Staff Rally at Jackson Square 2019

Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Board members share the goals of the clinic in serving the diverse legal needs of low income Hamiltonians. The Board is responsible to the community for the services provided by the clinic.  The Board is also responsible to Legal Aid Ontario for the use of funding dollars.

Board members for 2019-2020

Hina Saeed

Hina Saeed (Chair)

Hina Saeed joined the HCLC Board of Directors in January 2015 and presently serves as Chair of the Board. Hina is an associate lawyer in the Hamilton office of Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP. Her practice involves all areas of employment, labour and human rights law. Hina received her Juris Doctor from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor in 2013 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2014. Prior to attending law school,Hina received her Honours Bachelor in Arts and Science with a combined Honours degree in Religious Studies from McMaster University. Hina has been very passionate about social justice initiatives throughout her life. She has volunteered for various non-profit organizations including Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, Amnesty International, Children’s Aid Society, Big Brothers & Big Sisters (GoGirls Program) and Inasmuch House for Women in Crisis.

Deepa Daval

Deepa Dayal

Deepa Dayal is a lawyer practicing as a sole practitioner in Hamilton for last ten years. She was called to Bar in India in 1994, whereupon she started her practice. She was called to Bar in Ontario in 2006. She is practicing in the areas of Family Law, Child Protection Law and Wills & Power of Attorney. She has been on the panel of Family Law, Child Protection and Domestic Violence lawyers for Legal Aid Ontario for last ten years. She has also been providing Duty Counsel services at the Family Court of Hamilton for Legal Aid Ontario for last ten years.    She has been a board member of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic since its inception in 2010. She is currently serving as a Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for last few years. Previously, she was a Board member of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Mountain Legal & Community Services for about six years. She has gained valuable experience as a board member. She is also involved with the community of the city of Hamilton by being a board member.

Sophie Adair

Sophie Adair

Sophie has been with the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic since 2014. Sophie currently sits on the Executive Committee as the Secretary to the board and works as the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic Board liaison for the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario. In addition to these responsibilities, Sophie is an active board member who sits on numerous Board committees such as the Complaints Committee, Personnel Committee, Equality Committee, and the Indigenous Advisory Committee YEN:TENE. Sophie has post secondary education in Criminology, Human Rights and Human Diversity, Contemporary Studies, and Dispute Resolution. In addition, she has completed extensive training in interest-based mediation. Sophie recently finished her studies in Human Resources and is pursing a career in the field.

Sandi Bell

Sandi Bell

Sandi Bell is a former Canadian Human Rights Commissioner. She is a mediator and Restorative Justice practitioner. She has dedicated her life to advocating for anti-racism, anti-oppression and anti-discrimination for people from marginalized communities. Sandi has proven her dedication to the clinic system over the past 20 plus years having served as Chair of ARCH, Chair of Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, and Co-Chair of the Provincial Learning Advisory Committee. She is currently Immediate Past Chair of HCLC and a board member of ISAC and ARCH.

John Mills

John Mills

John retired from the workforce in 2017 after a thirty-year career in the Information Technology sector. He spent a few years on Ontario Works and brings first-hand knowledge of poverty and poverty-related subjects to the Board.

For the last eight years, he has been engaged in volunteer efforts with the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR) through the Speak Now! Speakers Bureau and co-coordinating the LivingProof Speakers Bureau, the Ontario Works Operational Advisory Committee, Mood Menders Support Services (current Past President), the Campaign for Adequate Welfare and Disability Benefits (current Treasurer), as a Director with the Basic Income Canada Network, Internal Relations Coordinator for the Ontario Basic Income Network, on the Steering Committee of the Basic Income Hamilton Group (HBIG), and with Environment Hamilton’s Good Food Box program.

He was actively involved in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot as an individual who is recognized as a voice for those in poverty and through participation with HBIG and HRPR. He has spoken to audiences across the city in an attempt to open a new lens through which to view poverty. He continues to address the challenges faced by those living in poverty.

He joined the Board of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic in September 2016 and currently serves as the Chair of the Governance Committee and sits on the Finance and Audit Committee. He joined the Board to help increase its visibility among those that the Board has been tasked to serve and to further strengthen the role of the Hamilton Clinic in Ontario.

Simon Lebrun

Simon Lebrun

Simon works in Hamilton as an information technology consultant. He grew up on the mountain and studied computer engineering at McMaster University. He has worked or volunteered with not-for-profit organizations that pursue systemic changes to address inequality and offer social services in an anti-oppressive framework since 2007. This has included work with the Hamilton Trans Health Coalition, Information Hamilton, Public Health (City of Hamilton), the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, The Well, The 519 (Toronto), the Hamilton Positive Space Collaborative, the AIDS Network, and the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum project. Simon joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and sits on the governance, finance, and fundraising committees.

anne patenaude

Anne Patenaude-Dlugosz

Born and raised in Hamilton, Anne Patenaude-Dlugosz is very proud to be part of the Board of directors for the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.

After high school, Anne left Hamilton to pursue her studies in French at the University of Ottawa.  After  teacher’s college, she had the pleasure of teaching in french for many years in various colleges, high schools and elementary schools in various cities in Ontario.

During her teaching career, she was an active member of the executive committee for AEFO,(Association des Enseignants et des Enseignantes Franco Ontariens de l’Ontario.),  the teachers union.  She was also president of the advisory committee for women in Leadership (CCLF) at the provincial level.  She continued this passionate work by representing the French association at a national level for the Canadian Teacher’s Federation.

