Our people

Meet our dedicated team of Board of Trustees, Class Proceedings Committee, and staff members.

The Law Foundation of Ontario is governed by a five-person voluntary Board of Trustees. Three Trustees are appointed by the Law Society of Ontario and two by the Attorney General of Ontario. The Foundation also administers the Class Proceedings Fund, which provides cost assistance in class actions. The Law Foundation of Ontario appoints one member of the Class Proceedings Committee and the Attorney General also appoints one member. Three members are appointed jointly by the Foundation and the Attorney General. All of the work of the Foundation and Class Proceedings Committee is supported by a small and dedicated staff team.

Alida DeLorenzi

Grants Officer

Arta Tafaj

Senior Administrative Coordinator (Accounting & Compliance)

Catherine Banning*

General Manager Maawandoon Inc.

Ms Banning is a lay Bencher of the Law Society...

Danielle Marks

Partner and Chair of the Civil Litigation practice group, SV Law

Heather Johnston**

Consultant, Financial and Operational Management

Heather recently retired from BDO Canada where she was the Office Managing...

Jack Braithwaite*

Counsel, Weaver Simmons LLP

Mr. Braithwaite is a Law Society of Ontario Bencher (Sudbury)...

John P. Brown**

Legal and Strategic Advisor, Indigenous Initiatives, McCarthy Tétrault

Lara Sanders

Director, Strategic Finance

Lili Pach

Grants Officer

Linda R. Rothstein*

Partner, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

Linda R. Rothstein B.A., LL.B. is a partner of Paliare...

Lisa Cirillo

Chief Executive Officer

Lisa Cirillo has served as CEO of The Law Foundation...

Lisa Sherin

Director, Human Resources & Operations (Interim)

Monique Jilesen***

Managing Partner and Commercial Litigation lawyer, Lenczner Slaght

Nancy Caetano

Senior Administrative Assistant

Nathalie Noël

Communications Specialist

Noah Aiken-Klar

Director, Grants & Programs

As Director, Grants & Programs, Noah provides strategic leadership for...

Paul Evraire, Q.C.

Chair, Class Proceedings Committee & Special Counsel (Retired), Department of Justice

Rachael Simser

Law Student

Remissa Hirji

Director and Counsel, Class Proceedings Committee

Ria Dey

Legal Assistant, Class Proceedings Committee

Sharnette Beckett

Finance Assistant

Stephen Thiele**

Partner and Director of Legal Research, Gardiner Roberts LLP

Mr. Thiele is a partner and the Director of Legal...

Tiffany Smith

Grants Officer

Wendy J. Earle

Advocate and Arbitrator

Alida DeLorenzi

Position: Grants Officer
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 205
Email: ADelorenzi@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff, Grants Officer
Pronouns: she/her

Arta Tafaj

Position: Senior Administrative Coordinator (Accounting & Compliance)
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 213
Email: ATafaj@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her
Woman with long brown hair wearing glasses

Catherine Banning*

Position: General Manager Maawandoon Inc.
Categories: Board
Pronouns: she/her

Ms Banning is a lay Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) and General Manager of Maawandoon Inc., a Fort William-based business specializing in Indigenous engagement, capacity and infrastructure development, First Nation governance policy, and procedure development. Previously, she worked within the financial services sector as Chief Credit Officer for a credit union where she managed property and commercial law files and adjudicated a $70-million loan portfolio.

A proud Nishnaabe-qwe band member of Fort William First Nation and lifetime resident of Northwestern Ontario, Ms Banning is the second-ever Indigenous lay Bencher in the LSO’s history. Lay Benchers are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. They represent the public and do not require a law degree or training. She sits on the LSO’s Audit & Finance, Equity and Indigenous Affairs, and Tribunal committees.

Woman with long black curly hair, smiling

Danielle Marks

Position: Partner and Chair of the Civil Litigation practice group, SV Law
Categories: Class Proceedings Committee
Pronouns: she/her
A woman with long blonde hair, smiling and wearing a white shirt and black blazer

Heather Johnston**

Position: Consultant, Financial and Operational Management
Categories: Board
Pronouns: she/her

Heather recently retired from BDO Canada where she was the Office Managing Partner of the Collingwood office and Group Managing Partner of 11 local regional offices. Over her long career at BDO, Heather was a client-facing partner in the areas of accounting, tax, financial advisory services, and auditing. Heather is now consulting, offering business strategy, and financial oversight to a number of companies across Ontario.

She is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

Man with dark mustache wearing dark suit

Jack Braithwaite*

Position: Counsel, Weaver Simmons LLP
Categories: Board
Pronouns: he/him

Mr. Braithwaite is a Law Society of Ontario Bencher (Sudbury) and Counsel at Weaver Simmons LLP, the largest law firm in northern Ontario. He has significant experience in wrongful dismissal and other employment related litigation. His specializes in employer representation in collective bargaining, human rights, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board matters, Occupational Health and Safety prosecutions, and Ontario Labour Relations Board proceedings.

Mr. Braithwaite is the Past President of the Sudbury District Law Association and is a current member of the: Canadian Bar Association; National Bar Association in the U.S.; Ontario Bar Association; Canadian Association of Black Lawyers; Advocates’ Society; and Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Weengushk Film Institute, the Afro Heritage Association, and is Founder and Chair of the Michaëlle Jean Sudbury Afro-heritage Fund.

