Osgoode professors named to federal panel on securities

If there’s truth in the adage, "experience is the best teacher", then Heather Zordel (LLB ’87, LLM ’98), a graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, is poised to make a significant contribution as a member of the federal government’s Expert Panel on Securities Regulation in Canada, which was created in February.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Zordel, who has been the associate director of Osgoode’s part-time LLM Program in Securities Law for the past six years and is a partner in the Securities Group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, has been preparing for this challenge since she was called to the Ontario Bar in 1989.

Right: Heather Zordel

She is one of six members and a chair, appointed to the expert panel by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (LLB ’73), who will seek input on the best way to develop and implement a model Common Securities Act for Canada. Assisting and advising the panel are three other Osgoode professors – Poonam Puri, Edward Waitzer and Peter Hogg – and a former professor and assistant dean and now adjunct professor, William Braithwaite. The panel launched its consultation process on April 21.

"We have students from across the country participating in the part-time LLM Program in Securities Law," says Zordel, who coordinates the course content and also teaches in the program. "We get a dialogue going in our classes that is really fantastic because of the broad range of perspectives. We talk about the differences in securities legislation across the country and how it could be better. We learn that we are not that far apart in either our overall objectives or the means for achieving them."

Left: Poonam Puri

Zordel is happily anticipating similar discussions with Canadians as the expert panel seeks the views of stakeholders on the best way forward to improve securities regulation in Canada. "We want to develop a workable solution that will allow governments and regulators to implement significant improvements in our regulatory system, making Canada more competitive globally," Zordel says.

Assisting Zordel and the other panel members will be Puri, who will head up the panel’s research team with Paul Halpern of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Waitzer, the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance at Osgoode and Schulich School of Business, will be responsible, along with a legal team from his firm of Stikeman Elliott LLP, including Braithwaite, for writing the draft of a model Common Securities Act, while Hogg, dean of Osgoode Hall Law School from 1998 to 2003, will act as a special adviser to the panel.

Right: Peter Hogg

Currently Scholar in Residence at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Hogg is the author of Constitutional Law of Canada (Carswell, 5th ed., 2007) and co-author, with Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan, of Liability of the Crown (Carswell, 3rd ed., 2000).

Puri was named one of "Canada’s Top 40 under 40" in 2005 by The Caldwell Partners, The Globe and Mail, Certified General Accountants of Canada, Air Canada and Privilege magazine. Her research expertise lies in corporate law, securities law, corporate governance and corporate & white-collar crime.

Waitzer was Osgoode’s Falconbridge Professor of Commercial Law in 2006, chair of the Ontario Securities Commission from 1993 to 1996 and prior to that a vice-president of the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has written and spoken extensively on a variety of legal and public policy issues.

Left: Edward Waitzer

"These federal appointments, as well as last week’s appointment by the Ontario government of Osgoode Professor Mary Condon to the Ontario Securities Commission, confirm Osgoode’s national leadership in the field of securities regulation," said Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan. "Each of these individuals will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in the securities regulation field to the Expert Panel and the Ontario Securities Commission."

The panel will provide independent advice and recommendations to ministers – federal, provincial and territorial – and is expected to deliver a final report and draft model Common Securities Act by the end of this year.

For more information, visit the Expert Panel on Security Regulations in Canada Web site.