Gift pushes corporate law to forefront

One of the country’s top business leaders and a Canadian international business law firm joined forces in 2011 to further enhance Western’s renowned research and teaching of corporate law.

The generous gift of $1.5 million from W. Geoff Beattie and Torys LLP was matched by Western to create a $3-million fund to establish the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law and support the Torys LLP Corporate & Securities Law Forum.

The endowment has helped place Western on the leading edge of Business Law and education, and has helped make Western Law distinct from other schools in Canada.

Since the creation of the Beattie Chair, Western Law has benefited from the leadership of Chair-holder Chris Nicholls, a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School, with a worldwide reputation for scholarship and research, who was co-applicant on a three-year, $155,000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant to study shareholder activism.

The Law Forum has hosted seven outstanding visiting speakers in corporate law, including Nobel Prize recipients, George Akerlof, co-recipient of 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics; Robert Shiller, co-recipient of 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics; Lawrence Summers, President Emeritus, Harvard University; among others.

“Traditionally we’ve graduated lawyers. I’m excited about the opportunity to graduate people who have a legal education and can take those skills out into the world and do new things that may not have been imagined in the past.”

Geoff Beattie, Campaign Chair

Geoff Beattie

As the landscape in postsecondary legal education undergoes significant changes, Western is changing to ensure it meets and exceeds the needs of students and the marketplace by improving its specialized offerings, growing our expertise, providing more opportunities for professionals to share knowledge with students and faculty, and cultivating the next generation of legal minds.

The W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law has been an important foundation of Western law’s success and a highlight of the university’s vision for the future.