The Honourable Michel Bastarache, C.C.,Q.C.
Me Michel Bastarache was a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1997 to 2008, after sitting on the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick. He had previously practiced at a number of law firms, been Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Moncton and President and CEO of the Assumption Mutual Life Insurance Company. Since his departure from the Supreme Court he was legal counsel at Heenan Blaikie and sat as a member of the Interim Constitutional Court of Kenya. He is an Associate Professor in the Law Faculty of the University of Moncton and Adjunct Professor in the Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa. Today he is a sole practitioner of law and in 2015 was named to the Administrative Tribunal of the Organization of American States in Washington. Me Bastarache is a member of the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique, was inducted as a Companion of the Order of Canada and Commander of the Ordre la Pléiade and Officier de la Légion d’honneur (France). Editor, author and co-author of several works and numerous publications on Law, Me Bastarache holds LL.L from the Université de Montréal, a Diploma in Public Law from the University of Nice and a Bachelor’s of Law from the University of Ottawa.
The Honourable Lynn Smith, Q.c.
The Honourable Lynn Smith, B.A. (University of Calgary), LL.B. (University of British Columbia), LL.D. (Hon.) (Simon Fraser University), was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1998. She served as a justice of that Court until her retirement in September 2012.
Prior to her appointment as a judge, she practised law at Shrum, Liddle and Hebenton (now McCarthy Tetrault), specializing in civil litigation, from 1974 to 1981. She taught law at the University of British Columbia from 1981 to 1997. She was dean of the U.B.C. law faculty from 1991 to 1997. She was a founding director of Canada’s Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. She was also a founding director and chair of the West Coast LEAF Association.
Currently, Lynn Smith is an honorary professor at the U.B.C. faculty of law. She received an honorary doctorate in law by Simon Fraser University in 2004. In 2016, the U.B.C. Law Alumni Association gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation appointed her a Trudeau mentor in 2017.
Suzanne Labbé, B.A., LL.L.
Suzanne Labbé holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a License in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa. She began her career in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. During her career in the federal public service, Ms Labbé worked extensively on judicial matters, initially at the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs as Secretary to the Federal Judicial Appointment Secretariat and, subsequently, as Deputy Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. In 2005 she accepted the position of Deputy Chief Administrator of the Courts Administration Service and was appointed Acting Chief Administrator in October 2010. Following her retirement in July, 2011, she was appointed Executive Director of the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. She would later hold the position of Executive Director of the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry. In January 2016, Ms Labbé became Executive Director of the Motherisk Commission. In September 2016, Ms Labbé was named Executive Director of the Office of the Independent Assessor in the settlement of the Merlo Davidson Class Action.
Emily McCarthy B.A., B.C.L., LL.B.
Over the past 15 years, Emily McCarthy has held a number of positions in the federal government including Director of Legal Operations at the Privy Council Office, Assistant Information Commissioner of Canada, General Counsel at the Office of the Information Commissioner, Acting Deputy Chief Administrator at the Courts Administration Service, and Counsel to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court. She has extensive experience leading complex regulatory investigations and in the areas of regulatory and administrative law.
Ms. McCarthy is currently a sole practitioner in Ottawa and has appeared before the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. She holds a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law from McGill University and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Guy Versailles, ARP, FSCRP
Guy Versailles is a well known communications and public relations professional. Following a career as a press attaché and chief of staff for a number of Quebec government ministers from 1978 to 1985, he managed communications at Hydro-Québec and was Vice President Public Affairs and member of the management committee at Fonds de solidarité FTQ. As a communications advisor to businesses and public institutions since 2003, he has also participated in a number of important Quebec commissions of enquiry. He acts as strategic advisor on a number of government relations files and has completed major communications and training mandates internationally.
David Taylor, LL.B., B.A.
David Taylor practises law, in English and French, at Conway Baxter Wilson LLP. David has significant experience in complex litigation. His practice centres on minority and First Nations rights and on matters between the public citizen and the state. David has pleaded before the Ontario and British Columbia Courts as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada. After completing his law degree at Dalhousie University, where he won the gold medal for law and also was awarded numerous prizes and scholarships, David served as law clerk to Justice Karakatsanis, of the Supreme Court of Canada. He is presently an Articling Principal in the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Law Practice Program at the University of Ottawa.
Maxine Vincelette, B.A., J.D.
Maxine Vincelette has practiced at Power Law since the firm was established in 2014. She worked previously at a national law firm. Her practice centres on minority rights, labour and public law. She most notably represents several minority francophone school boards. She has appeared before the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Canada. During her law studies at the University of Ottawa, she was awarded prestigious bursaries related to linguistic rights and professional training.
Kelly J. Serbu, B.A., LL.B., Q.C.
Mr. Kelly J. Serbu has been a practicing lawyer since 1997 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since 2008, he has been an Adjudicator with the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS). As such, he has been responsible for conducting hundreds of hearings and rendering decisions on compensation for survivors of the Indian Residential Schools. In 2015, he evaluated claims in relation to the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Class Action Settlement. In 2015, Kelly was appointed by the Federal Government to be a Part Time Commissioner with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) in Ottawa. In 2017, he was appointed to the Queen’s Counsel by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nova Scotia. He is a member of several Canadian and international professional associations and has been a presenter at numerous conferences and seminars.
Audrey Mayrand, LL.B.,B.C.L.
Originally from Montreal, Audrey joined Power Law after practicing in administrative and constitutional law as legal counsel for the Social Security Tribunal, where she provided advice on disability pension claims and claims of discrimination based on disability. She focuses her practice on administrative, constitutional and Aboriginal law. Audrey previously clerked for Justice Yves de Montigny of the Federal Court of Appeal and Justice Marie-Josée Bédard of the Federal Court. She also worked in Aboriginal law as a summer student at the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Audrey represented the students of the Truth, Reconciliation and Indigenous Peoples research seminar at McGill University in giving a statement of reconciliation at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s national event in Montreal in April 2014.
Ashley Deathe, B.A.Sc., J.D., LL.M
Ashley Deathe started her legal practice with a prominent Ottawa civil litigation firm, after clerking for Chief Justice Lutfy, Justice Lemieux, and Justice Pinard of the Federal Court. She has significant experience in insurance defence law — particularly those claims involving professional malpractice and motor vehicle accident liability — and has appeared before both trial and appellate level courts. She has also had the privilege to work for residential school survivors to support their claims through the Independent Assessment Process of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.Ashley recently returned to Ottawa after completing a Masters in Law from NYU’s Legal Theory program. In addition to her work with the Merlo Davidson Settlement, Ashley teaches part-time at the University of Ottawa in the Common Law Program of the Faculty of Law. Passionate about the environment and the arts, she remains a lifelong student of the law.
Marie-José Régimbal, B.S.Sc., LL.B.
Marie-José practiced public procurement, contract and outsourcing law for 22 years, first in a large national law firm and more recently in the Department of Justice Canada. Over the course of her career she has counselled clients on large procurement projects and assisted them subsequently with project implementation. As a result, she has acquired significant expertise in negotiation and dispute resolution between the state and its suppliers. Marie-José is a member of the Bar of Ontario and is presently practicing at Ambercrest Law.