About Legal Aid Ontario
Board of Directors
Posted below is a listing of the current members of Legal Aid Ontario's Board of Directors. For more information on any of these members please contact LAO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: February 2014
July 2007 - July 2016
John D. McCamus, B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.D. (Hon), LL.M., L.S.M., F.R.S.C., is a Professor of Law and University Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, a faculty which he served as Dean from 1982-1987. He is a member of the Ontario Bar. Prior to joining the faculty at Osgoode, he spent a year as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada for Chief Justice Laskin. Professor McCamus is a member of the American Law Institute Advisory Committee for the Restatement of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment 3d and a former Chair of the Ontario Law Reform Commission. In 1996, he served as chair of the Ontario Government's task force that conducted a comprehensive review of Ontario's legal aid system which resulted in the passing of the Legal Aid Services Act and the creation of Legal Aid Ontario as an independent agency. Professor McCamus was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006 and is the recipient of a Law Society of Upper Canada Medal for significant contributions to the profession. He is the author of numerous books and articles including texts on contracts and restitution.
Professor McCamus is currently a vice-president and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and an Associated Scholar in the Toronto office of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP.
May 25, 2004 - July 18, 2015
Aly N. Alibhai is a lawyer by profession and currently serves as the Director of Lands, Resources and Consultations with the Métis Nation of Ontario. Previously, he worked as a lawyer and manager in the Government of Canada and began his public service career as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Solicitor General of Canada. Mr. Alibhai served his articles as a Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Ontario and the Justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, following which he practiced civil litigation as an associate lawyer with the Toronto offices of Fasken Martineau LL.P. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) degree from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Windsor, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1992. Mr. Alibhai has been very actively involved in the community and has served in the past as a member of the Board of Directors of several organizations including the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation, the John Howard Society of Ottawa, FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Canada and Joan of Arc Academy. He has also served as a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of Osgoode Hall Law School and was an instructor of Public Law for the Law Society of Upper Canada's Bar Admission (Lawyer Licensing) program. In recognition of his volunteer and community service, Mr. Alibhai has been awarded the Deputy Minister of Justice Humanitarian Excellence Award (2001) and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). In 2010, he was awarded the Lincoln Alexander Award by the Law Society of Upper Canada which annually recognizes an Ontario lawyer who has who has demonstrated a commitment to the public and the legal profession through community service.
June 2008 - September 2015
One of the non-lawyers on the LAO board James McNee’s education includes an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Business Administration. A marketing and business strategy consultant McNee’s career includes full time positions and consulting assignments in the academic, charitable and for-profit sectors; he is an active volunteer in a number of community organizations. McNee has a special interest in corporate governance and how effective governance can be a strategic advantage for organizations in the private and especially the public sector.
James N. Yakimovich
June 2008 - August 2015
Mr. Yakimovich, CGA, CFE, is the principal of a professional practice in Toronto that provides regulatory and forensic investigation services to legal bodies. His thirty years of experience includes twelve with the Law Society of Upper Canada, Mr. Yakimovich has been responsible for a wide-range of operational programs and policy development, and for drafting provisions for legal organizations. His work includes interaction with numerous national, international and provincial regulatory associations.
March 2008 - June 2015
Mr. Liston has a long career in social work and child protection services. He was the Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex from 1985 until May 2005 and served as the Assistant Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto from 1978 to 1985. Mr. Liston has also served as the President of the Board of Directors of King's University College, of the University of Western Ontario.
Michelle L. Haigh
April 2011 - April 2016
Michelle Haigh is an honours graduate from the Sheridan College Paralegal Studies program, which she completed in the spring of 1996. While in her final year, she founded her own company, Precision Paralegal Services. Until joining Anderson Sinclair LLP, in early 2011, Ms. Haigh was a civil litigator, specializing in debtor/creditor law.
