Members' Biographies


Stephen A. Leach, LL.B., M.B.A. (Chairperson)

Mr. Leach was appointed member of the Tribunal on July 20, 2009, and chairperson on October 20, 2011. He was an international consultant who provided strategic advice to the coalition government of Lebanon for the 2009 parliamentary election. He has worked for private companies, governments and non-governmental organizations throughout the world, with a focus on energy policy, emerging economies, and the principles and practice of good governance. Mr. Leach's legal practice covered corporate and commercial transactions, corporate restructuring, administrative and regulatory law, and complex civil litigation. As a partner in a venture capital group, he participated in private equity investments, including angel investing, venture capital and mezzanine financing in Canada, the United States, China and Brazil. Mr. Leach is a graduate of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law (LL.B.) and the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business (M.B.A.).

Serge Fréchette (Vice-Chairperson)

Mr. Fréchette was appointed Vice-Chairperson of the Tribunal in January 2006. He is a lawyer specializing in international trade and regulatory affairs. A former senior official with the departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Mr. Fréchette was involved in negotiations of various international trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. He represented Canada and other parties in several matters before the World Trade Organization. He has also served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa and he operated his own law firm specializing in international trade matters prior to his appointment.

Jason W. Downey, LL.L. (Member)

Mr. Downey was appointed member of the Tribunal on September 14, 2009.

Mr. Downey is a lawyer with 12 years of experience practicing civil law in Quebec. Over the past eight years, he was a senior partner with the legal firm Downey Girard Avocats, where he did much commercial, corporate and civil litigation. His professional experience includes representing clients before many forums and tribunals, including the Appeal Court of Québec, the Federal Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada and the Superior Court of Québec.

As counsel, he has specific expertise in the agricultural and produce transformation sectors. He has worked with many clients securing quotas and with many import/export agreements ensuring their representation in large scale distribution outlets and world markets. He has also worked with export-based construction manufacturers providing legal support from the initial stages of agreements to final market deliveries.

Mr. Downey has served on the board of the Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines and the A.S. Johnson/St. Patrick School Board, an English-language school in Thetford Mines. He has also provided legal counsel to Bishop's College School.

Mr. Downey is a graduate of Champlain College in Lennoxville, Quebec, and received a Licentiate in Laws (LL.L) from the University of Ottawa. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1996.

Ann Penner (Member)

Dr. Penner holds a PhD in Canadian politics and comparative politics from Carleton University. Prior to completing her degree, she was awarded the Norman Robertson Fellowship from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which offered her the opportunity to undertake post-doctoral studies on the rulings that domestic courts and bilateral panels have rendered when reviewing decisions made by Canadian and American trade remedy institutions.

In 1996, she began work as a trade policy analyst in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Multilateral Trade Policy Division, becoming Acting Director of the Division's Communications and Consultations Unit in 2006. While at the Department, she dealt with legislative changes to Canada's Special Import Measures Act and safeguards under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture, and was also a member of Canada's negotiating team on WTO agricultural negotiations.

Since 2008, she has operated her own consulting firm, AEP Communications, providing strategic communications advice and support to a number of organizations within and outside government.

Daniel Petit (Member)

Mr. Petit was appointed member of the Tribunal on November 27, 2012.

Daniel Petit began his law career in the 1970s. He has operated his own practice and has argued cases in front of numerous civil, criminal and administrative courts. After being elected as Member of Parliament for Charlesbourg–Haute-Saint-Charles, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice from 2008 to 2011, and spent five years on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. He returned to private practice in May 2011.

Pasquale Michaele Saroli (Member)

Mr. Saroli was appointed member of the Tribunal as of March 10, 2008. A member of the Ontario Bar, he has a solid grounding in both administrative and international economic law. He had been employed at the Department of Finance since 1989, most recently as Senior Trade Policy Advisor in the International Trade Policy Division. From 1982 to 1989 he was an International Trade Development Officer with the Department of External Affairs. He served as interdepartmental project leader for the 1994 implementation of Uruguay Round—related amendments to Canada's trade remedy laws and played a key role in the 1996-2000 legislative review of the Special Import Measures Act. Mr. Saroli was also Canada's lead trade remedies negotiator in the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Steel Subsidies Agreement, the Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Windsor as well as a diploma of Specialized Legal Studies from the University of Ottawa.