Poonam Puri

Study program:
Osgoode Hall Law School
Current affiliation:
York University

Building on her expertise in corporate governance, Professor Poonam Puri’s research will develop pragmatic policy and suggest legal solutions to hold multinational corporations more accountable when they harm individuals or communities.

Trudeau project: Piercing the Corporate Veil

Project objectives:

1. To analyze the structures and strategies used by some multinational corporations to limit their liability and avoid accountability on human rights and environmental abuses.
2. To document the barriers which often prevent those who have been harmed by multinational corporations from bringing successful claims and enforcing judgments.
3. To create concrete governance guidance for multinationals to more responsibly manage their global operations, and make legal and practical recommendations for reform.
4. To empirically evaluate the likely impact of proposed reforms on the Canadian national economy and patterns of global commerce.

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Appointed to York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1997, Poonam Puri is a full professor of law and is former Associate Dean as well as former Associate Dean, Research, Graduate Studies, and Institutional Relations. She earned her LL.B. degree from the University of Toronto where she was the silver medalist, and she holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Harvard Law School.

Poonam is an expert in corporate law, securities law and corporate governance. Her work is academically rigorous as well as firmly grounded in the real time of policy-making and practice. She is the recipient of a several SSHRC grants on topics including capital markets enforcement, auditor liability, and the Equator principles and environmental sustainability. She received York University’s Walter Gordon Memorial Fellowship for her recent book, Back from the Brink, on the financial crisis from a Canadian perspective (University of Toronto Press, 2016, with Halpern, Cakebread and Nichols). Poonam and FAIR Canada are currently leading an initiative, funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, to set up the first ever investor protection clinic in Canada.

Poonam has advised governments and regulators around the world, and she serves on the board of directors of several not-for-profit and community organizations, including the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and St. Clements School.

In 2015, Poonam was recognized as one of the top 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and she is the former recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40™ award and Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women Award.

  • May 2, 2018
    For the ninth consecutive year, Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers will reward people who influence the laws, justice system, and legal profession in Canada and abroad today. Members of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s community have been nominated in four of the five categories.