Board of Directors
Mabel Lai is Crown Counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General, Crown Law Office – Criminal. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (Division of Engineering Science – Physics) and Faculty of Law. She clerked for the Court of Appeal for Ontario and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2010. Before joining her current office, she practiced as an Assistant Crown Attorney in Brampton, and briefly as defence counsel in Toronto. Her practice consists of criminal appeals, trials of alleged justice system participant criminality, and advice to law enforcement. She has argued criminal cases at all levels of court in Ontario and at the Supreme Court of Canada. She serves as co-coordinator of the Electronic Surveillance Unit for the Ministry of the Attorney General (Ontario). She received the 2019 FACL Ontario Public Sector Award for significant accomplishments in the practice of law in the public sector, and the 2020 Ontario Crown Attorneys Association Porter-Lucas Award for excellence in the pursuit of justice through science.
Mabel has participated in educational programming for the judiciary, the legal profession, and law enforcement in the areas of cybercrime, digital evidence, and search and seizure. In 2020, she joined as a co-author of Wiretapping and Other Electronic Surveillance: Law and Procedure (Thomson Reuters, loose-leaf). She is also a co-author of Search and Seizure (Emond, 2021), which received the 2021 Walter Owen Book Prize.
Outside of work, Mabel coaches the Osgoode Hall Law School Gale Cup Moot team, volunteers with the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Alumni-Student Mentorship Program, and sits on the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Ethics Board. In 2021, Mabel and her husband adopted an adorable and mildly insubordinate black Labrador Retriever-mix named Willi.
Justin P’ng is a Privacy and Cybersecurity Associate at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP with a broad practice in privacy compliance, data breach incident response, and data governance. He advises organizations on various privacy and cyber matters, including privacy policies and procedures, data protection, privacy impact assessments, incident response planning, and regulatory compliance with privacy laws. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional for Canada (CIPP/C) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Justin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received the BLG Professional Excellence Award, the Jack Walker QC Award for Excellence in Legal Ethics and Professionalism, and the Stringer LLP Essay Prize in Labour Law. As a competitive mooter in law school, Justin was winner of the Julius Alexander Isaac Moot and subsequently coached the Osgoode team from 2020-22. Prior to law school, he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with High Distinction from the University of Toronto.
Justin currently serves as Secretary for FACL Ontario. He is also a Fellow and Vice-President at the Internet Law and Policy Foundry, a collaborative organization for Internet and technology law and policy professionals.
Maneesha Gupta works as Legal Counsel (Wealth) at TD Bank. She is the Founder of Mindful Lawyer Canada, a peer-to-peer mindfulness and wellness solution for legal professionals. Maneesha was recently named as a TEDx Speaker, Canada's Top 30 Under 30 Changemakers (2021), Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada (2021) by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and a Dean’s Gold Key “One-to-Watch” (2022) recipient by Osgoode Hall Law School.
She serves as Vice-President of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers – Ontario and Council Member of the Ontario Bar Association. Before joining FACL , Maneesha founded a local chapter of the United Nations Development Program, a grassroots economic development organization. She has represented the City of Toronto as the official hostess of the International Indian Film Awards.
Maneesha earned her Juris Doctor degree at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. Maneesha is a speaker and has given lectures at universities and colleges across Ontario and presented in panel events at the Law Society of Ontario and Toronto Region Board of Trade.
Samantha is an incoming Associate in the Commercial Real Estate Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (Toronto office), where she also completed her articles.
After two terms as a Student Director on the FACL Ontario Board, Samantha is excited to continue as a Full Director, dedicating her efforts to the FACL Ottawa Committee to organize programs for legal professionals in Ottawa.
Samantha completed her J.D. at the University of Ottawa, which is why she is passionate about servicing the community of her alma mater. While at the University of Ottawa, she was actively involved in the Asian Law Student Society, acting as the Co-President in the 2019-2020 academic year. She was also a Peer Wellness Mentor to first-year students and a Research Assistant in the study of data science and law.
