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 email@example.com.
Last updated: January 2018
July 2007 - September 2018
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.
Ann Marie Yantz
March 2017 - March 2019
Ann Marie is an experienced paralegal from Kitchener, Ontario, and the first paralegal in Ontario to be appointed to the executive of a law association. She joined the firm Kelly & Co. in September 1997 and received her law clerk diploma from the Institute of Law Clerks in 2000 and became licensed as a paralegal by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2008. Ann Marie has provided per diem prosecution services for matters concerning the Provincial Offences Act for both Halton Region and the Ministry of the Attorney General. Ann Marie is a board member of the paralegal advisory committee at Conestoga College, a member of the Prosecutors Association of Ontario and an associate member of the Institute of Law Clerks. In 2013, Ann Marie became the first elected paralegal board member of the Waterloo Region Law Association, where she was a trustee and treasurer until 2017.
Carol L. Hartman
September 2015 - September 2020
Ms. Hartman, a partner in the Sudbury-based lawfirm Miller Maki LLP, specializes in family law and is a leader in the legal community. She has been Chair of her firm’s Compensation Fund Committee, Vice-Chair of its Government and Public Affairs Committee, and Vice-Chair of its Law Society Strategic Planning Group. She has also been Chair of the Law Society Finance Committee, Vice President of the County and District Law Presidents’ Association and President of the Sudbury and District Law Association. In addition, she has contributed to her community through extensive volunteer work, benefitting the Sudbury Regional Hospital, CKLU radio, the Family Enrichment Centre and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.
July 2015 - July 2020
Christa Freiler has over 35 years’ experience in social policy and research in both the non-profit and government sectors. She is the former Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Education Association, former National Coordinator of Inclusive Cities Canada, and former Coordinator of the Laidlaw Foundation’s program in social inclusion. While a Program Director with the Toronto Social Planning Council in the 1980s, Ms. Freiler co-founded the Child Poverty Action Group, a public interest research and advocacy organization that led to the formation of Campaign 2000. She is also the former Senior Policy Coordinator with the Race Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Citizenship and former Policy Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services, providing policy advice on issues related to poverty, social assistance reform, long term care, and child care.
Ms. Freiler’s community involvement includes Immigrant Services of Guelph. She holds an honours BA in Philosophy from the University of Alberta and a Master of Social Work in Social Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Toronto.
June 2008 - September 2018
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 - September 2018
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.
July 2015 - July 2020
After a successful career in the federal public service, Mr. Robillard became Executive Director of the Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes (COFA) in 2012. COFA is a non-profit organization working in the field of literacy and basic skills for Francophone adults in Ontario.
Prior to joining COFA, Mr. Robillard was Vice-President of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Previously, he was Director General, Organization and Classification Infrastructure and before that, Director General, Strategic Infrastructure, Information Management and Chief Information Officer at the Canada Public Service Agency. Throughout his career, he has held several positions at regional, national and international levels.
For many years, he taught change management and management of public organizations at the École nationale d’administration publique.
Mr. Robillard has a master’s degree in public administration, a specialized diploma in international administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In 2009, he graduated from the Accelerated Executive Development Program of the federal public service.
He has significant experience in project management and complex transformation initiatives.
February 2009 - February 2020
Nancy Cooper is a lawyer in private practice and a longstanding member of the criminal law and family law panels for Legal Aid Ontario in the Northeast District. Ms. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sociology, a Bachelor of Laws, and the Diplôme de français juridique, all from the University of Western Ontario. Called to the Bar in 1992, Ms. Cooper now works almost exclusively in criminal law defence, serving the First Nations communities along the James Bay coast. She has held many positions throughout her law career including partner in her own firm, supervisory duty counsel (family law) for Legal Aid Ontario, and sole practitioner. She is currently an associate at Evans, Bragagnolo & Sullivan LLP in Timmins.
Ms. Cooper has a significant history of community involvement as well, having served on several non-profit boards and justice committees in her local community. In 2012/2013, she assisted in the formulation of several recommendations for the improvement of the fly-in court system for Northern Ontario while serving on the working group for the Ontario Court of Justice. Presently, she serves on the board of the Jubilee Centre, a residential and day treatment facility in Timmins, and is on the executive committee of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce. She is also a frequent guest speaker and presenter for various social organizations in the City of Timmins.
January 2018 - January 2020
Remy brings with her nearly 20 years of experience working with various social justice organizations focusing on health, education, immigration, and women’s issues.
She has worked extensively in both Canada and the U.S.—specifically in Windsor and in Detroit—with a focus on strategic planning to ensure organizations are better equipped to meet client needs.
Currently, she is the executive director of development and programming at the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, which raises money from the private sector to support students in the public schools. Prior to that, she served as Director of Development and Community Engagement at Welcome Centre Shelter for Women in Windsor.
In addition to serving on LAO’s board, she is also a board member of Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women, and Assisted Living Southwest Ontario.
Timothy John Murphy
March 2009 - April 2018 | On 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
Currently serving at the pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor
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
2016 - present
Mr. Field brings with him an extensive background in financial and strategic planning. He has worked in various capacities for the Government of Ontario, including work at the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Treasury Board Secretariat. Most recently, he was LAO’s Vice President of Strategic Planning and Compliance, where he was instrumental in developing LAO’s modern management methods to benefit client service and organizations effectiveness.
Additionally, Mr. Field was part of the project team that created LAO in 1998. He played a key role in drafting and negotiating the Memorandum of Understanding between LAO and the Ministry of the Attorney General.