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
Gerald Chan (President)
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.
Justin P'ng (Secretary)
Justin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received the Stringer LLP Essay Prize in Labour Law, the BLG Professional Excellence Award, and the Jack Walker QC Award for Excellence in Legal Ethics and Professionalism. As a competitive mooter in law school, Justin was winner of the Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot. Prior to law school, he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with High Distinction from the University of Toronto.
Justin is involved in the Ontario Bar Association Labour and Employment Law Section Executive, where he served as Technology Liaison (2018-19), Secretary (2019-20), and currently serves as CPD Liaison (2020-21).
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.
Peter Choe (VP Internal, 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 (VP External, Awards Committee Co-Chair)
Leonard has presented seminars for the police, hospital nursing staff and Crowns in a variety of areas including domestic violence, sexual assault, hate crime prosecutions and impaired driving. Since 2017, he has been an invited guest speaker at the province-wide Crown School seminars on the topic of expert evidence in drug and alcohol impaired driving prosecutions. He is also the designated Hate Crime prosecutor for Northeastern Ontario.
Leonard is currently seconded to the Director of Crown Operations (North Region) as a member of MAG’s province-wide Drugs and Driving Team tasked with training and advising Crowns and police on the Bill C-46 impaired driving amendments to the Criminal Code.
In the spring of 2016, Leonard was selected by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) of South Korea and the Korean Justice Foundation to participate in an international Writing Project in relation to the law of hearsay. He presented his paper to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in South Korea at a conference held in Seoul in July 2016.
In addition to being a Director for FACL, Leonard sits on the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group and is the former Chair to the City of Greater Sudbury’s Diversity Advisory Panel, where during his tenure, he persuaded City Council to adopt their first ever Diversity Policy to implement across northern Ontario’s largest city.
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.
Emily Lam (Advocacy and Policy Committee Chair)
Emily Lam is a partner at Kastner Law. She is an accomplished litigator and creative problem solver.
Emily is frequently retained to conduct sensitive and high profile investigations for a range of organizations.
In criminal matters, Emily represents both defendants and complainants.
Emily 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 working with one of Canada's greatest criminal lawyers, John Rosen. She was a partner at Rosen Naster LLP and then a founding partner at 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. [/one_half_last]
Carissa Wong (Women's Committee Chair)
Mary Phan (Communication Committee Co-Chair)
Outside of law, Mary is an accomplished martial artist and represented Canada at the 5th World Naginata Championship in 2015 and 2019, culminating in a silver medal finish with the Canadian Women's Team. 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.
Mekhala Chaubal (Communication Committee Co-Chair)
Mekhala is excited to leverage her experience with her interest in media and content production and learn from like-minded and passionate industry professionals. With a background in Creative Writing, Mekhala is well-positioned to understand the dynamic interactions between creativity, business and law. Prior to attending law school, Mekhala worked as a researcher and writer for a Toronto-based non-profit organization focused on promoting awareness among youth, through the use of Internet and Communications Technologies (ICTs). These and other experiences are instrumental in shaping her interests in mentorship and diversity and inclusion.
Outside of law, Mekhala spends her time mentoring students. As a true third culture kid, having lived in six different countries, Mekhala especially enjoys travel and discovering new cultural perspectives.
Maneesha Gupta (Mentorship Committee Chair)
Having worked for a top four Canadian multinational bank advising on data protection, she brings specific knowledge in addressing the concerns posed by emerging technologies and trends, including artificial intelligence and big data. Previously, she clerked for a federal court and worked with cannabis businesses on licensing and trial law.
Maneesha is an active member of the legal profession and regularly advocates for the advancement of women, diversity and inclusion and access to justice. Before joining FACL as Mentorship Chair, Maneesha served as Secretary with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC YP), Director of Political Awareness with the Network of Indian Professionals of North America (NET IP) and 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 (IIFA). In her spare time, she enjoys playing sports, yoga and meditation.
Maneesha completed her undergraduate degree at University of Toronto - Victoria University and is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. She judges various national advocacy competitions and has guest lectured at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Ted Rogers School of Management.
Ron Trac (GTA North Chair)
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.
Tania D’Souza-Culora is a partner in the intellectual property group of Gowling WLG's Toronto office. Specializing in developing and managing global Customs recordal and enforcement /anti-counterfeiting programs tailored to clients’ specific needs, Tania has extensive cross-border project-management skills. As part of her role, Tania manages programs overseeing teams of investigators and lawyers based across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, co-ordinating with various law enforcement agencies as needed.
Tania has assisted her clients with hundreds of enforcement matters, including administrative, criminal and civil cases, with a particular focus on trademark, design, and copyright law. Her legal experience gained in Canada, the UK and Hong Kong involves working with global companies across a wide array of industries, ranging from major international fashion and luxury goods companies to cosmetics, pharmaceutical, sports and tech companies.
