Robert Adamson

Lecturer, Strategy


Room: WMC 4359

Phone: 778.782.4199


Curriculum Vitae: View


BA (McGill), LLB (UBC), LLM (London School of Economics)


Robert is Faculty at the Beedie School of Business where he teaches business law and focuses on research and projects in the areas of governance, corporate governance, transborder governance, risk management and business strategy, regulatory risk, regulatory strategy, financial regulation and the regulation of evolving technologies such as articificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and genetic engineering.

More generally, Robert focuses on the relationship between law and business strategy, not only for compliance and risk management but also as a strategy for innovation and disruption. 

Robert has worked at international law firms, universities and university research institutes, consutling firms, as well as with international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. He has worked in over 20 countries in Asia, Europe and North America on projects dealing with governance strategies, corporate governance and risk management, environmental govenance, intellectual property, financial system governance, and other areas of legal development, regulatory strategies and international negotiation. 

Since coming to the Beedie School of Business, Robert has been the Executive Director of the CIBC Centre for Corporate Governance and Risk Management, (subsequently the Centre for Corporate Govenance and Risk Management), and was appointed as the CICA Fellow in Corporate Governance. He has also been involved with the creation and early management of the Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business Studies and the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI). 

Robert's research, project activities and teaching apply interdisciplinary approaches in order to develop innovative approaches to complex governance, regulatory and risk management problems. This approach is relevant to businesses and business strategy as well as governmental policy makers at national and international levels. Robert's work has included projects on corporate governance and risk management training in Viet Nam, the developmnet of policy and legislation to protect biodiversity and intellectual property, governance and dispute resolution in the South China Sea, environmental and climate change governance strategies, support and training for international governance institutions such as the International Criminal Court, constitutional governance strategies in Asia, among others.   

Robert has also created two research, education and engagement platforms: Global Risk Governance and IQU2. Global Risk Governance provides analysis, research and access to experts and collaborative networks with a focus on complex transborder governance problems. IQU2 provides educational strategies and technologies for both teaching and collaboration with the goal of promoting entrepreneurship and innovation particularly in communities and parts of the world that do not have easy access to the resources, networks and strategic information.   

Robert has written numerous reports, working papers, research papers, policy and legislative frameworks for governments, university research institutes, and international organizations.

Robert received a B.A. (Hons.) from McGill University, an LL.B. from the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia and the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen, and a Masters of Laws (LL.M.) from the London School of Economics. Robert was law clerk to Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada. Robert is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the American Society for International Law.

Research Interests

Governance strategies including corporate governance and environmental governance, trasnborder governance and negotiation, risk management strategies and risk governance, regulatory and legal risk, corporate and commercial law, governance of financial institutions, governance of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and genetic engineering

Selected Publications

articles and reports

Adamson, R. (2012). Corporate governance reforms and our regulatory future. Business Horizons, 55(6), 551–555.

MacDougall, A. J., & Adamson, R. (2011). Shareholder engagement, CICA director briefing. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. ISBN:978-1-55385-648-1.

Adamson, R. (2011). Corporate governance, Risk management and corporate social responsibility in emerging markets: A symbiotic relationship. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: CIBC Centre for Corporate Governance and Risk Management.

Macdougall, A., & Adamson, R. (2011). Directors briefing - shareholder engagement: Questions for directors to ask. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Adamson, R. (2010). A national securities regulator and the proposed Canadian securities act: Is politics taking precedent over good corporate governance and regulation. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: CIBC Centre for Corporate Governance and Risk Management.

Adamson, R. (2010). Corporate governance: Are we asking the right questions. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: CIBC Centre for Corporate Governance and Risk Management.

Adamson, R. (2010). Draft training manual for public consultaion in Viet Nam. hanoi, Viet Nam: Government of Vietnam.

Adamson, R. (2009, January). Corporate governance and risk management research following the financial crisis. Bottom Line, 25(3).

Adamson, R., & Willis, A. (2008). Corporate boards and risk management. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Adamson, R., & Axworthy, L. (2003). Pursuing World Order through International Justice and the ICC. World Order, 3402.

books chapters and monographs

Adamson, R. (2005). Law, sovereignty and transnationalism: Delivering social goods using a functional approach to borders. In Nicol, H. N., & Townsend-Gault, I. (Eds.), Holding the Line: Borders in a Global World. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: UBC Press.

Adamson, R., Townsend-Gault, I., & VAnderZwaag, D. (1995). Transboundary ocean and atmospheric pollution in Southeast Asia: Prospects for regional cooperation. In Acharya, A., & Stubbs, R. (Eds.), New Challenges for ASEAN: Emerging Policy Issues. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: UBC Press.