Lorna M. Yates

Lorna is a founding partner at Cohen Alves Peeters Yates LLP.  Lorna’s client service focused approach, along with her energetic advocacy on behalf of her clients, is the foundation for her successful practice.

Lorna has experience in all areas of family law, including negotiation of complex marriage contracts, separation agreements and parenting plans.  Lorna has appeared before the Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Divisional Court of the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Lorna was called to the bar in February, 2002, after obtaining her LL.B. from Queen’s University and B.A. from McGill University. Lorna is married and is the proud mom of young twins. In her spare time (not that she has much!), Lorna is involved in the Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association (TPOMBA) and is a Board Member for George Herman House, an organization which provides holistic programming and supportive housing for women with mental and emotional health issues.

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  • since 2005: Panel Lawyer, Personal Rights Panel, Office of the Children’s Lawyer
  • since 2006: Instructor for the Mandatory Information Program in Toronto (appointed by the Team Leader, Family Law)
  • since 2011: Barristers Competency Review Group for the Licensing Process, Law Society of Upper Canada
  • since 2016: Executive Member, Family Law Practice Group, The Advocates’ Society

Memberships and Professional Affiliations

  • Chair, Family Law Practice Group at The Advocates’ Society (2018-2019)
  • Past-Chair of the Ontario Bar Association, Family Law Executive
  • Contributor/Chapter Editor for Barrister Examination Materials (Family Law), Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Member of The Advocates Society
  • Member of the Association for Family & Conciliation Courts
  • Member of the Ontario Bar Association/Canadian Bar Association
  • Member of the American Bar Association

Speaking and Writing

  • contributions to the LSUC’s Separation Agreement Annotated,
  • contributions to Money and Family Law
  • contributions to The Lawyers Weekly, the Law Times and the Canadian Bar Association’s The Family Way
  • selected speaking engagements include:
    • Speaker:  “Mastering Critical Documents:  From Facta to Divorce Orders”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2015
    • Speaker:  “IT Options for Family Lawyers:  So What is “the Cloud” Anyway?!?”, “The Family Law MBA:  How to Operate a Profitable Family Law Practice”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2013
    • Speaker:  “An Order is Not a Suggestion:  Contempt/Striking Pleadings as Remedies in Family Law”, Thunder Bay Law Association, 2013
    • Speaker:  “Court Conferences and Motions”, “Family Law Fundamentals:  Using the Family Law Rules to Your Advantage”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2012
    • Speaker:  “An Order is Not a Suggestion:  Contempt / Striking Pleadings as Remedies in Family Law”, “Extraordinary Remedies in Family Law”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2012
    • Speaker:  “The Art (and Science) of Preparing a Financial Statement”, “Bread and Butter Issues in Family Law”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2011
    • Speaker:  “An Order is Not a Suggestion:  Contempt / Striking Pleadings as Remedies in Family Law”, “Extraordinary Remedies in Family Law”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2010
    • Co-Chair:  “Everything You Still Don’t Know About Family Law and Are Afraid To Ask!”, “Strategies for Success in the Practice of Family Law for Junior Lawyers and Law Clerks”, Ontario Bar Association Annual Institute, 2009
    • Co-Chair:  “Evidence for Family Lawyers:  A Primer, a Refresher and Some Key Answers!”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2009
    • Co-Chair:  “Income Analysis and Business Valuation For Family Lawyers”, Law Society of Upper Canada, 2006
    • Speaker:  “Access to Children Under 3”/”Mobility Rights”, “Family Law:  Fundamentals in Custody and Access”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2009
    • Speaker:  “Supervised Access: Still a “Band Aid” Solution?  Or the Evolution of a Temporary Fix?”, “The Six-Minute Family Lawyer 2008” (Law Society of Upper Canada)
    • Speaker:  “Splitting And Severing:  Let’s Just Get Divorced Already!”, Law Society of Upper Canada CLE Program, 2007
    • Speaker:  “Judicial Proceedings to Sell the Matrimonial Home”, Ontario Bar Association Annual Institute, 2006
    • Speaker:  “High Conflict Custody and Access Cases:  How To Navigate The Dispute”, Law Society of Upper Canada CLE Program, 2006
    • Speaker:  “When Relocation is “Hard”:  Undue Hardship Claims in Relocation Cases”, Ontario Bar Association CLE Program, 2005

Contact Information

Direct: 416-968-9200 ext. 222
Email:  [email protected]

Rui J. M. Alves

Rui brings over 23 years of family law experience to CAPY. Rui is a practical and strategic advisor to his clients, particularly where there are complex business and income issues involved. His goal is to guide his clients to the best possible outcome for each and every client and his or her family. Sometimes this may be through Collaborative practice, and other times through out of court negotiations. When the matter requires Court involvement, Rui’s strategic and focused approach to the litigation is a tremendous benefit to his clients. Rui also has extensive experience with Wills and Estates and is able to provide this service to CAPY clients. In addition to his family law practice, Rui mentors other lawyers and law students, providing advice and guidance on a confidential basis. He was even the Osgoode Hall Alumni Mentor Program’s “Mentor of the Year” Award recipient for 2009/2010.

