Faculty & Staff » Dr. Virginia Torrie

Dr. Virginia Torrie

Assistant Professor


Dr. Virginia Torrie’s research explores the interplay between bankruptcy and insolvency law and secured creditor rights. Her interdisciplinary research approach draws on ideas from socio-legal theory and historical institutionalism to study cycles of legal change. She is currently working on the history of Canadian business restructuring from the Great Depression through to the 21st century. Dr. Torrie is interested in how contemporary notions of the terms “bankruptcy and insolvency” have been shaped by the evolution of ideas, commercial practices, interest groups and institutions, economic recessions, political exigencies, changing methods of statutory interpretation, greater judicial review, and constitutional doctrine. Dr. Torrie hopes to shed light on how “bankruptcy and insolvency”, in the space of 100 years, went from being an unused constitutional head of power to assuming its present status as a robust field of federal jurisdiction.

Dr. Torrie joined the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba in 2015. She holds JD and LLM degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and a PhD from Kent Law School, University of Kent. Dr. Torrie is the recipient of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, as well as research grants through the University of Manitoba, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Legal Research Institute and Manitoba Law Foundation.

Dr. Torrie is the recipient of the Faculty’s Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence (2017) and the University of Manitoba Merit Awards for Teaching (2018) and Service (2019). She has also completed a Certificate in Teaching and Learning. Dr. Torrie uses blended learning and interactive teaching strategies to promote classroom engagement in all of her courses.

Her professional experience includes consulting as a legal expert in Canada and internationally in the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency law, receivership, federalism, statutory interpretation, legislative history, and consumer protection. Her research is cited by the Ontario Court of Appeal and courts of Queen’s Bench. She regularly presents her research at Canadian, British and American conferences, including the Commercial Law Symposium, INSOL International Academics Colloquium, Law and Society Association, Social Science History Association, and Canadian Historical Association.

  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency
  • Commercial Law
  • Legal History
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Historical Institutionalism

Peer reviewed publications are indicated with an asterisk (*)


  • The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act Reference Case, 1934” (2020) 64.1 Canadian Business Law Journal 46-71.
  • * “AI Governance in Canadian Banking: Fairness, Credit Models, and Equality Rights” (2020) 36.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 5-38 (with Dominique Payette).
  • * "The Participation of Social Stakeholders in CCAA Proceedings" (2020) Annual Review of Insolvency Law 369-414 (with Vern DaRe).
  • * “Federalism and Farm Debt During the Great Depression: Political Impetuses for the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act, 1934” (2019) 82.2 Saskatchewan Law Review 203-257.
  • * “Farm Debt Compromises during the Great Depression: An Empirical Study of Applications made under the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Morden and Brandon, Manitoba” (2018) 41.1 Manitoba Law Journal 377-433.
  • * “Should Paramountcy Protect Secured Creditor Rights? Saskatchewan v Lemare Lake Logging in Historical Context” (2017) 22.3 Review of Constitutional Studies 405-428.
  • * “Farm Insolvency in Canada” (2013) 2 Journal of the Insolvency Institute of Canada 33-66 (with Stephanie Ben-Ishai).
  • * “A ‘Cost’-Benefit Analysis: Examining Professional Fees in CCAA Proceedings” (2010) Annual Review of Insolvency Law 185-212 (with Stephanie Ben-Ishai).
  • “Weathering the Global Financial Crisis: An Overview of the Canadian Experience” (2010) 16.1 Law and Business Review of the Americas 25-51.


  • * Debt and Federalism: Landmark Cases in Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law, 1894-1937 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 forthcoming) 250 pp. (with Thomas GW Telfer).
  • * Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) 312 pp. (foreword by Anthony Duggan).
    • Reviewed by Bashar H. Malkawi in the International Insolvency Review,
      DOI: 10.1002/iir.1389, https://doi.org/10.1002/iir.1389.
    • Reviewed in Eurofenix the journal of INSOL Europe, Autumn 2020, page 45

Prefaces and Introductions:

  • "Introduction to the Second Annual Special Issue on FinTech" (2020) 36.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 1-4.

Book Reviews:

  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Bradley A. Hansen, Bankrupt in America: A History of Debtors, Their Creditors, and the Law in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020) (2021) 36.3 Banking & Finance Law Review [forthcoming].
  • David Sandomiersky, Aspiration and Reality in Legal Education (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) (2020) 51.2 Revue de droit d’Ottawa 269-274.
  • Ronald J. Mann, Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (2018) 34.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 109-114.
  • Jennifer Payne, Schemes of Arrangement: Theory, Structure and Operation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) (2016) 58.3 Canadian Business Law Journal 345-354.
  • Thomas G.W. Telfer, Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2014) (2016) 31.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 427-432.
  • Jay Lawrence Westbook, Charles D. Booth, Christoph G. Paulus & Harry Rajack, eds., A Global View of Business Insolvency Systems (Boston: The World Bank and Brill, 2010) (2011) 25.5 Journal of Business Law 528-531.

Case Comments:

  • * "Implications of the Bluberi Decision: An Affirmation of Broad Judicial Discretion in CCAAs and a 'Green Light' for Litigation Funding in Canada" (2021) 36.2 Banking & Finance Law Review [forthcoming]
  • Attorney General for Saskatchewan v Lemare Lake Logging Ltd., 2015 SCC 53 (2016) 31.2 Banking & Finance Law Review 403-409.


Magazine Articles:

Teaching Materials:

  • "Constitutional Aspects and the Judicial and Administrative Structure of the Bankruptcy System" 47-109 pp. in Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019).
  • "Executory Contracts" 203-249 pp. in Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019).
  • "CCAA Overview" 505-547 pp. in Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2019).