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.

Catherine Banning*

General Manager Maawandoon Inc.

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

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)...

Linda R. Rothstein*

Partner, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

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

Stephen Thiele**

Partner and Director of Legal Research, Gardiner Roberts LLP

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

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.

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.

Linda Rothstein

Linda R. Rothstein*

Position: Partner, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Categories: Chair, Board
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.

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.

 

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