Sara is a bilingual senior leader with 14 years of executive experience in an in-house general counsel role, working in the labour, employment, and education sectors.
Corporate; Corporate Governance; Corporate Social Responsibility; Employment; Litigation; Privacy and Data Security; Administrative Law; Human Rights Law; Labour Law; Policy Development
Former firms & in-house roles:
Athabasca University; Bertschi Orth Smith LLP; Laurentian University of Sudbury; Sudbury Community Legal Clinic
Sara is a bilingual Senior Legal Counsel with over 17 years of experience in the non-profit and Broader Public Sector (BPS), 14 years of which was as in-house general counsel in the highly regulated public post-secondary education sectors (PSE) in Ontario and Alberta. In her roles as general counsel reporting to the presidents of the universities she served, Sara was the executive team member responsible for leading teams of professionals in the portfolios of corporate governance (Boards of Governors and Senates/General Faculties Council), in-house legal services (including developing legal strategy, managing all legal files and being solely responsible for instructing and managing external counsel), privacy (as Chief Privacy Officer), administrative policy and program framework development, administrative records and information management, as well as the arm’s length office of the Student Ombudsperson and the judicial branch of academic student appeals. In both of Sara’s in-house roles, she has navigated extremely complex legal landscapes as well as highly sensitive matters of reputational importance. Sara also provided strategic business, governance, risk management and crisis management advice to Executive Team members and Senior Leaders, and regularly provided strategic communication and public relations advice as well.
Throughout her career, Sara has provided legal advice related to Administrative law, Corporate law, Corporate Governance, Employment and Labour law, Human Rights, Administrative law, Privacy law, Poverty law, Policy Development and matters of general litigation and risk. Sara has appeared as legal counsel or as general counsel supporting external legal counsel before administrative Boards and Tribunals focusing on issues pertaining to Labour and Human Rights, and appellate matters related to Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Employment Insurance, Canadian Pension Plan.
Sara places great importance on providing her clients with strategic and practical counsel that aligns with their core values and prioritizes their long-term business plans. Trustworthy, honest, passionate and collaborative, Sara considers all the moving parts related to governance, policy, privacy, law, crisis management and communications when giving her clients advice.
Sara is a member in good standing of both the Law Society of Ontario (called in 2006) and the Law Society of Alberta (called in 2021).
University of Ottawa, French Common Law Program (LL.B), 2005
Laurentian University of Sudbury B.A (Hons.), 2002