Kathy O'Brien

Kathy O'Brien
DDO Health Law

Kathy O’Brien, a partner with the Toronto firm DDO Health Law, focuses on health law.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English from McMaster University in 1989 before graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto in 1992. Ms. O’Brien was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994.

She has worked with Ontario health-care organizations for almost 20 years assisting with such issues as their restructuring and realignment, including implementing amalgamations, mergers, management services arrangements, alliances, and networks.

Ms. O’Brien also advises not-for-profit and charitable corporations on governance and charitable law issues, as well as counsels hospitals, foundations, non-profits and associations on bylaw matters. In addition, she provides advice on procurement and outsourcing arrangements, with a focus on public-sector organizations.

Ms. O’Brien was chair of the board of Support in Motion, a charitable organization that raises funds to provide rehabilitation therapy to Ontario teens with spinal cord injuries.

She is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and was an editor of its newsletter Health Matters from 2001 to 2010.

Kathy O'Brien In The News
O'Brien lays out bricks and mortar of procurement rules

Health-sector organizations need not be concerned about imposing their own strict procurement rules on purchases made by most of their sub-contractors, says Toronto health lawyer ... Read more

Shared-services boards rife with conflict of interest potential: O'Brien

Hospitals need to guard against conflicts of interest that can arise among the directors they nominate to sit on boards of shared-services organizations, Toronto health lawyer ... Read more

Charities grapple with data breach reporting rules, best practices

New mandatory data breach disclosure rules are causing apprehension for charities and other not-for-profit organizations struggling  to determine how they fit into ... Read more

Boards should brainstorm, consult when faced with reduced funding

When it’s time for health boards to make tough financial decisions, it’s crucial to consult broadly and be as creative as possible, Toronto health lawyer Kathy ... Read more

Set policies to avoid public spats and keep donations flowing

Hospitals and foundations should set out clear policies and expectations early on to avoid potentially devastating public disagreements over donor funds, says Toronto health ... Read more

Risk-management policies a must for hospital foundations, charities

Hospital foundations and charitable boards should develop risk-management policies that prepare them for unseen crises both internally and outside their organizations, Toronto ... Read more

New rules for directors good for charities: O'Brien

Changes to the law around charities will mean that the organizations will have more freedom to access the resources of their directors, Toronto health lawyer Kathy O’Brien ... Read more

Access, quality of information key for non-profit boards

Boards of non-profit and charitable organizations would best be served if they established online portals for members to access key information when needed, as well ... Read more

The importance of training for health boards

Training helps health boards avoid common misconceptions around dispute resolution and how to deal with conflicts of interest, says Toronto health lawyer Kathy O’Brien . ... Read more

ONCA update — government targeting early 2020 for proclamation

By Kathy O'Brien The Ontario Legislature passed Bill 154, the  Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017,  on November 14. Bill 154 effected changes to non-profit ... Read more

Hospitals and their foundations: the importance of communication

The importance of regular communication between hospitals and their foundations cannot be overstated to avoid disputes about how best to use money raised in the community, says ... Read more

Bill 154 proposes long-awaited changes for not-for-profits

Ontario’s introduction of Bill 154, the Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act will, if passed, allow the province’s not-for-profit sector to begin to modernize in the way ... Read more

Proposed amendments to Ontario's charity laws welcome: O'Brien

Proposed changes to Ontario's charity laws offer needed clarity when it comes to paying directors for any goods or services they provide, says Toronto health and ... Read more

CASL – important developments and enforcement updates

By Kathy O'Brien Big news last week about CASL (Canada’s anti-spam legislation) – the right of private action, which was scheduled to come into effect on July 1, ... Read more

‘Best efforts’ in a contract means what?

By Kathy O'Brien Have you ever signed a contract that imposed an obligation on you to make “best efforts” to achieve something (like obtain a landlord’s ... Read more

Avoiding the pitfalls of a problematic AGM

With health-care organizations holding their annual general meetings (AGM) typically between May and July, it’s important they consider how to present it ... Read more

Will hospital-naming directive cause donation chilling effect?

The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care’s proposed hospital-naming directive may have a chilling effect on large donations to these facilities in Ontario, says ... Read more

A prescription for successful health sector integration

As an increasing number of health-care boards across Ontario consider integration as a way to use taxpayer dollars most efficiently, Toronto health lawyer Kathy O’Brien ... Read more

Patients First Act (Bill 41) receives Royal Assent

By Kathy O'Brien Bill 41, the Patients First Act , received Royal Assent on Dec. 8 — it is now law. What were the final changes to the bill? The bill was ... Read more

Health sector waiting to see how LHINs use broad new powers

Ontario’s Patients First Act (Bill 41) proposes to expand the mandate of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), giving them considerable new powers over the expanded ... Read more

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