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.
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. [/one_half_last]
Michelle Seto (VP External - Private)
Vivian Li (Events Chair)
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)
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.
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)
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. 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)
Outside of law, Mekhala spends her time mentoring students, and by being involved in BLG’s BLGTQA+ and other initiatives. Mekhala is also an active blogger and writer, and co-founded a blog tracing intellectual property developments in emerging economies. 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 was called to the Ontario bar in 2010. She has devoted her career to criminal litigation. Mabel obtained a B.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering in 2006, and a J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2009. Mabel clerked for Justices Armstrong, Doherty and LaForme of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She joined the Peel Region Crown Attorney’s Office in September 2010, and a criminal defence firm in February 2012. Since August 2012, Mabel has held the position of Crown Counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Crown Law Office – Criminal (CLO-C). Her practice consists of criminal appeals, trials of alleged police criminality and large-scale frauds, and advice to law enforcement on search and seizure and electronic surveillance. She has argued cases before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
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. This year, she has participated as a mentor at the FACL Annual Speed Mentor-a-thon, a panelist at a GTA North Women’s Event in April, and a panelist on the Careers in Litigation Breakout Session at the Annual Conference and Gala, where she was also honoured to receive the Public Sector Award. [/one_half_last]
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.
Justin P'ng (Student Director, Board Logistics and Law School Chapter Chair)
Christina Liao (Student Director)
Christina is an incoming 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. [/one_half_last]
Timothy Law (Student Director)
He is currently a Research Assistant at Osgoode Hall Law School, a Student Director with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, an Executive Member of the Asian Law Students Association and the Global Affairs Editor for The Blank Page. He has also worked for CLASP, and served as the Academic Head of the Social Sciences at the University of Toronto’s Student Union. Timothy is fluent in Cantonese. He enjoys martial arts, badminton, biking and alpine skiing. He is a keen follower of global politics and events and enjoys writing and visual media arts.
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. [/one_half_last]
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)
Jennifer Ho (Student Director)
Jennifer is a recent graduate of the English Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa and will be articling at Chiarelli Cramer Witteveen LLP, a small firm in Ottawa in 2019/2020. 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. During law school, Jennifer was actively involved in the Asian Law Students’ Society as both Vice President Events and President during her last year of law school. She was also a Teaching Assistant for a first-year course on Public and Constitutional Law, and a writing mentor to first-and second-year students. Outside of her legal interests, Jennifer spends her spare time teaching private piano lessons, planning her next travel destination, and attempting to learn the odd word or two in Spanish and Portuguese.
Anna Lu (Student Director)
Anna is a recent graduate from Osgoode Hall Law School and will be joining Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP as an articling student. While at law school, Anna acted as the Co-President of the Asian Law Students’ Association, Co-Chair of the annual joint conference with the University of Toronto Asia Law Society, and clinical student at Osgoode’s Mediation Clinic.
Prior to law school, Anna graduated from the University of Toronto with double majors in English and Psychology. Throughout her degree, she volunteered as an ESL teacher at the Centre for Victims of Torture. She is passionate about advocating for better representation, and looks forward to bringing her skills and commitment to FACL.
Samantha Lo (Student Director)
Samantha is an incoming 3L at the University of Ottawa and currently summering at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto. Prior to law school, Samantha grew up in Vancouver, BC and attended Queen’s University where she completed a Bachelor’s of Commerce (Honours).
Throughout law school, Samantha has been involved in the Asian Law Student Society as the Vice President of Communications and is the incoming Co-President for the 2019-2020 academic year. She is passionate about inclusion and diversity issues as a young, female professional of Chinese descent and is excited to bring her experiences to 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.