My Approach to Family Law

I believe in working with my clients to craft practical and lasting solutions to their family law problems. My approach is to empower clients to make important family decisions for themselves, with the support and advocacy of an experienced advisor.  I believe that each family requires an individual approach, whether through negotiation, mediation, collaborative family law, or litigation.

I have practiced family law since 2005. I am experienced in all aspects of family law including child custody, access, child support, spousal support, and property division. I represent children on private retainers and as a panel member for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.

I have appeared at all levels of court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada.  I have particular expertise with appeals and often assist lawyers with their written memoranda and argument.  I was part of a team of two lawyers who successfully persuaded the Supreme Court of Canada to adopt the “hybrid” test in the determination of habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction in the case of The Office of the Children’s Lawyer v. Balev.

Despite my experience in family law litigation, I have chosen to devote a large part of my family law practice to settlement and collaborative family law. I believe in the settlement and collaborative family law process and I believe that they can achieve fair, dignified, and cost-effective outcomes for clients. In cases where court is necessary, I am a persuasive advocate and work to achieve quick and efficient results for my clients.

My Approach to Child Protection

In contrast to family law problems, child protection proceedings frequently require and benefit from aggressive litigation in court. When presented with a child protection problem, my approach is to help my clients do whatever is necessary to make sure their children remain in their care. I work with clients to develop a comprehensive and realistic plan and assist them with finding alternate plans where necessary.

I have extensive experience litigating child protection matters and have successfully represented parents, children, grandparents, kin caregivers, foster parents, aboriginal bands and Children’s Aid Societies. I am a strong advocate for my clients in child protection matters and have appeared in all levels of court in Ontario on child protection matters. I have experience in child protection trials, appeals, and proceedings before the Child and Family Services Review Board.

I am actively involved in the profession and have been invited to speak at continuing legal education events for the child protection bar. I am also actively involved in advocacy in relation to significant issues affecting child welfare. In 2015, I successfully helped break the Toronto Star story about the problematic use of hair-testing conducted by Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory in child protection proceedings and wrote the Family Law Association’s submissions in relation to the Lang Review on hair-testing at Motherisk.

I founded the Toronto Chapter of the Ontario Association of Child Protection Lawyers and am the current President of that Chapter.  In my role as President, I wrote submissions to the Family Law Rules Committee on proposed changes to the Rules from the perspective of parents counsel.  I was also invited to speak at the Ontario Court of Justice’s Annual General Meeting in 2018 about the Motherisk Recommendations from the perspective of parents counsel.

My Approach to Criminal Law

I believe strongly in the role of defence counsel to ensure a fair outcome in criminal matters.  I understand that being charged and convicted with a crime can have devastating impact on a person’s life.  I am committed to ensuring that clients receive the best defence possible, which includes bringing cases to trial.  I have successfully represented clients at trial and negotiated positive resolutions for clients.

Professional Activities


  • Presenter, “Six Minute Update – Parenting”, OACLP and OAFM annual conference
  • Organizer, “Motherisk-2”, 311 Jarvis Open Bar Series
  • Organizer, “Train your Brain: Resilience Strategies for Stress and Burnout in Family Law”, 311 Open Bar Series


  • Presenter, “Advanced Roundtable for Child Protection Law”, Family Lawyers’ Association
  • Presenter, “Settlement Conferences”, Child Protection Intensive Training Program
  • Presenter, “Notes, Evidence and Disclosure”, Training Session for staff at ROCK
  • Organizer, “The Amended Summary Judgment Rule”, 311 Jarvis Open Bar Series
  • Guest speaker, Children and the Law Court (LLM), University of Toronto Faculty of Law


  • Panelist, “Opportunities for Resolution in Family and Child Protection Law”, AFCCO Conference
  • Committee Member, Collaborative Practice Toronto Marketing Committee
  • Committee Member, 311 Open Bar Committee
  • Factum marker, Walsh Family Law Moot


  • Presenter, “How to Win Cases and Influence Judges”, 47 Sheppard Education Committee
  • Presenter, “Launching Your Legal Career: The First Crucial Years”, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Northeast Regional Conference
  • Presenter, “Top Cases in Child Protection Law”, New Lawyer’s Child Protection Group
  • Guest speaker, Child Protection Course, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Liaison to judges and factum marker, Walsh Family Law Moot
  • Committee Member, New Lawyer’s Child Protection Group


  • Presenter, “Rule 2 Hearings”, 311 Open Bar Series
  • Guest lecturer, Children and the Law Course, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • Moderator and organizer, “Summary Judgment Motions”, New Lawyer’s Child Protection Group
  • Presenter, “Summary Judgment Motions”, Legal Aid Ontario Lunch and Learn Program
  • Moderator, “Aboriginal Youths in Child Protection”, Law Union of Ontario
  • Liaison to judges and factum marker, Walsh Family Law Moot
  • Committee member, New Lawyer’s Child Protection Group


  • Group leader, Children and the Law Workshop
  • Committee Member, New Lawyer’s Child Protection Group


  • Presenter, “Temporary Care and Custody Hearings”, 311 Open Bar Series
  • Committee member, New Lawyer’s Child Protection Group


  • Group leader, Children and the Law Workshop
  • Guest lecturer, Children and the Law Course, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • Presenter, Child Protection Training Program


  • Author, Bar Examination Materials for Child Protection, Change of Name, and Domestic Violence Chapters (2016-2017), Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Author, Motherisk Review Submissions (2015), Family Law Association
  • Co-Author, “Child Protection”, Wilson on Children and the Law (2009 and 2010)
  • Co-Author, “False Allegations of Child Abuse: A Practical Paper for Practitioners” (2008) Ontario Bar Association for Continuing Legal Education “Remedies for Unfair Tactics in Family Law Proceedings”.
  • Author, “Final vs. Interlocutory Orders” (2007) Ontario Family Law Reporter.
  • Co-Author, “In Search of the Consummate-Convention-Prophylactic-Provision: Two Case Studies on the workings or non-workings of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction” (2006) Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures on Family Law.
  • Co-Author, Wrongful Dismissal Manual (2005)  Pro Bono Law Ontario.
  • Author, “Sentencing of Impaired Driving Cases: Should Harm be Considered?” (2004) 49 Canadian Criminal Law Quarterly 198-221.
  • Author, “The Race Issue in Custody Law: Is Van de Perre Right?” (2003) 21(1) Canadian Family Law Quarterly 153-173.


Judicial Law Clerk, Court of Appeal for Ontario, 2003-2004100%
Inter-University Program Fellowship, 2004100%
Chinese Government Scholarship, 2004100%
Tory Fellowship (for legal research and writing), 2003100%
Balfour Scholarship (for legal excellence and community service), 2003100%
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP Award (for academic excellence), 2001100%
McMaster Marauders Award (for achievement in academics and athletics), 1997100%
China Synergy Programme Award (cultural exchange scholarship), 1997100%


Intensive Trial Advocacy Course, Advocates’ Society
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, LL.B.
Tsinghua University and UC Berkeley, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies
McMaster University, Arts and Science Program, BA & Sc. (Hon)