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.
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.
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.
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.
Linda R. Rothstein*
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.
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.
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.
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.
*Appointed by the Law Society of Ontario
**Appointed by the Attorney General of Ontario
***Appointed by The Law Foundation of Ontario