Brendon D. Pooran is the founder of and a principal lawyer at PooranLaw. He is involved in most areas of the firm’s practice and regularly provides advice to individuals, families, organizations and government in the areas of: wills & estates planning; disability law; and corporate law for not-for-profit and charitable organizations.
Brendon has been involved with various disability organizations as a member, volunteer, employee or director for most of his life. His practice, which is primarily built around disability issues, is inspired by the challenges people with disabilities face throughout their lives. He created Pooranlaw to provide support to this community and to serve as a resource for accessibility issues throughout Ontario.
Prior to founding PooranLaw, Brendon worked for a large multi-national law firm where he practiced labour and employment law and at a boutique law firm that specialized in accessibility issues. Before entering the legal profession, Brendon spent several years as a management consultant where he regularly provided strategic advice to human services clients in the United States.
In addition to being a lawyer, Brendon teaches Critical Disability Law at York University, is the Past-President of Community Living York South and is a founding director of PLAN Toronto. He is also a lawyer member on the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board and provides performance management solutions to organizations in the human services arena.
Brendon holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen`s University and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
Cheryl Wiles Pooran is an experienced labour and employment lawyer whose practice is dedicated to serving not-for-profit organizations, self-directed support organizations, families and individuals in the developmental service sector. Cheryl provides advice and representation with regard to a wide variety of employment and labour law matters, including all aspects of the employment relationship, working with independent contractors, contract and policy review and development, collective bargaining, grievance resolution and arbitration, employee training, workplace investigations, wrongful dismissal, human rights issues, Occupational Health and Safety Act compliance, WSIB issues, and AODA compliance, among other things.
Cheryl’s focus and experience in the developmental service sector has given her an in depth understanding of the unique issues that affect the employment relationship for employers, individuals and families in this sector. In addition to providing day-to-day human resources related legal support, Cheryl routinely assists clients in navigating sector specific issues such as:
Cheryl has skill and experience representing clients before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and in labour arbitrations. However, Cheryl spends most of her time providing strategic advice to clients allowing them to successfully avoid situations that can give rise to claims, and in negotiating amicable resolutions that preserve relationships and reputations.
In addition to labour and employment law, Cheryl also dedicates part of her practice to working with individuals and families on a wide variety of legal matters that enhance community integration, inclusion, accessibility, access to community supports and government benefits, continuity of care, financial security and quality of life for persons with disabilities.
Cheryl has written numerous articles and delivered a variety of seminars for families and employers on a wide spectrum of employment and labour law issues. Her practice is based in Toronto, but she regularly provides advice and representation to clients throughout Ontario.
Prior to joining PooranLaw, Cheryl practiced labour and employment law with a large international law firm and a boutique labour firm in Toronto. Cheryl was also privileged to serve as a Case Worker with Parkdale Community Legal Services (a legal aid clinic in Toronto), to intern with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Terrorism in Geneva, Switzerland, and with the Human Resources Administration of New York, New York. Cheryl graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School (LLB) and Acadia University (B.A. Political Science) and has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards for academic excellence.
Nicole Chrolavicius counsel to PooranLaw. She is an experienced litigation lawyer specializing in human rights, disability, employment and administrative law. She has acted for clients across various contexts including before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Health Services Appeal and Review Board, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Ontario Superior Court and Divisional Court (Ontario). Nicole has also provided advice and representation to clients on forms of alternative dispute resolution, in order to avoid litigation wherever possible.
Nicole completed her LL.B. at the University of Western Ontario where she was named Valedictorian and graduated with distinction in 2000. She was the recipient of numerous academic awards including an award for the highest standing in the first year of the LL.B. program and a Faculty Association scholarship in law. After graduation, Nicole clerked for the Honourable Mr. Justice Major of the Supreme Court of Canada. Following the clerkship, Nicole took a position as a general litigation lawyer in a large Canadian law firm. She left the firm to pursue graduate studies abroad and obtained her B.C.L. degree from Oxford University in 2004, with a specialization in human rights. Nicole lived in London, England for two years where she ran the charity arm of one of the U.K.’s leading human rights organizations, providing free legal advice to members of the public and winning an award for coordinating the Pro Bono Activity of the Year. While in London, Nicole also worked as an HIV and AIDS campaigner and activist at an international development organization. She also co-authored a book on privacy law in the U.K. entitled Blackstone’s Guide to the Identity Cards Act 2006, published by Oxford University Press.
On her return to Canada, Nicole joined a small human rights law firm in Toronto where she represented clients in a range of human rights issues including the rights of persons with disabilities. Some of her notable litigation cases are as follows: K.U. v. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (2011) CanLii 3105 (ON HSARB); C.C.-W. v. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (2009) 95 O.R. (3d) 48 (Ont. Div. Ct); Benatta v. Canada (Attorney General) (2009) O.J. No. 5392 (ON SC). She also co-authored a report for the Canadian Human Rights Commission entitled Human Rights Issues in National Security: An Inventory of Agency Considerations.
Faisal Bhabha is counsel to PooranLaw and brings expertise in constitutional law, human rights, employment law and civil litigation. His practice combines creative advocacy, traditional litigation, and institutional consulting, including workplace investigations, dispute resolution services and policy development. Faisal began his career practising with a small social justice boutique. He represented individuals and organizations in a variety of matters, including wrongful dismissals, small claims, administrative appeals, human rights applications, Charter challenges, class actions and amicus interventions.
