Lawyers and Staff

John Lawford

Executive Director/General Counsel

John Lawford is Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) in Ottawa. John has been with PIAC since July 2003 and Executive Director and General Counsel since September 2012. Prior to coming to PIAC, John was a lawyer at a large national law firm doing medical-legal research. John has also been Research Director at a major Ottawa law firm. John was Special Projects Director and Webmaster for QUICKLAW Inc. from 1992 to 1999. He has an undergraduate degree in English and a Law degree from Queen’s University (1990).

John is active in the areas of telecommunications, privacy and financial services from a consumer perspective.

Ben Segel-Brown

External Counsel

Ben Segel-Brown has commenced a private practice in regulatory law and related matters and frequently represents the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and other clients before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Ontario Energy Board. He studied law at Queen’s University in Kingston. Prior to his articles, which were served with Mr. Lawford at PIAC, Ben worked for the Parliamentary Budget Office where he helped negotiate access to information, plan legislative reforms, and write reports. During his legal studies, he also acted as a legal aid caseworker assisting low-income Kingston residents with landlord-tenant, victim compensation, creditor-debtor, and quasi-criminal files. He has a bachelor degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University.

Jennifer Chow


Jennifer Chow is Counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa. She articled at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and holds a J.D. from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. Prior to her articles, Jennifer interned with the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) where she worked with colleagues to draft the Annotated Guide to the Wireless Code, a document that helps Canadian consumers understand their rights and the conduct required of wireless service providers across the country. During law school, Jennifer excelled in advocacy competitions, served as a Teaching Assistant, and received the Dean’s Award for academic excellence and outstanding contribution to the law school community. Jennifer holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto with a major in Ethics, Society, and Law and double minors in Political Science and Writing and Rhetoric.

Tahira Dawood

Policy and Research Analyst

Tahira Dawood is a Policy and Research Analyst at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She holds an LL.M. in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London (External System programmes). Prior to joining PIAC, she volunteered as a Research Analyst at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), where she helped with projects on copyright law, consumer privacy, open data, open government and public policy. During her Masters, she interned and worked on a project with PIAC. She has practiced law abroad, specializing in contracts, corporate law, intellectual property rights, and aviation law.

Donna Brady

Office Administrator

Donna Brady joined PIAC in the spring of 1992 as full-time office administrator. Her background is in Business Administration. Previous to joining PIAC, she worked as the Administrative Assistant for a City and Regional Councillor.

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