Thomas Telfer

Thomas Telfer is a Professor at Western University Faculty of Law.  He joined Western in 2002 from the University of Auckland, Faculty of Law where he taught for eight years. Professor Telfer’s research and teaching interests include bankruptcy law, commercial law, contracts and legal history. He has been a Visitor at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, Case Western Reserve University, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Adelaide, the University of Auckland and Melbourne University.

Professor Telfer has published a number of articles on insolvency law, secured transactions and consumer law and he is a co-editor of and contributor to Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law in Canada: Cases, Materials, and Problems  (Irwin Law, 2019). Professor Telfer has also published on New Zealand insolvency law. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Canadian Business Law Journal, and the New Zealand Law Review. In 2013, Professor Telfer was the recipient of the 2013 Lloyd Houlden Memorial Research Fellowship. In 2018, he was awarded a three year Teaching Fellowship from Western University.

Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History Books

Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919 (University of Toronto Press, 2014), 328 pp.


Other Legal History Publications

“Rediscovering the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Power: Political and Constitutional Challenges to the Bankruptcy Act, 1919-1929” (2017) 80:1 Saskatchewan Law Review 37-70.

“A Retrospective on the Canadian Consumer Bankruptcy System: 40 Years after the Tassé Report”  Canadian Business Law Journal , vol 50, 2011, pp. 236-258 (with S. Ben-Ishai and S. Schwartz)

‘The Search for Justice Ivan Rand’s Commercial Law Legacy:  Contracts and Bankruptcy  Policy’  University of New Brunswick Law Journal & University of Manitoba Law Journal (joint issue), 2010, pp. 243-269.

‘Ideas, Interests, Institutions and the History of Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1880’  University of Toronto Law Journal , vol 60, 2010, pp. 603-621.

‘The Origins of Canadian Bankruptcy Exemptions: Federalism, the Relevance of US Law and the Prospects for Reform’,  Journal Banking & Finance Law & Practice , vol 20, 2009, pp. 270-274.

‘The Evolution of Bankruptcy Exemption Law in Canada 1867-1919:  The Triumph of the Provincial Model,’ Annual Review of Insolvency Law, 2007, pp.  593-651.

‘A Canadian ‘World without Bankruptcy Law: The Failure of Bankruptcy Reform at the end of the Nineteenth Century,’ Australian Journal of Legal History, vol 8, 2004, pp. 83-108.

‘Access to the Discharge in Canadian Bankruptcy Law and the New Role of Surplus Income: A Historical Perspective’,  in Charles E.F. Rickett and Thomas G.W. Telfer, eds.,International Perspectives on Consumers’ Access to Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2003),  pp.  231-263.