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Professionals Practice Group

The professionals practice group has been created by Siskinds to offer a unique full-service approach for professionals, to address all of their legal needs over the course of their professional careers through to retirement. Health care professionals, accountants, lawyers, veterinarians, architects, and other professions—each share the fact they are governed by a college, society or institute to ensure the highest professionals standards are delivered to patients and clients. Our mission is to not only assist professionals in the business aspects of their professional practice (including incorporation, leasing, contractual arrangements, employee issues) but to also meet the various legal needs they encounter in their personal lives—from buying a house to estate planning through wills and powers of attorney.

Professional Corporation

A substantial percentage of professionals practice their profession through a professional corporation. Assistance with the formation, ongoing maintenance and corporate changes to the professional corporation is the core of the legal services that Siskinds provides to professionals. There are many advantages for professionals to practice through a professional corporation. For a more detailed analysis of the advantages, click this link.

Each profession has its own governing legislation that provides the special provisions applicable to a professional corporation. The overriding corporate law provisions are found in the Ontario Business Corporations Act, which authorizes the unique corporate structure for a professional corporation. While the corporation is a separate legal entity from the individual professional, as between the professional and his or her patient or client there is transparency so the duties and professional responsibilities are directly between the professional and the patient or client.

To ensure the most effective legal structure, it is important to engage a lawyer who is fully familiar with all of the special requirements for each profession and who is able to work with the professionals’ accountant and tax advisor to ensure the structure meets the long term goals of the professional and his/her family. The Siskinds team is able to offer that specialized assistance.

Other Legal Needs

As professionals start and continue their practices, there will be many other legal needs they encounter, such as leasing space, buying an existing practice, bank financing, purchase of a building, hiring employees, entering into agreements such as associate agreements, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, agreements with hospitals, practice groups and others. In each of these situations, one or more of the members of the Siskinds firm will have the specific expertise to assist. The particular issue or need will be clearly identified to ensure the professional is connected with the appropriate lawyer within the firm.

Estate Planning

For many, estate planning—and preparation of wills and powers of attorney—is a planning step to avoid or defer. It is a subject difficult to think about, discuss and plan for. Statistics routinely show that a significant percentage of individuals and couples have failed to initiate this important measure. Whether still single, in a relationship, with or without children, it is very important to have proper wills and powers of attorney in place. And thereafter, wills and powers of attorney should be reviewed and updated as circumstances change. As a general rule of thumb a review should occur every 5 years. For professionals, change can happen rapidly as careers and personal circumstances advance. For professionals with professional corporations, it may be advisable to have dual will strategy. Our professionals in the estate planning department will work with you and your financial advisors to ensure careful implementation of a strategy specifically designed for your needs.

Family Law

Statistics show that a significant percentage of relationships will end in separation and divorce. That reality also pertains to professionals. And, for many professionals, it may be advisable to have a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement prior to entering into a significant relationship or marriage. If faced with any of these circumstances, our family law group will be there to assist.

Employment Law

Often professionals will be faced with negotiating an employment agreement, whether with a hospital, corporation, university, professional firm or partnership. As well, many professionals will themselves become employers, requiring employment agreements, workplace policies and other employment issues. The labour and employment group at Siskinds has an experienced team of professionals well versed in all employment related issues that may face the professional during the course of their career.

Commercial Litigation

Unfortunately, there are times when a professional (or his or her firm) will be faced with the need to commence litigation or to defend against litigation that is brought against them. The commercial litigation team at Siskinds has a deep roster of lawyers to assist with bringing or defending litigation claims.

Residential Real Estate

During their careers, almost all professionals will purchase and sell a home. And, many may also purchase recreational properties. The ERS group (expedited realty services) at Siskinds, focusing on residential and recreational properties, has a strong team of lawyers and clerks to respond in a timely and cost-effective manner to ensure the purchase and sale of a home or recreational property is a relatively stress-free experience.

Commercial Real Estate and Leasing

Many professionals and professional firms will be faced with commercial real estate needs. This may be a lease of premises or the purchase of a building from which to carry on a professional practice. A commercial lease is generally a lengthy and complicated agreement. And the financial implications will be significant. It is not, as commonly thought, a standard form document. And, purchasing commercial real estate is much different than buying a home. Many issues need to be addressed in the purchase agreement. After an agreement is signed, significant due diligence must be completed. The time to engage a commercial real estate lawyer is before any agreement is signed, including a term sheet or letter of intent. The lawyers in the commercial real estate group at Siskinds have extensive experience dealing with myriad issues that need to be covered in the agreement and in moving forward to closing the purchase of a commercial property.

Cyber Security and Privacy

Professionals are called to a high standard of confidentiality. As practice records are increasingly managed digitally, cyber security and privacy risks are enhanced. Siskinds has been proactive in each of these fields and will help professionals to act proactively and to manage the increasing risks facing professionals and their practices, in this digital era.

Our Team

Learn more about Katherine Serniwka.

Katherine Serniwka

Associate - Business Law
Learn more about Henry Berg.

Henry Berg

Counsel - Business Law

Lawyers Across Our Firm

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Reviews

5 out of 5 stars.

Adnan was invaluable in helping us through our various acquisitions as fast a paced growth Fintech company. Despite being in a unique industry, Adnan demonstrated his expertise time and time again by supporting us through difficult negotiations, ensuring our interest were protected at all times, and ensuring the deals were completed in a cordial and timely manner. On top of all of that, we needed regular support with various internal corporate matters, all of which Adnan handled with comfort and ease. Adnan is also very well connected in the industry and was readily able to link us with the necessary experts we needed to handle the various legal matters. Most of all, what impressed me the most, is Adnan’s commitment and dedication and the late hours he spent ensuring he was always available at the critical times to address any issues that came up. - S.K.

5 out of 5 stars.

I am certainly grateful for Jill McCartney and Madeline McKinnon for all the time they spent on the class action for my and many others issue. People like me do not understand all the legal procedures and get impatient but the team was there to answer any questions or concerns no matter how many times I called or e-mailed and encouraged me to do so . In the end Jill made sure I totally understood the decisions.  Thank you so much for caring. Would recommend this firm anytime. - F.A.

5 out of 5 stars.

I am sincerely grateful to Leanne Kuchynski for representing my wife and I in what we considered to be an unprecedented situation. Leanne's compassion, practical advice, openness to feedback, brilliant strategic thinking and outstanding work ethic led to the most optimal outcome while maintaining a superior human experience. Despite the harsh realities of the situation, I felt extremely comfortable that our best interest was Leanne's utmost priority and was confident in her demonstrated ability. She was professional and exceptionally thorough, yet remained remarkably caring.

I use to have a somewhat cautious disposition towards lawyers based on past experiences; however, Leanne completely restored my faith in the profession and earned my unquestionable loyalty for all future legal needs. - S.M.