Tell us about your position at Pallett Valo
I am a long-standing partner of the firm and a Member of the Construction Practice. I also provide services as a Mediator of construction disputes as part of the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Services Group. I am a former Managing Partner (2005-2010) and a former Deputy Managing Partner of the firm.
What are some of your biggest achievements/accomplishments within your legal career and why is this so important to you?
I’m proud to have created the firm’s construction practice in the days when women lawyers practising in this male-dominated industry were rare. I’m prouder yet to have built a robust construction group that continues to grow to this day. My six years as Managing Partner of the firm were rewarding and challenging.
Along the way, I’ve had the pleasure to train, guide and mentor many young construction lawyers, and raise awareness about this specialty area of law. One of those young lawyers is my partner, Maria Ruberto, and I was pleased to hand over to her the role of Practice Group Head in 2017. I’ve been able to satisfy my love of teaching by conducting countless seminars for lawyers and construction industry professionals.
I was on the team which established the criteria for the Law Society of Ontario specialist designation for Construction Law and have held that designation since inception. I am a Fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers and have been selected by my peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers for my work in Construction Law consecutively since 2006. I am now bringing my years of experience and training to a new role as a Mediator of construction-related disputes.
You have worked for so many years as a Specialist within construction law – how do you plan to adapt to more of a mediation role within this field?
I have always been a huge supporter of alternative dispute resolution. As a litigation lawyer, my role includes sourcing and recommending the best options for the resolution of the dispute at hand. Often, the best option is something other than costly protracted litigation. For this reason, offering construction Mediation services is a natural, seamless progression for me.