From 2008-2011, Faisal served as Vice-Chair with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, where he adjudicated and mediated hundreds of cases. Since 2011, he has been a full-time faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he has taught in the areas of constitutional law, human rights, professional responsibility, and appellate advocacy. He has also directed the Anti-Discrimination Intensive Program, the Mooting Program, and the Canadian Common Law LLM degree program. He has held a variety of visiting appointments around the world, including at Monash University (Australia), Jindal Global Law School (India) and Sherbrooke Law School (Quebec), as well as stints working with NGOs in South Africa and Palestine.
Faisal has researched and published in the areas of disability rights, multiculturalism, law and religion, national security, and access to justice. He advises a variety of public interest organizations and individuals in matters pertaining to constitutional law and human rights. Frequently appearing at the Supreme Court of Canada as an intervener, Faisal has also appeared as an expert witness before Canadian parliamentary committees and served as a member of the Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society of Upper Canada. In 2012, he was honoured by the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) as ‘Male Lawyer of the Year’ and in 2014 received the Osgoode Hall Law School teaching award.
Faisal completed his LL.B. at Queen’s University and his LL.M. at Harvard Law School.
Elisa Mangina’s legal practice focuses on the needs of individuals, families and not-for-profits. She has a particular interest in the unique legal issues that confront individuals with disabilities.
Elisa was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2016 after graduating from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She articled and summered at the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (“OPGT”), where she developed skills in the areas of family law, estates, social benefits and civil litigation. Elisa also worked on behalf of individuals who were eligible for awards in a major class action settlement involving historic abuse at government-run institutions for persons with disabilities.
Elisa has advocated for clients before the Social Benefits Tribunal, the Social Security Tribunal, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, as well as in family court and Small Claims Court. She has assisted unrepresented parties in family court as a volunteer with the Family Law Project of Pro Bono Students Canada. In the summer of 2013, she was awarded a Donner Civic Leadership Fund Fellowship in furtherance of her research on supported decision-making, a project carried out under the auspices of Community Living Ontario.
Elisa received the Aird & Berlis LLP/WLAO Equality Award in 2015 for her work advancing the equality rights of individuals with disabilities.
Born and raised in the United States, Elisa is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and received her MA and PhD from Cornell University. She is fluent in French and speaks conversational German. Before starting law school, she worked as a church organist and served as president of RCCO Toronto, a branch of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (“RCCO”).
Elisa is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, as well as a Fellow of the RCCO.
Jennifer Macko is an experienced litigator and social entrepreneur, whose legal experience has focused in the areas of employment, human rights, civil litigation, and poverty law. She has acted for clients before both the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and various administrative tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Social Benefits Tribunal. She is a pragmatic advocate for her clients’ interests, and is experienced in the field of alternative dispute resolution.
Prior to joining PooranLaw, Jennifer was a staff lawyer at a community legal clinic, where she advocated for the rights of low-income clients in a variety of legal matters, including employment, human rights, social assistance, and housing, and was active within several inter-clinic law reform initiatives. She has also worked at a civil litigation boutique, and as the director of a social enterprise that provided employment opportunities to individuals returning home from prison. She is active in her community, serving on the Board of Directors of the John Howard Society of Toronto, and as the Board President of KLINK Coffee, a social enterprise.
Jennifer holds a J.D. from Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science from Carleton University. In her graduating year at Queen’s, she received the Dennis Marshall Contribution Award for “demonstrating, through substantial commitment, the imprint of the graduating class on the life of Queen’s Faculty of Law.” She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2011.
Justin Amaral’s legal practice focuses on labour and employment, human rights, disability, and administrative law. He prides himself on delivering answers that are not only sophisticated and thorough, but also explained in plain language that is accessible for all. He acts for clients in a variety of contexts including the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Social Benefits Tribunal, the Consent and Capacity Board, and the Ontario Superior Court and Divisional Court (Ontario).
Prior to joining PooranLaw, Justin articled at one of Canada’s largest labour and employment law boutiques where he worked on complex matters that directly impacted precarious individuals, including several employment class actions and an extensive review of the workplace harassment policies of a large federal organization. Justin also had the privilege of serving as a Case Worker with Parkdale Community Legal Services (a legal aid clinic in Toronto) where he fought for tenant rights and represented clients at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.
During law school, Justin cultivated an interest in advocacy and access to justice initiatives. He competed in numerous oral advocacy competitions, received a Distinguished Oralist award in the Lerners Cup Moot, represented Osgoode at the American Bar Association Regional Negotiation Competition, and was part of Osgoode’s Walsh Family Law Moot team. He co-authored a research paper exploring online intake, which was featured in a video published on Canadian Lawyer and reviewed by Legal Aid Ontario as part of their research into improving access to justice for rural and remote communities. He continues to advocate for access to justice through legal aid and has co-authored an academic article on Legal Aid Ontario which is forthcoming in the Journal of Law and Social Policy. Justin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School (JD) and Wilfrid Laurier University (BA (Hons) Political Science and Communication Studies) With High Distinction.