Chairs and Professorships

Roderick J. Wood, LL.B. (Sask.), LL.M. (Toronto)

F.R. (Dick) Matthews Q.C. Professor of Business Law

The University of Alberta Faculty of Law recently announced the appointment of Professor Roderick J. Wood as the inaugural recipient of the F.R. (Dick) Matthews Q.C. Professor of Business Law. The professorship, which was initiated in 2007, is enabled by the generous endowment set-up by Dick Matthews Q.C. (Class of 1948). Taking the advice of his legal career mentor Marshall Porter, a senior practitioner at the time, Dick studied accounting pre-law. It was this background that was to inspire Dick Matthews Q.C. to set up a generous endowment to support a professorship in business law, in addition to the endowment funding a scholarship for a student entering the University of Alberta Faculty of Law with an accounting background.

"I am delighted to be able to appoint Rod Wood as the inaugural F.R. (Dick) Matthews Professor of Business Law,” said Philip Bryden, Dean of the U of A Faculty of Law. “Rod is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of bankruptcy and secured transactions law, and his work has inspired law reform efforts in Canada and overseas. He is not only an exceptional scholar but an award-winning teacher as well, inspiring our students by his deep understanding of business law."

The F.R. (Dick) Matthews Professorship is awarded to a professor who is a full-time faculty member teaching courses related to Business Law, such as Tax, Corporate Taxation, Corporations Law, International Business Transactions, Corporate Security and Finance and Estate Planning.

“I have published and taught in the field of business law for more than twenty five years, and it is an area that that I find to be dynamic and fascinating”, said Professor Roderick Wood. “I am deeply honoured to be named as the F.R. (Dick) Matthews Q.C. Professor of Business Law.”

Professor Roderick Wood teaches and publishes in the areas of commercial law, bankruptcy and insolvency law, and debtor-creditor law. He has co-authored books on secured transactions law in Canada and New Zealand, is the author of a treatise on Canadian bankruptcy and insolvency law, and has written over two dozen articles in various law journals. He is the 2004 recipient of the Tevie H. Miller Teaching Excellence Award for the Faculty of Law, a 2005 recipient of the AC Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Alberta, and a 2006 recipient of a McCalla Professorship for his contribution to research in law at the University of Alberta. He has also taught graduate seminars in secured transaction law at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Auckland.

Professor Wood has served as Associate Dean (1997 to 1999) at the Faculty of Law, as Board Member of the Alberta Law Reform Institute (1997 to 2001), and as Commissioner of the Law Commission of Canada (2001 to 2006).

Professor Wood was a member of the Canadian delegation at Diplomatic Conferences in Luxembourg in 2007 and Berlin in 2012 that produced international instruments governing the secured financing of rail assets and space assets, and was a member of the drafting committee that produced the text of the Luxembourg Protocol to the Unidroit Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment.

When asked about what this professorship would allow him to concentrate on over the next few years Professor Wood replied: “There have been fundamental changes in Canadian commercial law over the past three decades. Some of the changes have been driven by technology (the move towards paperless payment systems and financial assets). Others have been motivated by the desire to create a more certain and predictable environment for transactions (the modernization of secured transactions law). Other initiatives seem to have been permanently stalled (the reform of sales law). The research that I will undertake as the F.R. (Dick) Matthews QC Professor of Business Law will include an investigation of the state of commercial law in Canada that will track the developments in commercial law over the past thirty years and contemplate its future direction. Canadian commercial law is at a crossroad, and the choices that are made in the next decade will greatly influence the strength and vitality of our business law infrastructure.”