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FACL 10th Annual
Conference and Gala

FACL Tenth Annual Conference and Gala

‘A Decade in Pursuit of Justice, Equity and Opportunity’

Keynote Address by The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada



Saturday, October 29, 2016
Registration: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Conference: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Allstream Centre
105 Princes’ Blvd
Toronto, ON



Saturday, October 29, 2016
6:45 PM – 9:00 PM


Allstream Centre
105 Princes’ Blvd
Toronto, ON

We had an amazing 10 year celebration on October 29! THANK YOU to everyone who celebrated this special milestone with us: attendees, especially those who traveled long distances to join us; corporate and law firm sponsors; speakers and moderators, especially keynote speaker Jody Wilson-Raybould and featured panelists Arnold Chan, Michael Chong, and Raj Grewal; the Law Society and the OBA; all the volunteers who planned and ran the day; and all the visionaries, trailblazers, and volunteers through the years who built FACL into what it is. To everyone who was not able to join us, we look forward to seeing you next year. To the next ten years!

Here are some links photos and media coverage:

  • photos from the Conference and Gala are available here. Please tag yourselves! Thank you to the talented Jerry Lee and Kevan Lu for the photos, and to Shirley Lam for organizing the photobooth;
  • thoughts, reflections, and more photos capturing the day are available on our Instagram account (here) and Twitter account (here), with the #FACLturns10 hashtag. You do not need an Instagram or Twitter account to see them – check out our handle today at @faclOntario. Thank you to day-of live social media team, which included Karen ChowHermione Shou, and Terry Wong;
  • check out some photos of the reception before the Gala courtesy of Precedent Magazine here.
  • watch the highlights from the Conference panel on law enforcement and visible minorities courtesy of Legal Feeds here;
  • check out this video from the Law Times recapping highlights from the panel Conference where benchers from the LSUC discussed the LSUC’s relationship with social change here; and
  • congratulations to Sandra Nishikawa for this recognition in the Law Times as the 2016 FACL Lawyer of Distinction here.

Guest Speaker, the Honourable Justice Patrick Chen, Provincial Court of British Columbia

Hard at work!

Board at #FACLturns10

Event Schedule

8:00am to 9:00am


9:00am to 9:10am

Welcome Remarks

9:10am to 10:10am

Morning Speaker: Judge Patrick Chen, Provincial Court of British Columbia

10:10am to 10:25am

Morning Break

10:25am to 10:45am

Greetings from NAPABA: Jin Hwang, President, NAPABA President's Address: Brendan Wong, President, FACL Ontario

10:45am to 12:15pm

Keynote Address and Featured Panel

Keynote Address by The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Featured Panel: Asians in Politics: Change in Action

  • Arnold Chan, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt, Liberal Party
  • Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, Conservative Party
  • Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament for Brampton East, Liberal Party
  • Jagmeet Singh, Member of Provincial Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton and Deputy Leader, Ontario New Democratic Party
  • Moderated by: Michael Doi, Director of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario

Upon introducing his Cabinet in 2015, our Prime Minister said that he wanted a team that reflected the diversity of Canada. We may not be all the way there yet, but we are moving in the right direction as an increasing amount of Asians are entering politics. What challenges do racialized individuals, and Asians in particular, face when pursuing a career in politics? How does or should one’s background as an Asian Canadian influence the role they play in politics, the positions they take, and the change they seek to bring about? What can be done to increase Asian Canadian participation in our political process and political institutions? Leading Asian Canadian politicians from across the political spectrum join us for a candid discussion.

12:15pm to 1:15pm


1:15pm to 2:30pm

Panel Sessions

A: So You Landed a Job on Bay Street … Now What?

  • Peter Cho, Vice-President and General Counsel, General Motors Canada
  • Bindu Cudjoe, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer, BMO Financial Group
  • Subrata Bhattacharjee, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Gail Wong, Director, Professional Resources, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Moderated by: Brendan Wong, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

With increasing competition to land a job on Bay Street, obtain an associate position through hireback, and satisfy billable hour targets, young lawyers often suffer from a myopic career vision: working around the clock without any thought given to long term goals, and without real consideration given to the building blocks of a successful career – whether on or off Bay Street. This panel features lawyers who each began their careers at large Bay Street firms, and have since reached senior positions within their respective corporate fields. The panelists will provide perspectives on how to use that foundation as a springboard for success, and discuss critical issues to consider early on in one’s career.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Obtaining mentors and fostering mentoring relationships
  • The role of networking in career development
  • Critical skill development
  • Self-assessment and exploring career options
  • Career choices and work-life balance
  • Managing market trends and other factors beyond one’s control
  • Volunteer work, private clubs, and board roles

