The Marcel A. Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law is a research organization that integrates the disciplines of business, law and the humanities as they apply to family controlled and other private enterprises. By developing synergies between disciplines, the Centre empowers future lawyers and their clients to gain deeper insights into the opportunities and challenges facing privately held businesses. Our areas of strength include Law & Technology, Business Organizations, Business Transactions & Obligations, Business and Human Rights, Financing & Insolvency, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Private enterprises are the heart of the Canadian economy and the lifeblood of the Province of Manitoba. Spanning across diverse industries, these businesses collectively contribute to approximately 75% Manitoba’s GDP, employ almost ¾ of the workforce, and generate 90% of new jobs. While the majority of these enterprises are small to medium sized, many larger firms are also privately held and contribute significantly to the Manitoban economy.

The Centre’s academic program enables students to address the diverse challenges faced by private enterprises and their owners. Through experiential learning initiatives with the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic, students gain invaluable hands-on legal experience supporting a range of Manitoban stakeholders including sole proprietors, emerging ventures as well as established organizations. This immersive approach equips students with the practical skills to advise business clients, while serving the legal needs of Manitoba’s business community. The Centre also facilitates opportunities for students to serve as research assistants, write blogs and case reports, and serve in journal editor roles for the imprints of the Manitoba Law Journal, providing them with valuable firsthand experience.

The Centre’s research initiatives promote deeper understanding of the multi-faceted and complex issues facing private businesses and serve as a resource for business lawyers. The recently published State of Business Law Report as well as blogs and case reports offer valuable perspectives on the intricacies of modern business and is a valuable asset for business lawyers seeking deeper insights.