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Board and 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 2018-19: 

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 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 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.  

John Ariyo

John Ariyo is the Manager of Community Initiatives for the City of Hamilton, at the City Manager’s Office. He currently oversees the City’s public engagement, project management and community visioning portfolios.

Previously, he was with the City’s Emergency & Community Services department where he provided leadership to a portfolio of community-based strategies such as Our Future Hamilton, Age-Friendly Hamilton, Local Immigration Partnership, Strategic Youth Initiatives and Hamilton’s first Urban Indigenous Strategy. He is a well-respected municipal practitioner on inclusive public engagement and community capacity building.

John joined the Board of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic in September 2016 and currently serves as the Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. He also currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Immigrants Working Centre, Hamilton. He studied Geography, Planning and Development Studies at Bachelor’s and Master’s degree levels, and further holds a Project Management Professional designation.

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 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 a first-hand knowledge of poverty and poverty-related subjects to the Board.

For the last five years, he has been engaged in volunteer efforts with the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction through the Speak Now! Speakers Bureau, the Ontario Works Operational Advisory Committee (current co-chair), Mood Menders Support Services (current Vice-President and Past President), the Campaign for Adequate Welfare and Disability Benefits, the Hamilton Basic Income Group (HBIG), and Environment Hamilton's Good Food Box program.

He is 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. He has spoken to audiences across the city in an attempt to change the face of poverty through his engagement with Speak Now! and 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.

Lil Acevedo

Lil Acevedo was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and graduated from Mohawk College as a Social Service Worker.  She currently works at Hamilton Housing Help Centre as a Housing Coordinator. She is a singer and composer with more than 25 years of experience. She advocates for social justice and affordable housing as well as music to be included as part of the school curriculum for elementary schools in Ontario. She is a member of the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, helping to shape the city of Hamilton to welcome newcomers and immigrants.

 She joined the HCLC Board of Directors because she has a long working relationship with the Clinic as a housing worker and sees how passionate the Clinic is about social justice and how it goes above and beyond to help marginalized populations.

Chelsea MacDonald

Chelsea MacDonald is currently on the board of directors for the Children’s International Learning Centre. She chairs the Public Relations/Marketing Committee as well and has promoted the agency’s work through various media platforms. She also became involved with their fundraising and visioning committee. She was elected to be the Vice President of the Board after serving just a year after developing many new programmes, helping with re-branding and strategizing to strengthen their community presence. Chelsea also had the opportunity to complete the OnBoard Governance program to obtain a certificate in governance.

She currently works at Good Shepherd Women’s Services and was recognized with the Good Shepherd’s Hospitaller Order of St. John of God Community Service Award. She has an extensive history of volunteering with sexual violence survivors through SACHA and has volunteered her time operating the SACHA crisis line, working on the Take Back the Night planning committee, and also on the management board. Most recently, she sits on the Housing and Homelessness Advisory Committee with the City of Hamilton, providing insight and guidance to policy and program initiatives aimed at ending homelessness. She also participates on the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council and the YWCA Young Women’s Advisory Council.

She has an active passion for social justice and currently serves on two provincial committees through her union – the Young Worker’s Committee and the Women’s Committee. Through these she was able to fundraise to subsidize one third of the participants that attended the Elect More Women event in the autumn of 2017 through the YWCA.  She is active in our community, showing leadership in the pursuit of a more just and equitable society. She seeks to make a difference, not just one on one with individuals in Hamilton, but also influencing governance of not-for-profit organizations and acting in advisory roles with city government.

Sebastien Skrobos

Sébastien Skrobos joined the HCLC board in September 2017 as one of the francophone board members. He was born and raised in France and moved to Hamilton in 2011. Sébastien is the executive director of the French-Language Health Planning Entity and has been working in the Hamilton francophone community since 2011. His personal involvement in the Hamilton community started shortly after his arrival. He was involved in the Hamilton Engagement Committee that became the Our Future Hamilton initiative, he was part of the HLCC French-Language Services committee, was the vice-president of the French-Language Health Planning Entity for 3 years and has recently become a board member of ACFO Régionale Hamilton, the French-Canadian Association of Hamilton that fosters the development of the francophone community in the region. Sébastien feels that he received so much from the community when he arrived in the city, that he wants to give back by dedicating time to community organizations that support and promote social justice, healthcare, and francophone rights.

