Standing Committees


Standing Committees of the Board are the engines behind the Society’s work. While our Standing Committees may not require additional members at all times, there are interesting projects and task forces where members can become involved.  Please contact the Committee Chair for further information.

Advocacy & Practice (SCAP)

Chair: Scott Hutchison

Vice-Chairs: Sean Boyle, Lisa Belcourt, Hilary Book


  • Advance the quality and efficiency of the system of justice at all levels of the courts and administrative tribunals
  • Initiate, promote or respond to changes in legislation and regulation
  • Promote the fairest and most accessible determination of litigants’ rights
  • Work to enhance the ability of advocates to act effectively on behalf of their clients, through liaison with the judiciary, government and other stakeholders
  • Promote the independence of the bar and judiciary
  • Consider and recommend interventions, in accordance with the Interventions Policy, to the Board of Directors

For more information about the work of SCAP, click here.

Collegiality, Mentoring & Membership (CMM)

Chair: Kirsten Crain

Vice-Chairs:  Caroline Abela, Christine Mohr


  • Promote membership in the society to the legal profession
  • Recommend membership services
  • Organize and promote collegial events consistent with the society’s mission
  • Facilitate access to mentoring for society members, especially for young advocates

For more information about collegial events, click here.



Chair: Jim Doris

Vice-Chairs: Jennifer McAleer, Scott Robertson


  • Develop and deliver skills training and CPD-accredited continuing legal education offerings, including ethics, professional responsibility and practice management programs, in accordance with the society’s mission

For more information about the Society’s CPD curriculum, click here.



Chair: Sylvie Rodrigue

Vice-Chair: Lillian Pan


  • Serve and strengthen the Society’s membership outside Ontario by bringing our advocacy training, collegiality and mentoring events, and experienced representation and leadership in matters of access to justice, best practices, the bench-and-bar relationship, and professional collegiality, to our colleagues across Canada
  • Develop and implement a Board-approved strategic plan and business plan for the expansion and strengthening of the Society outside Ontario that accords with the Society’s Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan and Priorities
  • Consider staff proposals and to oversee, assist with and participate in the following activities outside Ontario:
  • Education programs and collegiality events to serve (and attract and retain) members
  • Marketing and communication strategies to serve (and attract and retain) members
  • Recruitment of local leaders of the Bar as members of regional advisory committees, as faculty and chairs for TAS or TAS/local programs and events, and as members of practice groups
  • Make recommendations to the Nominating Committee on prospective nominees to the Board from outside Ontario
  • Make recommendations to the Executive Committee and the Board about governance issues regarding membership outside of Ontario, as they arise



Finance and Audit

Chair: David Conklin

Vice-Chair: Simon Bieber


  • Oversee the administrative and governance aspects of the Society
  • Appoint an Audit Committee to oversee the annual audit of The Advocates’ Society and The Advocates’ Society Foundation
  • Appoint an Investment Committee to oversee the management of surplus revenue and assets in accordance with the Investment Policy Statement
  • Appoint a Finance Committee to oversee and recommend to the Board management budget proposals
  • Appoint ad hoc committees required to oversee matters that arise relating to the administration and governance of the society


Young Advocates’ Standing Committee (YASC)

Chair: Chris Kinnear Hunter

Vice-Chair: Alexandra Shelley

Secretary: Sean Petrou 


  • Promote the interests of all current and future junior lawyers ("Young Advocates") who are members in good standing of the Society (ten years post-call or fewer), in a manner that furthers the goals of the Society
  • Be the authoritative voice for Young Advocates within the legal profession
  • Provide Young Advocates with opportunities for mentorship and building professional relationships
  • Provide a dynamic platform for the exchange of ideas impacting Young Advocates
  • Contribute to educational programs for Young Advocates
  • Support the legal and broader community
  • Ensure and practice open, transparent, accessible and accountable governance of YASC

For more information about events and other news for Young Advocates, click here.


Practice Groups Standing Committee

Chair: Sylvie Rodrigue

Vice-Chair: Frank Cesario

Mandate : 
  • Provide advice to the various Practice Group executives on the operation, calendars and online content provided by each group
  • Review and monitor the performance of each group through online statistics, event attendance and general feedback
  • Recommend the creation of new groups and the termination of underperforming groups
  • Ensure that the Practice Groups are involved in the Society’s advocacy work


Mid-Career Advocates' Standing Committee (MASC)

Chair: Steve Frankel

 Sonu Dhanju-Dhillon 

Melanie Baird

Communications Liason: Christopher Lee


The Mid-Career Advocates' Standing Committee (MASC) fosters networking and engagement among mid-career members to build and strengthen membership in mid-career. MASC also encourages and develops the participation of mid-career members in the Society in general and with the Society’s Board of Directors (the “Board”). MASC also promotes access to justice initiatives, pro bono initiatives, leadership, and career and business development programs for mid-career advocates.

Priorities and Planning Standing Committee

Chair: Dominique Hussey

Mandate is to annually develop a renewed strategic plan for the Society (the “Renewed Plan”) for presentation to the Board of Directors in April and for approval in May of each year.

The Renewed plan will include:

  • Mission Statement that describes what the Society does, who it serves and how that service is delivered.
  • A Values Statement setting out the core values of the Society that will allow it to achieve its mission and its vision.
  • An analysis of the Society’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that summarizes where the Society is at present and offers insight regarding those areas on which the Society must focus its efforts.
  • An aspirational Vision Statement that sets the overall direction for the Society over the following 3-5 years.
  • A statement of three to five long-term goals that describe how the Society will achieve its vision.
  • For each long-term goal, three to five annual priority objectives that will advance that goal. Each priority objective should have a plan that details how the objective will be achieved. To the extent possible, each priority objective should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

Treasurer’s Standing Committee on Dues and Fees

Chair: Sheree Conlon

Mandate is to:

  • Establish each of the categories of membership in the Society;
  • Establish the dues to be charged for each of the categories of membership in the Society; and
  • Establish the fees to be charged for attending the Society’s programs and events.
  • Before November 1st of each year, the TSCDF will establish the dues to be charged for each category of membership in the Society for the immediately following year.

Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee

Chair: Jeff Saikaley

Vice-chair:  Robin Lepere


The Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee ("DISC") was established at the beginning of the 2019-2020 term to help The Advocates' Society create a vibrant culture of diversity and inclusion within the organization.

DISC's mandate is to identify and develop specific initiatives and reforms to enhance diversity and inclusion throughout the Society’s various undertakings, in consultation with relevant Standing Committees. DISC is responsible for reporting regularly to the Board on the Society’s progress toward its goals in the area of diversity and inclusion. DISC has an initial 3-year term.