Board of Directors
FACL Ontario's Board brings together exceptional individuals with a diversity of perspectives and experience, coupled with a shared commitment to the organization’s mission.
Board of Directors
Brendan Wong (Co-President, Past President)
Brendan has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, as well as the Federal Court (Trial Division) the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Barbados Supreme Court. Brendan has also appeared before tribunals and arbitrators. Brendan was a director of Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Centres between 2011 and 2015, chairing the board between 2012 and 2014. Brendan was a director and Vice-President of FACL between June 2013 and June 2015, and has been a director, past president and current Co-President of FACL (Ontario). Brendan received his B.Sc from McGill University (2001), his LL.B. from Dalhouse University (2004) and his LL.M. from the University of Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College (2010).
Gerald Chan (Co-President, VP External - Public)
Gerald is a partner at Stockwoods LLP where he practices criminal, constitutional and regulatory litigation.
Gerald has been counsel in 19 cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, including five cases on digital privacy, a Securities Act prosecution, and a Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act prosecution. He is also a member of the Ontario Inmate Appeal Duty Counsel Program (a roster of criminal lawyers who argue appeals in the Court of Appeal for the indigent).
Gerald has been recognized as a leading practitioner in public law litigation by Best Lawyers in Canada, Benchmark Litigation, and Lexpert. In 2012, he was awarded the Osgoode Alumni Gold Key in the “One to Watch” category. In the same year, he was recognized by Precedent Magazine as a Precedent Setter.
Gerald is co-editor of For the Defence; associate editor of the Canadian Rights Reporter; and co-author of Sentencing, 9th ed. (LexisNexis, 2017).
Gerald graduated as Gold Medallist from Osgoode Hall Law School and clerked for Justice Abella at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Melissa Chan (Secretary and Community Outreach Committee Chair)
Throughout her career, Melissa has worked exclusively in plaintiff personal injury law and has been successful in achieving exceptional results for her clients through litigation and advocacy. Melissa is appreciated by her clients as she ensures that each is served with the utmost respect, care and consideration.
Melissa is a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL). At FACL, she serves on the Community Outreach Committee where she works to improve access to justice for Asian minorities.
Jack Yu (Treasurer)
Jack Yu is an Associate 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.
Michelle Seto (VP External - Private)
Tushara Weerasoriya (Governance Chair)
After practicing law at McMillan for 8 years, Tushara took a brief sabbatical in 2013 to travel the world, learn new skills and to rejuvenate. She followed her sabbatical with a year-long engagement as in-house derivatives counsel at a prominent financial institution. Tushara rejoined McMillan at the end of 2015 energized and excited to return to the restructuring practice.
Her practice involves all aspects of insolvency law including reorganizations, bankruptcies, receiverships, workouts, the purchase and sale of distressed businesses, lending transactions and DIP financing.
Recent examples of Tushara’s work include: acting for a major Canadian financial institution in the recovery of a $100 million swap claim from a foreign bank in liquidation, acting for a Canadian public oil and gas company, with properties in South America, the Caribbean, India and South Asia, in the out-of-court restructuring of ~$400 million of debt and acting for a British private equity firm in the acquisition of mining assets in northern Ontario.
Tushara is an active promoter of diversity initiatives both inside and outside of the firm. In particular, she is a dedicated advocate for the advancement of women and visible minorities in the legal field.
Vivian Li (Events Chair)
Vivian has been volunteering for FACL since 2013 and has participated in planning the annual FACL conference, planning networking events, and acting as event photographer. In her spare time she is also a volunteer at the Pro Bono Corporate Law Clinic and teaches
aerobics classes at LA Fitness.
Peter Choe (Awards Committee Co-Chair)
a co-leader of Gowlings' firm-wide Intellectual Property Litigation Group. Peter has expertise in patent, trademark, copyright and industrial design litigation.
