Cristina Guida

Leaders in Law endorses Cristina Guida as our exclusively recommended Immigration Law expert in Canada. If you wish to get in touch with Cristina please use the contact information provided above.

Cristina Guida is an associate lawyer with Green and Spiegel LLP in Toronto. Cristina advises clients in all aspects of Canadian immigration and citizenship matters. Her practice focuses primarily on facilitating the entry of personnel into Canada for a variety of multi-national corporations and small businesses. Cristina offers clients her expertise in preparing tourist and business visitor applications, study permits, and all types of work permit applications, such as Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications, intra-company transferees and work permits under various International Free Trade Agreements, such as NAFTA and CETA. Cristina also assists with citizenship applications and a wide range of permanent residence applications including, family class sponsorships and economic class applications such as provincial nominations and Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades and Federal Skilled Worker applications under the Express Entry System.

Prior to joining Green and Spiegel LLP, Cristina worked for the immigration enforcement branch of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for five years. Among her various roles at the CBSA, Cristina represented the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (MPSEP) at tribunal hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board. The unique experience of working as a MPSEP representative has allowed Cristina, in her current role as opposing counsel, to successfully advocate for her clients in various enforcement, and litigation matters, such as temporary resident permit (TRP) and criminal rehabilitation applications, inadmissibility and detention review hearings, appeals before the Immigration Appeal Division and litigation matters before the Federal Court of Canada.

Cristina is able to assist clients in Italian.

Firm Description

Green and Spiegel is Canada’s largest and oldest immigration law practice with over 50 years of experience assisting a diverse global clientele. We are headquartered in Toronto, Canada with U.S. offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Providence, Rhode Island and Vail, Colorado.

Green and Spiegel offers a full range of Canadian and American immigration services for employers, temporary workers, individuals and their families. Whether you are coming to Canada or the United States, to work, join your family, or seek new opportunities, Green and Spiegel can help. If you are an employer who needs an expert to manage your global mobility needs, Green and Spiegel has the depth and breadth of expertise to provide your business with immigration support to ensure a global mobility program that operates smoothly and efficiently.


Mendel Green founded Green and Spiegel LLP in 1962 when immigration law was in its infancy. It was not uncommon for families to be separated by seemingly arbitrary decisions and the prospect of an appeal was nonexistent – immigration decisions were final. The importance of our work was underlined by a lack of accessibility to representation – there were only two lawyers practicing immigration law in Toronto at the time.

What a difference more than 50 years can make. Since then, our practice has grown to include three U.S. offices, 5 partners, and a family of over 100 employees. We restrict our practice exclusively to immigration law and our law firm is considered an industry leader.


How is Green and Spiegel different? Simply put – we are all immigration, all of the time.  We are built on the foundation of our staff and team approach to immigration services. Our diverse and talented staff of over 100 immigration professionals are able to offer services in over 30 different languages. We live our diversity – and it shows. Our mantra is to get the work done.


Our reputation has been earned over many years of providing excellent immigration ​services. The vast majority of our clients come to us the old fashion way: word of mouth referral. Happy clients refer friends, family and colleagues to us.

Green and Spiegel has been recognized by a number of leading publications through peer review, and has received many awards recognizing excellence. The firm was recently ranked by Chambers & Partners in the Chambers Canada Guide 2016 as a Band 1 Law Firm for immigration services. In addition, it was selected by Who’s Who Legal for Canada Corporate Immigration. Finally, it has been named as one of Canada’s Top 5 Immigration Boutique law Firms by Canadian Lawyer Magazine and has been selected by Best Lawyers Canada for Immigration Law.


France Côté

Leaders in Law endorses France Côté as our exclusively recommended Patent Law expert in Canada. If you wish to get in touch with France please use the contact information provided above.

France is a patent agent registered to act before the Canadian and United States Patent Offices. France’s expertise allows her to represent a wide range of clients. She works with start-up and multi-national biotechnology companies, as well as domestic and international universities and research institutes. France assists clients in the prosecution and management of patent applications, in the strategic planning of their patent portfolios, due diligence analysis of portfolios and related prospectus drafting for initial public offerings.

