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Home News & Events Latest News 2019 Ontario lawyers elect new governing body for 2019-23 term

Ontario lawyers elect new governing body for 2019-23 term

May 01, 2019

Toronto, ON — The Law Society of Ontario has a new governing board for the 2019-23 bencher term, following the election of 40 lawyer benchers and five paralegals — from a total of 126 lawyer candidates and 18 paralegal candidates. The bencher election is held every four years, and this was the first election where lawyer and paralegal benchers were elected simultaneously.

Benchers meet regularly to formulate policy on matters related to the provision of legal services and to the governance of the legal professions. They also participate on Law Society committees and may be appointed to the Law Society Tribunal to hear conduct, capacity and competence proceedings.

“I’m honoured to be re-elected and look forward to working with the new board as we address the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead,” says Law Society Treasurer Malcolm Mercer. “We have a new board that includes practitioners from many communities, practice areas, work environments, firm sizes and geographic locations.”

A total of 16,156 lawyers voted, representing 30 per cent of eligible lawyer voters, while 1,556 paralegals voted, representing 17 per cent of eligible paralegal voters. This compares to 34 per cent in the 2015 lawyer bencher election and 20 per cent in the 2014 paralegal bencher election.

Ontario lawyers elect 40 benchers — 20 from inside Toronto and 20 from outside Toronto. Eight of the 40 are regional benchers — the candidates who received the highest number of votes from voters in their own electoral region.

The remaining 32 are the 13 candidates from outside of Toronto and the 19 candidates from Toronto who received the most votes from all lawyer voters.

Five paralegals are elected.

The following is the list of all elected benchers in order of standing. For those benchers outside of Toronto, their region appears beside their name. Regional benchers are noted by an *.


Outside Toronto


Murray Klippenstein *

Joseph Chiummiento (CE) *

Robert P. Adourian

Andrew Spurgeon (CS) *

Chi-Kun Shi

Gary D. Graham (CW-CO) *

Geoff Pollock

Cheryl R. Lean (E) *

Sam Goldstein

Jack Braithwaite (NE) * - Acclaimed Bencher

Lubomir Poliacik

Etienne Esquega (NW-NO) *

D. Jared Brown

Gerard Paul Charette (SW-SO) *

John F. Fagan

Ryan Alford (NW-NO)

Nicholas dePencier Wright

Cecil Lyon (E)

Philip H. Horgan

C. Scott Marshall (CW-CO)

Joseph Groia

Jorge E. Pineda (CS)

Orlando Da Silva

Alexander David Wilkes (CE)

Julia Shin Doi

Brian L. Prill (CW-CO)

Isfahan Merali

Jean-Jacques Desgranges (E)

Gina Papageorgiou

Trevor Robert Parry (CS)

Sidney H. Troister

Teresa Donnelly (SW-SO)

Julian Falconer

Jacqueline Horvat (SW-SO)

Atrisha Lewis

Claire Wilkinson (CW-CO)

Megan Shortreed

Paul M. Cooper (CE)

Malcolm Mercer

Dianne G. Corbiere (CE)

* Regional Bencher

    Paralegal Benchers
Robert Burd
Marian Lippa
Cathy Corsetti
Shelina Lalji
Michelle Lomazzo

Additional information, including candidate profiles, is available at:

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.


Media Contact: Susan Tonkin, Senior Communications Advisor,, 416-947-7605

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