Prior to law school, Samantha grew up in Vancouver, BC and attended Queen’s University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours). Outside of law, she is an avid NBA fan and loves to explore new restaurants. Fun Fact: Samantha used to be a competitive gymnast, coach and judge.
Alexis Eun Young Choi
Alexis Eun Young Choi is a Legal Counsel at Hydro One Networks Inc., with a broad practice in securities law and corporate finance, as well as real estate law. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and obtained her MA and BA from the University of Toronto. Prior to law school, Alexis worked in project management at a regulatory body for physiotherapists, where she spearheaded national and provincial projects.
Alexis is an enthusiastic advocate for mentorship, access to justice, and equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She has been active as a member of FACL Ontario’s Mentorship Committee and in mentoring law students of diverse backgrounds. During law school, she worked for Pro Bono Students Canada as a National Student Coordinator and a Program Coordinator at the Osgoode chapter. Alexis is an aspiring Toronto Raptors’ season ticket holder, who enjoys keeping up with legal innovations and disruptive technologies.
Communications Committee Chair
David Spence is an Assistant Crown Attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto. His practice focuses on criminal and constitutional law matters. Prior to joining the Crown Attorney’s Office, David was a litigator at Stikeman Elliott LLP where he practiced commercial litigation with an emphasis on complex contract disputes, class actions, securities litigation, shareholder disputes and product liability. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario as well as various domestic and international arbitration panels.
David volunteers regularly at The 519 Legal Clinic supporting 2SLGBTQ+ communities and with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, a national youth program administered by the Canadian Armed Forces. In addition to his volunteer work, David teaches trial advocacy in the Ryerson Law Practice Program and coaches the OJEN Mock Trial competition for high school students.
Community Outreach Committee Chair
Melissa Chan is counsel at Castle Law Professional Corporation with a broad practice in civil litigation. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and was called to the Ontario bar in 2015.
Melissa has previously worked in personal injury law, advocating exclusively for plaintiffs, and is passionate about access to justice and social justice issues.
At FACL Ontario, she serves as Chair of the Community Outreach Committee where she works to improve access to justice for Asian minorities.
GTA North Chair
Ronald Trac is the Principal and Founder of Ronald Trac Law, a law firm in Toronto specializing in the areas of corporate/commercial and real estate law. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs, in both start-up and mid-size companies, and helping them solve the legal issues that their businesses may encounter.
Ron has been a FACL member for several years and currently chairs FACL’s GTA North Committee, and is an active member of the Community Outreach Committee (COC). Ron’s goal with the GTA North Committee is to expand FACL’s outreach to lawyers outside the downtown Toronto core, as well as small firm lawyers and solo practitioners. The GTA North Committee hosts several events throughout the year, covering a variety of topics in order to bring together lawyers in different parts of the GTA.
Over the past few years, on behalf of the FACL COC and in partnership with Mon Sheong Foundation, Ron has also helped host several public legal education seminars in Cantonese on the topics of Wills and Estates, and CPP/OAS benefits, with a goal of improving legal knowledge and access to justice for Asian minority groups.
Hillson Tse is a criminal and regulatory defence lawyer at RGZ Law in Toronto. In addition to a criminal trial practice focusing on impaired driving and assault offences, he also represents students in university academic misconduct hearings. Hillson has defended clients in trial courts across Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba on charges ranging from homicide to corporate fraud.
Hillson is a Director for the Hong Fook Mental Health Association which provides culturally competent care to Asian and Southeast-Asian communities in Toronto. He is an active member of the Criminal Lawyers' Association (CLA) and organized professional development events for new criminal lawyers and law students.
Hillson credits his ongoing legal progression to strong mentorship that started in law school and remains active in mentorship activities through organizations like FACL, the First-Generation Network, and the CLA. He also coaches the OJEN Mock Trial competition for high school students.
When not working, Hillson enjoys spending time with his cat and wife.
