The University of Guelph has named Harpreet Hansra to the position of general counsel, commencing Sept. 7.

The announcement was made today by Dr. Charlotte Yates, president and vice-chancellor.

“Harpreet brings an outstanding breadth of legal expertise to the University,” said Yates. “I look forward to welcoming Harpreet to the U of G community and into this important role for the institution.

“I am also so grateful to the selection committee for their dedication to stewarding this search to a successful conclusion.”

Hansra will succeed outgoing general counsel Mary Murphy. Yates said, “As we welcome Harpreet, I want to reiterate my thanks to Mary for her impactful contributions to the U of G community through her 24 years of service and wish her the very best in retirement.”

New U of G general counsel Harpreet Hansra stands in teale shirt with blue blazer, arms crossed, in front of a building outdoors
Harpreet Hansra

A member of the Law Society of Ontario, Hansra was called to the bar in 2010.

With an extensive background in corporate governance, litigation and general legal matters, along with a focus on innovative and effective methods of support, Hansra brings to U of G knowledge and expertise in crisis management, research privacy, intellectual property and contract matters.

“I am honoured to work collaboratively with President Yates and the executive team as a strategic partner in support of the University’s mission and vision to improve life, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead,” Hansra said.

“Not only does the University of Guelph have an excellent academic reputation, but it has also been recognized for its commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and the Indigenization of higher education,” she added.

“Being a first-generation Canadian, working in an environment that prioritizes such values is extremely important for me as a leader, and I am excited to help support the next generation to become conscious global citizens.”

Most recently, Hansra was chief legal and risk officer for the William Osler Health System in Brampton, Ont., where she was a member of the senior leadership team.

She provided information and guidance on corporate governance, legal compliance, litigation and general legal matters, and was responsible for drafting, reviewing and negotiating complex agreements and legal issues during the pandemic.

U of G’s Office of Legal Counsel manages the legal affairs of the University and provides the campus community with legal advice. The Office of Legal Counsel reports to the president and vice-chancellor and works with all members of the senior leadership team.

Earlier, Hansra served as associate director, legal and risk management, for the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning as well as legal counsel at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

A graduate of Queen Mary’s University of London Law School in the U.K., Hansra earlier studied economics with a specialization in international trade and international finance at the University of Waterloo.

She holds several certificates, including enterprise risk management from the University of Toronto as well as the law of emergencies, health law and clinical negligence from Osgoode Hall Law School. Hansra is also a certified information privacy professional in Canada.


Kimberly Moser