Although France’s background is biochemistry, her expertise is varied and includes inventions in the following fields: simple mechanics, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals and business methods.

She has been active in the training of new biotech patent agents through her involvement with the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and McGill University. France has served as Chair of the IPIC/McGill Course Liaison Committee from 1997 to 2001, Assistant director of the 1995 and 1996 IPIC/McGill patent courses and director of the course in 1997.

France started in the profession at Goudreau Gage Dubuc in 1988. France joined Swabey Ogilvy Renault in 1992 and became a partner in 1998. After the merger with Ogilvy Renault, she was the chair of the Montreal IP group from 2003 to 2005. France was a co-founding partner of the Montreal Office of Bereskin & Parr in 2005.

In 2009, France joined Marc to co-found BENOÎT & CÔTÉ.


Finalist for the “Prix Femme d’affaires du Québec”

This annual award has recognized successful women with brilliant careers in a variety of industries.

The finalists will be honoured at a virtual gala on November 17, 2020.

Firm Description


Having previously worked together and combining over 40 years of experience, co-founders C. Marc Benoît and France Côté envisioned an IP firm that would offer a complete vision of the intellectual property needs of clients, be they inventors, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses or multinational corporations.

In 2009, having brought together a team of patent and trademark professionals covering all areas of expertise, this vision became a reality with the creation of the first BENOÎT & CÔTÉ office in Montréal, Canada. Since then, we have supplied numerous local and international clients with a wide range of services and worked with well-known and highly respected foreign associates in order to maximize IP value.


Barbara R.C. Doherty

Leaders in Law endorses Barbara Doherty as our exclusively recommended Securities Law expert in Canada. If you wish to get in touch with Barbara please use the contact information provided above.

Barbara Doherty has a broad corporate/commercial practice with specialties in securities, capital markets, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. She is actively involved in dispute resolution, settling, and providing support in prosecuting litigious matters. She works with both Canadian and international clients.

Barbara has acted for issuers, controlling shareholders, independent committees, and registrants. She has experience with transactions relating to corporate acquisitions, divestitures, and reorganizations with securities, regulatory, competition, and Investment Canada implications.

Barbara has a wealth of experience in mergers and acquisitions. Barb’s strength is her ability to lead a service team dedicated to helping clients plan, orchestrate, and successfully implement complex transactions within time-sensitive, regulated environments.

Barbara led the firm’s team that completed one of the first mergers and acquisitions of two mutual fund dealers regulated by the MFDA. She also led the corporate/commercial and specialty team of 25 lawyers advising on the design, build, finance, and operation of the first public-private hospital facility in Ontario. Barbara was appointed as External Counsel to the Ontario Power Authority and led the firm’s service team with a mandate to provide corporate/commercial legal services to support the development of conservation and demand management programs.

Barbara has acted on private placements and prospectus offerings for both foreign and domestic registrants and issuers including investment funds and government agencies. These offerings consist of various equity and debt instruments. She has also acted on exempt and non-exempt takeover bids for offerors, targets, controlling shareholders, and dealers.

Barbara is actively involved in advising foreign companies with their direct investment in and establishing their businesses in Canada. She advises companies from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States on their Canadian operations.

She works with clients in diverse industries including architecture and consulting, biopharma, biotech, brokerage, clean tech, construction, construction equipment/power and parts, data management and communications, digital media, eco-wastes, e-commerce, emerging technologies (AI, blockchain and smart contracts), energy and renewable energy, engineering sealants and paving maintenance, film production, financial services, food and beverage, footwear, forestry, global construction and infrastructure, government registry development, health care, hotel management, hydro-electric construction, international dealers and advisors, investment funds, logistics, marketing and advertising, mining equipment engineering, oil and gas, outsource product engineering services, pharmaceuticals, product manufacturing, private and public security training and simulation, real estate development, robotics, roof coatings, small appliance manufacturing and housewares, soil and water decontamination, solar power, specialty environmental contracting, specialty publishing, telecommunications, utilities and safety solutions and water resources.

