I believe in healthy families after separation and divorce. Every day I work to ensure that spouses find a financial and parenting solution that keeps their children's best interest in mind.
In my 40 years in the practice of family law I have sought to advocate for my clients, influence development of the law and improve the delivery of service to the public in the family law court system. I have been blessed with the opportunity to achieve some of these goals, but there is much more yet to be done. I am now in a position of using that experience to assist those in the middle of a separation or divorce to achieve fair and reasonable solutions expeditiously with a focus on creating a fulfilling and positive individual and family life for the future.
The majority of my time is now spent as a neutral expert conducting mediation and assisting parties and their lawyers in coming up with a creative solution that meets the needs of each parent and the children. Often many years of conflict can be brought to an end after a one day mediation session. In addition, I am often called upon to arbitrate cases when people wish to opt out of the court system and have their issues resolved privately with an expert that they choose and on a timeline that they have control over.
I am proud to be part of the largest family law team in the region at McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP. The variety of talent and experience puts us in a unique position of presenting our clients with a variety of options to ensure that the most appropriate dispute resolution strategy is developed and carried out in the most cost effective and timely fashion.
Contact me if you have any questions regarding family law.
If you would like more information about my background and qualifications you would probably be interested in the following:
Legal Writing and Presentations:
- Author of Carswells Annual Review of Family Law and the Editor of Matrimonial Property Law in Canada
- Written many articles in family law publications: the library of the Law Society of Upper Canada has 52 works listed in their catalogue
- Frequent speaker at family law conferences including those organized by the Law Society of Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the National Judicial Institute, the Ontario Conference of Judges, the Federation of Law Societies, the Association of Family Conciliation Courts and the Ontario Advocates' Society.
- Served as senior instructor and associate head of family law section of the Ontario Bar Admission Course, Family Law Section (1975-2005)
- Frequent lecturer at various law schools in Ontario
Family Law Reform
- Lead author of a report commissioned by the Attorney General of Ontario on the Family Law Courts entitled Recapturing and Renewing the Vision of the Family Court (2007).
- Long time member of the Province of Ontario's Family Law Rules Committee
- Former advisor to the provincial Attorney General on family law matters
Honours and Awards
- Ontario Bar Association Annual Award for Excellence in Family Law
- Advocates' Society tribute dinner in recognition of an advocate's dedication to the highest ideals of the legal profession
- Law Society Medal for significant contribution to the profession
- Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in family law
- Designated as a leading practitioner of family law by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Director
- Featured in the Best Lawyer's in Canada Directory
- Law Society of Upper Canada
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- Middlesex Law Association
- Middlesex Family Law Association
- Ontario Advocate Society
- Ontario Association for Family Mediation
- Association for Family Conciliation Courts
education and year of call
- Year of Call to the Ontario Bar: 1972
- Bachelor of Laws, Western University Canada, 1970
Dear Alf, I wanted to personally thank you for my mediation. I am so very pleased about the outcome and it would never have happened without your help.
Dear Alf, words cannot express how thankful I am for all the kindness and support you have given me. Your assistance, encouragement and guidance allowed me to overcome the most challenging obstacle that I have ever had to face. I am forever grateful.
Alf, I would like to express my gratitude for your help in resolving our child related issues. It had been over three very frustrating years that I experienced delay after delay, motion after motion, but no resolutions. As you rightly pointed out, the litigation itself actually creates conflicts and adversity. Thanks to your professionalism and strong control on moving things forward, the parties had no excuses but to work on resolutions at the last minutes. Without your proactive process and industry reputation, the agreement would not have had happened. Thank you very much!