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Toronto litigator Andrew Pinto takes the helm from Bruce Elman

Andrew Pinto was just weeks into his new role on the LCO Board of Governors in 2012 when he found himself citing the Commission’s report on vulnerable workers in a meeting with a client.

“I joined the Law Commission because it resonated with the things I believe to be true — that thoughtful people can look deeply and carefully at difficult problems, consult with experts and use their considerable background to come up with practical solutions.”

Those practical solutions, he says, can have real life consequences for all kinds of people, including the clients he serves as a partner at Pinto James LLP in Toronto, where he practices civil, employment and administrative law.

Pinto vows to keep this reality top of mind as he begins his three-year term as board chair, taking over from University of Windsor law professor Bruce Elman, who served six years in the role. “My priority is to never forget who the Law Commission is for — it’s not lawyers or judges. At the end of the day, it’s for the betterment of the people of Ontario, to give them more access to the law and to have a better society. It’s as utopian as that.”

One of Pinto’s first tasks as chair will be to lead the LCO through an active publication stage. Three of the four current projects will conclude in 2019. The Board will also continue to oversee new projects, including projects on lndigenous law and digital rights.

Elman, who will serve one more year as past chair, is keen to see the LCO continue its legacy of deep, objective research infused with community consultation. But he’d also like to see more stakeholders and policymakers stand up and take notice of the Commission’s recommendations.

“I have an enormous sense of pride in the exceptional work of our staff and board tinged with some healthy frustration that so much of what seems evident to us after such extensive research hasn’t been adopted into law.”

“We want to move the needle forward,” agrees Pinto. “I’m deeply grateful to Bruce, my Board colleagues and the LCO staff for giving me this opportunity to step outside of daily litigation to look carefully at issues that matter to us all.”

The appointment of the LCO’s new board chair coincided with several additional Board updates and staff changes.