Rui was a partner with Wilson Christen LLP in Toronto, where he practiced family law for nearly 19 years, until he retired from the partnership in March 2019. Rui was an associate editor for the Ontario Family Law Reporter from 2010 to 2016, he has written materials and been a speaker for the Ontario Bar Association and Law Society of Ontario’s continuing legal education programs since 2001. He is the Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s 2019 Annual Bread and Butter Issues in Family Law Continuing Legal Education Program. Rui is a member of the Osgoode Hall Alumni Mentor Program, Collaborative Practice Toronto, York Collaborative Practice, the Canadian/Ontario Bar Association and the Toronto Lawyers Association. Rui fancies himself pretty handy and he likes projects around the home and his country property. But Rui’s proudest achievement is being a parent of two amazing children, both of whom have grown up far too quickly!

Contact Information

Direct: 416-968-9200 ext. 228
Email:  [email protected]

Dana Cohen

Dana’s practice includes all aspects of family law.  Her experience includes advocating in court on behalf of parents in custody and access and financial disputes, as well as negotiating agreements and assisting clients through alternate dispute resolution processes such as mediation and arbitration.

Dana has a social work background, and she applies such background to her family law practice, and particularly to issues of custody and access.  She served as a panel lawyer at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer from 1999 to 2006, and she also performed custody and access assessments at the Children’s Lawyer as part of her social work training.  She is a Parenting Coordinator, and she has completed a family mediation course, a parenting coordination course, and as well, she interned with the Jewish Family and Child Services in the child protection department.

Dana graduated from the University of Toronto in 1997 from the joint Law and Masters of Social Work programme.  She was called to the Bar in 1999.

Contact Information

Direct: 416-968-9200 ext. 223
Email:  [email protected]

Jacqueline Peeters

Jacqueline’s family law practice is settlement focused and built on her extensive experience and advanced training in negotiation and Collaborative Practice. While strongly believing that out of court settlements are best for most families, Jacqueline recognizes that, in some circumstances, court proceedings are necessary and she has represented clients in courts throughout Toronto and the surrounding area.

Each person’s situation is unique. Jacqueline believes her role begins with listening. As she starts to understand her client’s goals and circumstances, her focus is to empower them with information, resources and support – they will then know what choices make the most sense for their lives.

Where there are children, she supports parents working towards a cooperative co-parenting relationship to protect and prioritize the children, often working with a family mediator. Jacqueline is passionate about the benefits to children when parents are able to move beyond their personal differences and place the children’s interests first – her practice is informed with her firsthand experience of parenting in two homes.

Complex financial settlements (both property and support) benefit enormously from being addressed outside the adversarial process where costs can rapidly rise while professionals argue. Where appropriate, jointly engaging neutral professionals, such as valuators, accountants and financial planners, allows for the creation of settlements that are tax effective and shaped around the family’s particular resources.

A separation is an extraordinarily challenging time for most people. Jacqueline’s goal is to provide the support and information needed to transition through this stressful time and create a new foundation for moving ahead.

Contact Information

Direct: 416-968-9200 ext. 226
Email:  [email protected]

Support Team

Tanesia Lynch

Tanesia is the legal assistant to Dana Cohen and Rui J. M. Alves and is a graduate of the Law Clerk Program at Seneca College. She has solid experience supporting lawyers and clients with various legal needs and is on her way to becoming a Jr. Law Clerk. Tanesia is a great listener and her positive attitude ensures that clients are provided with quality administrative and legal care throughout their experience with CPY.

Direct:  416-968-9200 ext. 225
Email:  [email protected]

Lindsey Erickson

Lindsey Erickson

Lindsey is Lorna M. Yates’ legal assistant and junior law clerk. Lindsey graduated from Seneca College with a diploma in Paralegal Studies in 2013 and started working in family law shortly thereafter, assisting counsel for Jewish Family & Child Service and later going on to work as the society’s Disclosure Administrator.

Lindsey obtained her paralegal license with the Law Society in 2018 and a Certificate in Public Administration and Governance from Ryerson University in 2021.

Direct:  416-968-9200 ext. 224
Email:  [email protected]

Michael Maclennan

As Office Manager for Cohen Alves Peeters Yates LLP., Michael is partly responsible for keeping everything running smoothly. His twenty five years as a professional actor/director/choreographer come in handy behind (and in front of) the reception desk. In theatrical terms, Michael can be considered the stage manager of the firm and he will strive to make your visit as comfortable and entertaining as possible.

Charlotte Schwartz

Charlotte joined Cohen Alves Peeters Yates LLP in May 2018 as a senior Law Clerk. She brings fifteen years of experience exclusively in family law, and has completed the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario’s Family Law Fellowship course.

Direct:  416-968-9200 ext. 221
Email:  [email protected]