Man with short brown hair wearing glasses and a blue suit

John P. Brown**

Position: Legal and Strategic Advisor, Indigenous Initiatives, McCarthy Tétrault
Categories: Class Proceedings Committee
Pronouns: he/him
Woman with long straight blonde hair, smiling into camera

Lara Sanders

Position: Director, Strategic Finance
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 208
Email: LSanders@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her

Lili Pach

Position: Grants Officer
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 210
Email: LPach@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff, Grants Officer
Pronouns: she/her
Linda Rothstein

Linda R. Rothstein*

Position: Partner, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Categories: Board, Chair
Pronouns: she/her

Linda R. Rothstein B.A., LL.B. is a partner of Paliare Roland and has served as a Foundation Trustee since 2014 and as Board Chair since 2016.

Ms Rothstein has a diverse practice that encompasses many areas of civil and administrative litigation. Her high profile work as Commission Counsel to the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology, counsel to the City of Toronto in the Computer Leasing Inquiry, and lead counsel to the Motherisk Hair Analysis Review have cemented her reputation as one of Ontario’s leading advocates.

Ms Rothstein is a board member of Public Health Ontario. She is a Fellow and former board member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (2012-2015). She was a Bencher of The Law Society of Upper Canada (2007-2015) and Past President (2005–2006) of The Advocates’ Society.

Ms Rothstein is a recipient of the: 2021 The Advocates’ Society Medal; Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation; the prestigious Law Society Medal; and the Award of Distinction from the Toronto Lawyers’ Association.

Woman with chin-length brown hair, smiling at camera

Lisa Cirillo

Position: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 204
Email: LCirillo@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff, CEO
Pronouns: she/her

Lisa Cirillo has served as CEO of The Law Foundation of Ontario since September 2020. Prior to this, Lisa was Executive Director of Downtown Legal Services, a community-based legal clinic at the University of Toronto law school, since 2010.

Lisa has practiced human rights, education, housing, and family law in a wide variety of social justice organizations including Downtown Legal Services, ARCH Disability Law Centre, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

She also has extensive experience in public legal education and information (PLEI). She managed the Family Law Education for Women project, which assisted marginalized women in understanding their rights and responsibilities under family law. She also worked with Community Legal Education Ontario’s Your Rights. Your Language project where she managed PLEI in multiple formats and languages focused on high priority legal issues for newcomers to Canada.

Lisa has served on a number of boards and committees over the years, including the: Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education; National Association of Women and the Law’s National Steering Committee; Legal Aid Ontario’s Clinic Law Advisory Committee; and the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Community Advisory Group.

She earned her Hons. B.A. from the University of Toronto, her LL.B. from Queen’s University, and her LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Bar in 1998.

Lisa Sherin

Position: Director, Human Resources & Operations (Interim)
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 214
Email: LSherin@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns:: she/her
A woman with shoulder length dark curly hair and smiling slightly

Monique Jilesen***

Position: Managing Partner and Commercial Litigation lawyer, Lenczner Slaght
Categories: Class Proceedings Committee
Pronouns: she/her

Nancy Caetano

Position: Senior Administrative Assistant
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 203
Email: NCaetano@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her
Woman with chin-length light brown hair wearing teal blazer

Nathalie Noël

Position: Communications Specialist
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 209
Email: NNoel@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her
Man with short salt and pepper coloured hair an d beard

Noah Aiken-Klar

Position: Director, Grants & Programs
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 214
Email: NAiken-klar@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: he/him

As Director, Grants & Programs, Noah provides strategic leadership for the Foundation’s granting activities.

Noah comes to the Foundation from RBC where he was the inaugural Director, Youth Social Impact and most recently served as Director, Academic and Strategic Partnerships, Technology, & Operations. Prior to RBC, Noah was the Regional Director of Community Investments at Ontario Trillium Foundation. Noah also spent three years as the National Director of Pro Bono Students Canada where he led a network of 4,000 law student and lawyer volunteers from 21 law schools across the county.

Noah earned his LLB from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and practiced in civil litigation earlier in his career.

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Paul Evraire, Q.C.

Position: Chair, Class Proceedings Committee & Special Counsel (Retired), Department of Justice
Categories: Class Proceedings Committee
Pronouns: he/him
Young woman with long straight dark hair, smiling into camera

Rachael Simser

Position: Law Student
Email: RSimser@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her
Woman with long thick brown hair, wearing glasses, smiling into camera

Remissa Hirji

Position: Director and Counsel, Class Proceedings Committee
Phone: 416-595-1425 x 302
Email: RHirji@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her

Ria Dey

Position: Legal Assistant, Class Proceedings Committee
Phone: 416-595-1425 x 303
Email: RDey@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff

Sharnette Beckett

Position: Finance Assistant
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 202
Email: SBeckett@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff
Pronouns: she/her
Man with small round glasses wearing a dark suit

Stephen Thiele**

Position: Partner and Director of Legal Research, Gardiner Roberts LLP
Categories: Board
Pronouns: he/him

Mr. Thiele is a partner and the Director of Legal Research at Gardiner Roberts LLP where he has been involved in many high-profile cases and has written extensively on a variety of legal topics.

Mr. Thiele is the Chair of the Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Board. The Canadian Abridgment is a leading legal research service. The Board is a partnership between the Canadian Association of Law Libraries and Carswell and its mandate is to ensure that the Canadian Abridgment remains a leading legal research tool in Canada.

Tiffany Smith

Position: Grants Officer
Phone: 416-598-1550 x 212
Email: TSmith@lawfoundation.on.ca
Categories: Staff, Grants Officer
Pronouns: she/her
Woman with short black hair wearing a cream coloured blouse and black jacket

Wendy J. Earle

Position: Advocate and Arbitrator
Categories: Class Proceedings Committee
Pronouns: she/her
 

*Appointed by the Law Society of Ontario
**Appointed by the Attorney General of Ontario
***Appointed by The Law Foundation of Ontario