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Shaun O'Brien

P.416.964.5519  F.416.964.5895  E.

Assistant: Helen Mercer416.964.1115 Ext. 2282

Shaun's Practice Areas


  • Call to the Bar, 2000
  • Law Clerk to the Honourable Justice Strayer, Federal Court of Appeal, 1999
  • University of Toronto, LL.B., 1998 (Dean's List, graduated with Honours)
  • BAH Queen's University (1994)


  • Ontario Bar Association – Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section, Executive

Charitable / Pro Bono Work

  • Past Board Member, Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Shaun works extensively in public law and human rights and has been counsel on leading decisions challenging government law and action as contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Shaun is lead counsel in Frank v. Attorney General (Canada), currently pending before the Supreme Court of Canada, which concerns the right to vote of over a million Canadian citizens and  was heralded in the House of Commons as a historic case. Shaun also has been active in advocating for the rights of women who experience violence and for other vulnerable groups. Her work includes launching a Charter challenge to the repeal of the federal long gun registry on behalf of women who are terrorized by firearms in the context of domestic violence. Shaun speaks at constitutional law conferences and has been on the executive of the OBA's Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights section.

Shaun has particular experience in the health sector and regularly represents nurses, lawyers and institutional clients in workplace and professional regulatory proceedings. She appears regularly at the Discipline and Fitness to Practise Committees of the health professions Colleges, as well as at the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board. She has a strong focus on the rights of professionals and other workers to be free from discrimination on the basis of disability, especially as a result of mental illnesses. She recently was involved in negotiations to redevelop the processes of the College of Nurses of Ontario with respect to nurses in recovery from mental illnesses, to ensure respect for their human rights and privacy.

Shaun also has prosecuted doctors for allegations of sexual abuse and other disciplinary matters. She provides independent legal advice to sexual assault complainants and currently is the Co-Chair of the Board of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic (which provides legal and other services to women experiencing violence.)

Shaun has expertise in administrative law and regularly argues applications for judicial review from the decisions of administrative tribunals. She is a proficient appellate advocate and has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario and at the Supreme Court of Canada.