Jennifer Quaid is a CIGI senior fellow and an associate professor and vice-dean research in the Civil Law Section at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. She is an internationally recognized leading legal expert and scholar in the fields of organizational criminal liability, corporate accountability, competition and business regulation. She teaches criminal law, competition law and corporate law.
A member of the Bars of Quebec, Ontario and New York, Jennifer practised law for several years, first with the federal Department of Justice and then in private practice for a leading New York firm before joining the academy. She clerked for the Honourable Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a member of Transparency International Canada and sits on its legal committee, and she was a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa from 2018–2021.
The different facets of her scholarship are connected by a central question: when and how can law be used to stimulate good governance and ethical business practices, particularly in the prevention of serious and foreseeable harm caused by large organizations? Jennifer’s nimbleness in being able to apply her unique combination of areas of expertise to a wide range of pressing and novel issues has led her to being repeatedly sought after for research contributions and partnerships as well as commentary on current questions of public interest.
Jennifer actively researches and publishes on a range of topics exploring how the criminal law is applied to organizations. Her research program is centred on the unique enabling role that business organizations play in creating the conditions for serious blameworthy conduct to occur. This focus on the intersection of criminal law and business law is unusual and grounded in her original interdisciplinary approach, which combines perspectives drawn from law, philosophy, economics and organization studies.
As a former practitioner with experience in corporate law and competition law, she offers a perspective that is infused with an appreciation for the particularities of how law is applied in real-world situations involving business organizations and their stakeholders. This perspective allows her to validate theoretical positions with empirical work. As a result, her research outputs stand as innovative contributions to often undertheorized and understudied areas of corporate criminal law.