Faculty & Staff » Dr. Virginia Torrie

Dr. Virginia Torrie

Dr. Virginia Torrie

Associate Dean (J.D. Program);
Associate Professor


Dr. Virginia Torrie is the Associate Dean (Academic - J.D. Program) and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. She has authored and co-authored a number of articles, as well as the monograph Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies’ Creditor Arrangement Act, published by University of Toronto Press in 2020. Dr. Torrie holds J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and a Ph.D. from Kent Law School, University of Kent.

Exploring the interplay between bankruptcy and insolvency law and secured creditor rights is a focus of Dr. Torrie’s research. Her interdisciplinary approach draws on ideas from socio-legal theory and historical institutionalism to study cycles of legal change. Her current research interests include the history of Canadian business restructuring from the Great Depression through to the 21st century, and more specifically, farm business restructuring in the 1930s and 1940s. Broader research interests include contemporary corporate restructuring/insolvency, AI governance in the Canadian banking sector, and the history of the legal academy in Canada. Dr. Torrie is interested in how contemporary notions of the terms “bankruptcy and insolvency” have been shaped by various factors, such as the evolution of ideas, commercial practices, interest groups and institutions, changing methods of statutory interpretation, and constitutional doctrine. She seeks 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 is the recipient of numerous research grants, including a SSHRC Insight Development Grant and Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, as well as grants through the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, University of Manitoba, the Legal Research Institute and the Manitoba Law Foundation. In 2019, Dr. Torrie completed a Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Torrie uses blended learning and interactive teaching strategies to promote classroom engagement in all her courses. She is dedicated to trying new and innovative teaching methods and approaches with the twin purposes of making learning both effective and enjoyable. Her skills are well-recognized and she is the recipient of several awards, including the Faculty of Law’s Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017 and the University of Manitoba Merit Awards for Teaching in 2018, Service in 2019 and Research in 2020.

An active presenter on both pedagogical methods and topics in legal research, Dr. Torrie was an invited speaker on the Farmers’ Creditor Arrangement Act Reference Case of 1937 at the Osgoode Legal History Workshop at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in 2020, and has also been a guest lecturer at law schools both nationally and internationally, including the University of Adelaide, Western University and University of Alberta. She held an Academic Visitorship at the E.W. Barker Centre for Law and Business, National University of Singapore in 2019. Dr. Torrie also contributed three chapters on executory contracts, the CCAA, and constitutional aspects of the bankruptcy system to the leading Canadian bankruptcy text, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials and Problems (Irwin Law, 2019).

Dr. Torrie has been consulted 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, la Cour d’appel du Québec, and several courts of Queen’s Bench. She regularly presents her research at Canadian, British, American, and international conferences, including the Canadian Commercial Law Symposium, INSOL International Academics Colloquium, Law and Society Association, Social Science History Association, and Canadian Historical Association. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Banking and Finance Law Review, having written the “Introduction to the Second Annual Special Issue on FinTech” as well as the article “AI Governance in Canadian Banking: Fairness, Credit Models and Equality Rights” with Dominique Payette, which made 13 of SSRN’s Top Ten lists, including the Top Ten list for Canadian Law and Business, Artificial Intelligence Law, Policy and Ethics, and Banking & Insurance.

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

Peer reviewed publications are indicated with an asterisk (*)


  • * "Bankruptcy and Insolvency as an Expanding Field: An Historical Analysis of Reference Re Debt Adjustment Act, 1937 (Alta.)" (2022) 59.4 Alberta Law Review [forthcoming] (with Thomas GW Telfer)
  • * "Mechanisms of Debt Adjustment under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, 1934" (2021) 72 University of New Brunswick Law Journal [forthcoming]
  • 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) (foreword by Iain DC Ramsay).
  • * Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) 312 pp. (foreword by Anthony Duggan).
    • The Canadian Foundation for Legal Research Walter Owen Book Prize (honourable mention, 2021)
    • The Manitoba Book Awards Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction (shortlisted, 2021)
    • 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
    • Reviewed by Rebecca Parry in (2020) 8 Nottingham Insolvency and Business Law eJournal 02
    • Reviewed by Zhang Zinian in "Driving Forces Behind the Development of Law" (2020) 5 Wolverhampton Law Journal 63
    • Reviewed by Michael Murray in (2021) 21.1&2 Insolvency Law Bulletin 6-7 (LexisNexis, Australia)
    • Reviewed by Roderick J. Wood in “The Stories, Confabulations and Lies We Tell Ourselves in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law” (2021) 64.2 Canadian Business Law Journal 226
    • Reviewed by the Hon. Philippe Bélanger, S.C.Q. in (2021) 36.3 Banking & Finance Law Review 557-560
    • Reviewed by Akshaya Kamalnath, “Reflections on the relevance of Canada’s bankruptcy law history for other countries in the present times” (July 5, 2021) Singapore Global Restructuring Initiative Blog
    • Reviewed by Tim Kennish in (July 2021) VI.VII The Prospectus (monthly newsletter of the Canadian Business History Association).
    • Reviewed by David Morrison in (2021) 29.2 Insolv LJ 115-116.
    • Reviewed by David Rosenberg in (2021) 99.2 Canadian Bar Review 463-468

Prefaces and Introductions:

  • "Introduction to Issue 38.1" (2021) 38.1 Banking & Finance Law Review (with Muharem Kianieff & Christian Chamorro-Courtland) [forthcoming]
  • "Introduction to the Third Annual Special Issue on FinTech" (2021) 37.1 Banking & Finance Law Review (with Ryan Clements) [forthcoming]
  • "Introduction to the Second Annual Special Issue on FinTech" (2020) 36.1 Banking & Finance Law Review 1-4.

Book Reviews:

  • Barry EC Boothman, Corporate Cataclysm: Abitibi Power & Paper and the Collapse of the Newsprint Industry, 1912-1916 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2020) (2021) VI.X The Prospectus.
  • David Sandomierski, Aspiration and Reality in Legal Education (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020) (2021) 42 Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 68-73.
  • 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 539-542.
  • David Sandomierski, 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 277-290.
  • 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).