This panel contains 1 hour and 15 minutes of Professionalism Content

B: The Plight of Marginalized Workers – Challenges, Reform and the Media’s Role

  • Avvy Go, Clinic Director, Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
  • Chris Ramsaroop, Organizer, Justicia for Migrant Workers
  • Nicholas Keung, Immigration Reporter, Toronto Star
  • Moderated by: Vince Wong, Staff Lawyer, Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

From Chinese restaurant-workers to racialized migrant farm workers, the current legal system that is presumed to guarantee minimum employment standards for vulnerable workers is failing them.  This panel will discuss the challenges facing some of the most marginalized workers in the province, and the legal issues they are faced with.  The panel will also present some of the reform being advocated to level the playing field for vulnerable workers.  Find out more about how members of the legal profession can help to bring about these necessary changes, and the role media play in supporting the reform.
This panel contains 1 hour and 15 minutes of Substantive Content

C: Law Enforcement and Racialized Communities

  • Justice Shaun Nakatsuru, Ontario Court of Justice
  • Emily Lam, Partner, Greenwood Lam LLP
  • Ryan Teschner, Special Counsel and Advisor to the Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
  • Moderated by: Chris Sewrattan, Criminal Lawyer (Toronto)

In the past few years, we have witnessed a growing concern about the power that we entrust to law enforcement and how that power can be abused. Police brutality caught on video, the mass arrests during the G20, and police carding are just a few of the topics that have ignited debate in this area. Racialized communities are especially vulnerable to the excesses of police abuse. What should we be most concerned about when it comes to the interaction between law enforcement and racialized communities? What are the most pressing problems? What has been done to date to address these issues and what can be done going forward? Our panel will examine these issues from the perspective of the defence bar, the judiciary, and government.
This panel may be counted for 1 hour and 15 minutes of Substantive Content

D: Hot or Not: Tech Tools & Tips

  • lan Hu, Counsel, Claims Prevention and practicePRO
  • Michael Seto, Principal, Michael Seto Professional Corporation
  • Felix Tang, Partner, Open LLP

What tech tools are actually better than the “old” ways? What improves your productivity and what just ends up wasting your time? This panel of hardened legal tech early adopters will take you through the tech tools to help you practice better. You’ll hear from “early-adopter” practitioners who have learned the hard way what tech tools have failed them and what they use now. Whether it’s managing time, marketing, working out of a virtual office, dealing with tech fraud and security risks, or writing better memos – discover apps and tips that can optimize your law firm’s performance, reduce costs, minimize risk, and take your practice to the next level. This session will cover the following topics:

  • Old and new (tech) ways to practice – Practice management: conflict checking, reminder or tickler systems, time management systems, training staff, and contingency planning.
  • What works? Pain points with legal tech services: selecting a SAAS, mobile lawyering, security – Practice management: contingency planning, risk management, maintaining proper books and records, technology in a law practice, security, productivity, and efficiency; Ethics: responding appropriately to fraud.
  • Questions – Practice management & Ethics, as above.

This panel contains 1 hour and 15 minutes of Professionalism Content

2:30pm to 2:45pm

Afternoon Break

2:45pm to 4:00pm

Panel Sessions

E: The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Challenges, Policy, and Law

  • Arif Virani, Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship
  • Stephen Cornish, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
  • Kelsey Lange, Lifeline Syria
  • Moderated by: Vince Wong, Staff Lawyer, Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

The Syrian civil war continues to be one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. Millions have been killed or forced to flee their homes. What are Canada’s moral and legal obligations to provide a safe haven for refugees fleeing this crisis? What are the legal and practical challenges of bringing refugees over to Canada and integrating them into the community? This panel will examine these questions both from a high level legal and policy perspective and based on the hard realities of what has been happening on the ground—both with the civil war in Syria and with the integration of refugees into Canada.

