John E. Callaghan, the Commission’s co-lead counsel, is a partner in GowlingWLG's Toronto office with a broad practice in civil and commercial litigation and regulatory offence work. He is a past leader of the firm's Commercial Litigation Group. He was called to the bar in 1989.
John has acted on an array of different matters. His work includes a wide range of public and private law litigation involving the interests of individuals, corporations and government. He has appeared at both the trial and appellate level. His work has included several public inquiries.
John has been recognized by several publications as a leading commercial counsel in Canada, including Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide; Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys and the Best Lawyers in Canada.
John was a governor of the legal profession in Ontario having been a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario for eight years where he served in many capacities, including Chair of Government Relations for several years.In that capacity, he worked with government and stakeholders to improve the judicial system in areas such as the unified family court and legal aid.
John is the second-longest-serving member of the Civil Rules Committee in Ontario, having been appointed by successive Chief Justices of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
He is co-author of Class Actions: Law and Practice (Lexis/Nexis). The text is the leading authority on the subject of class actions in Canada.
Kate McGrann, the Commission’s co-lead counsel, is a partner at Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP where she provides strategic advice and representation on complex matters in areas including corporate/commercial litigation, professional discipline, employment, fraud, and defamation.
In 2019, she was appointed Lead Inquiry Counsel on the Town of Collingwood Judicial Inquiry into the 50% share sale of Collingwood Utility Services Corporation to PowerStream Inc., which involved evidence from 49 witnesses over 56 public hearing days.
In 2017-2018, Kate served as Senior Enforcement Counsel in the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission. In that role, she represented Staff of the Commission in numerous enforcement matters, including prosecuting allegations of unregistered trading, illegal distributions and fraud, and advising on confidential investigations. She acted for Staff in a significant joint hearing before the Commission and the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan involving the interpretation of a newly-adopted takeover bid regime and its applicability to a contested takeover in the cannabis industry.
As an experienced litigator and advocate, Kate regularly appears before a variety of Courts, tribunals, arbitrators and regulatory bodies including all levels of the Ontario courts, the British Columbia Supreme Court, the Ontario Securities Commission, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Municipal Board and the Financial Planning Standards Council.
Since 2018, Kate has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation Canada as one of the top litigation lawyers under 40 in Canada and she is ranked by Lexpert as a leading Securities Litigation Lawyer. Over her career she has advised and represented clients in a wide variety of subject areas ranging from indigenous rights to intellectual property, municipal law and professional negligence, always maintaining a strong commitment to public interest regardless of the forum.
K. Lynn Mahoney, the Commission’s counsel is counsel at Gowling WLG in Toronto and a senior member of the firm’s Advocacy Group. Called to the Ontario Bar in 1988, Lynn is a seasoned advocate with in-depth experience conducting complex commercial, criminal and administrative litigation as both prosecutor and defence counsel.
She has acted as counsel to numerous large public inquiries and high-profile independent reviews commissioned by the federal and Ontario provincial governments, including the Walkerton Inquiry. With a diverse litigation practice, Lynn has also been involved in a number of professional disciplinary matters. She has appeared before the Law Society of Ontario and as independent counsel to the Ontario College of Pharmacists and the College of Midwives of Ontario.
In addition to her work in private practice, Lynn has extensive in-house experience. She spent seven years at nuclear generator Bruce Power as general counsel and assistant general counsel, providing strategic oversight and advice in connection with commercial disputes and regulatory matters. She also served as the company’s Code of Conduct and Privacy Officer.
Lynn is a member of the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association and The Advocates’ Society.
Ida Bianchi, Senior Secretariat Counsel, is seconded from the Ministry of the Attorney General where she provides senior management and government officials legal advice and support with respect to legislative reform and policy and program development.
Before joining the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ida spent most of her 25-year legal career advocating on behalf of vulnerable individuals and communities. While in private practice, she represented victims of domestic violence, and childhood physical and sexual abuse in civil and family proceedings and before compensation tribunals. She also acted for parents and children in proceedings under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act. She was a member of the Personal Rights Panel of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and was counsel to Jewish Family and Child Service and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.
After leaving private practice, Ida led several research projects and developed a number of policies and programs aimed at improving access to justice for individuals from marginalized communities and unrepresented litigants through her work at Legal Aid Ontario and the Law Commission of Ontario. These included an online platform to provide information to unrepresented litigants and launching, in partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, an externship program focused on child protection practice.
Since 2016, Ida has worked on Commissions of Inquiry. Ida acted as Commission Counsel at both the Motherisk Commission, which examined the impact of tainted evidence on child welfare proceedings, and the Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System which investigated the circumstances leading to the murder of a number of residents in long term care homes by a Registered Nurse. At both Commissions, she oversaw policy and legal research, identified and reached out to relevant stakeholders, developed and led the Commission’s consultation process and assisted the Commissioner in developing recommendations