Biography

Dr. Virginia Torrie is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. She has authored and co-authored a number of scholarly articles, as well as a sole authored monograph, Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies’ Creditor Arrangement Act (University of Toronto Press, 2020) and a co-authored book, Debt and Federalism: Landmark Cases in Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law, 1894-1937 (UBC Press, 2022). Dr. Torrie holds J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and a Ph.D. from Kent Law School, University of Kent.

Exploring the interplay between bankruptcy and insolvency law and secured creditor rights is a focus of Dr. Torrie’s research. Her interdisciplinary approach draws on ideas from socio-legal theory and historical institutionalism to study cycles of legal change. Her current research interests include the history of Canadian business restructuring from the Great Depression through to the 21st century, and more specifically, farm business restructuring in the 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Torrie is interested in how contemporary notions of the terms “bankruptcy and insolvency” have been shaped by various factors, such as the evolution of ideas, commercial practices, interest groups and institutions, changing methods of statutory interpretation, and constitutional doctrine. She seeks to shed light on how “bankruptcy and insolvency”, in the space of 100 years, went from being an unused constitutional head of power to assuming its present status as a robust field of federal jurisdiction. Current projects include a second volume to Debt and Federalism which traces on the evolution of the federal bankruptcy and insolvency power through the mid-twentieth century when numerous provincial statutes came under constitutional scrutiny. Broader research interests include contemporary corporate restructuring/insolvency, especially of the near-public sector, e.g. universities, and AI governance in the Canadian banking sector.

Dr. Torrie is the recipient of numerous research grants, including a SSHRC Insight Development Grant and Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, as well as grants through the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, University of Manitoba, the Legal Research Institute and the Manitoba Law Foundation, and the Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law, University of Manitoba. In 2019, Dr. Torrie completed a Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Torrie uses blended learning and interactive teaching strategies to promote classroom engagement in all her courses. She is dedicated to trying new and innovative teaching methods and approaches with the twin purposes of making learning both effective and enjoyable. Her skills are well-recognized and she is the recipient of several awards, including the Faculty of Law’s Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017 and the University of Manitoba Merit Awards for Teaching in 2018, Service in 2019 and Research in 2020.

An active presenter on both pedagogical methods and topics in legal research, Dr. Torrie was an invited speaker on the Farmers’ Creditor Arrangement Act Reference Case of 1937 at the Osgoode Legal History Workshop at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and has been a guest lecturer at law schools both nationally and internationally, including the University of Adelaide, Western University and University of Alberta. In 2022, she has been invited to present her co-authored farm insolvency research at the Business History Group, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She held an Academic Visitorship at the E.W. Barker Centre for Law and Business, National University of Singapore in 2019. Dr. Torrie also contributed three chapters on executory contracts, the CCAA, and constitutional aspects of the bankruptcy system to the leading Canadian bankruptcy text, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials and Problems (Irwin Law, 2019).

Dr. Torrie has been consulted as a legal expert in Canada and internationally in the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency law, receivership, federalism, statutory interpretation, legislative history, and consumer protection. Her research is cited by the Ontario Court of Appeal, la Cour d’appel du Québec, and several courts of Queen’s Bench. She regularly presents her research at Canadian, British, American, and international conferences, including the Canadian Commercial Law Symposium, INSOL International Academics Colloquium, Law and Society Association, Social Science History Association, and Canadian Historical Association. Her case comment on the Laurentian University insolvency recently made SSRN’s Canadian Law eJournal Top Ten list. Dr. Torrie serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Banking and Finance Law Review, having established an Annual Special Issue on FinTech which is now in its fourth year, and the newly launched Law Student Fintech Writing Competition.

News

Research Areas

    • Bankruptcy and Insolvency
    • Commercial Law
    • Legal History
    • Socio-Legal Studies
    • Historical Institutionalism

Selected Publications

Articles

  • * "Saving the Farm: A Comparative Analysis of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act in Manitoba and Ontario" (2023) 2 Desautels Review of Private Enterprise & Law [forthcoming]

  • * "An Historical Account of the Orderly Payment of Debts Act Reference: Limiting Provincial Efforts to Protect Insolvent Debtors" (2023) 46:2 Dalhousie Law Journal [forthcoming] (with Thomas GW Telfer)
  • * “Debt Postponement, Debtor Protection, and Creditor Interests: The Role of the Saskatchewan Moratorium Act Reference Case in Reinforcing the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Power” (2022/23) Saskatchewan Law Review [forthcoming] (with Thomas GW Telfer)
  • * "Interest, Insolvency and Prairie Farm Debt: An Historical Analysis of Reference as to the Validity of Section 6 of the Farm Security Act, 1944 (Saskatchewan)" (2022) 55.2 UBC Law Review [forthcoming]
  • * "Bankruptcy and Insolvency as an Expanding Field: An Historical Analysis of Reference Re Debt Adjustment Act, 1937 (Alta.)" (2022) 59.4 Alberta Law Review 807-832 (with Thomas GW Telfer)
  • * "Mechanisms of Debt Adjustment under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, 1934" (2021) 72 University of New Brunswick Law Journal 132-172.
  • The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act Reference Case, 1934” (2020) 64.1 Canadian Business Law Journal 46-71.
  • * “AI Governance in Canadian Banking: Fairness, Credit Models, and Equality Rights” (2020) 36.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 5-38 (with Dominique Payette).
  • * "The Participation of Social Stakeholders in CCAA Proceedings" (2020) Annual Review of Insolvency Law 369-414 (with Vern DaRe).
  • * “Federalism and Farm Debt During the Great Depression: Political Impetuses for the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act, 1934” (2019) 82.2 Saskatchewan Law Review 203-257.
  • * “Farm Debt Compromises during the Great Depression: An Empirical Study of Applications made under the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Morden and Brandon, Manitoba” (2018) 41.1 Manitoba Law Journal 377-433.
  • * “Should Paramountcy Protect Secured Creditor Rights? Saskatchewan v Lemare Lake Logging in Historical Context” (2017) 22.3 Review of Constitutional Studies 405-428.
  • * “Farm Insolvency in Canada” (2013) 2 Journal of the Insolvency Institute of Canada 33-66 (with Stephanie Ben-Ishai).
  • * “A ‘Cost’-Benefit Analysis: Examining Professional Fees in CCAA Proceedings” (2010) Annual Review of Insolvency Law 185-212 (with Stephanie Ben-Ishai).
  • “Weathering the Global Financial Crisis: An Overview of the Canadian Experience” (2010) 16.1 Law and Business Review of the Americas 25-51.

