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

Peter Choe (President)

Peter Choe-min

Peter Choe is a partner and intellectual property litigator, having served in various firm leadership roles, including as the head of the IP department in Gowlings’ Toronto office and as 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. 

Justin P’ng (Secretary)

Justin P’ng is a Privacy and Cybersecurity Associate at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP with a broad practice in privacy compliance, data breach incidents, and privacy litigation. He previously practiced in labour, employment, and human rights law, and advised unionized and non-unionized employers in the provincial and federal sector on various workplace matters.

Justin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received numerous awards for academic and professional excellence. As a competitive mooter in law school, Justin was winner of the Julius Alexander Isaac Moot, and currently coaches the Osgoode team. 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 with Ascend Canada and 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 (2020-22).

 

Vivian Sy (Treasurer)

Vivian Sy is an Associate in the Business Law Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. She maintains a general practice advising on a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions.

Vivian received her JD from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Prior to her legal education, Vivian obtained her Master of Accounting and Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management degrees from the University of Waterloo.

Prior to attending law school, Vivian was an auditor for several years at Deloitte LLP in the Financial Institutions industry group. Her client portfolio included banks, private equity funds and insurance companies in Canada and US. Subsequent to her career as an auditor, Vivian transitioned into her role as a management consultant in the Financial Services Consulting Group at PwC LLP. In this role, Vivian helped various banks, credit unions and financial regulators in numerous strategic and operational initiatives. While at PwC, Vivian was also a subject matter expert in the Financial Risk Management group where she provided derivatives and hedging advisory services.

Vivian was called to the bar in 2021 and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.

 
Jack Yu

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.

Mabel Lai (VP Internal and Advocacy & Policy Committee Co-Chair)

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). She is a co-author of Search and Seizure (Emond, 2021). In 2020, she joined as a co-author of Wiretapping and Other Electronic Surveillance: Law and Procedure (Thomson Reuters, loose-leaf).

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.

 
Leonard Kim (VP External)

Leonard Kim-min

Leonard Kim articled with the Sudbury Crown Attorney’s Office in 2004 and was called to the Ontario bar in 2005. His experience includes prosecutions of homicides, sexual assaults, home invasions, justice prosecutions, hate crimes and complex impaired driving matters including expert evidence.

He is currently seconded to the Office of the Director of Crown Operations (North Region) as part of a province-wide team tasked with advising Crowns and police on impaired driving law and legislative amendments to the Criminal Code in Bill C-46. Leonard is also responsible for litigating constitutional challenges and advises the Director of Crown Operations on all impaired driving matters of regional and provincial significance.

He provides training for various police services and Crowns on the topic of Charter litigation, legislative amendments and blood sample seizures in impaired driving cases to ensure compliance with the Charter. He is a regular speaker at the annual Law Society’s Over 80 symposium and province-wide Crown conferences and seminars.

Leonard is the regional hate propaganda expert as part of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Hate Crime Working Group. In this capacity, he advises the police and Crowns on the viability of charges related to the Wilful Promotion of Hatred, Advocating Genocide and hate-motivated criminal offences. Leonard has presented to his fellow Crowns on the topics of anti-Black and anti-Asian racism and is co-leading a podcast series focusing on anti-Asian racism in Canada both historically and more recently in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leonard also sits on the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group, the Ontario Crown Attorneys Association’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion 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 throughout the City.

Melissa Chan (Community Outreach Committee Chair)

Melissa Chan-min

Melissa completed her undergraduate degree in psychology, political science and sociology at the University of Toronto. She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and was called to the Ontario bar in 2015.

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.

 

Carissa Wong (Women’s Committee Chair)

Carissa Wong-minCarissa 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.

 
Mary Phan (Communications Committee Co-Chair)

Mary Phan-min

Mary Phan was called to the bar in 2014, and is currently Counsel at the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee in Toronto. She practices primarily in estates and guardianship law and represents the Public Guardian and Trustee before various courts and tribunals on behalf of incapable persons. She previously worked for two years with the Community Legal Clinic – Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes as a Staff Lawyer, where she practiced primarily administrative law in the areas of housing and social assistance. Mary articled as a prosecutor with the Ministry of Transportation.

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.

 

 

Maneesha Gupta (Awards Committee)

Maneesha Gupta is an Intellectual Property and Technology lawyer. Her practice focuses on brand protection and enforcement, which includes all aspects of patents, trademarks and copyrights; commercializing innovations including outsourcing transactions, licensing and privacy; and regulatory considerations related to artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

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 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 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.

Maneesha is a frequent speaker and writer on technology and intellectual property law.

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 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.

David Spence (Communications Committee Co-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 as co-counsel at all levels of court in Ontario as well as various domestic and international arbitration panels.

 

 

 

 

Hillson Tse (Mentorship Committee)

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 at all levels of trial court in Ontario and Manitoba on charges ranging from criminal negligence causing death to simple theft.

Hillson is a current 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 organizes 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 to this day, continues to both seek and provide mentorship whenever possible. He mentors through FACL, the First-Generation Network, the CLA, and also coaches the OJEN Mock Trial competition for high school students.

When not working, Hillson enjoys spending time with his cat and wife (the order not being indicative of importance) and experimenting in the kitchen.

