I was born in Hamilton and raised and educated in Burlington, where I still reside. I am married with one son who is a physician specializing in infectious diseases.
I graduated from McMaster University in 1968 with a BA and from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1971. I was called to the bar in 1973 and started my legal practice in 1973 as a partner in Craig, Haber and Matthews. In 1977, the firm changed to Craig and Matthews and carried on until 1990 when we merged with the Hamilton firm of Simpson Wigle. In the millennium year, I started my own practice in order to concentrate on the specific areas of interest to me. In 2000, I successfully passed the national examination for designation as a Certified Financial Planner.
Nearly all of my legal practice is now concentrated in the areas of wills and estates, family law and residential real estate. In the wills and estates areas, I have a wide practice from will and trust drafting to estate administration and filing of tax returns. My family law practice emphasizes the areas of support and property division, particularly those which involve cash flow, tax, and valuation issues.
In addition to the legal areas, I also operate a financial planning service in which I am able to provide anything from full financial plans to very specific and single goal types of plans. Since the qualifications and areas of knowledge are quite different, I offer the financial planning as a distinct and separate practice.
What the Future Holds
The legal and financial fields today are marked by two very distinctive trends. As our world becomes more and more complex, professionals in all fields are being forced to specialize. No more can one hope to be a “general practitioner” within the legal or financial communities. At the same time, a busier and busier public demands “one stop shopping.” Banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions are engaged in a mad rush to gobble up competitors and expand services far beyond those which we traditionally associate with them. All of the chartered banks have purchased or established a stock brokerage business and are anxious to invade the insurance and leasing industries. Large brokerage houses function as near banks, some with chequing and deposit privileges. Insurance companies offer all sorts of investments in various types of investment funds.
On a very small scale, I have tried to recognize these trends by combining a legal practice in which I can offer a full family practice including wills drafting and estate administration, resolution of family issues and the purchase, sale and refinancing of residences with the ability to provide a full financial planning service, using my qualifications as a certified financial planner (CFP).