Ottawa Committee (Co-Chair)
Jennifer Ho is an Associate Lawyer with Kimberley A. Pegg, Barristers, specializing in criminal defence and child protection litigation. Jennifer regularly appears in the Ontario Court of Justice and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Jennifer previously articled at a small full-service firm in Ottawa, focusing on criminal law, civil litigation and family law. She has also previously interned for the Department of Justice – War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Section, the Ontario Court of Justice, and a leading sole practitioner in criminal defence.
Prior to her career in law, Jennifer received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Ottawa where she worked in comparative physiology and stem cell research. She also holds an Associate Diploma from the Trinity College of London in Recital in Solo Piano and taught private piano lessons for 13 years.
Jennifer is the Co-Chair of the FACL Ottawa Committee.
Women’s Committee Chair
Carissa Wong is an international environmental lawyer with expertise in alternative dispute resolution and the intersection of equity and the environment. She assists First Nations in facilitated discussions supporting land claim negotiations in northern Canada. She has published and spoken extensively on water resources and Indigenous customary law, and is contributing author to the book “Children’s Rights and the Environment” published by Cambridge University Press. In addition to being an Executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections, she is an Advisor to the ground-breaking initiative, Diversity in Sustainability.
As a Director of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) in Ontario, she is founding Chair of its Women’s Committee and was named an Emerging Leader at the Action Chinese Canadians Together Summit in 2019. She greatly appreciates the work of those who have gone before her in promoting equity, justice, and opportunity for the Asian-Canadian community, and in her last term as Director is eager to continue leading FACL’s Women’s Committee and supporting the Board in its important work. You can learn more about her: https://www.carissawong.ca.
Jack Yu is a Partner at Fasken and is engaged in a broad corporate/commercial practice. With a focus on private mergers and acquisitions, Jack advises clients on a variety of transactions, including acquisitions and disposals, private equity transactions, corporate finance and commercial agreements.
A member of the firm’s Asia-Pacific group and China subgroup, Jack regularly travels to China and is actively involved in the Asian legal community in Canada. He is often relied on by Chinese clients both from overseas and in Canada for legal advice and day-to-day legal issues. Jack also has experience in the foreign investments review process in Canada.
A graduate of the University of Windsor, while completing his law degree Jack was the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Prior to attending law school Jack earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and philosophy from the University of Toronto.
Jack is fluent in Mandarin.
Daniel is a partner at WeirFoulds LLP and the chair of its Employment Law Group. He advises employers on all aspects of employment and labour relations including employee hiring and terminations, employment standards compliance, unfair practice and human rights complaints and the development and execution of initiatives and policies. He represents employers before the courts on wrongful dismissal and provincial offence matters, and before various administrative tribunals on rights arbitration, employment standards issues, human rights complaints, occupational health and safety investigations and workers’ compensation appeals. Prior to joining WeirFoulds, Daniel articled and practiced at a large management-side boutique firm, and then was Employment Counsel and Privacy Manager at a national food service corporation before returning to private practice at a large national business law firm. He is a presenter at conferences and training seminars and the author of over 30 articles and publications, and has also delivered guest lectures at York University in the areas of employment and labour law.
Daniel is recognized as a leading practitioner in labour and employment law by Best Lawyers in Canada.
Daniel was a board member of the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care from 2011 to 2020, where he assumed various leadership roles on the board and its various committees including Chair of the Social Enterprise Committee (2013-2015), Vice Chair of the Board (2015-2018) and Chair of the Governance Committee (2016-2018).
Daniel is a graduate of Queen’s University’s schools of Business (Comm’97), Policy Studies (MIR’98) and Law (’01).
Kenneth Yau-Wing Jim
Kenneth Yau-Wing Jim graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honours BA in History with a second concentration in Criminology in 2004. He then graduated from the University of Windsor’s Law School in 2007. Throughout his university career, Kenneth was heavily involved with volunteering and student associations.
Kenneth articled with the union-side labour firm of Jewitt McLuckie and was called to the bar in 2008. Since his call, Kenneth has practiced criminal defence exclusively.