Peter has appeared before the trial and appellant levels of the Federal and the Ontario Courts. His experience covers a variety of technologies and industries, including computer software, wireless hardware, electrical appliances, pharmaceuticals, financial services, automotive parts and related manufacturing processes.
Prior to joining Gowlings, Peter worked as a design engineer in the area of cryogenics and bio- magnetic imaging equipment. He has also worked in Seoul in the intellectual property department of South Korea's largest law firm and in the legal department of an advanced technology company.
Peter is a frequent lecturer on intellectual property topics, and has taught advanced IP classes at the University of Western Ontario Law School, and has served on the University of Toronto Faculty of Law’s Working Group in Intellectual Property.
Peter is a fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, where he serves on the Litigation Committee, and was a founding director of the Korean-Canadian Lawyers Association.
Leonard Kim (Awards Committee Co-Chair)
Emily Lam (Advocacy and Policy Committee Chair)
Emily Lam is an accomplished litigator and creative problem solver. Having worked on dozens of high profile cases including police corruption, white collar crimes and homicide. Emily has unparalleled experience. She is a skilled negotiator, frequently persuading prosecutors to withdraw serious charges and resolve cases in her clients' favour without a trial.
Emily spent nearly a decade with one of Canada's greatest criminal lawyers, John Rosen. She was a partner at Rosen Naster LLP before partnering with Jessyca Greenwood to create Greenwood Lam LLP.
Emily received her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, where she was awarded the Ronald Robertson Q.C. Memorial Tax Prize. Before law school, Emily received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Philosophy from the University of Toronto.
Carissa Wong (Women's Committee Chair)
Mary Phan (Communication Committee Chair)
Outside of law, Mary is an accomplished martial artist and represented Canada at the 5th World Naginata Championship in 2015. Mary continues to compete and practice regularly, and regularly places in competitions. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, playing video games and travel. As one of the few FACL directors with a technology background, Mary is the current Communications Committee Chair.
Maneesha Gupta (Mentorship Committee Chair)
Maneesha Gupta is a Commercial IP Technology lawyer practicing in all aspects of intellectual property law with an emphasis on complex patent and trade-mark litigation.
Having worked for a top five Canadian multinational bank advising on data security and protection, she brings specific knowledge in addressing the unique concerns posed by emerging technologies and trends, including artificial intelligence and big data. She has also gained knowledge in a variety of regulatory, commercial and intellectual property matters while articling at a global law firm.
Maneesha completed her undergraduate degree at University of Toronto - Victoria University and is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. She has clerked for a federal court and worked with cannabis businesses on licensing and trial law.
Maneesha judges a variety of national advocacy competitions in Canada. Before joining FACL as Mentorship Chair, Maneesha served as Secretary and Director with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC YP) and Network of Indian Professionals of North America (NET IP). She has represented the City of Toronto as an awards presenter and official hostess of the International Indian Film Awards (IIFA).
Ron Trac (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 is an active member of the Community Outreach Committee (COC). Recently, on behalf of the FACL COC and in partnership with Mon Sheong Foundation, Ron helped host two public legal education seminars on the topics of Wills and Estates, and CPP/OAS benefits. He is also part of the FACL GTA North initiative and is actively looking to expand FACL’s membership in the small firm/solo practitioner community. As part of this initiative, Ron has hosted several events last year and this year on behalf of FACL to bring together small firm lawyers and solo practitioners in the GTA.
Justin P'ng (Student Director, Board Logistics and Law School Chapter Chair)
enjoys karate, Ultimate Frisbee, film and television, and reading about current and international affairs.
Michael Xia (Student Director)
& Vineberg LLP in Toronto. While at law school, he is an executive member of the Business Law Society and a volunteer caseworker with the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario (Downtown Legal Services).
Prior to law school Michael completed a Bachelor of Commerce in finance & economics at the University of Toronto, and spent summers working in corporate banking and asset management.
