Our Principal Investigators

Dr. Janis Sarra

Dr. Sarra’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of corporate finance, banking law, corporate governance, securities law, contracts, commercial insolvency law, and law and economics. Dr. Janis Sarra was appointed UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor in 2014 for a five-year term.  The UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor is awarded to a professor who has made outstanding contributions as a scholar and academic leader. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Sarra served as Director of the Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC. Dr. Sarra is Professor of Law, at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and founding Director of the National Centre for Business Law. She served as Associate Dean of the Allard School of Law until 2007, with oversight of development, strategic planning, alumni relations and communications. In 2004, she was awarded the title of Distinguished University Scholar for her scholarship in corporate and securities law.  She has published twelve books in corporate, securities, commercial insolvency, corporate governance and financial services law, and more than one hundred refereed articles. She has been cited extensively by Canadian courts at the superior court and appellate levels.  She is currently a director of Assuris, the British Columbia Law Institute, and the International Insolvency Institute. She is author of numerous reports on climate change, including: Fiduciary Obligations in Business and Investment: Implications of Climate Change, 2018 (CCLI, Oxford);  Time to Act, Response to questions posed by the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance on Fiduciary Obligation and Effective Climate-related Financial Disclosures, co-author with C. Williams, 2019; and The Anthropocene in the Time of Trump, Financial Markets, Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability, 2018.  She is a member of the Canadian Delegation to the UN Commission on International Trade Law WG V.

Professor Cynthia Williams

Professor Williams writes in the areas of securities law, corporate law, corporate responsibility, comparative corporate governance and regulatory theory, often in interdisciplinary collaborations with professors in anthropology, economic sociology, and organizational psychology.
Professor Williams also engages in policy work through her board membership in the Climate Bonds Initiative, a London-based NGO creating a new asset class, Climate Bonds, to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy; the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative, part of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, which is evaluating directors’ and trustees’ legal obligations to consider climate change risk in companies’ strategies and securities disclosure; and was the principal author of a petition submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October, 2018, asking the SEC to engage in rule-making to require greater sustainability (environmental, social, and governance) disclosure.
Professor Cynthia Williams joined Osgoode Hall Law School on July 1, 2013 as the Osler Chair in Business Law, a position she also held from 2007 to 2009. Before coming to Osgoode, she was a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Law and, prior to that, she practised law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City.

Dr. Carol Liao

Dr. Carol Liao is an Associate Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and Director of the Centre for Business Law. She is also the UBC Sauder Distinguished Scholar of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, UBC Sauder School of Business. An award-winning teacher and widely published scholar, Dr. Liao is the co-author of Business Organizations: Practice, Theory, and Emerging Challenges, and is a contributing author to a number of ground-breaking new books in corporate sustainability: The Cambridge Handbook for Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, and Sustainability; The Cambridge Handbook for Social Enterprise Law; and Creating Corporate Sustainability: Gender as an Agent for Change. Dr. Liao is a past Bertram Scholar of the Institute of Corporate Directors and a former senior associate in the New York Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Shearman & Sterling LLP, a global law firm. She is a steering committee member of the Themis International Network of Female Business Scholars, and is currently co-editing a collection on sustainable business models with Dr. Beate Sjåfjell of the University of Oslo and Dr. Aikaterini Argyrou of Utrecht University. She has authored over 20 articles and book chapters and given over 50 talks around the world on business law and corporate sustainability. Her work has been cited in multiple media sources including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Financial Post, The Tyee, Director Journal, and Business in Vancouver.