Retired Judge, Superior Court of Justice – Ontario
Lee Ferrier has established his mediation, arbitration and private consulting practice at Amicus Chambers in Toronto.
Following private practice as litigation counsel for 27 years, specializing in family law, which included matters of corporate and commercial law, estates, property law and taxation, Lee was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario in 1991 and served as a judge of that court for 20 years. As a judge, Lee dealt with all forms of civil disputes including corporate and commercial, contracts, torts, employment, estates, and family matters. Lee has had extensive experience as a judge in the Divisional Court hearing a wide variety of appeals and applications for judicial review, including regulatory matters, professional discipline, license and arbitration appeals. Over the course of his 20 year judicial career he has conducted hundreds of pre-trial settlement conferences.
Mr. Ferrier is a graduate of McMaster University (BA 1959) and the University of Ottawa (LL.B. 1962). He was called to the bar of Ontario in 1964 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the Law Society of Upper Canada in the year 2000.
Mr. Ferrier was a partner in the firm of MacDonald and Ferrier from 1965 to 1986 and then with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt when the two firms merged. While in the practice of law he was certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Civil Litigation.
Mr. Ferrier is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, and during his time in private practice served as chair of the Canadian Bar Association Ontario Family Law Section, the chair of the National Family Law Section and served on numerous committees, including for 10 years, as a member of the National Council of the CBA. Mr. Ferrier was chair of the International Bar Association committee on family law and participated as a speaker and panelist at several international legal conferences.
Mr. Ferrier was a featured speaker or guest lecturer at educational seminars sponsored by the Advocates’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and institutions throughout Canada.
As a young lawyer in 1966, he was invited to appear and make submissions to the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on Divorce Reform. While in private practice, he was appointed by the Ontario government as a delegate to the Uniform Law Conference of Canada. He served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Minister of Justice for Canada on Divorce Reform. While in practice he was retained to advise the governments of Ontario, Canada and Alberta on aspects of family law reform.
Lee is a former Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada and served as an elected Bencher of the Law Society for 12 years. While a Bencher he served as chair of the Legal Aid Committee, vice chair of the Legal Education Committee and as a member of various Law Society committees including the Discipline Committee. He is a founding member of the Advocates’ Society ( 1965 -) He was the co-author of Canadian Divorce Law and Practice, 2nd Edition, Carswell, a leading national text on divorce law in Canada.
Lee’s approach to his dispute resolution practice is based on 47 years of professional experience: “From my personal experience as a lawyer in a private litigation practice for 27 years and as a Superior Court Judge for 20 years, I know that those involved in mediation, arbitration, trials or appeals above all else want the process to be fair and balanced – a process in which they have full opportunity to state their positions and with full confidence that those positions will be listened to and considered.”