Miller Thomson LLP:

Miller Thomson is ideally positioned to be Canada’s law firm. Our complete range of business law, advocacy and personal legal services are available in both English and French.

Our people also believe in forging strong relationships, at home and abroad. Being Canadian means being a good friend and neighbour. This outlook is how we provide unparalleled support to domestic, cross-border and international business clients everyday.


Charles F. Willms

Leaders in Law endorses Chuck Willms as our exclusively recommended Aboriginal & Native Law expert in Canada. If you wish to get in touch with Chuck, please use the contact information provided above.

Charles F. (Chuck) Willms has considerable experience in Indigenous, corporate social responsibility (CSR), commercial and constitutional matters.

Chuck’s industry knowledge encompasses the construction, energy, forestry, and mining sectors. Having represented clients at both levels of federal court, Chuck has also appeared before the supreme courts of BC and the Yukon; Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, and BC, Alberta; and Yukon courts of appeal. He has appeared numerous times in the Supreme Court of Canada.

He has extensive experience in alternate dispute resolution including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. He is consistently ranked by top legal publications as one of the best lawyers in Canada for Indigenous law.

Firm Description

Fasken Martineau is a leading international business law and litigation firm. Tracing our roots back to the mid-1800s, our firm was founded through the merger of three regional Canadian icons in 2000. Today we have nine offices with more than 770 lawyers across Canada and in the UK, France and South Africa.

Our lawyers consistently receive accolades worldwide and earn hundreds of rankings each year from prestigious business and legal publications such as Chambers & Partners, International Financial Law Review (IFLR), The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Legal 500 and others.

While we take pride in each of these acknowledgements, we take our greatest satisfaction from our clients who continue to entrust us with their most pressing matters. We aim to see legal issues in the context of our clients’ broader business issues. We have created a firm that is nimble, entrepreneurial and responsive to the global pressures facing our clients. Our success depends on the success of our clients.


Melanie A. Shishler

Melanie’s ability to bring strategic thinking to clients’ public and private mergers and acquisitions is the reason organizations across numerous sectors rely on her expertise for their complex transactions.

A significant portion of Melanie’s practice is working with clients in the mining sector. Her skill in this area has earned Melanie recognition in Chambers Global for Mining. She is lead counsel on worldwide and significant M&A initiatives for Barrick Gold Corporation as well as numerous intermediate and junior mining companies.

She is well regarded by clients for her insight into the business realities of Canadian and international M&A. Melanie, says a client, “gives frank advice, which is always top notch, but also grounded in commercial sense, regarding what’s possible and how to do the transaction.” (Chambers Global 2016)

Melanie is a member of our Management Committee.

The Mining Law Practice:

Mining companies are transforming themselves to boost profitability, strengthen their social impact and adopt cutting-edge practices. Our team helps you make those bold moves swiftly and successfully.

Global mining companies rely on our team for their most structurally complex and precedent-setting deals. Working across borders and with every type of commodity, we immerse ourselves in your strategies, projects and operations, and use our deep practical experience to create solutions that work.

Our clients range from senior players to junior and mid-tier companies as well as emerging exploration and development companies. Across international borders, we organize and coordinate teams of legal, financial, accounting and technical experts to get the deal done.

Thanks to our long-standing relationships with industry leaders, you get our broad perspective and practical advice on everything from project financings, strategic alliances and streaming arrangements to restructurings, dispute resolution and the mitigation of political risk.

Our team has sector-focused expertise in M&A, securities, tax strategies, finance and litigation. We also have deep experience tackling environmental and Indigenous issues. And we are tracking emerging, potentially disruptive technologies.

We’re here to advise you on every step in the acquisition, growth and financing of your company and at every stage in the exploration, development, financing and operation of specific properties.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg:

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is an integrated firm of approximately 240 lawyers with offices in Toronto, Montréal and New York. The firm is focused on business law and is consistently at the heart of the largest and most complex commercial and financial matters on behalf of its clients, regardless of borders.

