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Board of Trustees 2020

Executive Committee



Craig O’Brien is a partner with Nelligan O’Brien Payne. He works exclusively in civil litigation, with an emphasis on commercial and construction litigation, insurance defence and professional liability litigation.

Craig frequently represents major insurance companies, and has been involved in a variety of insurance claims. These include personal injury litigation, building and construction deficiency and home inspection claims, improper road and sidewalk maintenance claims, environmental spill claims, and occupiers’ liability claims. His practice includes representing insurers in accident benefits, arbitrations, and litigation.

Craig has appeared before the Small Claims Court of Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court, the Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and various administrative tribunals, including the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

He is a graduate of Carleton University (B. Hum(H)), and the University of Ottawa (L.L.B.)

You can contact Craig at:

Nelligan Law
Fax: 613-788-3690


Vice President

Rosalind Conway is a Certified Specialist in criminal law. She holds a Masters Degree in English from Carleton University, graduated from the University of Toronto Law School, and articled with McCarthy & McCarthy (now McCarthy Tetrault). Rosalind clerked for the High Court (now the Superior Court of Justice) and was an Assistant Crown Attorney in Ottawa. She has been in private practice since 1988, and became a Deputy Judge of the Small Claims Court in 2014.

She is a past president of both the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa and the Bora Laskin Law Society. She wrote "A Criminal Mind" almost monthly for the Law Times. Rosalind regularly mentors articling students and lawyers.

Rosalind received the President's Award from Women and the Law, and she received a Community Builder Award from the United Way for her fundraising for the Ottawa Food Bank. On behalf of the CCLA, she worked on the Articling Programme to create a dozen placements, and has attended meetings with Legal Aid Ukraine. She was a Member of the Committee on Compliance-Based Entity Regulation, and Chair of the Licensing Committee.

Much of her spare time is spent playing tin whistle, Irish flute and fiddle: she is a long-standing member of the Ottawa Ceili Band, and she plays in various local sessions. Rosalind enjoys travel, speaks conversational French, Russian and Polish, and is trying to improve her Hebrew.

You can contact Rosalind at:

Law Office of Rosalind E. Conway
Fax: 613-594-8111


Sean May





You can contact Sean at:

Sean May Professional Corporation
Fax: 613-230-2705


Andrew Ferguson


Andrew was called to the Bar in 2009 and is a partner with MBC Law Professional Corporation practicing in construction law, bankruptcy and insolvency, and general civil litigation.

Andrew's construction law practice includes construction liens, delay and impact claims, contractual disputes, bond claims, trust claims, and deficiency claims. Andrew regularly represents suppliers, subtrades, general contractors, construction managers, and owners. He often guest lectures at the Ottawa Construction Association.

As part of Andrew's bankruptcy and insolvency practice, he represents creditors, debtors, and trustees in bankruptcy. His general litigation experience also includes property disputes, contractual disputes, and employment matters.

Andrew completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton University, where he graduated with highest honours in 2003. Following his undergraduate studies, Andrew worked for several years in golf course construction and renovation. He obtained his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa in June 2008.

Andrew's litigation skills include strategic conflict management and mending relationships when parties take hardline positions - skills he frequently puts into use at home (having varying levels of success) with his two young children.

You can contact Andrew at:

MBC Law Professional Corporation
Fax: 613-233-8868


Past President

Ted Mann, Managing Partner at Mann Lawyers, LLP, has over 35 years of experience in the practice of law. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1980. He practised law in Toronto and P.E.I. before moving to Ottawa in 1987, and has practised in Ottawa ever since. Ted has been an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law since 2000, where he teaches Bankruptcy and Insolvency.

He has been an active member of Opera Lyra Ottawa and has performed major roles at the Savoy Society, Orpheus, Ottawa Little Theatre and Tara Players. Ted has provided his acting abilities in support of the Great Canadian Theatre Company, taking leading roles in the annual G.C.T.C. fundraising Lawyer Play.

Ted enjoys running, cycling, snowshoeing, skate-skiing and weight-training, and swims with the Y Master’s Swim Club at the downtown YMCA. Ted is also currently Chair of the Board of Directors of The Canadian Guide Dogs for The Blind.

Ted is proud of his years of services with the CCLA to date, and became President of the CCLA at the annual meeting held March 7th, 2019.

