Janis Sarra

Janis Sarra

Professor of Law, Institute Director

Dr. Janis Sarra, B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D. (Toronto)
E: Janis.Sarra (at)
T: 604-822-4237

Dr. Janis Sarra commenced as Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies effective January 1, 2012.  Dr. Sarra is Professor of Law, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law and founding Director of the National Centre for Business Law. She served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law until 2007, with oversight of development, strategic planning, alumni relations, career services and communications. 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. In 2004, she was awarded the title of Distinguished University Scholar for her scholarship in corporate and securities law.  She has published ten books and more than one hundred refereed articles in corporate finance, corporate governance and management, securities law and commercial insolvency law. 

Dr. Sarra also served as Senator of the University of British Columbia from 2003 to 2008. She was previously Director of the Canadian Insolvency Foundation and Director of the Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals Association.  For more than twelve years, Dr. Sarra served as a commercial arbitrator and labour mediator/arbitrator.  Dr. Sarra previously served as Vice-Chair of the Ontario Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, as well as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Social Assistance Review Board. She holds five degrees from the University of Toronto in Political Science, Economics and Law.  She previously taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and the Ryerson University School of Business. Former posts include also Board Member, Ontario Labour Relations Board, Senior Research Associate Ontario Legislative Assembly and Executive Assistant, Metropolitan Toronto Municipal Council, and Research Associate, Health Advocacy Unit.

Recent books published include The 2011 Annotated Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, (Carswell Thomson, 2011); Securities Law in Canada, Cases and Commentary, with M. Condon and A. Anand (Emond Montgomery, 2010); Director and Officer Liability in Corporate Insolvency, with R.B. Davis (Butterworths, 2010); The Treatment of Employee Wage and Pension Claims in Insolvency, A Comparative Study of 62 Jurisdictions (Thomson Reuters, 2008), Business Organizations: Principles, Policy and Practice (Emond Montgomery, 2008), with R. Yalden et al; Rescue! The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Carswell, 2007); Creditor Rights and the Public Interest, Restructuring Corporations (University of Toronto Press, 2003). She serves as Editor in Chief of the Annual Review of Insolvency Law and was editor in chief and contributing author of Corporate Governance in Global Capital Markets (UBC Press, 2003). 

Dr. Sarra’s contributions to public policy development include: World Bank Insolvency and Creditors Rights Task Force, Working Group on Insolvency of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, 2009, Washington, DC; Experts Committee, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group on Corporate Groups and Cross-Border Insolvency Law,  2008-2011, Vienna and New York; Expert Witness, Senate Committee on Banking Trade and Commerce, Review of Insolvency Legislation, February, 2008, Ottawa; Member, Ontario Attorney General's Interministerial Task Force on Administrative Tribunals

Among numerous reports she has authored are: Proportionate Securities Regulation, The Potential for Scaled Treatment of Junior Issuers (Expert Panel on Securities Regulation in Canada, 2008); Analysis of Factors Leading to Insolvency and Restructuring and their Effects on Pension Plan Wind-ups and Closures, (Ontario Government Expert Commission on Pensions, 2007, with R. B. Davis; Modernizing Disclosure in Canadian Securities Law: An Assessment of Recent Developments in Canada and Selected Jurisdictions, Report to the National Task Force on the Modernization of Securities Law, 2006; Review of Dissent Rights under the Canada Business Corporations Act, A Consideration of the Efficacy of Current Provisions and Possible Policy Options, Report to Corporations Canada, 2005; and Review of the Derivative Action Provisions of the Canada Business Corporations Act, Policy Implications and Options, Report to Corporations Canada, 2005.  Recent articles include: “Prudential, Pragmatic and Prescient, Reform of Bank Resolution Schemes”, International Insolvency Review (London: IIR, 2012); “Tranched, Squared and Derived: Credit Derivative Regulatory Reform and the Restructuring of Insolvent Businesses”, in Paul Omar, ed., International Law, Reforms and Challenges (2011 London, UK: Kluwers);  “Externalities in Financial Decision Making”, book chapter in John Nofsinger, ed., Socially Responsible Finance and Investing, 2012); “Manoeuvring through the Insolvency Maze - Shifting Stakeholder Identities and Implications for CCAA Restructurings”, (2011) 27 Canadian Banking and Finance Law Review 168- 192; “Southward Bound: Preliminary Evidence on Experience with Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, in Annual Review of Insolvency Law 2010; “Assuring the Future: Reform of the Insolvency Framework for Insurance Companies and Other Financial Institutions under the Canadian Winding-up and Restructuring Act, co-authored with G. Dunning, in Annual Review of Insolvency Law 2010; “Creating Appropriate Incentives, A Place for the Oppression Remedy in Insolvency Proceedings” in Annual Review of Insolvency Law 2009; “Dancing the Derivative "Deux Pas" (Two Step), the Financial Crisis and Lessons for Corporate Governance” (2010) University of New South Wales Law Journal; “Economic Rehabilitation: Understanding the Growth in Consumer Proposals under Canadian Insolvency Legislation”, (2009) 24 Banking and Finance Law Review and “Credit Derivatives: Risk Management, Control Rights and the Implications for Insolvency Workout Proceedings” in B. Wessels and P. Omar, The Intersection of Insolvency and Company Law (Paris: Leiden Law, 2009).