Now, she’s very happy to be back home, retired, with her family and fellow Hamiltonians.

Arijana Palme

Arijana joined the Board of Directors in December 2020.

Her passion for social justice was ignited by her work as a doula (supporting birthing individuals in labour) where it became obvious that the most sweeping changes in reproductive justice had to be made at the structural and systemic level. She is currently completing her social work degree in an attempt to carve out a path towards these changes rooted in critical discourse analysis and anti-oppressive, anti-colonial and anti-racist frameworks. She aims to always use this perspective in her privileged role as a director on the board and does not take this responsibility lightly.

Immigrating from Bosnia and Herzegovina during the wars in the early 1990s, Arijana’s experience of genocide is a salient aspect of how she approaches her responsibilities as a settler on this land.

Hamilton is home now and this evolving city is a beautiful place for putting down new roots.

Kris Noakes

Kris Noakes is a citizen of the Anishinabek Nation, a member of Nipissing First Nation. She is a community advocate for Indigenous communities at the Municipal, Provincial, Federal levels. She has previously served both as the Executive Director and President of The Indigenous Network FriendshipCentre, for over a decade building Indigenous services for the Peel and Halton Regions.

Kris has also volunteered supporting local initiatives through Public Appointments on the City of Mississauga and City of Brampton’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Museums of Mississauga Advisory Committee. Kris has also served as a member of the Region of Peel’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy Community Advisory Board (CAB), the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Advisory Circle for the Peel District School Board (PDSB), the Toronto Area Education Leads for the Aboriginal Education Office of Ministry of Education and a Director for Art Gallery of Mississauga.

She is currently focusing on access to justice initiatives through a Federal Appointment to the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Judicial Advisory Committee for the Greater Toronto Area.  She is a member of the Indigenous Education Committee at the Brampton Court House, a member of Peel Dufferin Legal Aid’s Community Advisory Committee. Kris is a member of the Brampton Fire & Emergency Services Chief’s Community Engagement Panel, a member of the Board of Directors for the Centre Canadien pour L’Unité de la Famille and a member of Hamiltons’s chapter of 100 Women Who Care.

Kingsley A. Audu Esq. (LLB, BL, Pgd – in view)

LinkedIn –

Kingsley is an experienced lawyer, company secretary & administrator, GRC (governance, risk management & compliance) specialist with over 15 years experience currently rounding up a post graduate diploma in global business management Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

With a background of working both as in-house counsel and external counsel, Kingsley has worked in a variety of legal, company secretarial & GRC positions across the major sectors of the Nigerian economy – Finance, Real Estate, Law, Regulatory Compliance and Oil & Gas sectors.

A graduate from the University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State & the Nigerian Law School, Bagauda, Kano State (both in Nigeria), Kingsley is a life-long learner intends to immediately commence his NCA foreign trained lawyer assessment/accreditation & his RIMS – Certified Risk Management Professional designation after the completion of his Pgd.

Kingsley is interested in reading, start-ups, global trade, volunteer activities, soccer and He is happily married with children.

David Quezada

David Quezada joined the HCLC Board of Directors in January 2021. He was born and raised in Chile and moved to Hamilton in 2017. David is the Communications & Development Manager and LINC Manager at the Immigrants Working Centre in Hamilton.

David grew up during the time of the Chilean military dictatorship. His years in Chile and the social injustice he saw made an impact on him and he decided to study Human Rights law. Later he completed a Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation at the Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding in Virginia. He has been involved with diverse boards, committees, and non-profit organizations in Latin America, United States, and Canada.

His expertise is focused on restorative justice practices, psychosocial trauma/well-being, theories of reconciliation, and dignity.

Clinic Staff

Our clinic is staffed by community legal workers, support staff, community development workers, lawyers, and volunteers.

Community Legal Workers/Paralegals

  • Deya Benavides
  • Cat Cayuga
  • Constanza Duran
  • Donna Eaton
  • Jérome Pômmier
  • Dhara Shah
  • Kerop Sargsyan

Support Staff

  • Sylvia Blacklock
  • Melissa Borkovich (on leave)
  • Nelly Sinclair
  • Lysa Springer
  • Aché Yaya
  • Allison Randall
  • Amina Shabeen
  • Jennifer Le
  • Arielle Spilak
  • Ayak Wal (on leave)
  • Jennifer Le

Community Development Co-ordinator

  • Maria Antelo

Indigenous Justice Co-ordinator

  • Lyndon George

Bilingual Black Justice Co-ordinator

  • Gachi Issa

Queer Justice Project Lead

  • Michael Blashko

Social Workers

  • Gopal Banerjee
  • Ayak Wel


  • Mohamad Bsat
  • Andrew Bomé
  • Natalie MacDonnell
  • Stephanie Cox
  • Sharon Crowe
  • Annie Law
  • Emily Keene (on leave)
  • Ali Naraghi (on leave)
  • Katie Remington
  • Nadine Watson (on leave)
  • Michael Blashko
  • Elsa Ascencio
  • Tyson Burke

Management Team

  • Lindsay Beckham  – Supervisor of Intake Services
  • Teresa Workman – Supervisor of Operations
  • Judy MacKay – Supervisor of Finance & Administration
  • Mike Ollier – Director of Legal Services
  • Clare Freeman – Executive Director

Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction Team

  • Laura Cattari
  • Jennifer Chivers
  • Tom Cooper