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Whom do we serve?

Scenario 1

Our client learns he can negotiate with his bank.

Frank loves hot chocolate, so much so that he decided to open a gourmet hot chocolate and pastry shop. He obtained a small business loan for a million dollars from his preferred banking institution and came to us to look over the terms of the commitment letter. Upon review, we suggested to him the that the bank might be prepared to limit the guarantee to a specific amount rather than having an unlimited guarantee. Why should he give the bank a “blank cheque”?  With this knowledge, Frank was able to approach the bank and negotiate a preferred specific guarantee. Now Frank can spend more time perfecting his dark chili peppermint brew instead of worrying about an open ended liability.

Conclusion: We can assist small business owners, individuals seeking personal loans, couples seeking mortgage financing and anyone else in all manner of financial transactions and at every stage, from negotiating the required security, to capping the guarantees, and putting the security in place. We can save you the legwork, hassle, and the worry of doing it on your own.

Scenario 2

A commercial tenant finds some risk in the fine print.

A client signing a commercial offer to lease did not have it reviewed prior to signing. When the lease was presented, it contained a provision that the lease could be cancelled should the tenant ask for permission to transfer the lease to someone else (say, on the sale of the business). The client wanted to sell the business and the landlord demanded the lease be cancelled or the request be withdrawn. It seems the landlord wanted the property back and he tried to rely upon the provision in the lease.

Conclusion: The lease gave a power to the landlord that interfered in the client’s ability to sell her business. This could have been avoided had the proper exclusion been put in the offer to lease. When the lease arrives, if you let us review it, any offending clauses could simply be removed. The devil is in the details, you see.

Scenario 3.

Breaking up is hard to do, but it can be done right.

Clients suffering marital problems often carry misconceptions regarding the law in Ontario. Our clients know that they are free to consult us on a confidential basis so that they understand their rights. Those in common law relationships often have questions about the impact of living together on property rights, and we encourage consultations to put their mind at ease. It’s never easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard.

Scenario 4

The wrong will is a terrible legacy.

Two lovely people approached us to prepare their Wills. They had already prepared their own will using a web based do it yourself product. They had concerns. So did we. Not only were we able to correct some of the problems we identified, we were also able to structure their wills to minimize Estate Administration Tax, provide long term security for each other as spouses, protection from creditors, and still allow for residual benefits for children and grandchildren, none of which were covered appropriately in the “kit” will. The use of trusts for this purpose requires expertise which is unavailable on the web.

Conclusion: The additional costs of using experienced counsel gave benefits not otherwise achievable. It seems law school and experience really count for something.

Scenario 5

Thats my barbecue youre cooking on!

Imagine Sara’s surprise when, on setting out her patio furniture, she learned that the permanent barbeque she thought was hers had been built on a common area, according to a title search.

Before hiring us, Sara purchased a condominium unit assuming that the barbeque on her private balcony belonged to the seller. In fact, she was assured of this by the seller and the agent. As it turns out, the barbeque was built on a patio which was owned by the Condominium Corporation. The continued placement and use of the barbeque contravened a provision in the Declaration for the building. We were able to help Sara by negotiating and obtaining the necessary agreements from the Condominium Corporation to confirm exclusive use of the patio and the ongoing presence of the barbeque.

Conclusion: Only through a careful and artful review of the relevant documentation were we able to discover the problem and find a resolution for Sara. At SGR, lawyers have the responsibility for all real estate files.


Scenario 6

I just lost my job. What do I do?

Call us. Our experienced employment lawyers know that losing one’s job can be shattering. We will listen, advise you of your legal rights and then map out a practical course of action that is right for you. We can even give you helpful legal advice for your next job.

Scenario 7

Help! We’ve got a nasty neighbour.

Sam and Alex are a couple who enjoy the peace and quiet of their home life. They worked hard to make their backyard beautiful — and their kids love playing there.  They also had wonderful neighbours for many years, but then everything changed. The nice people next door moved away and trouble arrived. Their new neighbour complained about everything Sam and Alex’s family did, but thought nothing of disregarding their interests by throwing loud parties and parking on Sam and Alex’s side of a mutual driveway. The neighbour, mentioning something about an encroachment,  then threatened to remove the backyard fence and cut down a large maple tree that provides shade on hot summer days. Sam and Alex were baffled since the fence had been there for decades and they believed the tree was shared.  The police wouldn’t get involved as they claimed it was a ‘civil matter’.

Conclusion: Our litigation lawyers came to Sam and Alex’s rescue. Through quick action and skilled negotiations they helped save the fence, the tree, the couple’s property value and their peace of mind. While they know their new neighbour is here to stay for now, things are much better following the mediation they attended. Working with the mediator and our lawyers, Sam and Alex developed a plan for dealing with any future conflict with their neighbour. Home is still sweet home.


Scenario 8

Lawyer seeks Mediator.

Jamie is a lawyer with a busy litigation and employment practice. Jamie regularly requires a mediator to help settle cases — someone whom both Jamie and the opposing lawyer trust to get the job done. The mediator must be highly skilled, knowledgeable in a wide array of areas to accommodate Jamie’s broad client base and tenacious –  but respectful of both counsel and their clients.

Conclusion: Jamie can count on our experienced mediators.  We also offer flexible scheduling,  reasonable fees and our boardroom facilities are conveniently located in suburban Toronto and are available for no additional charge. Our mediators will also travel off-site throughout Ontario.


Scenario 9

An entrepreneur discovers that with success comes new challenges.

Remember Frank, the chocolate-loving businessman from Scenario 1? It seems that Frank was on to a good thing and business has been sweet. Frank’s business grew so rapidly that he has run into challenges he never anticipated. With every expansion he needs to hire more employees and he is struggling to understand his legal obligations. Recently, Frank suffered a setback when a trusted store manager suddenly quit and went to work for Frank’s competitor across the street. Worst of all, the former manager made off with a copy of Frank’s recipe book and a list of his coveted corporate clients — many of whom are no longer placing their regular pastry orders. One corporate client in particular owes Frank a substantial amount of money on account but refuses to pay.  All of this is leaving a bitter taste in Frank’s mouth.

Conclusion: Frank, and people like him, need not be victims of their own success. We regularly assist small and medium sized businesspeople manage their workplace issues so that they are in compliance with the law and to protect them from unfair competition. We can also provide smart solutions to deal with stubborn payers.




NOTE: The above scenarios contain fictional accounts based upon the types of clients we typically serve. They are not intended as legal advice or assurances of the outcome of your particular matter. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional and coincidental.