Christina Liao (Student Director)
Christina recently completed her JD at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She will be articling at Goodmans LLP in 2018-2019, where she previously summered. She also previously worked as a Corporate Summer Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York City. In law school, Christina was highly involved in the Students’ Law Society, where she served as Vice President of Social Affairs. Throughout her post-secondary education, Christina was a dedicated Varsity figure skater, winning six Ontario championship titles with her teammates. She looks forward to bringing her passion, enthusiasm and initiative to FACL.
Timothy Law (Student Director)
Timothy is a 2nd year law student at Osgoode Hall Law School (JD 2020). He previously completed an Honours Bachelors with High Distinction at the University of Toronto in 2017 graduating with majors in International Relations and Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies. Timothy has interests in commercial and international law, specifically in regards to international labour and trade law. At Osgoode, Timothy has been involved in a number of programs and organizations. He previously served as a Caseworker with the Community Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP), dealing specifically with Administrative Law cases involving disability claims, landlord-tenant disputes, and criminal injury compensation. Currently, Timothy serves as an executive member of the Asian Law Students Association, specifically acting as the Communications Director whom leases with other likeminded student groups and leads all promotional campaigns for ALSA related events. Furthermore, Timothy is enrolled in Osgoode’s competitive International and Transnational Law Intensive Program (ITLIP), where he will be working with an overseas organization on varying aspects of international and transnational law. Timothy has worked with a variety of organizations including but not limited to The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Mosaic Institute, The Blnk Page and the University of Toronto Student’s Union (UTSU).
Mitchell Lui (Student Director)
Mitchell Lui is a JD student at the University of Toronto. He is currently working as a research assistant to Professor Simon Stern and to Provost Mayo Moran. While at law school, he has served as an associate editor for the Law Review and has also been heavily involved with the Asian Canadian community. Mitchell began volunteering with FACL through his Pro Bono Students Canada placement in Fall 2017. He has prepared seminar materials for the Community Outreach Committee’s Public Legal Education initiative and has volunteered at other events like the New Year Kick-Off social. As a leader of the Asia Law Society at the University of Toronto, he also sat on the Planning Committee for the 14th Annual Asian Canadian Law Students Conference. Prior to law school, Mitchell graduated early from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Media Studies. He has previously worked as an English tutor at UC Berkeley and an education consultant in Hong Kong, assisting college students in sharpening their writing skills and guiding high school students through the university application process.
Vivian Sy (Student Director)
Vivian is a 2L student at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Vivian has a strong interest in corporate law with a Financial Services, Technology and M&A focus. She is currently a Legal Intern at Wealthsimple Inc. Vivian is passionate about advancing diversity initiatives and has organized various events through FACL's Mentorship and Community Outreach Committees. Prior to law school, Vivian was a management consultant and auditor. She completed her Masters of Accounting and Bachelors of Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Waterloo.
Jennifer Ho (Student Director)
Jennifer Ho is entering her third year at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. She is a first generation Vietnamese Canadian, and the first of her family to study law. Her family is a priority for her, and their journey to Canada has helped shape her worldview. Both her parents received scholarships from the South Vietnamese government to study in Tokyo, Japan. After they finished their studies, they emigrated to Canada, where they sponsored both sides of her family to come to North America, believing that there would be better opportunities here. She truly believes that her parents made the right decision and she is always grateful to them for their sacrifices.
Before law school, she completed an Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at the University of Ottawa. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she alternated between study and work terms, and worked for the federal government, private industry, and research labs. In her last year of undergraduate studies, she made the decision to go to law school and has never looked back. She participated in a wide range of extracurricular activities throughout law school, including as Vice President Events of the Asian Law Students’ Society and current President for the 2018-2019 academic year. She currently is summering at a small, full-service firm in Ottawa, where she will complete her articles following her third year of studies. Her practice interests are in civil and criminal litigation. In her spare time, she teaches private piano lessons, learns languages (beginner Spanish and Portuguese when possible), and dreams about her next travel destination.