Davies is a market leader in each of its core practice areas. The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada ranks Davies as the leading firm in corporate transactions in Toronto.

We act for a wide range of leading industrial and commercial companies and financial institutions, both public and private, in Canada, the United States and abroad. As well, our clients include governments, regulatory bodies, charitable organizations, international agencies, educational institutions, individuals and trusts and estates. Many clients are directed to us for special-purpose engagements by other North American and international law firms.

All law firms are not created equal. The difference at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg is that we consistently produce superior results for our clients.

Phillip M. Millar

As a former Combat Officer, Phillip brings a refreshing approach to legal services. He served his country for over a decade and experienced battle firsthand. As a result, Phillip does not shy away from conflict when necessary and excels at defending his clients in high stakes scenarios.

Phillip has appeared at all levels of court including the Ontario Court of Appeal. He firmly believes in providing his clients with wise counsel, not incentives to spend more on legal fees.

Among Phillip’s many victories have been landmark courtcase decisions on behalf of sexual assault victims. He has also won important cases for the wrongfully accused as well as serious accident victims throughout London and Sarnia, Ontario.

What makes Phillip a fighter is that he is not a paper tiger. His adversaries know this or will soon find out.

In addition to his reputation as a top defender and advocate for Victims Rights, Phillip is a sought after commentator on news programs and has contributed his vast knowledge and experience to several articles and media outlets. He has also written a book filled with invaluable advice for anyone choosing a lawyer.

Yusra Siddiquee

Yusra Siddiquee leads the business immigration and international mobility team in Littler’s Toronto office. Yusra develops corporate immigration strategies and facilitates the temporary and permanent entry of senior executives and key personnel of Canadian and multinational corporations. Her practice is not limited to Canada, as she is experienced in facilitating visas and permits to global destinations. With comprehensive experience in immigration law spanning over 20 years, Yusra is able to advise employers on alternate jurisdictions to relocate key employees who are unable to secure immigration status. She also assists companies in determining the human capital costs when bidding on international projects. As well, Yusra provides extensive training to human resource professionals and in-house counsel on the implementation and execution of immigration policies and processes. From an employment law perspective, she advises clients on the employment and termination of foreign workers. Yusra’s clients span a wide range of industries, including engineering, telecommunications, information technology, health sciences and energy.

Yusra has appeared before parliamentary committees to advise government officials on immigration policy and legislation. She is a frequent speaker at legal and industry conferences both domestically and internationally. She is ranked as a leading immigration lawyer in several publications including Chambers and Partners, Who’s Who Legal and Canadian Legal Expert.

Firm Overview:

We realize that in-house counsel, HR professionals and corporate executives do not just manage legal work; they are expected to be business partners and contribute to the organization’s overall success. This means you need us to do more than just great legal work. You need us to be your strategic partners, as well as legal counsellors who understand your industry and your business. Our lawyers need to help your organization make money, save money and present you with ideas to help you reduce cost, manage risk and succeed in your professional role.

That’s why we run our business the way you run your business, making important investments in our firm, client relationships and the future of the legal profession. We understand your need for high-quality, cost-effective legal services. Here are just a few examples of how we can help you meet your business goals:

  • We can manage all of your litigation needs – from administrative charges, to single plaintiff litigation, to class actions – so that your costs are predictable and you have the valuable business analytics that will help manage risk and prepare for the future.
  • We have developed a strong subject matter focus through our Knowledge Management Department and our vast network of global labour and employment thought leaders who can give you precise recommendations to help solve your business and legal issues.
  • We invest in research and development to create products and services, such as Littler CaseSmart, ComplianceHR and Littler GPS, to offer new and alternative ways of delivering legal services that maximize efficiencies and control costs.
  • Our pricing and project management teams help us develop alternative fee arrangements that enable us to meet your needs, give you pricing predictability and achieve expectations on any project.
  • Whether you are based in a single location or have global operations, we have the depth and breadth of lawyers you need through our more than 75 U.S. and global offices and our strong relationships with lawyers worldwide.
  • Littler values diversity and inclusion and our lawyers and culture reflect that value. We always rank at the top across the broad range of diversity metrics.
  • We care what you think. We conduct comprehensive client satisfaction interviews throughout the year to ensure our clients are getting the service and value they want and expect.
  • Our goal is to provide exceptional client service and our priority and focus is to deliver that to you. Read about Our Client Service Guarantee™