Since 2009, Kenneth has been a staff lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario. Since 2010, his practice has been dedicated to criminal trials and appeals. He has defended charges ranging from theft under to first degree murder. He specializes in cases involving Charter violations and bringing applications to exclude evidence or to stay proceedings. He has appeared before all levels of trial and appeal court in Ontario, including the Ontario Review Board.
He is currently Senior Criminal Counsel for the GTA, in the Senior Counsel Program at Legal Aid Ontario. Kenneth is also the office’s assigned mentor and principal for students, and over the years, has mentored over 50 summer and articling students. He also mentors younger members of the bar seeking trial experience.
Kenneth dedicates a lot of time to the community, and legal profession. He is a volunteer in LSO’s articling mentor program, a tutor for the barrister exam, and provides advice to other lawyers through the Coach and Advisor Network. He is also an active member of the Criminal Lawyers Association.
He is the current president of the Association of Chinese Canadian Lawyers of Ontario, and sits on the board of directors for Coral Place (non-profit housing), PLASP (Peel Lunch and After School Program), St. Teresa of Avila Parent and School Council, and FACL’s Policy and Advocacy Committee. In the past, he sat on the board of directors for Yee Hong Geriatric Centre (Human Resources sub-committee), and Mississauga Community Legal Services.
He also volunteers extensively with the Ontario Justice Education Network, and has coached high school students for mock bail and trial tournaments. His one team from Gordon Graydon Secondary became the first school to capture both bail and trial championship titles in the same school year. Kenneth is also a mentor through First Generation Network, Ryerson Law School’s mentorship program, and taught trial advocacy in the Ryerson LPP program.
Kenneth’s interests include collecting vintage shoes, homage watched, wok cooking, and using charcoal to burn his food.
Jessica Zhang is an incoming Securities Associate at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She completed her J.D. at Osgoode Hall Law School where she was awarded the Dean’s Gold Key for student leadership and involvement. Prior to law school, she received her undergraduate degree from Ivey Business School.
At Osgoode, Jessica was the President of the Osgoode Business Law Society and the Vice-President of the Osgoode Women’s Network. She was also involved as a caseworker for the Investor Protection Clinic and Osgoode Business Clinic. In her last year, Jessica participated in the Advanced Business Law Workshop on Mergers & Acquisitions. She also served as a mentor for various student organizations including the Asian Law Students Association.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys spinning, cooking, and watching (too much) reality TV.
Veenu Goswami attended the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2018. His professional experience in law consists of a summer student position at a civil litigation boutique, clerkships at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, and his current position as Crown counsel at the Crown Law Office – Criminal. He has served as a member of FACL’s Mentorship Committee and Awards Committee.
Me-Hae Hur is Crown Counsel to the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, with the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery and the Ministry of Infrastructure. Me-Hae has experience working in various levels of government, ministries, and agencies as both a litigator and solicitor, including with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, the Government of Nunavut, the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and with Legal Aid Ontario.
Outside of work, Me-Hae is completing a Master of Laws, LLM, with Osgoode Hall Law School, and enjoys volunteering her time to contribute to the community. She is a board member of several organizations, including the Korean Legal Clinic, the Association of Law Officers of the Crown, as well as Vice-Chair and incoming Chair of the OBA’s Public Sector Lawyers Section, and a member of FACL’s Women’s Committee among others. Recently, Me-Hae was nominated and shortlisted for the 2022 Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers within the Government/ Non-Profit/ Associations category and received FACL Ontario's 2022 Public Sector Lawyer Award.
Ryan Chan is a passionate (social) advocate who received his JD from UofT Law. Ryan is a project lead at the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice and will be joining Corman Feiner LLP as an associate in September, 2022.
Ryan is a frequent public speaker that has been featured in various media outlets including CBC, the Globe & Mail and the Toronto Star.
In his free time, Ryan is an avid scuba diver and is very proud to have received his G2 driver’s license this past year.
Teresa Li is an articling student at Fasken, and a recent graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Prior to law school, she received a Bachelor of Applied Science in civil engineering with honours from the University of Toronto. She previously worked as an Engineering Assistant at the Regional Municipality of York, assisting with a variety of road projects.. Fluent in Mandarin, she has interned at local law firms in China and Canada. As a first-generation immigrant from China, Teresa hopes to continue leveraging her bilingual and bicultural background in her legal career.