Tania helps companies bolster their IP rights portfolios, identify “at risk” products and “proof” these against counterfeiting, and partners with Customs and other enforcement authorities to identify suspicious goods.
Tania is also experienced in trademark prosecution work and global brand strategy.
She is admitted to practice law in England & Wales, and in Ontario, and has published articles in World Trademark Review, Managing Intellectual Property and Copyright World. She is also a member of Gowling WLG's Diversity and Inclusion Council. [/one_half_last]
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 articled as a judicial law clerk to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She 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. She has taught at educational programs for the judiciary, the legal profession, and law enforcement in the areas of cybercrime, digital evidence, expert evidence and search and seizure. Her practice consists of criminal appeals, trials of alleged police and 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). In 2020, she joined as a co-author of Wiretapping and Other Electronic Surveillance: Law and Procedure (Thomson Reuters).
Mabel is committed to mentorship and inclusivity in the profession. At CLO-C, she has mentored summer students, articling students, and new counsel. She is a member of the Inclusion Tank, a committee of administrative staff, counsel and students that identifies, discusses and acts on inclusion and diversity-related issues in the office. Since 2014, Mabel has coached the Osgoode Hall Law School Gale Cup Moot team and participated in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Alumni-Student Mentorship Program. 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.
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).
Andrea received a B. Arch from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Design, in 2002 and a LL.B. from Queen's University in 2005.
Andrea has experience acting on behalf of owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors on all scales of projects throughout Canada in litigation and arbitrations involving liens, trusts, bonds, delay claims and professional negligence. Andrea also provides advice with respect to construction contracts and professional design agreements.
Andrea is a co-founder of the Construction Law course at Queen's University and is an instructor of Construction Law as part of Osgoode's LL.M program. She lectures and speaks at the University of Toronto (Construction Law), George Brown College (Construction), REALPAC, the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates' Society and the Ontario Association of Architects. She has published articles in industry newsletters and co-authored the chapter “Architects and Engineers” in Halsbury’s Laws of Canada, Construction.
Andrea completed her LEED certification in 2009. She is currently one of two CPD Liaisons for the OBA, Construction and Infrastructure Law Section Executive, and is a member at large of the CBA, Construction and Infrastructure Law Section Executive. She also chairs the national CanBIM Legal Committee, and is a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Canadian Association of Women in Construction.
Christina is an Associate at Goodmans LLP. She completed her JD at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and her BMSc and HBA from Western University and Ivey Business School. Christina previously worked as a 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)
for the Trade Law Bureau at Global Affairs Canada. Outside of law, Timothy is a keen follower of global politics and events and enjoys hiking, badminton, and skiing.
Mitchell Lui (Student Director)
Mitchell is currently a summer student at McCarthy Tétrault. He will be entering his final year of law school at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Prior to law school, he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, where he double majored in English and Media Studies.
While in law school, Mitchell has served as a Senior Associate Editor on the Law Review and the Vice-President of the Asia Law Society. He is also a student director on the board of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. This fall, Mitchell will be on exchange at the University of Amsterdam.
Vivian Sy (Student Director)
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. Vivian is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Ryan Chan (Student Director)
Ryan is passionate about his community and is also a working group member of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, consultant for the World Wildlife Fund-Canada, and was the former president of the UofT Asia Law Society.
In his free time, Ryan is an avid scuba diver and boxer, but in light of COVID, he's dedicated more time to improving his gardening, web design and video gaming skills.
Samantha Lo (Student Director)
in Vancouver, BC and attended Queen’s University where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours).
Throughout law school, Samantha was actively involved in the Asian Law Student Society and was 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. Samantha is passionate about inclusion and diversity issues as a young, female professional of Chinese descent and is excited to continue acting on the FACL Board.
Outside of law, she is an avid Toronto Raptors fan and loves to explore new restaurants. Fun Fact: Samantha used to be a competitive gymnast, coach and judge.
Jessica Zhang (Student Director)
her first-year summer at the Calgary office. Jessica is currently pursuing her J.D. at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Prior to starting law school, she received her undergraduate degree in Honors Business Administration from Ivey Business School where she graduated on the Dean’s Honour List. At Osgoode, Jessica is an active participant in the clinical programs acting as a caseworker for both the Osgoode Business Clinic and Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic. She is looking forward to serving as the President of the Osgoode Business Law Association and Vice-President of the Osgoode Women's Network
in her final year. She also hopes to continue to be a mentor for the Asian Law Students Association. Moreover, she is excited to be representing Osgoode as an oralist for the Canadian Competition Law Moot.
Outside of law school, Jessica loves to try new food recipes, baked layered cakes, and attend Pilates classes.