Tania D’Souza-Culora

Tania is an intellectual property law partner in Gowlings’ Toronto office, with over 18 years of private-practice experience.  She specialises in developing and managing tailored global anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy programs for clients across an array of industries ranging from major international fashion and luxury goods companies to cosmetics, household goods, pharmaceutical and tech companies.  She is lead client contact on numerous administrative, criminal and civil enforcement matters, with a particular focus on trademark, copyright and design infringement, working with counsel across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Her extensive cross-border project-management skills and understanding of the global enforcement landscape informs the strategic guidance she provides her clients, helping them determine the jurisdictions in which to focus their anti-counterfeiting/anti-piracy efforts.  Tania also advises on global branding strategy, as well as helping oversee IP program investigations, with an eye to ensuring lawful evidence-gathering and admissibility of evidence.

She is dual qualified, being admitted to practice in Canada (Ontario Bar) and England & Wales.

Tania has also been involved with EDI initiatives over the last few years and until recently, co-chaired her firm’s local office EDI Committee.

Daniel Wong

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).

Jennifer Ho

Jennifer was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2020 after completing her articles at Chiarelli Cramer Witteveen LLP, a boutique full-service firm in Ottawa. Her practice interests are in civil litigation and criminal defence. She is a first-generation Vietnamese Canadian and the first of her family to study law and become a lawyer. Jennifer has previously served as a Student Director with the FACL Ontario Board from 2018-2020. Prior to joining FACL, she was the President and Vice President Events of the Asian Law Students’ Society at the University of Ottawa, where she was also a Teaching Assistant for a first-year introductory course on public and constitutional law, as well as a legal writing mentor.  Outside of her legal interests, Jennifer spends her spare time teaching private piano lessons and learning the odd word or two in Spanish and Portuguese.

 

 

 

Samantha Lo

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.

Christina Liao

Christina is a corporate associate at Goodmans LLP. Christina advises issuers and investors in public transactions, including initial public offerings and qualifying transactions. She acts for corporations and investors on various merger and acquisition transactions, including cross-border transactions. Christina regularly assists reporting issuers with public disclosure and security law requirements, as well as various clients with corporate reorganizations and corporate law requirements.

Christina completed her JD with honours 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.

Timothy Law (Student Director)

Timothy Law graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2020 and will be articling with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. Prior to law school, he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations and Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies at the University of Toronto, where he was the recipient of a number of awards and scholarships.
 
While in law school, Timothy served as an Executive Member of the Asian Law Students Association, a member of Osgoode’s Oxford-Price Media Law moot team, and a Dean’s Fellow for the first-year introductory course on Contracts Law. He also has experience working for CLASP and as an intern
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.
 
 
 
 
 
Jessica Zhang (Student Director)

Jessica Zhang is currently a second-year summer student at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She completed
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.

Teresa Li (Student Director)

Teresa Li is an incoming 3L at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and a summer student at Fasken. 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, where she developed experience in various aspects of road capital projects. Fluent in Mandarin, she has interned at local law firms in China and Canada, focusing on business and immigration law. Teresa hopes to continue leveraging her bilingual and bicultural background in her legal career.

At law school, Teresa is a senior editor of the Journal of Law and Equality, a faculty research assistant, and a peer mentor for first-year law students. She is deeply passionate about advancing diversity initiatives. As an executive member of the Asia Law Society, and a member of FACL’s mentorship committee, 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.

Annecy Pang (Student Director)

Annecy is entering her final year at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, and is currently a summer student at Polley Faith LLP. During her 1L summer, she interned at PEN Canada, where she researched the impact of algorithms on freedom of expression. Prior to law school, Annecy completed her Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours) at McMaster University.

Annecy is actively involved in her community and received the Students’ Law Society Upper Year Mentorship award for her dedication. She was the former co-president of the University of Toronto’s Asia Law Society and is the co-Editor-in-Chief of Ultra Vires, the Faculty’s student newspaper. She looks forward to bringing her passion to FACL.

In her free time, Annecy is an avid baker, cat parent, and travel enthusiast.

Nicky Yujeong Kim (Student Director)

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 Fu (Student Director)

Sophie is currently a second-year law student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. This summer, she is working at a local law firm, where she assists Mandarin-speaking clients with completing real estate closings and reviewing various agreements.

Aside from law, 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 various industries such as manufacturing, food and beverage, energy, and not-for-profit. She also worked part-time at the student union for two years during her undergrad.

Sophie is also passionate about volunteering. She has been an active volunteer for FACL’s events including the student speed mentorship and 14th annual conference. She also volunteered at the Hatchery and Young People’s Theatre, exploring her interests in entrepreneurship and acting.

 

 

Ryan Chan (Student Director)

Ryan Chan is a recent graduate of UofT Law and Articling Student at Macdonald Sager Manis. He has a strong interest in litigation, having summered at several law firms in Hong Kong and Toronto and winning the Walsh Family Moot for UofT in 2019.

Ryan is passionate about his community and has served as a consultant for the WWF-Canada and past president for the UofT Asia Law Society.

He is currently the project lead on online hate and social media at the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice where he works with government and community stakeholders to address issues of race and racism. He is a frequent public speaker that has been featured in various media outlets including 6ix Buzz, CBC Radio, City News, The News Forum and the Toronto Star.

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.