For nearly two decades, Laésha has maintained a dispute resolution practice that focuses on securities, administrative law and complex commercial litigation.  As an administrative lawyer she has worked extensively on investigations and enforcement proceedings involving government/regulatory agencies in the US, the UK and Canada. She has represented clients in hearings before various administrative tribunals and has assisted in both challenging and defending decisions or actions taken by governments, regulatory bodies and tribunals. Her clients have included global financial institutions with frequent international travel to represent them across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, Europe and North America. Her litigation experience builds upon her ability to advocate and navigate through complex contested proceedings. She has appeared as counsel at all levels of court in British Columbia and regularly assists clients to achieve favorable court outcomes as well as settlements.

In BC, before Poulus Ensom Smith LLP, Laésha was a partner at McEwan Partners and served in the public sector as litigation counsel in the Enforcement Department of the British Columbia Securities Commission. Prior to relocating to BC in 2015, Laésha practiced for 10 years at top international law firms in New York (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP) and London (Allen & Overy LLP)  where her practice focused on high stakes commercial litigation and on acting for large financial institutions in relation to a broad range of regulatory and white collar criminal issues including market manipulation, insider trading, anti-bribery and corruption, mis-selling, fraud and other types of system and controls failings.

*Law Corporation

Assisted by Paralegal:
Italba Florio
iflorio@peslitigation.com
(778) 727-3511

  

Education

  • McGill University, LL.B, 2005
  • Queen’s University, B.A., with honors, 2002

Bar Admission

  • New York, 2006
  • British Columbia, 2017
  • Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch in Canada – Corporate and Commercial Litigation, 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada – Emerging Talent, BC Litigator of the Year, 2023
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada, Top 100 Women in Litigation 2023
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada, Litigation Star 2023-present
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada, Future Star 2022
  • 40 and Under Hot List in Canada, 2020
  • Successfully resolved a Capital Markets Regulation misconduct referral to the Enforcement division of BC Securities Commission in relation to potential breach of section 34(a) of the Securities Act by a private IR Company.
  • Successfully negotiated a settlement with the BC Securities Commission in relation to a breach of section 34(a) of the Securities Act by a related entity to a mortgage investment fund.
  • Successfully resolved a BC Securities Commission investigation into directors and officers of a reporting issuer for potential breaches of sections 168.1(1)(b) and 85(b) of the Securities Act.
  • Successfully resolved a misconduct referral made by the Capital Markets Regulation division to the Enforcement division BC Securities Commission in relation to an investment fund’s potential breach of section 34(a) of the Securities Act and section 14 of the Securities Rules.
  • Successfully defended a first application to vary a protective order over their client’s confidential information.
  • Obtained a Norwich Order directing third party operators of online platforms to disclose information necessary to identify perpetrators of an online defamatory campaign.
  • Successfully appealed a decision of the BC Securities Commission dismissing an application to set aside or vary freeze orders and established new threshold evidentiary standards applicable to all Commission freeze orders going forward.  Read the full decision here.
  • Successfully struck the vast majority of court claims brought by the BC Securities Commission as brought without statutory authority and failing to disclose a reasonable cause of action.  Read the full decision here.
  • Successfully opposed a lawyer’s petition for judicial review seeking to stay a Law Society investigation into to the lawyer’s entire practice.  Read the full decision here.
  • Successfully struck, as improper reply, evidence tendered on an application for leave to bring a secondary market claim under theSecurities Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 418.  Read the full decision here.
  • Successfully sought leave to appeal a decision of the BC Securities Commission dismissing an application to set aside or vary freeze orders issued against real and personal property pursuant to section 151 of the Securities Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 418.  Read the full decision here.
  • Successfully opposed an application for a mandatory injunction brought by a plaintiff compelling the execution of priority agreements, subordination agreements, and postponement agreements required to secure financing in relation to a real estate development deal. Read the full decision here.
  • “Civil Proceedings, Class Actions and Misrepresentations” – Panel member, CLEBC Securities Litigation 2024 (March 8, 2024)
  • “Pleading Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duties and Other Common Claims” – Panel member, CLEBC Commercial Litigation 2023 (November 28, 2023)
  • “Surprise!: Dealing with the Unexpected at Trial” – Panel member, CLEBC Direct Examination 2023 (September 20, 2023)
  • “Careers in the Legal Profession: Which Path is Right for You?” – Panel moderator, CBABC Women Lawyers Forum (May 16, 2023)
  • “Legal Professional Panel” – Panel member, Annual Black Law Students Association Pre-Law Conference (January 28, 2023)
  • “How the BC Courts are breathing new life into Section 171 of the Securities Act” – Speaker,  The Advocates’ Society 12th Annual Securities Symposium (September 14, 2022)
  • “The Shift: Leveraging Your Law Degree Across Borders” – Panel member, 31st Annual Black Law Students’ Association of Canada Conference (February 18, 2022)

Laesha is actively involved in community work as well as multiple professional activities. She currently sits on the board of directors of Rise Women’s Legal Centre which is a pro bono community legal clinic and teaching facility that provides legal services, primarily in family law, to women and gender diverse people all over BC.  In addition to the professional memberships listed below, Laesha sits on the Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee and is Co-chair of the CBA’s Women Lawyer’s Forum’s Education Committee.  She is also Vice President of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and serves as CABL BC’s liaison to the CBA’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the Anti-Racism/Racial Justice Collective.

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association (CBA)
    • Appointed Co-Chair, CBA Women Lawyers Forum’s Education Committee 
    • Appointed to the CBA Access to Justice Committee 
  • Member, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)
    • Appointed Vice President, CABL BC Chapter
    • Mentor, CABL BC/BLSA Mentorship Program
    • Liaison to the CBA’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
  • Member, Selection Committee 2023 JD Bridges Bursary, JD Bridges Foundation
  • Member, The Advocates’ Society
  • Member, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
  • Member, Vancouver Bar Association
  • Member, Women’s White Collar Defense Association