Professor Poonam Puri is one of Canada’s leading experts in corporate governance, corporate law and securities law.
Appointed to Osgoode Hall Law School in 1997 at the age of 25, Professor Puri has been a recipient of its Teaching Excellence Award in 1999 and 2009. A prolific scholar, she has co-authored/co-edited numerous books, book chapters and scholarly articles in leading journals. She has also commissioned research reports on a range of topics including investor protection, corporate governance, the role of the board, shareholder activism and engagement and CSR. Professor Puri has presented at over 200 invited keynotes, conferences, lectures, public addresses and speeches to a wide range of audiences. She has written op-eds in the Globe and Mail and the National Post and writes a quarterly column in Listed Magazine on law and governance.
Professor Puri’s work is academically rigorous as well as firmly grounded in the real-time of policy-making. She is the recipient of a 2016 Trudeau Fellowship for a project entitled, “Piercing the Corporate Veil,” a SSHRC Insight Grant on Capital Markets Enforcement, co-recipient of a SSHRC Standard Grant on Auditor Liability and recipient of a SSHRC Strategic Grant on the Equator Principles and Environmental Sustainability. She is also a recipient of York University’s Walter Gordon Memorial Fellowship for her book entitled, “Back from the Brink: Lessons from the Canadian Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Crisis” (co-authored with Halpern, Cakebread and Nicholls, University of Toronto Press, 2016). Governments and regulators in Canada and internationally, including Industry Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), the Canadian Senate, the Wise Persons’ Committee on Securities Regulation and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, have sought her expertise.
Professor Puri founded the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic in 2017, together with the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada). The Clinic provides pro bono legal advice to harmed investors who believe they have suffered an investment loss as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing.
Professor Puri has exhibited leadership through a five-year appointment as Co-Director of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law, a joint initiative of Osgoode and Schulich School of Business, and she was also former Head of Research at the Capital Markets Institute of the Rotman School of Business. She has served on the Management Committee of Osgoode, chaired its Faculty Council and chaired the Senate Committee on Awards at York University. Professor Puri has served as both Associate Dean and Associate Dean, Research, Graduate Studies and Institutional Relations at Osgoode. She is also the founder and Director of the Business Law LLM at Osgoode Professional Development.
Professor Puri has been recognized for her impact and leadership. She was recognized as one of the top 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine in 2017 and 2015. Also in 2015, she was featured in a book entitled, “Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law,” documenting the contributions of 50 selected female lawyers in Canadian history in the last 100 years. Professor Puri is also a former recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40TM award and Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award.
Professor Puri brings her governance expertise and good judgment to the benefit of several public and private companies as well as not-for-profit and community organizations. She has chaired numerous nominating and governance committees and served on the range of other board committees including audit, risk and compensation. Professor Puri is an independent director on the board of Arizona Mining and is the Chair of the Board of Cole Engineering Limited. She also currently serves on the Board of Governors of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and she has recently completed a nine-year term on the board of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
- Full Professor of law (with tenure) (2012–present), Osgoode Hall Law School
- Associate Dean (2013–2014), Osgoode Hall Law School
- Associate Dean, Research, Graduate Studies and Institutional Relations (2011–2013), Osgoode Hall Law School
- Associate Professor of Law (with tenure) (2002–2012), Osgoode Hall Law School
- Assistant Professor of Law (tenure-track) (1997–2002), Osgoode Hall Law School
- Visiting Professor: Cornell Law School (2000–2001), Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (2006–2007), University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law (2011)
Awards & Distinctions
- Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada, Canadian Lawyer Magazine (2017) and Canadian Lawyer Magazine (2015)
- Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellowship (2016) for project entitled, “Piercing the Corporate Veil: Greater Accountability for Multinational Corporations”
- Canadian Board Diversify Council (CBDC), Diversity 50, Canada’s Most Diverse Board Candidates (2016)
- Featured as one of 50 female lawyers who has played a significant role in Canadian society in the last 100 years in Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law by Julie Soloway and Emma Costante (Lexis Nexis, 2015)
- Ninth Annual Lloyd Houlden Fellowship (2015) for project entitled, “Beyond Director Liability for Environmental Remediation”
- Walter L. Gordon Research Fellowship, York University (2010) in recognition of outstanding research
- Canadian Diversity Champion Award, Women of Influence Magazine (2012)
- Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Award, Women’s Executive Network (WXN) (2011)
- Award of Professional Excellence, Canadian Association of South Asian Lawyers (CASAL) (2010)
- Recipient, Legal and Literary Society of Osgoode Hall Law School Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009, 1999)
- Female Professional of the Year, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC)(2008)
- President, Canadian Law and Economics Association (2006-2008)
- Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award (2005)
Significant Appointments (Selected)
- Expert Advisor to Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa on credit union review (2014–2016)
- Co-Director, Hennick Centre for Business & Law, York University (2008–2013)
- Head of Research and Policy, Capital Markets Institute, Rotman School of Management (2006–2012)
- Co-Research Director, Expert Panel on Securities Regulation, Federal Ministry of Finance (2008–2009)
- President, Canadian Law and Economics Association (2006–2008)
- Inaugural Member, Investor Advisory Committee, Ontario Securities Commission (2005–2007)
- Co-Research Director, Task Force to Modernize Securities Regulation (2005–2006)
Board Work (Selected)
- Independent Director, Canada Infrastructure Bank (2017-present)
- Independent Director and Chair of the Board, Cole Engineering Limited (2017–present)
- Independent Director, Arizona Mining (2015-present)
- Independent Director, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (2016–present)
- Independent Director, Greater Toronto Airport Authority (2008–2017)
- Independent Director, Women’s College Hospital (2013–2016)
Teaching Expertise (Selected)
- Advanced Securities Regulation
- Boards of Directors
- Business Associations
- Corporate Governance
- Directors’ Duties
- Investor Protection Seminar
LinkedIn: Poonam Puri
Research Interests: Corporate/Commercial Law
Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Professor Poonam Puri is interested in supervising excellent students who have a keen interest in corporate/commercial law, securities law, corporate governance, capital markets, the regulation of business enterprises, responsive regulation, law and economics, and corporate accountability. She takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on a range of research methodologies and engaging with literature spanning law and society, law and economics, and finance and accounting. Her current research focuses on exploring and developing creative policy and legal solutions to hold multinational corporations more accountable for their actions when they cause harm to individuals and communities and she would welcome interested students.