Frédéric Pagé

As head of the research department in Montreal and the director of marketing for the firm’s Canadian offices, Frédéric Pagé blends his thirst for knowledge about all things to do with the law with his passion for the arts. Frédéric joined Clyde & Co in 2012 after nearly three years at a large Montreal firm.

Frédéric brings a wealth of experience to the task and possesses a deep understanding of legal research, legal nuance, and knowledge management. He is instrumental in guiding research on a variety of legal matters, rendering opinions with practical advice for clients and crafting written arguments in Quebec, Canadian, French, American and British law. His work covers a broad spectrum of legal issues, with an emphasis on international and domestic insurance law, as well as regulatory matters.

In addition to his role as head of research, Frédéric orchestrates Clyde & Co’s marketing department in Canada. An outstanding communicator, Frédéric is responsible for much of Clyde’s outreach to clients. And drawing on his personal skills and good humour, Frédéric serves as a liaison between many partners and correspondents of the international firm, while leading his talented team.

A 10-year practitioner, Frédéric began his career as a research lawyer at the Quebec Court of Appeal working under Justice Nicole Duval Hesler, now the court’s Chief Justice. A member of the Quebec Bar, the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Bar Association, he is also known for his involvement in various committees within Clyde, and philanthropic organizations.

When Frédéric is not at the office, he is either marvelling at Tchaikovsky’s 6th symphony, diving into one of his favourite historical novels, or learning his lines.

Firm Overview:

Clyde & Co is a dynamic, rapidly expanding global law firm focused on providing a complete legal service to clients in our core sectors.

We advise businesses that are at the heart of worldwide commerce and trade.

Our combination of sector expertise, commercial attitude and in-depth regional understanding provides a unique perspective.

Natalie C. MacDonald

Natalie is the co-founding partner and co-managing partner of Rudner MacDonald LLP, a boutique law firm specializing in Canadian Employment Law which was selected as one of the top three Employment & Labour Law firms in Canada this year, according to Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Awards.  The firm has also been lauded for its work in social media and was a finalist in the 2016 Legal Marketing Association Toronto Chapter annual ‘Your Honour Awards’.

Natalie was recently selected as one of the leading Labour and Employment law practitioners in the world, according to the 6th edition of the Expert Guides Women in Business Law guide. Lawyers listed in the Expert Guides Women in Business Law publication are nominated by in-house counsel and peers, and selected through independent research and peer evaluations.

She has repeatedly been named among Canada’s Top Employment Law Practitioners.  She was recently nominated as one of Canada’s Top 25 Legal Influencers, in the category of Changemakers.  The term “legal influencers” of this highly prestigious nomination encompasses both judges and lawyers. One of Natalie’s cases, Antidormi v. Blue Pumpkin Software Inc. [2004], is touted as a leading decision in the area of inducement of employees to organizations.  She achieved extraordinary damages in this case.

Natalie provides senior counsel on all issues in employment law, including policy and contract drafting, hiring processes, terminations, discipline, restrictive covenants, employment contracts, employment standards issues, workplace bullying and harassment, human rights and sexual harassment. She represents both employees and employers, assisting each with clear, practical advice, in an effort to help them understand their rights and obligations.

Natalie is the leading authority on extraordinary damages and author of the text, Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law, which received critical acclaim as an authority on the subject by courts and members of the bar.  The book reviews extraordinary damages in wrongful dismissal cases across Canada, including moral damages and the meaning of ‘bad faith’ in wrongful dismissal situations, damages for mental distress, punitive damages, damages based on actions in tort, personal injury damages in an employment law context, as well as human rights remedies under provincial and federal legislation. 

