in technical terms, but also in human ones. Using financial regulation as her primary example, Ford argues for a fresh approach to regulation, which recognizes innovation for the regulatory challenge that it is, and which binds our cherished social values and our regulatory tools ever more tightly together.

Innovation and the State: Finance, Regulation, and Justice will be released on August 31, 2017. 

2017 Michelle Pockey Leadership Award - Call for Applications

Pockey Award

The Minerva Foundation for BC Women is calling for applications for the 2017 Michelle Pockey Leadership Award. This year's leadership award will give first priority to an Indigenous woman, a single mother, or a woman facing economic hardship. Second priority will be given to a woman pursuing law, justice, Indigenous, or environmental studies. The award is intended to support tuition, housing, or childcare in the pursuit of post-secondary education, which will advance the applicant's leadership and long-term career prospects.

Application deadline: July 30, 2017

Application Form and Additional Information 

Robert P. Pirooz, Q.C. Donates $100,000 to the Business Law Clinic

In September, 2016 a generous funding commitment from alumnus Robert P. Pirooz, Q.C. enabled the law school to continue to operate the Business Law Clinic through the 2016-17 academic year. Pirooz chose to name the Clinic in honour of former law school Dean, Professor Mary Anne Bobinski for the duration of his commitment.

Through this program, launched January 2015, law students provide supervised pro bono business oriented legal advice to clients. The Clinic's Co-Directors, Christine Baron and Catherine Chow, supervise and mentor students enrolled in the Clinic. Clients include local entrepreneurs, small businesses, start ups, and non-profit organizations with limited means. Legal services provided by the Clinic include answering general legal questions related to small business and non-profit matters; drafting legal documents; reviewing existing agreements, commercial leases, privacy policies, and waivers; and providing other business oriented legal advice related to a client’s unique legal issue.


Research Publication - Canadian Securities Regulation

Cristie Ford

Dr. Cristie Ford, Director of the Centre for Business Law, spoke with Research @ Allard Law about the 5th Edition of Canadian Securities Regulation (LexisNexis), which she co-authored and was recently cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Canada in Theratechnologies Inc. v 121851 Canada Inc., 2015 SCC 18.

2016 Fasken Martineau Visiting Senior Scholar - Professor Margaret Jane Radin

The Centre for Business Law welcomed its sixth Fasken Martineau Visiting Senior Scholar, Peggy Radin, the Henry King Ransom Professor of Law (Emeritus) at Michigan Law in February. She was in residence at the Allard School of Law from February 29- March 13, 2016. Professor Radin's research focuses on contracts, patents, and international intellectual property. Her most recent book, Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law (Princeton University Press, 2013) explores the problems posed for the legal system by adhesion contracts and how they might be ameliorated.

During her two weeks at Allard Hall, Professor Radin presented at a Faculty Colloquium and the Downtown Fasken Martineau Lecture. She also taught an intensive two week seminar course for JD students titled “Boiler Plate: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.  Click here for a recent interview with Professor Radin. 

The Fasken Martineau Visiting Senior Scholar initiative is made possible thanks to the generous support of Fasken Martineau LLP, the Centre's founding platinum sponsor.

The Centre for Business Law Announces Hon. Frank Iacobucci as Honorary Chair of the CBL Dean's Advisory Committee

Frank Iacobucci

The Centre is pleased to announce that the Hon. Frank Iacobucci has agreed to serve as Honorary Chair of the Centre's Dean's Advisory Committee. Mr. Iacobucci served as Founding Chair of the DAC from its inception in 2006 until fall 2009. Through his commitment and support, he was a significant contributor to the launch and early success of the Centre. Mr. Iacobucci will continue to provide strategic advice and direction to the Centre in its three inter-related goals of excellence in teaching, research and community engagement.

Mr. Iacobucci has had a distinguished career in private practice, academia, government and the judiciary. He joined Torys as Counsel in September 2004 after retiring as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. As Counsel, Frank advises government and business on important legal and policy matters. His work includes guidance, advice and support to clients of Torys and members of the firm.

The Centre's Dean's Advisory Committee has played a very important role in the growth and success of this important program. Given the importance of the committee, the Centre's structure has been revised to be able to name an Honorary Chair who will support the Committee in developing and implementing the CBL's vision and strategic plan. The CBL Dean's Advisory Committee is Ken Bagshaw, Nigel P. Cave, Ron Ezekiel, Anna K. Fung, Q.C., Sharon C. Geraghty, Mitchell H. Gropper, Q.C., Audrey T.Y. Ho, Douglas M. Hyndman, Hon. Frank Iacobucci (Honorary Chair), William C. Kaplan, Q.C., Ted I. Koffman, Michael Korenberg, Madam Justice Risa E. Levine, Jason McLean, Stuart B. Morrow, Sue Paish, James R. Reid, John R. Sandrelli, and Harj Sangra.

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