Nicholls named Beattie Chair in Corporate Law

September 01, 2015

Chris NichollsWestern Law professor Christopher Nicholls (pictured left) has been appointed The W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law effective July 1, 2015.

A generous gift from Geoff Beattie LLB '84 as well as Torys LLP and Western Law alum at the Torys LLP firm was matched by Western to create a $3-million fund to establish the Beattie Chair and support the Torys LLP Corporate and Securities Law Forum.

The Forum delivers a number of initiatives and programs, including the Torys LLP Award in Business Law, Torys LLP Negotiation Competition, J.S.D. Tory Writing Prize and the Torys LLP Business & Law Pre-Eminent Scholars Series.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Nicholls to the W. Geoff Beattie Chair, Western Law’s first endowed Chair,” says Dean Iain Scott.

“Chris is a prolific, internationally recognized corporate law scholar and talented leader of our business law program at Western Law. His appointment will ensure the continued success of this exceptional program,” Scott adds.

A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and Harvard University, Nicholls is an affiliated scholar of the National Centre for Business Law at UBC Law School, a member of the Canadian Business Law Journal's Editorial Advisory Board, Head of Research and Policy for the Capital Markets Institute, University of Toronto, and serves as a Research Fellow at the Filene Research Institute.

He is the author of numerous articles in the business law field as well as five books.

"I'm honoured to be appointed the inaugural holder of the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law, and given the opportunity to help establish the new Torys LLP Corporate and Securities Law Forum which is being created together with this new chair, “ says Nicholls.

“I hope that, with the ongoing support of the university, my accomplished colleagues, and our talented students, we will fortify and enhance Western Law’s reputation as a national leader in the research and teaching of business law."

Prior to joining Western Law in 2006, Nicholls was a member of the Dalhousie University Faculty of Law where he held the Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law.

“I’m very pleased and privileged to make this gift to Western,” said Beattie when the gift was first announced in 2012. “By partnering with Torys LLP, and Western Law alumni at Torys, we are able to build a cluster of business law excellence that is unmatched in Canada,” he said.

Beattie is CEO of Generation Capital and chairman of the Canadian venture capital firm, Relay Ventures. He is also a director of the Royal Bank of Canada, General Electric Company, and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. and is a trustee of the University Health Network in Toronto.

He served as a partner at Torys LLP before joining The Woodbridge Company Limited, the privately-held investment holding company for the Thomson family and the majority shareholder of Thomson Reuters, where he served as president and CEO from 1998 to 2012.

Beattie is an active volunteer with Western University, and chairs Western’s “Be Extraordinary” fundraising campaign.