#5 – Virginia Torrie
Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (University of Toronto Press, 2020) explodes conventional wisdom about the history of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and in its place offers the first historical account of Canada’s premier corporate restructuring statute. The book adopts a novel research approach that combines legal history, socio-legal theory, ideas from political science, and doctrinal legal analysis. Meticulously researched and multi-disciplinary, Reinventing Bankruptcy Law provides a comprehensive and concise history of CCAA law over the course of the twentieth century, framing developments within broader changes in Canadian institutions including federalism, judicial review, and statutory interpretation.
Examining the influence of private parties and commercial practices on lawmaking, Virginia Torrie argues that CCAA law was shaped by the commercial needs of powerful creditors to restructure corporate borrowers, providing a compelling thesis about the dynamics of legal change in the context of corporate restructuring. Torrie exposes the errors in recent case law to devastating effect and argues that courts and the legislature have switched roles – leading to the conclusion that contemporary CCAA courts function like a modern-day Court of Chancery. This book is essential reading for the Canadian insolvency community as well as those interested in Canadian institutions, legal history, and the dynamics of change.