Ontario Newsroom

Membership of Ontario's New Business Law Advisory Council

Archived Backgrounder

Membership of Ontario's New Business Law Advisory Council

Province Appoints Council to Modernize Ontario's Business Laws

Chair - Carol Hansell (Partner, Hansell LLP) 

Carol Hansell is the founder and Senior Partner of Hansell LLP, an independent firm dedicated to advising boards, management teams, institutional shareholders and regulators in connection with legal and governance challenges. 

Over the past 25 years while in practice, Ms. Hansell has served on boards of organizations across a variety of sectors - public companies, Crown corporations, healthcare, not-for-profit and arts organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada, the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, and the International Corporate Governance Network. She has also served on the boards of the Bank of Canada, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Toronto East General Hospital and SickKids Foundation, among others. 

She was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2013 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Investor Relations in 2015. Ms. Hansell is a Founding Trustee and Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel. 

In addition to her board service, Ms. Hansell has been involved in governance education and leadership throughout her career. Most notably, she served as the only non-American Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA - Business Law Section) and continues to serve as Special Canadian Advisor to the Corporate Laws Committee of the ABA. She also taught more than 5,000 directors in the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program offered in Toronto and Vancouver. Ms. Hansell was a member of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' Business Law Agenda Stakeholder Panel. 

Vice-Chair - E. Patrick Shea (Partner, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP) 

E. Patrick Shea is a Partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office, practising in the area of commercial law with a particular focus on the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency. A Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law, Mr. Shea has acted for a variety of clients regarding large and small corporate restructuring and insolvency matters in the entertainment, retail, automotive, airline, food and beverage sectors. He acted for Justice Canada in connection with amendments to Canadian insolvency legislation, and for the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank in connection with the adoption by Jamaica of new insolvency legislation. 

Mr. Shea is a member of the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association's (OBA) Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section. He is past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association's (CBA) National Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section, and is currently an Executive Member of the CBA National Sections Council and a Member of the CBA Legislation and Law Reform Committee. 

Mr. Shea served on the Board of St. John Ambulance Council for Ontario and is currently Vice-Chair of the St. John Canada Foundation. He is also a director and officer of a not-for-profit foundation created to support the Canadian Rangers and the Junior Canadian Rangers in Ontario. In 2015, he was awarded the Law Society Medal (Law Society of Upper Canada - LSUC) for his work to memorialize LSUC articling students killed in the First World War. 

Business Law Advisory Council Membership 

Jennifer Babe (Partner, Miller Thomson LLP) 
Ms. Babe practises in the area of corporate/commercial law, focusing on secured transactions, the securing of sales and leases of significant products and the purchases of businesses, assets and shares. She has special expertise in personal property law, as governed by personal property security legislation and is an active member of the OBA's Personal Property Security Law Section Committee of the OBA's Business Law Section. Ms. Babe is a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, the past Chair of the CBA's National Business Section, the past Chair of the Commercial Law Strategy Committee of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada. She also has written Sale of a Business and co-authored Creditors' Remedies in Ontario. Ms. Babe also was a member of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' Business Law Agenda Stakeholder Panel. 

Andy Chan (Partner, Miller Thomson LLP and Managing Partner of the Markham office) 
Mr. Chan's specialized global cross-border practice includes providing counsel to international and domestic clients on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, investments, structurings and financings. He is also Co-Chair of the International Business Transactions Group, and National Chair of the firm's Asia Practice. A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to Canada, he was also named Leading Canadian Corporate Lawyers to Watch by Lexpert magazine and is a past winner of the Lexpert Rising Star Award - Top Canadian Lawyers under 40. Mr. Chan's areas of focus include business law, related corporate and regulatory matters, financial services and strategic business immigration in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, natural resources, agribusiness and food, healthcare, technology and insurance. Early in his career, Mr. Chan practised as a commercial litigator. 

Doug Downey (Partner, Lewis, Downey, Tornosky, Lassaline & Timpano) 
Mr. Downey is designated as a specialist in Real Estate Law by the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was Treasurer (2010-2014) and Secretary (2009-2010) of the OBA. He has been a Professor for Laurentian University at Georgian College and taught for the Real Estate Bar Admission Course. Mr. Downey is currently the host of Politically Speaking, Orillia, a current events show on Rogers TV. He is the Ontario Bar Association Lead for the development of the innovative Law Practice Program (alternative to articling) in a strategic alliance with Ryerson University. At the request of the Treasurer of the Law Society, he sat on the Library and Information Support Services Committee developing recommendations that led to reforms across Ontario. Mr. Downey was a member of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' Expert Panel on the Regulation of Home Inspectors and on the Business Law Agenda Stakeholder Panel. 

