Brian J. Wallace, Senior Commission Counsel

Mr. Wallace grew up in Victoria, B.C., attended Victoria College and graduated from the University of British Columbia (B.A., 1964 & LL.B 1968). He was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 1969 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987.

He practised in Vancouver from 1975 to 2008 with Lawson Lundell and now practises in Victoria. His practice has been principally in the fields of administrative, tax and regulatory law and as an arbitrator. He was Commission Counsel to the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission between 2006 and 2008. He also served in the Canadian Foreign Service and as counsel in the federal Department of Justice.

Mr. Wallace was a Bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia, and served as Treasurer (President) in 1993. He was a director of the Canadian Federation of Law Societies and chaired the Canadian delegation in negotiations among the legal professions of Canada, the U.S and Mexico under NAFTA for the cross-border practice of law.

David A. Levy, Consultant, Fisheries Research

David Levy was born in Ireland, grew up in Montreal, and has lived in Vancouver since 1975. His academic training includes a B.Sc. degree from McGill University, as well as M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of British Columbia. His Ph.D. research involved investigations of juvenile sockeye ecology in large lakes of the Fraser, Skeena and Okanagan watersheds. Dr. Levy began his professional career as a Research Associate with Westwater Research Centre at UBC where he investigated salmon ecology in the Fraser River estuary.

Dr. Levy has worked as a fisheries consultant for the past 20 years and has provided independent scientific and management advice to First Nations, provincial and federal government agencies, environmental organizations and the private sector. He has authored more than 50 reports on Fraser sockeye. His experience includes field project work, stock assessment, preparation of literature reviews and sockeye habitat evaluations related to climate change, mining, pipeline, hydro and transportation developments.

Keith Hamilton, Commission Policy Counsel

Mr. Hamilton grew up in Victoria, B.C., and graduated from the University of Victoria (B.A., 1966), the University of British Columbia (LL.B., 1971) and the London School of Economics (University of London, LL.M., 1972). He was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 1973, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2009.

He has served as the director of research and planning for the Law Society of British Columbia and for the Legal Aid Society of British Columbia. For three years he was director of an experimental public defender program in the Greater Vancouver area.

Mr. Hamilton taught criminal law, advanced criminal procedure and trial advocacy courses as a faculty member at the University of British Columbia’s law school, and is the author of three legal reference texts.

He has served as commission counsel, research director or policy counsel on ten earlier independent commissions of inquiry, examining such diverse issues as prosecutorial discretion, electoral boundaries, policing, prison transfers, child protection, workers’ compensation, licensed gaming, organized crime, and conducted energy weapons. He was counsel on one of the defence teams in the Air India criminal trial.

Wendy Baker, Associate Commission Counsel

Wendy Baker, QC is litigation partner in the Vancouver office of Miller Thomson. She received her BA (1987) from UBC and her LLB (1992) from the University of Victoria. Wendy practises general commercial litigation, with experience spanning many industries and areas of practice including complex commercial and corporate disputes, agricultural/marketing law, construction law, environmental law, aboriginal law, and administrative law.

Brock Martland, Associate Commission Counsel

Brock Martland was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1972. He graduated from Queen’s University (B.A. (Honours), 1995). He studied law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and the University of Victoria, graduating in 1999. He served as a law clerk for Mr. Justice John Major at the Supreme Court of Canada, before returning to British Columbia and completing articles with the Criminal Appeals and Regional offices of Crown Counsel in 2001.

Mr. Martland practises criminal law with the Vancouver law firm of Smart, Harris & Martland. His practice covers virtually all criminal allegations, with a particular emphasis on appeals, extradition, constitutional cases, and youth criminal justice. He has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, and before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has served as counsel for commissions of inquiry and in public hearings, and related litigation, under the B.C. Police Act.

Mr. Martland has presented papers or served as a panellist at legal conferences, and at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law. He is a past co–chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s International Assistance Committee, and volunteers as a pro bono lawyer for Access Justice clinics in Vancouver.

Patrick McGowan, Associate Commission Counsel

Patrick McGowan was born and raised in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. He studied law at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1997. He was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 1999, prior to which Mr. McGowan served as a Law Clerk to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. He completed his articles and worked for several years as an associate with a large Vancouver law firm. Mr. McGowan has also practiced as a sole practitioner, and is currently Associate Counsel with the firm Ritchie Sandford.

Mr. McGowan maintains a Criminal and Civil litigation practice. He has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, as well as at the Supreme Court of Canada and before administrative bodies. He has participated in mediations and arbitrations. Mr. McGowan has been involved in defending and prosecuting large and high profile criminal cases, including as defence counsel on the Pickton case. He acted as counsel for the Commission on the Braidwood inquiry. Mr. McGowan has volunteered with Access to Justice clinics, law student legal clinics, and the UBC Innocence Project.

Meg Gaily, Research Counsel

Meg Gaily was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1994, after obtaining her B.A. in 1987 (University of Toronto), LL.B. in 1992 (University of Victoria), and clerking with the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver. Ms Gaily practises civil litigation, administrative and labour law and served as the Law Officer to the British Columbia Court of Appeal for 9 years from 1999 through 2007. She also works with the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia on its texts, Civil Jury Instructions and The Family Law Sourcebook.

