James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series

From the Fall 2004 issue of Nexus.

James Hausman '61In memory of James (Jim) Hausman, a 1961 law graduate and a specialist in international tax, the Faculty of Law is proud to offer an exciting new Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. The series, which invites foreign tax experts to address international topics, kicked off this fall with a lecture delivered by Dan Shaviro of the New York University Law School.

Before his death in 2002, Jim was keenly aware of the importance of international tax policy in an increasingly global world. Notably, he championed the idea for a workshop series at the Faculty of Law, where he had taught International Tax for a number of years. Though renowned for his superb legal skills, Jim was also dedicated to mentorship. "Jim was a gifted teacher who championed people. No matter how difficult a problem, he cheered you through," remembers Virginia Davies, a personal and professional friend.

Davies, also a tax lawyer and a U of T alumnus (Class of 1979), and her husband, Willard Taylor, a tax specialist with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, donated the amount of $30,000 to fund the series. "We wanted to make Jim's dream come true," said Davies. Their generous donation was swiftly matched by Blake Cassels, the firm at which Jim practiced. At Blake's, Jim was involved in major international deals, most notably the Interbrew purchase of Labatt's and the Seagram transaction. He was also famous for leaving the office to make it home in time for dinner, having struck that rare balance between career success and family.

On November 3, 2004, a commemorative dinner was held to celebrate the inaugural workshop and its donors. During the evening, David Hausman, Class of 1989, recalled how his father was so impressed with the U of T law school that he discouraged him from applying anywhere else.

The new series is boosting the Faculty's worldwide reputation as a leader in international tax policy. And the turnout has been overwhelming. "We're attracting not only law students, but people from all departments and faculties and even business and legal practitioners," says Associate Professor David Duff, who runs the program along with new faculty member Benjamin Alarie. In setting the agenda, they seek speakers who bring an international flavour to tax. This year, guests include Jack Mintz from the C.D. Howe Institute, Eduardo Baistrocchi of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires and Marjorie Kornhauser of Tulane Law School. Explains Duff, "The workshop is like a window that allows us to see the rest of the world while the rest of the world sees us. That way, we all learn from each other."

See also the James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series web page.