Lionel Smith studied law at the University of Western Ontario (LL.B.), Cambridge University (LL.M.), Oxford (D.Phil., M.A.) and the Université de Montréal (LL.B.). He is Sir William C. Macdonald Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, McGill University.

Lionel Smith is the author of The Law of Tracing (Oxford University Press, 1997), and a co-author of Waters’ Law of Trusts in Canada, 4th ed. (Carswell, 2012). He is a co-author and the English reporter of Commercial Trusts in European Private Law (Cambridge University Press, 2005; paperback, 2009). He is a contributor to Canadian Corporate Law: Cases, Notes and Materials, 4th ed. (Butterworths, 2010) and The Law of Restitution in Canada: Cases, Notes and Materials (Emond Montgomery, 2004). He is the editor of three works on comparative trust law: The Worlds of the Trust (Cambridge University Press, 2013); La fiducie en droit civil (a special issue ((2013) 58:4) of the McGill Law Journal) and Re-imagining the Trust: Trusts in Civil Law (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His most recent books are Law and the New Logics (Cambridge University Press, 2017, with H. Patrick Glenn) and Comparative Property Law: Global Perspectives (Elgar, 2017, with Michele Graziadei). He is also the author of numerous articles, book chapters, notes and reviews, and a full list of his publications may be found here.

Lionel Smith is a Titular Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He is also a member of the American Law Institute, the European Law Institute, and the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. He is a non-practising member of the Bar of Alberta.

Research Interests

Lionel Smith is interested in all aspects of fundamental comparative private law. He is particularly engaged with how private law understands aspects of unselfish behaviour, and he has an active research agenda in the law relating to trusts, fiduciary obligations, gifts, and unjust enrichment, in civil law and in common law.