Lexpert has conducted an extensive peer survey to identify Ontario’s leading family law practitioners – the list is revealed below.
Family law is a legal practice area dedicated to issues involving family matters and domestic relations, including marriage, adoption and surrogacy, child protective proceedings, juvenile law and paternity. Family lawyers represent clients in different family court proceedings or related negotiations. They can also draft important legal documents, such as court petitions or property agreements.
Law firm: Fogelman Law
Year called to the Bar: 1990
Herschel Fogelman has been practising family law since for 30 years. He is the founder and principal of Fogelman Law, a Toronto-based firm that offers family mediation, arbitration, advocacy and private case management. Fogelman is an experienced counsel, mediator and arbitrator, helping clients navigate and settle complex and sensitive family law matters. He pioneered customized case management, which provides tailor-made time and issue management within an arbitration agreement, streamlines dispute resolution and ensures issues are managed by a subject matter expert.
Law firm: Epstein Cole LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1998
Aaron M. Franks is a partner at Epstein Cole LLP. He joined Canada’s largest family law firm in 2004. Franks specializes in all areas of family law, including Hague matters, complex jurisdiction and financial disputes. He acts as mediator and arbitrator in private matters and as advice counsel for lawyers in other provinces and internationally. Franks conducts lectures and writes frequently on family law topics for several publications.
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Law firm: Martha McCarthy & Company LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991
Martha A. McCarthy has practiced family law exclusively throughout her career has acted as counsel in all levels of court. A known LGBTQ rights advocate, McCarthy has been successful in achieving widespread equality for gay and lesbian spouses across Canada. McCarthy is also an experienced trial lawyer and specializes in financial matters, including business valuation issues, shareholders remedies, marriage contracts, high conflict and alienation cases, child representation and the effect of divorce on children. She is founding partner at Martha McCarthy & Company LLP, a family law firm based in Toronto.
Law firm: Boulby Weinberg LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1993
Sarah M. Boulby is a partner at Boulby Weinberg LLP, a Toronto-based firm dedicated exclusively to family law. She has been family lawyer since being called to the Bar, and advises local and international clients on complex support, property, and parenting issues. Boulby acts as a counsel, mediator, and arbitrator. She also negotiates agreements and represents clients in court at the trial and appellate level.
Law firm: MacDonald & Partners LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991
Georgina Carson is a senior family lawyer and partner at MacDonald & Partners LLP, a Toronto-based firm specializing in family law. She has been practising family law her entire career and is an appointed dispute resolution officer in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Carson helps clients resolve complex custody, support, property, and tax issues through cooperative negotiation, collaborative law, and alternative dispute resolution. She has acted at all levels of courts in the province.
Law firm: Christen Seaton Burrison Hudani LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1987
Brenda Christen is a lawyer and mediator at Toronto-based family law firm Christen Seaton Burrison Hudani LLP, where she now focuses on mediation and arbitration. Christen has acted on cases relating to mobility, support, income, and property at both the trial and appellate levels. She is also known for her direct and approachable manner, which has earned her the respect and confidence of clients and colleagues alike. Christen earned her law degree from the Dalhousie University Law School in 1985.
Law firm: Goldhart & Associates
Year called to the Bar: 1987
A family lawyer throughout her entire career, Cheryl Goldhart specializes in negotiating complex agreements in all areas of the practice. She is also an accomplished mediator and arbitrator and litigates in all levels of Ontario Courts. Goldhart is currently a dispute resolution officer (DRO) at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and chair of the DRO Committee of the Toronto Superior Court of Justice. She is a frequent lecturer on various topics on family law and has written numerous articles for professional journals, periodicals, and magazines. Her firm specializes in family law.
Year called to the Bar: 2002
George Karahotzitis is a partner at Thomson Rogers, one of the largest civil litigation firms in Toronto. He devotes his practice to matrimonial litigation and matters involving commercial disputes. Karahotzitis has co-authored several articles used in continuing legal education seminars, where he is also a regular speaker. Among his law firm’s practice areas are class action, family/matrimonial litigation, personal injury litigation and planning and personal law.
Year called to the Bar: 1988
Daniel Melamed is a certified family law specialist, and a fully qualified mediator and arbitrator. He is currently a partner at Torkin Manes LLP, a full-service law firm in Toronto that offers a range corporate and personal legal services. Melamed assists clients and other family lawyers in resolving property, spousal and child support matters. He is also involved in the determination of income, valuation of multinational and privately held corporations, stock options and senior executive pensions. Additionally, Melamed advises and acts on complex custody and access issues involving jurisdictional disputes and blended and extended families.
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Law firm: Lerners LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1989
Bryan R.G. Smith has been practising family law for more than 30 years. He is a certified family law specialist involved in negotiation and preparation of complex cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements. Smith’s litigation practice includes private mediations and arbitrations in all facets of family law cases, including custody, access, support and property issues. He also has significant experience with complicated financial transactions relating to corporations, trusts, business structures, as well as income tax, pension and valuation issues. Smith is a partner at Lerners LLP, a full-service law firm with offices in Toronto and London.
Year called to the Bar: 1977
Lorne H. Wolfson is a partner at Torkin Manes LLP, where he is a Law Society of Ontario-certified family law specialist. He devotes his practice to spousal and child support, equalization of property and custody and access, as well as separation, marriage and cohabitation agreements. Wolfson is also an accredited family mediator by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation. His Toronto-based law firm offers a full range of corporate and personal legal services.
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