About Our Firm

At Lewis & Associates, we recognize that Family Law is unique. The Department Head, Nancy Deskin will always strive for resolutions before conflict. In most legal disputes, the relationship between the parties ends with the legal proceeding. One party wins, the other loses. This is clearly not the case when the dispute revolves around a family. When children are involved, the relationship will continue well after the dispute is legally resolved. You will, after all, spend many more years parenting your children together.

It is vital that this fact be kept in mind at all times during the separation and divorce proceess. A true “win” in Family Law only happens when the matter is resolved without a winner or loser.

As such, we provide more than basic legal counsel. We offer you perspective on your rights and obligations. We counsel you on the approach that’s best suited to help you move forward through this difficult time.

MEET OUR TEAM

Jacqueline Lewis

Ms. Lewis received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from York University in 1985. She completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Western Ontario in 1989 and continued on to Osgoode Hall, completing her Master of Law Degree in Administrative Law in 2001. Ms. Lewis has been the Managing Partner at Lewis & Associates since 1991. She has almost three decades of experience representing refugees before the Refugee Protection Division and challenging negative decisions before the Federal Court of Canada. She has taught Immigration and Refugee Law at Carlton University and Western University. Her passion for Immigration and Refugee Law has lead her to build a strong and talented team of lawyers to represent Immigration and Refugee clients with complex and diverse needs, from all over the world. At the beginning of 2019 Ms. Lewis opened the Family Law division of Lewis & Associates, returning to the starting roots of her law career.

Nancy Deskin

Nancy Deskin has been practicing for over 20 years. In her first 8 years she did a combination of litigation and admin law which took her into Court on regular basis including appeals to the Divisional Court, Court if Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Since 2000, she has practiced exclusively in family law. Her approach is to try and negotiate an amicable settlements that are fair. She is savvy in negotiating difficult and complex marriage contracts and separation agreements. However m, if settlement is not an option, she is well versed in Court proceedings, Mediation and Arbitration.

Nancy has sat in the Ontario Bar Association panel as well as the panel for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.

Nancy’s new position is head of the Lewis & Associates newly launched Family Law Department. She will be actively practicing and mentoring her junior colleagues.

Jaclyn Mackenzie

Jaclyn Mackenzie joined Lewis & Associates in 2019 after operating as a sole practitioner and working for several boutique family law firms. Jaclyn’s practice has focused exclusively on family law and child protection law since her call to the Ontario bar in 2014.

Jaclyn obtained her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from Western University in 2010, where she was awarded the University Gold Medal for graduating with the highest academic standing in her degree program. She subsequently received her Juris Doctor from the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in 2013, where she was awarded the Nicholas Bala Award for Student Excellence and the Community Commitment Award.

After law school, Jaclyn continued to volunteer in the field of family law. Jaclyn acted as Chair of the New Professionals Committee for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for several years. She has served on the committee for the Walsh Family Law Moot. In September 2018, Jaclyn was empanelled as Duty Counsel for Legal Aid Ontario and acted as a panel speaker for the Continuing Professional Development program, “Rules Aren’t Made to be Broken”, where she presented the new changes to the Family Law Rules.

Matthew Schleifer

Matthew Schleifer was called to the Ontario bar in 2016 and practices in Family, Refugee, and Criminal law.

During law school Matthew mooted and completed courses in family, refugee and criminal law. As a lawyer, Matthew has appeared in various levels of court including the Ontario Court of Justice, and Ontario Superior Court. In addition, Matthew has trial experience and is a passionate advocate for clients.

When Matthew is not at work, he enjoys travel and sports.

Matthew is also proficient in French.

Il peut vous aider en français.

Alex Schaefer

Alex Schaefer is an articling student at Lewis and Associates. Alex completed his undergrad at Western University where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with Distinction. Prior to going to law school Alex worked as a financial analyst for BMO Bank of Montreal in London, Ontario. Alex graduated from the University of Windsor in 2019 with the degree of Juris Doctor.

During his time at the University of Windsor, Alex was an active member of the Student Law Society. Alex participated in the Zuber Moot in 2018 where him and his moot partner found success. During his 2L summer Alex worked at an intellectual property firm in Montreal, Quebec, where he was part of a team that published a paper regarding Cryptocurrency Regulation in Canada.

Alex will be joining the new family law division at Lewis and Associates.

In his free time Alex enjoys playing golf, hockey and snowboarding

FIRST STEPS – Consultation

In our initial consultation we make sure:

  1. You get all your questions answered regarding where you stand, your rights, your obligations, the legal process, parenting plan options, child/spousal support and division of property.
  2. We understand your particular situation in order to give you the best counsel possible. The sooner we have a complete understanding, the quicker we can provide you with the various options available to you to resolve your situation.

We know this is an emotional time – however, due diligence and information gathering is key. You will need to brief us on the chronology of your relationship so we can have a full picture of your family situation. Everyone’s family is different. So to best represent you, we have to have full details of your family life from the specifics about child care arrangements to complete disclosure regarding your financial affairs. We recommend that you bring any and all financial documents you can to the initial consultation so that we can together accomplish our two main goals.

Financial documents:

  • Property deeds
  • RRSP statements
  • Stocks and bonds statements
  • Bank account statements
  • Mortgage and loan documents
  • Lease agreements
  • Credit card statements
  • Monthly budget
  • Income tax returns for the last 3 years
  • Notices of assessment for the last 3 years

Your participation is crucial – we can provide the counsel and expertise on your rights and the law only if you provide the understanding of your family dynamics and what’s best for them as a whole.

THE PROCESS – what to expect

Generally speaking, Family Law resolution is not a quick process. We assure you we’ll do everything possible to resolve your matrimonial affairs as expeditiously as possible.

We respond to phone calls within 24 hours and schedule meetings within the week they are requested. Our goal is to move your matter along as quickly as possible while ensuring that your legal fees are not excessive. We are thorough and always keep the client’s best interests in mind.

We cannot guarantee your spouse or spouse’s counsel will provide the same quick response time. Therefore, unless both parties have agreed to all issues from the outset, a resolution could take some time.