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Osler funds help land Osgoode business chair

|Written By Robert Todd

A $1-million donation from Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has helped Osgoode Hall Law School lure a world-class securities and corporate law expert from the United States to take on the school’s new position of Osler Chair in Business Law.

Professor Cynthia A. Williams, who has been part of the University of Illinois College of Law for the last 12 years, will assume the two-year appointment in July. She brings with her a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and a JD from New York University School of Law, along with teaching and researching experience from various other U.S. universities.

Williams — who was selected following an 18-month worldwide search — has focused in her recent work on corporate social responsibility. Her findings have been published in several publications, including the Academy of Management Review and the Journal of Corporation Law.

“As the Osler Chair, Prof. Williams will help to enhance our considerable faculty strength in business law and prepare our students for leadership and service in the legal profession, in business, and in a wide variety of other occupations,” Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan said.

Osler’s donation is the largest yet received by Osgoode and will be topped up by York University and Osgoode to raise a total of $2 million for an endowment in scholarship and teaching in business law.

Osler partner and Osgoode alumnus Tim Kennish says the firm is pleased with Williams’ appointment.

“I had an opportunity to hear Prof. Williams speak at Osgoode on corporate social responsibility earlier this year and I regard her as an outstanding scholar and a great addition to the Osgoode faculty,” Kennish said.

Williams says she’s looking forwarding to bouncing ideas off her new colleagues.

“I am honoured to be asked to join the Osgoode Hall Law School faculty, which is extremely well-regarded for the quality of its scholarship, teaching, and public engagement,” she said.

“I look forward to having my own scholarship on comparative corporate governance and new forms of global regulation enriched by my association with colleagues at Osgoode.”