Lawyer & Co-Founder
Jeff advises clients dealing with complex commercial disputes, contentious negotiations, and other high-risk situations. In Grade Four, he decided to become a lawyer so that he could buy a Winnebago for his mom.
Jeff was called to the Ontario bar in 2000, having first decided he wanted to be a lawyer in Grade 4. At that early age, the decision pretty much boiled down to wanting to have a job that would enable him to buy his parents a Winnebago so that summer-long camping trips would be a bit more comfortable.
Jeff did a co-op degree in English Literature at the University of Waterloo, and held jobs in communications positions at both the Provincial and Federal governments, a stint as a copy editor at Prentice Hall Publishing, and eight months as a technical writer with Delrina Corporation.
Recognizing that Winnebago-buying job opportunities with only an undergraduate degree in English literature are quite limited, Jeff fulfilled his nine-year-old self’s plan and went to Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
Jeff’s first Bay Street job was at Baker & McKenzie’s Toronto Office. Jeff and his long-time mentor Jonathan Wigley moved to Gardiner Roberts in 2006, where Jeff continued his practice for nine-and-a-half years until starting Spark Law.
Throughout his years of practice, Jeff has counselled clients in complex commercial cases, privacy matters, commercial fraud files, restructurings and insolvencies, professional negligence matters, and all manner of contract cases. Jeff has advised small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as institutional lenders, publicly-traded companies, and multinationals.
This wide experience has given Jeff a keen ability to recognise and assess business risk at an early stage, and advise clients on those slight course corrections which can be made in order to avoid the higher risk and cost of commercial litigation.
Working on Bay Street for 15 years convinced Jeff that there had to be a better way of delivering legal services to clients. That conviction (and some very gentle arm-twisting from Jacqueline) led him to start up Spark Law.
Jeff was on the board of directors of Justice for Children and Youth for eight years, and was Chair of the Board for five of those years. He has a strong belief that lawyers should give back to the communities in which they live and practice.
Jeff still hasn’t bought his mom that Winnebago.
Representative Cases & Clients
Gyorgy Kiss v. Health PEI 2022 -
Represent a former patient of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, PEI in a claim which alleges that Health PEI disclosed personal health information which ended up being published on Facebook. The claim seeks damages for breach of trust, intrusion upon seclusion, and public disclosure of private fact, among other causes of action.
Commercial Arbitration Hearing (ADR Chambers) 2020 - 2021
Represented a large Canadian company in a commercial arbitration dealing with performance issues under a software development agreement.
Senvion GmbH CCAA 2020 -
Canadian counsel to a German insolvent company in Canadian foreign recognition proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Advised Senvion regarding collections, realizations, and commercial disputes.
Risk Advice for Retail Chain 2015 - 2020
Provided advice on risk recognition, management, and resolution to a large and sophisticated family-owned business running a chain of retail mobile telephone stores at malls across Canada.
The Toronto Real Estate Board 2009 - 2016
Represented TREB in several proceedings relating to allegations of misuse by various members of Multiple Listing Service data. Acted as co-counsel in Moranis v. TREB, TREB v. Beach (both at trial and on appeal), and several other related matters. Also acted as co-counsel at the Federal Court of Appeal on The Commissioner of Competition v. TREB
Croatian (Toronto) Credit Union v. Polla 2013 - 2015
Represented the liquidator of the Croatian (Toronto) Credit Union in a complex commercial fraud dispute relating to the purchase of shares in the Credit Union by an investor, and the activities of the pre-liquidation management of the Credit Union.
1186709 Ontario v. Attara Developments et al 2011 - 2015
Acted as independent counsel to the Court-Appointed Sales Officer in a shareholder dispute in which a portfolio of high-rise residential rental apartment buildings was the key asset. Maintained a firmly neutral position in highly-contentious proceedings while assisting the Sales Officer in maximizing the value of the portfolio, ultimately recovering significantly higher value than the initial offer.