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.

Alysia Lau

Barrister & Solicitor, Counsel, Regulatory and Public Policy

Alysia Lau, Barrister & Solicitor, is external Counsel, Regulatory and Public Policy, to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She specializes in regulatory and consumer protection law, media and broadcasting, telecommunications, energy, and privacy. Alysia regularly appears before administrative tribunals and Parliamentary committees on various consumer protection and public policy matters. She holds a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts & Science from McMaster University. Outside of law, she also volunteers with the OIM Innercity Arts program in Ottawa.

Ben Segel-Brown

Legal Counsel

Ben Segel-Brown has been rehired after articling at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa. He studied law at Queen’s University in Kingston. Prior his articles, 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.

Tahira Dawood

Policy and Research Analyst

Tahira Dawood is Policy and Research Analyst at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. She holds a 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.

Jennifer Chow

Articling Student 2017-18


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