Laura Dean

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2015

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  • Bio
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Professional Involvement
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
  • Selected Publications
  • Insights
  • Education

Laura thoroughly understands the environment in which her clients operate and offers advice that suits the broader context. Her experience working as a senior policy advisor in the Ontario provincial government contributes to her ability to identify and resolve issues. Laura is an effective mediator with a calm, articulate demeanour. 

As a member of the firm's Municipal & Land Use Planning Group and Expropriation Law Group, Laura provides advice and representation to both private and public sector clients on land use planning matters, municipal governance and accountability regimes, and the development and implementation of a wide array of municipal by-laws and policies. 

Before beginning her legal practice, Laura worked as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Housing Policy Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. In this capacity, Laura provided advanced policy analysis, research and business planning in support of strategic housing policy initiatives and legislation.

Laura also worked as a Policy Advisor with the Ontario government’s Climate Change Secretariat where she was responsible for monitoring and reporting on provincial greenhouse gas emissions targets, conducting research and providing advice on the green economy.

Laura joined Aird & Berlis as an associate in 2015, after summering and articling at the firm.

Awards & Recognition

  • Named the “Ward Advocacy Volunteer of the Year” from Cycle Toronto 

Professional Involvement


  • Ontario Expropriation Association

Selected Speaking Engagements

"Provincial Planning Statement," Smart Density Webinar, April 21, 2023.

“Modernizing Municipal Accountability: The Bill 68 Amendments,” International Municipal Lawyers Association in CanadaMay 18, 2017.

“Accountability and Transparency: Emerging Issues,” AMCTO 2016 Municipal Clerks’ Forum: Effective Citizen Engagement in a Changing World, April 6, 2016.

"Releasing Councillors’ Personal Records – Has the IPC Opened Pandora’s Box?" Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal Webinar, March 2016.

Selected Publications

"Ontario Introduces Legislation to Reverse Certain Provincial Planning Decisions," Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Bulletin, November 20, 2023.

"Ontario Makes a Statement: An Overview of the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement, 2023," Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Bulletin, April 14, 2023.

"Ontario Proposes Amendments to a Number of Statutes Affecting Municipalities and the Development Industry," Aird and Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Bulletin, July 13, 2020.

“Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Accountability Regime,” Co-authored with John Mascarin, The Digest of Municipal & Planning Law, July 2017.

“Municipal Codes of Conduct, Integrity Commissioners and the Investigative Process,” Co-authored with John Mascarin, The Digest of Municipal & Planning Law, November 2016.

"Councillor Records and Disclosure – Same Old Analysis, Different Result," Co-authored with John Mascarin, The Digest of Municipal & Planning Law, June 2016.

"Ontario Releases Proposed Revisions to Four Land Use Plans Affecting the Greater Golden Horseshoe," Aird and Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Bulletin, May 2016.

"IPC Orders the Release of Email Sent From City Councillor’s Personal Account," Co-authored with John Mascarin and Jody Johnson, Aird and Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Bulletin, February 2016.

"Bill 8 Or: How Municipalities Learned to Stop Worrying About Oversight and Love the Ombudsman," Co-Authored with John Mascarin, The Six-Minute Municipal Lawyer 2015, Law Society of Upper Canada, May 2015.

"Municipal Regulation of Renewable Energy Projects: Tilting at Windmills no More?," Co-Authored with Piper Morley, The Digest of Municipal & Planning Law, July 2013.


  • JD, University of Windsor, 2014
  • M.Sc. (with distinction), Urbanization & Development, London School of Economics, 2008
  • BA (Hons.), McGill University, 2007