Photo of Laurie Pawlitza

Laurie H. Pawlitza

Tel: 416 777 5192  Fax: 1 888 463 8132
Email: lpawlitza@torkinmanes.com

Laurie is a Partner in our Family Law Group, acting in disputes involving high incomes, significant property, and custody and access issues. Laurie is results-oriented, using her practical and creative skills to find the most appropriate resolution for each client’s specific needs. Laurie appears in courts at both the trial and appellate levels, and makes effective use of both mediation and arbitration for her clients.

Between 2010 and 2012, Laurie was elected as the 63rd Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the regulator governing all lawyers and paralegals in Ontario. She was only the third woman since the founding of the Law Society in 1797 to hold this office. Throughout her time as an elected bencher (director) of the Law Society of Upper Canada (2003-2012), Laurie was engaged in specific projects affecting legal education in Canada, and in advancing women lawyers within the profession. For much of this time, Laurie co-chaired the Justicia Project, aimed at advancing women lawyers within the profession, a project that has now been adopted by a number of other provincial law societies.

Laurie was named in the “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada” in 2012, and received an Honourary Doctorate from the Law Society of Upper Canada in the same year.

  • She speaks regularly on a wide variety of law-related and professional issues in far-flung places, such as Australia, Ireland, Scotland, India, and throughout Canada.
  • Laurie has been widely quoted in the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, Canadian Living Magazine, Law Times, The Lawyers Weekly, Canadian Lawyer and Precedent Magazine.
  • Consistently recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • Consistently recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada© - Family Law
  • Awarded the Zenith Award by Lexpert, recognizing women leaders in the legal profession (2013)
  • Named one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada" by Canadian Lawyer magazine (2012)
  • Awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Laws by The Law Society of Upper Canada (2012)   
  • The Women's Law Association's President's Award (2011)
  • Recognized by Women's Legal Education and Action Fund ("LEAF") as one of the "Women Who Make a Difference" (2010)
  • Honoured as a "Hero" by the Metropolitan Community Church, Toronto, for successfully litigating the first same sex adoption case in Canada (1995)
  • Past nominee of the "YWCA Women of Distinction Award" and the "Toronto Life Women Who Make a Difference Award" (1996-1997)
  • Legal Education in Canada

    Speaker, Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association Conference, Melbourne, Australia

  • Family Law Mediation in Canada

    Speaker, Law Society of Tasmania, Horbart, Australia

  • Family Law Issues in Domestic Violence

    Speaker, Summer Educational Program for Ontario Crown Attorneys, London, ON

  • Women in the Legal Profession – How to be Successful

    Speaker, OBA-LSUC Rainmaking Panel, business development for women

  • The Commonwealth Lawyers' Association Conference

    Speaker, alternative dispute resolution in Canadian family law, Glasgow, Scotland

  • OBA Institute on Family Law

    Speaker, solicitor and client retainers, Toronto

  • Gender Equality Conference

    Speaker, gender equality issues in the legal profession, Mississauga

  • Women's Law Association Dinner

    Speaker

  • Women and Leadership: Taking Charge of Your Career

    Speaker, Ontario Trial Lawyers' Association Conference, Women’s Caucus Luncheon

  • Lexpert Zenith Awards

    Keynote Speaker

More Speaking & Writing
  • Executive Committee, and Counsel Members for Canada, Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (London, U.K) ( 2012 to date)
  • Dean’s Counsel, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan (2014 to date)
  • Law Society of Upper Canada, Treasurer Emeritus and Ex-Officio Member of Convocation (current)
  • Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC), Ontario Council Member (2012 to 2016)
  • Chair, Canadian Common Law Degree Approval Committee (2012 to 2016)
  • Member, National Admission Standards Steering Committee (FLSC) (2013 to 2016)
  • Dean's Council, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan (2014 to date) 
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada, Treasurer (President), (regulator of all lawyers and paralegals in Ontario (2010-2012)
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada, Elected Bencher (director) 2003 to 2012
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada, Chair, Professional Development and Competence (2006-2010) 
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada, Co-Chair, Retention of Women in Private Practice + Justicia Project (2005-2014)
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada, Vice-Chair, Government Relations (2005-2010)
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada, Director, LawPRO (insurer of all Ontario lawyers)
  • Family Law Rules Committee, 2001-2007
  • The Lawyers Club, Trustee, 2000-2007
  • Ontario Bar Association - Family Law Section Executive, 1999-2003
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Royal Ontario Museum, 2012-2014
  • Chair and Director, Casey House Foundation 1995 - 1999
  • Chair and Regional Council Member, YMCA, 1988-2002

 

Services

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory Best Lawyers Award Badge

Credentials

  • Called to the Ontario Bar, 1986

Education

  • LL.B., University of Saskatchewan, 1983
  • B.A., University of Saskatchewan, 1980