Lara Tessaro, Junior Commission Counsel

Lara Tessaro was born and raised in Terrace, British Columbia, near the confluence of the Kitsumkalum and Skeena rivers. In 1998, she obtained an Honours B.A. degree in International Relations and Economics and in 2002, she obtained her law degree, both from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Tessaro articled at Ecojustice Canada (formerly the Sierra Legal Defence Fund) and was called to the bar in 2004. After practicing at a small Vancouver litigation firm with a focus on civil liberties and administrative law, she moved to Ottawa to serve as junior commission counsel to the Arar Inquiry.

Ms. Tessaro joins the Cohen Commission after four years as a staff lawyer in the Vancouver office of Ecojustice, where her environmental law practice concentrated on marine conservation, species at risk and environmental assessment. She has appeared on behalf of individuals and environmental organizations at every level of court in British Columbia and at all levels of the Federal Courts, including at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Kathy Grant, Junior Commission Counsel

Ms. Grant grew up in B.C. and Alberta. She holds an Honours degree in biology (University of Ottawa, 1992), and a Masters degree in Resource Management and Environmental Studies (University of British Columbia, 1997). Prior to law school, she worked as a consultant on a variety of projects related to environmental indicators, community involvement, and multi-jurisdictional challenges in environmental management. Ms. Grant also spent three years as community outreach coordinator for West Coast Environmental Law.

In 2004, Ms. Grant graduated from UBC’s law school as a Wesbrook Scholar and the Law Society Gold Medalist. She clerked for Chief Justice Finch at the B.C. Court of Appeal, and then for Chief Justice McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada. After clerking, Ms. Grant articled and worked as an associate with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Vancouver until 2009. Her practice to date has been civil litigation with an emphasis in appellate law. She has appeared in the B.C. Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Ms. Grant has published articles in constitutional, criminal, and family law. In her spare time, she enjoys writing fiction.

Maia Tsurumi, Junior Commission Counsel

Ms. Tsurumi grew up in Victoria, B.C. and Japan. After graduating from McGill University with a B.Sc. in Biology and a Minor in Women’s Studies, she completed her Ph.D. on the ecology of hydrothermal vents (also known as deep ocean hot springs) at the University of Victoria in 2001. Ms. Tsurumi then obtained a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship and spent almost two years immersed in oceanography with Dr. Susan Allan, Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia and Dr. Dave Mackas, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

In 2006, Ms. Tsurumi, a Wesbrook Scholar, obtained her LL.B. from UBC and moved to Ottawa to clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada for Mr. Justice Ian Binnie. After her clerkship, Ms. Tsurumi articled at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Vancouver. She was an associate with Fasken Martineau’s Commercial Litigation Group until January 2010, when she left to join the Commission. She has worked on files involving negligence, contract disputes, commercial fraud, class actions, restitution and nuisance as well as constitutional cases involving Charter, division of power and standing challenges. Ms. Tsurumi has appeared in B.C. Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeal and she is interested in public, criminal and administrative law as well as appellate work.

Jennifer Chan, Junior Commission Counsel

Ms. Chan grew up in Richmond, British Columbia. She has obtained degrees from the University of British Columbia (B.Sc. Microbiology and Immunology, 2004), University of Oxford (M.Sc. in Pharmacology, with Distinction, 2006) and University of Victoria (LL.B., 2008). In addition, Ms. Chan has completed science programs at McGill University and the National University of Singapore.

As part of her undergraduate studies, Ms. Chan performed molecular biology research at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver and nanobiotechnology research for a major telecommunications company in Japan. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals and presented at two World AIDS Conferences. Her graduate studies at Oxford focused on the development of novel methods for calcium signaling detection and was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Grant Churchill.

Ms. Chan is interested in bridging the gap between science and law. As a student, she interned at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in Toronto and published articles in the Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review. She also interned with the intellectual law group of one of Singapore’s largest firms. After graduation, Ms Chan articled and served as an associate with McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Vancouver prior to joining the Cohen Commission. In her spare time, Ms. Chan enjoys volunteering. She recently appeared as counsel on a Charter case before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Patricia Woodruff, Fisheries Research Assistant

Patricia Woodruff grew up in Victoria, British Columbia and received a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Victoria. She is currently living in Vancouver and completing her M.Sc through the Department of Zoology from the University of British Columbia. As part of her Masters program, Ms. Woodruff completed the first genetic and behavioural analysis of the Cultus pygmy sculpin, listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Throughout her academic career, Ms. Woodruff took part of a variety of studies throughout the United States and British Columbia. She worked with the BC Ministry of Environment, conducting hydroacoustic and trawl surveys of the large lakes and reservoirs of BC for Kokanee stock assessments. As well, she assisted with a wetland bird study in the Sacramento Valley of California. Ms. Woodruff has also worked as a naturalist in Massachusetts, studying the behaviour of humpback whales and other marine animals.