You can contact Ted at:

Mann Lawyers, LLP
Direct: 613-369-0368
Fax: 613-722-7677


Rick Haga
Executive Director

Rick has been the Executive Director of the CCLA since August of 2008. Rick is a seasoned association management professional with over 20 plus years of experience in managing associations at the local and national levels. A graduate of the University of Ottawa in 1981 with a BSc and trilingual (English, French & Dutch). Prior to joining the CCLA Rick was the National Executive Director for the Lifesaving Society (Royal Life Saving Society Canada) who’s mission is to prevent drownings and water-related injury. During his tenure with the Lifesaving Society Rick worked at the local, provincial, national and international levels to achieve the Society’s mission. Rick was also Senior Officer, Water Safety Services at the National Office for the Canadian Red Cross Society for 2 years.

Prior to his career in association management Rick managed aquatic facilities, supervised aquatic facility managers along with liaising with school boards and aquatic sports groups for the City of Ottawa for 7 years. He is a member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives and has volunteered with a number of organizations at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

In his spare time Rick is active in a masters swim club and enjoys cycling.

Rick is passionate about the Mission and Objectives of the CCLA to promote justice and advancing the interests of its members in partnership with an extremely dedicated and talented group of staff and volunteers! 

You can contact Rick at:
Direct: 613-233-9197
General: 613-233-7386 ext. 224
Toll Free: 1-866-637-3888
Fax: 613-238-3788



Roberto Aburto


Roberto Aburto was called to the Bar in 2011. He attended the joint program between the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and Michigan State University College of Law. Roberto practices in municipal law in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office. His areas of expertise include land use planning matters, expropriation, development charges, municipal tax assessment and real estate/development related litigation.

Roberto sits on the CCLA’s Diversity Committee. He is the Co-Chair of Gowling WLG’s National Diversity and Inclusion Council, and hosts the Diversonomics podcast, which discusses diversity and inclusion in the legal market.

You can contact Roberto at:

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Direct: 613-786-8679
General: 613-233-1781
Fax: 613-788-3528
You can contact Roberto at:


Sean Bawden


Sean Bawden holds the position of Director, Legal (Employment and Litigation) for Canopy Growth Corporation. 

Sean was called to the bar of Ontario in 2008, and first elected as a trustee of the CCLA in 2013.

Sean has taught both Trial Advocacy and Small Claims Court practice at Algonquin College. He has also twice coached that school’s competitive trial moot team to victory at the Durham College Paralegal Mock Trial Cup.

Sean is an alumnus of the University of Ottawa’s common law program, and York University’s Glendon College.

You can contact Sean at:

Canopy Growth Corporation
613-706-2185 x404


Katie Black


Katie Black collaborates with her clients to achieve lasting strategic solutions. Informed by her experience in civil litigation and government relations, Katie has a results oriented practice with a particular focus on commercial disputes, professional negligence, defamation, public law and employment law.

Katie's practical approach to law was informed by the unparalleled legal training she received from the Right Honourable Beverly McLachlin. During her clerkship for the former Chief Justice of Canada, Katie learned the importance of empathy in advocacy. Good solutions come from fully understanding the parties’ individual experiences, their social and business contexts and the challenges they face. The “legal solution” may not always be the practical solution because litigation is but one tool available to assist clients in achieving their objectives. Once litigation is triggered, however, Katie is a fierce advocate.

After practicing at a national firm, Katie helped found the bilingual litigation boutique Caza Saikaley LLP. She has developed an impeccable litigation track record, representing clients before commercial arbitrators, Ontario’s Superior Court, Divisional Court and Court Appeal, and various tribunals in the field of labour and mental health.

Katie received her law degree with honors standing from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. Katie publishes and lectures in the areas of constitutional, privacy and tort law. In addition to her practice, Katie loves teaching first year contract law at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Common Law.

From 2016 to her return to private practice in 2018, Katie had the honour of serving as the Judicial Affairs Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould. During this time, she helped reform Canada’s judicial appointment process to make it more transparent, accountable and diverse; develop diversity and unconscious bias training; bring about Unified Family Court expansion, and appoint over 130 judges in Canada, including three Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Active in the wider community, Katie co-founded the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (RSSP). With over 1000 lawyers across the country, the RSSP has given pro-bono legal services to the refugee sponsorship community resulting in over 4,000 refugees obtaining haven in Canada.

In recognition of her professional excellence and commitment to her community, Katie was awarded the Gordon F. Henderson Award in 2016 by the County of Carleton Law Association. In 2017, she received the Ontario Bar Association’s David Scott, Q.C. Award for Pro Bono Law. In 2018, Katie was inducted into the Common Law Honours Society of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law for her leadership, excellence and community work in law.

With humility, Katie strives daily to do good by her clients, her colleagues at the bar, her family and her community. Excellence is an iterative process and a team effort.