In 2006, Ms. Haigh was one of five paralegals appointed by the Attorney General of Ontario to be a member of the Paralegal Standing Committee at the Law Society of Upper Canada. Ms. Haigh played an integral role in developing the licence criteria and process for paralegals, and was instrumental in the creation of the by-laws and the professional code of conduct for this newly licenced profession.
In 2010, Ms. Haigh was elected to the Paralegal Standing Committee by her peers in the first paralegal election, and continues to serve on this committee today. Ms. Haigh has also been elected by the committee to be the first Elected Paralegal Bencher at the Law Society of Upper Canada. The Treasurer has since appointed Ms. Haigh to sit on six other committees, which develop policies concerning the legal profession as a whole.
Ms. Haigh is associated with many organizations and groups, including the Toronto Small Claims Court Frequent User Committee, and the Sheridan College Program Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Paralegal Society of Ontario, as well as a member of Licenced Paralegals Association of Ontario.
February 2009 - February 2014
Nancy Cooper is a sole practitioner providing legal advocacy for clients of First Nations origin in child protection and criminal matters since 2003. Ms. Cooper holds a Journalism degree from Carlton University, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario. Specializing in criminal law, family law and child protection defence since being called to the bar in 1990, Ms. Cooper has represented children in family law and child protection proceedings for the Office of the Children's Lawyer. She was also a criminal and family Supervisory Duty Counsel in Nishnawbe-Aski for seven years and worked as a family Supervisory Duty Counsel in Cochrane for three years.
In a volunteer capacity, Ms. Cooper is a member of Editorial Board for the Ontario Bar Association's Briefly Speaking; a board member for the Lord's Kitchen Society; a member of the Human Services and Justice Committee for the District of Cochrane; and a member of the Timmins Police Service Aboriginal Advisory Committee. She is also a frequent guest speaker and presenter for various social organizations in the City of Timmins.
Timothy John Murphy
March 2009 - March 2014 | Currently on a temporary leave of absence
A partner at McMillan LLP, Timothy Murphy has been practicing law since 1989 in a number of areas including government procurement, commercial contracts, construction, infrastructure and tender law and bid practices. Mr. Murphy has extensive experience in the public sector as former Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada and to Canada's Finance Minister, a member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario, and as a strategic advisor to all levels of governments. Currently teaching law and policy of public private partnerships at the University of Toronto, Mr. Murphy previously taught sessions on Securities Regulation at Queen's University. Mr. Murphy is a member of a number of associations including: Board of Directors and Chair for Compensation and Pension Committee at Morguard Corporation; the Toronto Board of Trade's Infrastructure Committee; Board of Directors for Futuremed Holdings; and member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
W.A. Derry Millar
April 2011 – April 2016.
W.A. Derry Millar is a partner with WeirFoulds LLP and practices exclusively civil litigation and administrative law. He has appeared in all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court of Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, and has acted as an arbitrator and mediator. He was Lead Commission Counsel for the Ipperwash Inquiry. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Millar was Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the governing body for Ontario lawyers, from June 2008 to June 2010. He has been chair or vice-chair of many Law Society Committees since he was first elected a Bencher in 1995. He has been a member of the Civil Rules Committee and its predecessors since 1976. He was Chair of the Ontario Centre for Advocacy Training, a Director of the Advocates’ Society and has previously been a member of the Board of Legal Aid Ontario. He has been a co-editor of the Ontario Annual Practice since 1975, and delivered papers on a wide variety of legal topics. He was a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, and was called to the Bar in 1974.
LAO President & CEO
Mr. Ward has served the public in a number of capacities, most recently as the Secretary General, Canadian Human Rights Commission. A strategic and thoughtful leader, Mr. Ward has worked extensively in the public sector in multi-stakeholder environments spanning human rights and regional and aboriginal economic development. In addition, Mr. Ward has expertise in the fields of corporate development, strategic policy innovation and communications as a result of his service in federal government central agencies including the Privy Council Office, the Public Service Commission and Treasury Board.