Nicola Simmons

Nicola Simmons



(416) 367-7694


(416) 367-2791


“My goal is to advocate effectively for our clients and to assist them in achieving positive and innovative outcomes.”

Areas of Practice

  • Administrative Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Civil Litigation
  • Education Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Procurement Law


Before joining Keel Cottrelle as an Associate in 2006, I articled with the firm.  I have a broad administrative law and civil litigation practice. My practice includes human rights law, labour and employment law, privacy law, procurement law, civil litigation, and legal issues specific to the education sector, including student discipline, special education, family law issues, truancy, and governance. I also undertake the analysis of new legislation, amendments to legislation, and new government policy and assist clients in drafting, amending and reviewing various policies and procedures to reflect statutory and common law requirements.

I have appeared before various levels of court in Ontario, and have represented clients and appeared before a variety of administrative tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Special Education Tribunal, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, and labour arbitrators. 

As Keel Cottrelle’s Student Program Coordinator, I have the pleasure of overseeing the firm’s student program and serving as an articling student principal.

Publications, News & Media:

  • Instructor, University of Guelph and Ontario Association of School Business Officials, Certificate in Pupil Transportation Management Program: Contract Management Course
  • Contributing Editor of KC Education Law Newsletter and KC Human Resources Newsletter.
  • Contributor, Education and Law Journal - Annual Review of Education Law (Carswell) (2015, forthcoming 2016).
  • Contributing author to An Educator’s Guide to the Health and Safety of Students, eds. Robert G. Keel and Nadya Tymochenko, Canada Law Book, 2010.
  • Author, “The Duty to Accommodate and Absence Due to Illness: Termination Agreement Upheld by Supreme Court of Canada” (March, 2007) 16: 3 CAPSLE Comments.
  • Co-author with N. Tymochenko, “Do the Charter and Human Rights Codes Necessitate Standards in Special Education?” presented at CAPSLE 2006, Montreal Quebec and published in R. Flynn, ed., Civil Rights and Education. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education, held in Montreal, Quebec, April 29-May 2, 2006 (Toronto: CAPSLE, 2007).
  • Contributor to the Ontario Bar Association Education Section Newsletter (2011, 2015, 2016) and Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section ( 2016). Co-Editor of Education Law Section Newsletter 2014/2015.
  • Presenter with K. Ishmael, “Understanding the Latest on Privacy Rights and Obligations for School Boards”, Osgoode Professional Development – 2016 Hot Button HR Legal Issues for Education Professionals, April 18, 2016.
  • Presenter with T. Kovach, “Anaphylaxis: Current Issues and Legal Obligations”, 

    Osgoode Professional Development – 10 th Annual Advanced Issues in Special 

    Education Law, October 19, 2015.
  • Presenter with K. Ishmael, “Student Mental Health Issues in the School System: Legal 

    Implications” Canadian Safe Schools Network Conference, held in Toronto, February 25, 2014.
  • Presenter, “Cyberbullying and the Law” Canadian Safe Schools Network Conference, 

    held in Toronto, April 24, 2007.


  • Called to the Ontario Bar in 2006
  • Bachelor of Laws, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Western Ontario

Professional Membership

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Executive Committee, Ontario Bar Association - Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section, 2015/2016
  • Executive Committee, Ontario Bar Association - Education Law Section, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 
  • The Advocates Society