You can contact Katie at:

Edelson Friedman Black LLP
Fax: 613-237-0071


Robin Brown


Robin is civil litigator with Cavanagh LLP. Robin practises in the area of insurance defence litigation and has a strong interest in defending professional liability claims. Robin has appeared before the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Justice, and the Ontario Small Claims Court.

Robin is a 2015 call. She attended law school at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Common Law, where she graduated, magna cum laude, in 2014. Upon graduation, Robin was awarded the Osgoode Society Prize for Canadian Legal History given to the top graduating students.

Prior to, and during law school, Robin completed internships with local criminal defence lawyers. While she no longer practises criminal law, she still credits it for her decision to become a lawyer and for meeting her husband. For clarity, she met her husband at the courthouse but not as a former client.

When Robin is not at her desk or camped out in the CCLA library, you can find her online shopping, drinking coffee, or drinking coffee while online shopping.

You can contact Robin at:

Cavanagh LLP
Fax: 613-569-8668


Amy Jackson


You can contact Amy at:

Farber Robillard Leith LLP
613-722-9418 x233


Jennifer Jolly


Jennifer has practised family law since her call to the bar in 1993. Since 2007 she has practised in this area almost exclusively, having a complimentary Estate Litigation Practise. Jennifer has also practised employment and labour law as well as insurance defense and personal injury law, as well as being a member of the Planning Committee for the Civil Litigation Updated Conference for 10 years. Jennifer was re-elected as a Trustee for the CCLA and serves on the Family Law Bench and Bar Committee.

Jennifer grew up in Ottawa and is delighted that her office is located next to her high school, Lisgar Collegiate Institute. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University Law School, (LLB 1991), the University of British Columbia (MA 1997) and Queens University at Kingston (BAH 1986).

You can contact Jennifer at:

Law Office of Jennifer E Jolly
613 286-9924
Fax: 613 735-5078


Rachelle Laforge


Rachelle Laforge is an entrepreneur turned lawyer with degrees in both civil law and common law. Her experience in family law litigation and mediation means that she understands the complexities and emotions involved with tough family issues. Rachelle believes knowledge is power, and is deeply passionate about education and action. Rachelle teaches the family law module of the Law Practice Program at the University of Ottawa. She works tirelessly (enjoys a good brainstorming session) to find solutions, and believes that anything is possible.

Rachelle grew up in Thunder Bay and served almost 10 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a supply technician. She has lived on Vancouver Island, Quebec City and England before moving to Ottawa in 2008. Rachelle is bilingual in French and in English. She loves to work with a variety of clients, and is known for her sense of humor and her no-nonsense approach.

A fan of the arts, Rachelle encourages her family of artists to flourish and prosper. When she is not spending time in her busy office, you will probably find Rachelle in her kitchen cooking something.

Rachelle Laforge est une entrepreneure devenue avocate, diplômée en droit civil et en Common Law. Son expérience dans le domaine des litiges et de la médiation familiale fait en sorte qu’elle comprend la complexité des problèmes familiaux et des émotions qu’ils suscitent.Rachelle est d’avis que « savoir c’est pouvoir » et, en ce sens, elle se passionne pour les questions d’éducation et d’action. Elle enseigne le module du droit de la famille à l’Université d’Ottawa dans le cadre du programme de pratique du droit. Elle travaille inlassablement (tout en appréciant une bonne séance de brainstorming) pour trouver des solutions, et reste d’avis que tout est possible.

Rachelle a grandi à Thunder Bay et a servi pendant près de 10 ans dans les Forces armées canadiennes en tant que technicienne en approvisionnement. Elle a vécu sur l'île de Vancouver, à Québec et en Angleterre avant de s'installer à Ottawa en 2008. Rachelle est bilingue en français et en anglais. Elle aime travailler avec une variété de clients et elle est connue pour son sens de l'humour et son approche pragmatique.

Admiratrice des arts et de la culture, Rachelle encourage sa famille d’artistes à s’épanouir et à prospérer. Lorsqu’elle ne travaille pas à son cabinet très sollicité, vous trouverez probablement Rachelle dans sa cuisine en train de cuisiner quelque chose.
You can contact Rachelle at:

Laforge Beaulieu LLP
613-755-4056 x101


Christine Powell received her LLB from the University of Windsor in 1998 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science from McGill. A civil litigator, Christine is currently one of the managing partners at Soloway Wright LLP. At home Christine is kept busy with her two active girls, three dogs, and understanding husband. A sports enthusiast, Christine maintains her sanity playing soccer.

You can contact Christine at:

Soloway Wright LLP
Fax: 613-238-8507