Simon Lebrun

Simon is a Community Resources Developer at Information Hamilton, the home of The Red Book of Hamilton. He works with the team that keeps this comprehensive database of social, government, health, and community services up to date, packages resources tailored to needs of specific communities in barrier-reducing ways, and connects people to the services they need.

He is a member of the Hamilton Trans Health Coalition, the Healthy Birth Weights Collaborative, the Hamilton Brown Bag Lunch, and the Admissions Committee of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, and a former member of the boards of Hamilton Pride and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Community Wellness Centre (The Well).

He joined the Board of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic in September 2017 to broaden his understanding of systems in Hamilton that surround the right to access justice, and the systemic barriers that impede equal access. His work with the board helps him be a better advocate professionally and personally. He currently sits on the governance, finance, and fundraising committees.

Anjum Chauhan


“I believe that it is my responsibility to contribute back to the community, and I am excited to be able to offer my skills and experience as a board member of HCLC to support HCLC’s mission to provide free bilingual legal services to low income residents of Hamilton.” 

Anjum immigrated to Canada in late 2014 and has happily called Hamilton home ever since.  She is currently a Project Coordinator of STEM Girls program at the YWCA Hamilton.  In this role, she develops, plans, coordinates and evaluates STEM programs for young school age girls between grade 6-8 to nurture their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

Anjum earned a Bachelor's in Microbiology and a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from the Bhavnagar University, India.  She also holds a Mohawk College graduate certificate in Web Design and Development and is a CIW certified Web Design Specialist.  She grew up in India, speaks several languages, and is passionate about every aspect of education, women empowerment, gender equality, diversity and inclusion.  She is actively engaged in the Hamilton community, offering her time and skills to various volunteer initiatives.  She also sits on the Board of Information Hamilton and is a member of the Equitable Pathways to Technical Fields and Skilled Trades Advisory committee.

Anne Patenaude


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.

Clinic Staff

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

The Executive Director is Hugh Tye.



Andrew Bomé                                     

Avril Cardoso

Annie Law                   

Samuel Mason

Marla Brown                                      

Sharon Crowe                                      

Stephanie Cox                                     

Ali Naraghi 

Nadine Watson                                      

Alexandra Djagba Oli 

Human Rights Legal Support (Satellite)

Rani Khan

Community Legal Workers

Deya Benavides                                            

Cat Cayuga

Constanza Duran                                           

Donna Eaton

Jérome Pômmier                                             

Dhara Shah

Support Staff

Melissa Borkovich               

Teresa Workman                                              

Nelly Sinclair                       

Lysa Springer                     

Sylvia Blacklock                                               

Shannon Angrish

Brett Book 

 Ayak Wel

Aché Yaya                                

Community Development Workers

Maria Antelo                      

Bob Wood

Indigenous Justice Co-ordinator

Lyndon George

Together We Rise Co-ordinator

Mouna Bile

Social Worker

Gopal Banerjee

Management Team:

Hugh Tye

Mike Ollier 

Lindsay Beckham         

Judy MacKay          

Mickey Capuano

Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction Team

Laura Cattari           

Jennifer Chivers                 

Tom Cooper

Strategic Plan

In September 2013 the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communautaire de Hamilton presented its new Strategic Plan at its Annual General Meeting.

The Board of Directors worked diligently for more than a year to develop a Strategic Plan that will guide the new amalgamated clinic for the next two years. (Hamilton’s three community legal clinics amalgamated in 2010 after over 30 years of service.)

Strategic Goal 1 Establish, develop and strengthen relationships with groups that advocate for under-served populations.

  • Specific culturally appropriate training for Board and staff regarding under-served populations.
  • Identify and invite groups to engage with us.
  • Produce educational materials for identified groups.

Strategic Goal 2  Enhance visibility and accessibility of Clinic services.

  • Create, develop and maintain partnerships with agencies to improve access to Clinic services.
  • Develop a marketing plan.

Strategic Goal 3  Strengthen the effectiveness of the community-based Clinic model.

  • Work with the Southwest Region of clinics to increase collaboration.
  • Support implementation of the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario (ACLCO) Strategic Plan.
  • Determine an appropriate mechanism to evaluate the impact of service delivery.
  • Continue to nurture relationships with community partners.
  • Share community achievements with stakeholders through established communication strategies.