Christopher Nicholls

Christopher Nicholls

Academic Degrees:

B.A. (Hons.), University of Ottawa/Université d’Ottawa; LL.B. (Osgoode); LL.M. (Osgoode); M.P.A. (Harvard)

Phone: 519 661-2111 ext. 80301
Office: LB 108

Christopher C. Nicholls holds the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law and is Director of Business Law at Western Law as well as Co-Director of Western University's Interdisciplinary Centre for Financial Innovation and Risk Management (CFIRM). In 2013 he was named a Western University Faculty Scholar, and in 2016 received a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar award.

Professor Nicholls has acted as a consultant to private law firms and government and regulatory agencies and as an expert witness and has lectured to academic and professional audiences in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South America and Japan. He has been a frequent speaker on topics relating to corporate law and mergers and acquisitions in judicial education programs organized for Canadian judges by the National Judicial Institute.

He has been a Visiting Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School, a Herbert Smith Visitor at the University of Cambridge, a Senior Visiting Research Scholar at the Yale Law School, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Melbourne, a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Tokyo and the Falconbridge Visiting Professor of Commercial Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. He has also been a visiting professor at the law faculties of the University of Toronto and Queen’s University.

He is currently a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Canadian Business Law Journal and has previously served as a member (Commissioner) of the Nova Scotia Securities Commission, as Associate Editor and Corporate Finance Specialist Editor of the Canadian Business Law Journal, as a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, as a Research Fellow with the Filene Research Institute, Madison, Wisconsin, as Head of Research and Policy, Capital Markets Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and in 2015 was a member of the Business Law Agenda Expert Panel appointed by the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to provide recommendations for reform of Ontario’s corporate and commercial legislation. From 2016-2022, he was the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, the national self-regulatory organization for the distribution side of the Canadian mutual fund industry.

Prior to joining Western Law, he was the inaugural holder of the Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law at Dalhousie Law School (now the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University) where he twice received the Dalhousie Law School Excellence in Teaching Law Award. Before beginning his academic career, he practised corporate and securities law with two of Toronto’s largest corporate law firms, then as a corporate finance and securities attorney in Bermuda. He is the author or co-author of seven books and numerous academic articles on topics relating to corporate law and finance, financial institutions and capital market regulation, and his work has been cited by Canadian securities commissions and many Canadian courts including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Research Highlights


  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Other Changes of Corporate Control, 3rd edition (Irwin, 2020)
  • Securities Law 2d ed. (Irwin, 2018)
  • Back from the Brink: Lessons from the Canadian Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Crisis (with Paul Halpern, Caroline Cakebread and Poonam Puri (University of Toronto Press, 2016))
  • Corporate Finance and Canadian Law, 2d ed. (Carswell, 2013)
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Other Changes of Corporate Control, 2d ed. (Irwin, 2012)
  • Financial Institutions: The Regulatory Framework (LexisNexis, 2008)
  • Corporate Law (Emond-Montgomery, 2005)


  • “Canadian M & A: A Comparative Perspective” in C. Hill & S.D. Solomon, eds., Research Handbook on Mergers and Acquisitions (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016)
  • “Quantifying the Personal Income Tax Benefits of Backdating: A Canada-US Comparison” (co-author with R. Compton, D. Sandler & L. M. Tedds) (2012) 3 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 144
  • “Civil Enforcement in Canadian Securities Law” (2009) 9 Journal of Corporate Law Studies 367

Research Studies:

  • Credit Unions as Cooperatives: How Charter Choice Drives Social Enterprise (Filene Research Institute, 2015)
  • “The Characteristics of Canada’s Capital Markets and the Illustrative Case of Canada’s Legislative and Regulatory Response to Sarbanes Oxley”.  A research study completed for The Investment Dealers Association of Canada Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada, published as part of the Task Force’s Final Report, Canada Steps Up (October 2006). Also available online at:
  • “Public and Private Uses of Credit Ratings” (Toronto: Capital Markets Institute, 2005)

Recent Testimony Before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce (February 2019) on “Open Banking”