Family Law, Estate Law
With a focus on settlement and the best interests of the children, Nicola uses her extensive training and experience in negotiation techniques and mediation to assist her clients in meeting their goals. She also helps her clients avoid the conflict involved with prolonged and expensive court battles and enables them to reach solutions and move on with their lives.
She has over 25 years of experience with a range of clients. Her legal knowledge, business background, and access to other expert professionals at her firm in other fields (estate, real estate, criminal, corporate, employment and civil lawyers) means she services professionals and clients with complex financial and personal situations. Nicola is Past President of the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation (OCLF) and Past President of Collaborative Practice Toronto (CPT). She was a guest instructor at the Intensive Trial advocacy course at Osgoode Hall Law School for many years and has been a guest instructor at Osgoode Hall’s Masters of Law program in Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Nicola is also a past President and a former Director of Jessie’s Non-Profit Homes and past Vice-President and Director of Jessie’s Centre for Teenagers (a center for pregnant or parenting teens, which provides high school level education, among other services).
In May 2019, Nicola became the first collaborative professional to receive accreditation as an Advanced Collaborative Professional from the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation (“OCLF”). More information about this recently established level of professional competence can be found on the OCLF website.
At the same time, Nicola was also awarded the 2019 James C. MacDonald Award by the OCLF for her extraordinary contribution to Collaborative Practice in the Province of Ontario.
Alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration are prime for family law, which sees a high proportion of people trying to find resolution without the assistance of a lawyer.
But one of the lesser-known alternatives is the Collaborative Law Practice, which allows parties to negotiate a suitable settlement while avoiding litigation, with the support of a team. It is now being taught in some law schools…
Collaborative lawyers have removed a significant tool from their negotiation toolbox — they do not go to court for their collaborative clients. Without the option of litigation or the threat of litigation, collaborative lawyers are focused on settlement every step of the way. Thus they have developed a set of tools, protocols and skills that increase the likelihood of a timely, durable and cost-effective settlement. Many of these tools and skills are helpful in non-collaborative files, whether traditional negotiation or litigation…