About Grant-Nicholson Law
Grant-Nicholson Law P.C.
Called to the Bar of Ontario, 2013
(Law Society Number 63679G)
University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, 2012
Bachelor of Science (with Honours)
University of Toronto, 2007
Member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) Mental Health and Justice Executive Advisory Committee
A.J. Grant-Nicholson, principal lawyer of Grant-Nicholson Law, possesses extensive mental health law experience, that includes mental capacity litigation, substitute decision making and mental health related criminal law. A.J. is also a policy advisor with experience developing large scale justice programming for persons with mental health and/or addiction issues.
A.J.’s legal career was inspired by his grandmother Beverly Folkes, a social justice activist and community leader in Toronto. Beverly worked in the justice system as Executive Director of Black Inmates and Friends Assembly (BIFA). Throughout her career she worked with various levels of government to improve the lives of marginalized persons across Ontario. A.J. worked alongside his grandmother in high school and university, gaining first-hand advocacy experience. He also learned of the intersectionality of mental health in the criminal justice system.
In law school A.J. sat on the Faculty’s Education and Equity Committee and was awarded a public interest fellowship, which he used to work at a restorative justice program based out of Toronto Youth Court.
Following his articles, A.J. worked as a mental health staff lawyer at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)–the first position of its kind in the province–representing clients with matters before the Consent and Capacity Board and acted as Duty Counsel at a forensic psychiatric hospital as well as in mental health court. Later, he advanced to lead LAO’s Mental Health Strategy, working with stakeholders across justice and health sectors to improve access to legal services for persons with mental health needs across Ontario. During his tenure at LAO A.J. developed mental health law educational programs as well as community-embedded legal programs for low income persons, including a pro bono Wills program for seniors.
The core values of Grant-Nicholson Law – client-focused advocacy, community, knowledge and experience – are based on A.J.’s long-standing work in the public and justice sectors. A.J. leverages his experience working with clients with complex needs as well as his “big picture” understanding of the justice and mental health systems to provide effective and insightful legal and consultancy services for his clients.
Contributor to the Older Persons and the Justice System Guidebook
Former Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) representative on Toronto’s Estate List User Committee and the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC)
Led the design of legal merit tests to determine legal aid funding of Consent and Capacity Board and Ontario Review Board appeals
Led a provincial working group tasked with creating draft legal aid criminal mental health panel standards
Racialized Populations and Mental Health Court Diversion Forum panelist
Speaker at Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario events
Developed numerous mental health law training and educational programs, including LAO’s Consent and Capacity Board Appeal Merit Consideration Guidebook