This panel may be counted for 1 hour and 15 minutes of Substantive Content

F: Law in the Digital Age

  • Ravi Shukla, Partner, Fogler Rubinoff LLP
  • Nader Hasan, Counsel, Stockwoods LLP
  • Anne Feehely, Associate General Counsel, BMO Financial Group
  • Moderated by: Gerald Chan, Counsel, Stockwoods LLP

In the digital age, we are allowing previously unimaginable amounts of information about ourselves to be stored and aggregated businesses and governments. What are the legal implications of this new reality for privacy, cybersecurity and intellectual property? Our panel will discuss these issues from their unique perspectives as a criminal defence lawyer asserting the privacy rights of his clients against the State; a corporate commercial lawyer advising businesses on how best to protect against data leakages and other cybersecurity risks; and an in-house lawyer at a major financial institution seeking to both utilize and protect customer data.
The objectives of this program is to discuss how the law is changing to adapt to the new reality in which nearly all of our personal information is stored and aggregated in the form of digital data. The program is expected to cover, among others, the following topics relating to professionalism and ethics:

  • What should lawyers / law firms be doing to protect against hacks and other data leakages and safeguard their privileged and confidential client information?
  • What should lawyers be doing to safeguard their privileged and confidential client information when they, their offices, or their electronic devices are the subject of search and seizure by law enforcement (e.g., if a customs official asks to search the contents of their smart phone when they are crossing the border)?

This panel contains 30 minutes of Professionalism Content and 45 minutes of Substantive Content

G: The Landscape of Law and Change: The View from the Law Society

  • Paul Schabas, Treasurer, LSUC, and Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Sandra Nishikawa, Bencher, LSUC, and Counsel, Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Julian Falconer, Bencher, LSUC, and Partner, Falconers LLP
  • Raj Anand, Bencher, LSUC, and Partner, Weirfoulds LLP
  • Moderated by: Paul Saguil, Senior Counsel, TD Bank

The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) faces today an unprecedented number of issues which raise questions as to its identity, its relationship with social change, and its future role in governing the legal sector. The future of the Articling Program and Law Practice Program. The denial of accreditation to the proposed law school at Trinity Western University – a decision which has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The release of the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group final report The re-evaluation of how advertising and alternate fee arrangements are regulated. Compliance-based entity regulation. These are just some of the matters before the LSUC today which affect the day-to-day affairs of all members of the bar. Fortunately, the most recent round of bencher elections resulted in the election of a historic number of racialized candidates as benchers, who will now lend their perspectives and their voices as the LSUC determines how to address the issues before it. Join some of them, together with the Treasurer of the Law Society, for an engaging discussion on issues that will affect the practice of law in Ontario for many years to come, and their implications on the practice of law and the management of law firms.

This panel contains 1 hour and 15 minutes of Professionalism Content

H: What is Big Law Doing for Diversity and Inclusion?

  • Doug Rienzo, Senior Partner and Chair, Diversity Committee, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
  • Neena Gupta, Partner and Co-Chair, Diversity Committee, Gowling WLG LLP
  • Laleh Moshiri, National Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Moderated by: Cindy Kou, Associate, Gowling WLG LLP

Who is not talking about diversity and inclusion these days? The Prime Minister appointed a diverse cabinet. The Minister of Justice is taking steps to diversify judicial appointments. The Law Society is exploring issues of systemic racism in the legal profession through a dedicated working group. Study after study trumpet the virtues of diverse and inclusive work forces. Law firms are establishing diversity and inclusion initiatives in attempts to attract and retain the best talent.
Against the backdrop of these efforts, however, the statistics about the progress of visible minority lawyers in large firms are not (yet) encouraging: visible minority lawyers comprise a disproportionately small percent of the partnership and managing leadership of Bay Street firms and the “pipeline” of mid-level associates does not forecast much change.
This panel features top partners from three national and international firms, including heads of diversity committees, for a candid discussion of what “Big Law” is doing to foster diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. The panelists will discuss what the diversity and inclusion initiatives of their firms look like, how they assist minorities from a career building and career advancement perspective, and practice tips and tricks for students and junior lawyers of minority backgrounds to succeed in a big law environment.

This panel contains 1 hour and 15 minutes of Professionalism Content

4:00pm to 5:00pm

Afternoon Speaker: Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy, Canada at Facebook and Instagram Closing Remarks

5:00pm to 5:15pm


5:15pm to 6:45pm

Cocktail Reception with Live Music Entertainment

6:45pm to 10:00pm

FACL Gala and Awards Ceremony