John Ground, Q.C. (J.D. Ground Commercial Resolutions Inc.) 
Mr. Ground is an arbitrator and mediator with Amicus Chambers. His focus is on commercial and corporate matters. He was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court in 1991 where he spent half his time presiding over cases on the Commercial List and for some time was the supervising judge of the Commercial List. He moved to the Bench after more than 30 years with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where he practised corporate and commercial law, and served as a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Mr. Ground was a Bencher of The Law Society of Upper Canada from 1975 to 1991, and served as Chair of the Finance Committee, Legal Education Committee, Professional Conduct Committee and Admissions Committee, and was President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. He is currently a Life Bencher. He was a member of the executive of the CBA - Ontario and of the CBA National Council. From 1989 to 1994, he was a Member of the Ontario Law Reform Commission Advisory Board, and a member of the Commodity Futures Advisory Board of the Ontario Securities Commission from 1979 to 1983. 

Andrea Johnson (Partner, Dentons LLP) 
Ms. Johnson's practice focuses on corporate and securities law, with an emphasis on technology and emerging growth companies. She has extensive experience in the private equity and venture capital area, and has acted as lead counsel on many of the largest venture capital financings in Canada. Ms. Johnson also advises TSX-listed companies on IPOs, financings, mergers and acquisitions, stock-based compensation and corporate governance. Ms. Johnson was recognized by The Legal 500 Canada in the area of Corporate and M&A (2015), by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2015 as one of Canada's leading lawyers in the areas of Corporate Law (2010-2015), Securities Law and Technology Law (2014, 2015) and named one of the Top 25 People of Ottawa by Ottawa Life Magazine. 

Sheila Murray (President, CI Financial Corp) 
Ms. Murray has recently been appointed President, CI Financial Corp. She has been the Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary of CI Financial since 2008. In this position, she provided strategic, securities regulatory and governance advice to the company and its Board of Directors. Ms. Murray joined CI in 2008 after a 25-year career at Blake, Cassel's and Graydon LLP, where she practised securities law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate reorganizations. She has been a member of the Securities Advisory Committee to the Ontario Securities Commission and was a member of the team of Blakes' partners that advised the Canadian securities regulators on the reformulation of securities regulation and the creation of new rules and policies. She currently teaches Securities Regulation and Corporate Finance at University of Toronto's Global Professional LLM in Business Law Program. Ms. Murray was a member of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' Business Law Agenda Stakeholder Panel. 

Arlene O'Neill (Partner, Gardiner Roberts LLP) 
Ms. O'Neill has expertise in corporate/commercial law, with a focus on technology-based companies and assets including software, media and green technology. While she maintains a mix of practice areas in commercial law, she has focused her practice on mergers and acquisitions and technology law. Ms. O'Neill is the past Chair of the OBA's Business Law Section Executive. She is familiar with tax and technology law, and represents public/private companies, venture capital companies and large member organizations in corporate governance and board matters, non-residents in establishing businesses in Canada and Canadian-based companies in structuring their domestic and international operations. 

Rob Scavone (Counsel, McMillan LLP) 
Mr. Scavone practises business and financial services law in the Financial Services Group, and is its Co-Chair, Securitization, Structuring and Derivatives committee. He advises major corporations, financial institutions, mining companies, investment dealers and government agencies on structured finance, derivatives, securitization, secured debt financing, P3 infrastructure financing and personal property security law, in addition to general corporate commercial matters. As a member of the firm's Opinion Committee, he provides opinions on complex and novel legal issues. 
Mr. Scavone was a key advisor on the development of Ontario's Securities Transfer Act, and is an acknowledged authority on reform of the law of securities transfers. He is also an active member of the Personal Property Security Law Committee of the OBA's Business Law Section. 

Peter Viitre (Partner, Sotos LLP) 
Mr. Viitre is a corporate/commercial lawyer with significant expertise in both franchise law and mergers and acquisitions. For over 20 years, Mr. Viitre has advised both domestic and international clients on matters relating to the expansion of their businesses through franchising and other means, and on the purchase and sale of businesses involved in the areas of franchising, distribution, manufacturing and financial services, among others. He is the Secretary of the OBA's Franchise Law Section and a member of the International Franchise Association's Legal/Legislative Committee. He is also active in the ABA Forum on Franchising and the Canadian Franchise Association. Mr. Viitre was recently recognized as Best Lawyers® 2015 Franchise Lawyer of the Year for Toronto and is ranked in Chambers Canada, Lexpert and the International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers 2015 as a leading franchise law practitioner.

Media Contacts



Business and Economy Education and Training Government Jobs and Employment Rural and North Taxes and Benefits Aboriginal People Consumers Francophones Newcomers Parents People with Disabilities Seniors Women