At law school, Teresa was an editor of the Journal of Law and Equality, a faculty research assistant, and a peer mentor. She is deeply passionate about advancing diversity initiatives. During her time as an executive member of the Asia Law Society, a member of FACL’s mentorship committee, and a student director of FACL, she has organized many events that promote diversity and inclusion, and create opportunities for future legal professionals.
In her spare time, she enjoys playing the violin, running, and trying out new recipes. Teresa used to be a figure skating national medalist and has coached and mentored young skaters.
Annecy received her J.D. from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, where she received the Students’ Law Society Upper Year Mentorship award for her dedication. She will be articling at Polley Faith LLP. Prior to law school, Annecy completed her Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours) at McMaster University.
At U of T, Annecy was the co-president of Asia Law Society and the co-Editor-in-Chief of Ultra Vires, the Faculty’s student newspaper. She also mentored first-year students through the Peer Mentorship Program and led the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights’ student working group on facial recognition technology.
In her free time, Annecy is an avid baker, cat parent, and travel enthusiast.
Nicky Yujeong Kim
Nicky Kim graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2021 and will be articling at DLA Piper LLP. Prior to law school, she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development with a minor in Politics, Law, Society at McGill University.
While in law school, Nicky served as the Co-President of the Osgoode Peer Support Centre and the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Osgoode Women’s Network. Passionate about social justice and equity issues, she pursued these interests by working as a Student Caseworker at the Parkdale Community Legal Services and as a summer student at Stockwoods LLP. She recently graduated with the Student Honours Award in recognition for her contributions to the Osgoode student community.
Outside of law, Nicky enjoys hot yoga, spicy food, and anime.
Sophie is an incoming 3L at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a summer student at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Sophie completed her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering with High Honours at the University of Toronto. She had a wide range of professional experience across industries such as manufacturing, food and beverage, energy, and not-for-profit.
At law school, Sophie is a dedicated peer mentor and recently received the Students’ Law Society Upper-Year Mentorship Award. She will lead the social activities for 1L Orientation 2022 and co-direct Law Follies, the U of T's premier (and only) revue.
In her free time, Sophie enjoys exploring new restaurants, watching musicals, and playing badminton.
Gabby Aquino is a Filipina settler who currently lives, loves and learns in what is now Scarborough within the Williams Treaty Territories, and Tkaronto, part of Treaty 13, on stolen Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat lands. She is a sister, daughter and granddaughter who is interested and committed to un/learning how to build and sustain other futures in which everyone and everything is cared for, in all her personal, professional and other capacities.
Gabby is a recent graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, a York U alum with an undergraduate and graduate background in social sciences, and exists in different grassroots spaces. She will be articling at a non-profit that advocates for systemic, transformative justice in the youth criminal punishment system, and aspires to leverage her positionality as a practitioner in the Canadian common law system together with all her other roles to build and sustain otherwise futures, in deep relationship and under the leadership of all those directly impacted.
She is grateful and indebted to all the people, places and things who have come before her, will come after her, and are with her now for continuing to help her in learning how to achieve all this.
Kate is a rising 2L at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law and the incoming Co-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Law Students’ Association. She is currently summering in Financial Inclusion & Banking Products (ESG) at Laurentian Bank and has previously co-oped at Grant Thornton LLP in assurance, tax, and consulting.
Before law school she graduated with her Bachelor of Commerce Cooperative Education in Finance from Dalhousie University, earned her CSC®, and studied abroad at the National University of Singapore. During the year, she is involved with Pro Bono Ontario, Law Games, Jeux Du Commerce Central, the Lincoln Alexander Mooting Society, and works part-time at Local Investment Solutions. In her free time, Kate loves backpacking, running, climbing, taking care of her plants, and baking.
Kate has sat on Boards of Directors in the past and is excited to help direct the events and engagement of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Ontario as a Student Director.