She is the founding Co-Chair of the Employment Law Practice Essentials’ annual Conference, an on-line course hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada.  She is also a Program Director of Osgoode’s Professional Development HR Law for HR Professionals course, and an instructor since its inception.  Natalie is the architect of and founding Program Director of Osgoode’s Certificate in Advanced HR Law for Experienced HR Professionals.  She also enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through teaching, and regularly chairs and speaks at conferences, including those offered by Human Resources Professional Association, Ontario Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

She currently serves on the Employment Advisory Board of Directors for Practical Law in Canada, and is the author of the chapter on Extraordinary Damages in its online publication.

Natalie is also a volunteer for Pro Bono Law Ontario, which operates a number of services to assist low-income, self-represented litigants with civil matters.  Natalie provides Senior Counsel to assist litigants with employment law matters.

Natalie was the Editor-in-Chief of the respected Employment Bulletin for seven years, as well as a routine contributor to Canadian HR Reporter, Canadian Employment Law Today and Canadian Employer.  Natalie is frequently called upon by the media to offer her expert opinion on employment law matters.   

In addition, Natalie served as a Director on two, not-for profit Boards: Ridgeford Charitable Foundation and Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation. Both address social housing needs. She is also a former Board member of a Women’s Shelter. Natalie is also deeply committed to actively supporting various other charitable causes. In 2008, Natalie was a member of a Task Force for Social Justice spearheaded by the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal, and also provided opinion to University of Toronto Law School in that same vein. Natalie’s expertise has often been sought by other organizations within the legal community, to provide guidance on complex employment law issues. She is a leader in the legal community donating her time and expertise on a regular basis. 

A world traveller, Natalie has backpacked throughout Australia, South East Asia, China, India, Africa, Europe and various parts of South America. Natalie enjoys golf, and is an active member of her golf club. Natalie is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada as well as the Ontario and Canadian Bar Associations.

A graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, Natalie received her B.A. (Hons) from Queen’s University and was called to the Bar in 2000.


Andrew H. Heft

Leaders in Law endorses Andrew H. Heft as our exclusively recommended Family Law expert in Canada. If you wish to get in touch with Andrew please use the contact information provided above.


  • Date of birth – Feb 28, 1951
  • Place of birth – Montreal
  • Citizenship – Canadian


  • admission to Barreau du Quebec – November 1977
  • Bachelor of Civil Law [B.C.L.] 1976, McGill University
  • Bachelor of Arts [B.A.] 1972, McGill University

Professional Memberships

  • Association des Avocats et Avocates en Droit Familial du Quebec
  • Association du Barreau Canadien
  • Lord Reading Law Society

Philosophy and Professional Experience

My practice is restricted to family law and related civil litigation. I believe in a direct, energetic, and assertive approach to litigation. I seek to create the conditions that will result in the best possible outcome.

Over the years I have acquired valuable experience in the areas most frequently encountered in family law including:

  • negotiation of out-of-court settlements
  • drafting of settlement agreements
  • litigation of substantive issues

child custody and access

 including issues such as:

  • determination of custody
  • physical and sexual abuse
  • parental alienation
  • shared custody
  • removal of children to and from Quebec
  • determination of access
  • non-compliance with court-ordered access
  • grandparent’s’rights

financial support for spouses and children

including issues such as:

  • determination and fixing of the amount payable
  • discovery of undisclosed assets and undeclared income
  • modification of existing orders
  • remedies in the case of non-payment of support

division of matrimonial property

including issues such as:

  • discovery and identification of eligible assets
  • unequal division

compensatory allowances

unjust enrichment

protection of judgment claims

including issues such as:

  • seizure before judgment
  • registration of legal hypothecs

enforcement of judgments

including issues such as:

  • contempt of court
  • collection of judgment debts
  • recovery of assets transferred fraudulently to evade judgment
  • bankruptcy and execution of matrimonial orders
  • recognition and enforcement in Quebec of foreign orders

My non-family law civil litigation practice experience has included:

  • bankruptcy
  • fraudulent settlements, preferences
  • civil liability
  • personal injuries
  • libel
  • collections
  • labour law
  • unjust dismissal