Peer reviewed publications are indicated with an asterisk (*)

Books

  • The 2023 Annotated Bank Act with Associated Regulations (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2023)  1712 pp. (with Michael Garellek) [forthcoming]
  • Debt and Federalism: Landmark Cases in Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law, 1894-1937 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021) 250 pp. (with Thomas GW Telfer) (foreword by Iain DC Ramsay).
  • * Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) 312 pp. (foreword by Anthony Duggan).
    • The Canadian Foundation for Legal Research Walter Owen Book Prize (honourable mention, 2021)
    • The Manitoba Book Awards Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction (shortlisted, 2021)

Peer reviewed publications are indicated with an asterisk (*)

Book chapters

  • "AI Governance Frameworks for the Banking Sector" in Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez & Nydia Remolina Leon, eds., Artificial Intelligence in Finance: Challenges, Opportunities and Regulatory Developments (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing) [forthcoming] (with Dominique Payette) 

Edited Collections, Volumes & Journals:

  • * (2022) 1 Desautels Review of Private Enterprise & Law (Editor-in-Chief) [forthcoming]
  • * (2022) 39.1 Banking & Finance Law Review - 4th Annual Fintech Issue (Editor-in-Chief; Co-editor of Special Issue) 1-13.
  • (2022) 38 Banking & Finance Law Review – Festschrift (Editor-in-Chief; Co-Editor of Special Volume) [forthcoming]
  • * (2021) 37.1 Banking & Finance Law Review – 3rd Annual Fintech Issue (Editor-in-Chief; Co-Editor of Special Issue)
  • * (2021) 36.3 Banking & Finance Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)
  • * (2021) 36.2 Banking & Finance Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)
  • * (2020) 36.1 Banking & Finance Law Review – 2nd Annual Fintech Issue (Editor-in-Chief)
  • * (2020) 35.3 Banking & Finance Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)
  • * (2020) 35.2 Banking & Finance Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)
  • (2019) 35.1 Banking & Finance Law Review – 1st Annual Fintech Issue (Editor-in-Chief)
  • (2019) 34.3 Banking & Finance Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)
  • (2019) 34.2 Banking & Finance Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)

Peer reviewed publications are indicated with an asterisk (*)

Prefaces and introductions

  • Desautels Review of Private Enterprise and the Law: Introduction” (2022) 1 Desautels Review (with Connor Jonsson and Ty Schmidt) [forthcoming]
  • "Introduction to Volume 38 - Festschrift" (2022) 38.1 Banking & Finance Law Review (with Muharem Kianieff & Christian Chamorro-Courtland) [forthcoming]
  • "Introduction to the Third Annual Special Issue on FinTech" (2021) 37.1 Banking & Finance Law Review (with Ryan Clements) 1-4.
  • "Introduction to the Second Annual Special Issue on FinTech" (2020) 36.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 1-4.

Book reviews

  • Barry EC Boothman, Corporate Cataclysm: Abitibi Power & Paper and the Collapse of the Newsprint Industry, 1912-1916 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2020) (2021) VI.X The Prospectus.
  • David Sandomierski, Aspiration and Reality in Legal Education (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) (2021) 42 Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 68-73.
  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Bradley A. Hansen, Bankrupt in America: A History of Debtors, Their Creditors, and the Law in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020) (2021) 36.3 Banking & Finance Law Review 539-542.
  • David Sandomierski, Aspiration and Reality in Legal Education (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) (2020) 51.2 Revue de droit d’Ottawa 269-274.
  • Ronald J. Mann, Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (2018) 34.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 109-114.
  • Jennifer Payne, Schemes of Arrangement: Theory, Structure and Operation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) (2016) 58.3 Canadian Business Law Journal 345-354.
  • Thomas G.W. Telfer, Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2014) (2016) 31.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 427-432.
  • Jay Lawrence Westbook, Charles D. Booth, Christoph G. Paulus & Harry Rajack, eds., A Global View of Business Insolvency Systems (Boston: The World Bank and Brill, 2010) (2011) 25.5 Journal of Business Law 528-531.

Case comments

  • "Laurentian University of Sudbury: A Consideration of Restructuring, Public Institutions and the Public Interest" (2022) 65.3 Canadian Business Law Journal 94-119
  • * "Implications of the Bluberi Decision: An Affirmation of Broad Judicial Discretion in CCAAs and a 'Green Light' for Litigation Funding in Canada" (2021) 36.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 277-290.
  • Attorney General for Saskatchewan v Lemare Lake Logging Ltd., 2015 SCC 53 (2016) 31.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 403-409.

Peer reviewed publications are indicated with an asterisk (*)

Teaching materials

  • "Constitutional Aspects and the Judicial and Administrative Structure of the Bankruptcy System" 47-109 pp. in Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019).
  • "Executory Contracts" 203-249 pp. in Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019).
  • "CCAA Overview" 505-547 pp. in Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019).

Community Involvement

Awards