Canadian Lawyer

March 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 23 of 43

BUSINESS STRATEGY TOP BOUTIQUES SPECIAL REPORT 22 DE VRIES LITIGATION LLP HULL & HULL LLP B y living up to its motto — Advice, Advocacy, Resolution — de VRIES LITIGATION LLP is consistently named one of the top wills, trusts and estates boutique law firms in Canada. "Our calling card is that we're litigators first," said Justin de Vries, the principal of de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. "We are litigators who litigate estates, trusts and capacity issues, as opposed to estates or trusts lawyers who are litigators. We know our way around a courtroom." The firm also advises on complex estate administrations and its clients range from large financial institutions to individual trustees, executors and beneficiaries. Justin de Vries is also a busy mediator helping settle often intractable estate disputes. Due to the firm's expertise, de VRIES LITIGATION LLP lawyers are often in court, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, and they routinely attend examinations and mediations. They are regularly appointed by the court as estate trustees, guardians and section 3 counsel under the Substitute Decisions Act. "We bring a professional approach and get people to focus on resolving the immediate issues and not litigating the longer-term issues," Justin de Vries said of working in what can sometimes be emotionally charged situations. "Compromise is a term we use a lot in the estates world, and we try to get our clients to focus on the future, not the past." F or more than 50 years, Hull & Hull LLP has been a leader in all aspects of estate, trust and capacity law. The firm has acted in Canada's largest and most complex estates cases, including at the Supreme Court of Canada, and its lawyers have written some of the leading texts on estate law. Among the certified specialists in estate and trust law and civil litigation, Hull & Hull LLP's team includes a former chief justice of Ontario. Hull & Hull's services, however, extend beyond the hard facts of a case. "We are also sensitive to the needs of clients who often approach us when dealing with what is already an extremely difficult and stressful time of their lives," says associate Nick Esterbauer. That ethos was established by the firm's co-founder, Rodney Hull, who was one of the first lawyers in Canada to specialize in estate and trust issues, and his son, co-founder Ian M. Hull. "We draw on our established expertise but remain highly engaged in the development of the law and new strategies to assist in providing clients with the best service possible," Esterbauer said. Those strategies include sharing their expertise within the legal community, speaking regularly at professional development programs and seminars and formal teaching ap- pointments, as well as publishing a daily blog and releasing a weekly podcast.

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