Ms. Carissa Wong is an international environmental lawyer with expertise in water law and policy, alternative dispute resolution, and the intersection of equity and the environment. She assists First Nations in facilitated discussions supporting land claim negotiations in the Northwest Territories, and is contributing author to the book “Children’s Rights and Sustainable Development” published by Cambridge University Press. As a Research Associate with the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, she has published and spoken extensively on water resources management and Indigenous customary law. As a Director of FACL Ontario, she is founding Chair of its Women’s Committee. In 2019 she was named an Emerging Leader at the Action Chinese Canadians Together Summit.
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.
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.
Maneesha Gupta is an Intellectual Property and Technology lawyer in Toronto. Her practice focuses on financial technology, brand protection and enforcement, which includes all aspects of patents, trademarks and copyrights; commercializing innovations, 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.
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.
Rachel A. Gold is an associate at KPMG Law LLP. Rachel is currently on secondment with KPMG Canada’s National Tax group. In her latest role, she is involved in many tax knowledge sharing initiatives, including reviewing articles for a weekly, internal tax journal.
Prior to Rachel’s secondment, her legal practice at KPMG law involved income tax planning and resolving tax disputes. Her experience is wide-ranging, from advising clients on notice of objections (which challenge tax assessments) to acting for multi-national companies seeking to implement cross-border reorganizations.
Before joining KPMG Law, she served as judicial law clerk at the Divisional Court, where she had the unique opportunity of providing legal support to judges on judicial reviews, statutory appeals, and judicial appeals. Rachel’s first experience as a legal professional was summering and articling at a national Canadian law firm, where she engaged in diverse practice areas including bankruptcy law and commercial litigation.
Rachel is active in the tax and legal community and has been recognized for her precise and concise writing. Rachel is also keenly interested in promoting, inspiring and mentoring women lawyers. In 2019, she launched an OBA quarterly Q&A series with women tax lawyers to give insight into tax law career possibilities.
Appointed by the Liberal government in 2019, Monica is an adjudicator with the Refugee Appeal Division at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Her written decisions are published on Canlii. From 2016 to 2018, Monica worked as a first-level adjudicator at the Refugee Protection Division with the IRB where she presided over hundreds of refugee hearings. Monica completed her articles in family and criminal law at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). After articling, she worked as a duty counsel criminal lawyer with LAO where she represented a high volume of clients with mental health and substance abuse challenges. Monica obtained her law degree from the University of Ottawa and her undergraduate degree from Carleton University in Public Affairs and Policy Management. Monica has a particular interest in advocating for racial and gender equality which is reflected in her work. Passionate about social justice, Monica has worked professionally and in a volunteer capacity with marginalized individuals from diverse backgrounds. She has volunteered with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), Elizabeth Fry Society, Toronto City Mission and Children’s Aid Society.
Karen Lau-Po-Hung is a Criminal Defence Lawyer who practices in the Greater Toronto Area. She is a partner at Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross, & Angelini, LLP, Canada’s largest criminal defence firm.
Karen Lau-Po-Hung has focused her entire academic and professional career in Criminal Law. In university, she studied criminology and graduated with highest distinction. She continued in criminal law at Osgoode Hall Law School. During law school she worked closely with Toronto judges on a number of criminal court cases.
Karen is an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and will be teaching Criminal Procedure for Fall 2021.
Ms. Lau-Po-Hung is an experienced trial lawyer – she hit the ground running when she was called to the bar, diving right into the most serious criminal cases. She has had tremendous success conducting jury trials resulting in acquittals for a variety of different offences including first degree murder and second degree murder, serious drug offences, importing, firearms and more.
Karen is a member of Criminal Lawyers Association, Toronto Lawyers Association, and Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
Karen Lau-Po-Hung decided to join the FACL and become a mentor because she wanted to do more to battle stereotypes and ensure that the younger generation know that racialized Asian women belong in the legal profession. She wants to be part of a community and generation that changes the stereotype of what lawyers should look like and mentor younger generations to speak up and challenge any form of racism.
As Legal Counsel at Interac Corp., a fast-paced and dynamic fintech company, Rico (Ruilei) Liu serves as a trusted legal and strategic advisor to the organization’s cross functional business groups on a variety of portfolios relating to payment systems and networks, commercial collaboration and partnerships, intellectual property, privacy, innovation, and operation and technology solutions.
Before joining Interac, Rico completed her Global Professional Master of Laws degree at the University of Toronto in 2019. She completed her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Southampton in 2018 with First Class Honours.
Prior to pursuing law school, Rico worked in the corporate business immigration space at a leading global immigration law firm in Toronto, assisting organizational clients from various industries with global talents mobility needs.
Rico is an executive committee member of Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC, https://egrchina.net/). EGRC is a Canadian-registered charity dedicated to providing young women in rural western China with access to high school and university education through financial sponsorship, emotional support, mentorship, and a variety of training programs with focuses on mental health, confidence-building, career and personal development.
A 2021-2022 articling student at Dentons Canada LLP, Cindy graduated with an LL.B. from the University of Southampton in 2019. During law school, Cindy was elected social secretary of the law society (CLS) and volunteered as a student intern at the law school’s pro bono law clinic.
Prior to law school, Cindy completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business. She attended an academic exchange at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where she studied post-graduate-level neuro-cognitive psychology. During her summers, she worked in a large commercial lending and real estate practice at a corporate commercial law firm in Edmonton, AB.
Cindy is passionate about advocating for women through volunteerism, training and mentorship. She served as a committee member on various boards with the Junior League, a non-profit women’s organization aimed at building leadership skills and promoting positive change in the community. She also trained a sales team while in various roles, including management, at a competitive international women’s retailer to optimize store operations and maximize sales.