The Demise of Oral Advocacy?

While reflecting on my advocacy this week, I had time to pause and think about how I got to this point in my career. More specifically how whatever skills I do possess as an advocate, came to be. Two immediate thoughts came to mind, watching and doing. Having a great interest in the development of young advocates, I then reflected on what opportunities I had that perhaps they do not and will not have to develop their skills... Read more

Family Resemblance: Piercing Corporate Veil in Family, Corporate Law

When a marriage breaks down and corporations are involved, both family law and corporate law can be engaged in sometimes complementary, sometimes conflicting ways. This is particularly the case with piercing the corporate veil. Parties and counsel involved in these situations should keep both family and corporate law perspectives in mind, or risk being surprised by the approach the court can take... Read more

Stopping Anti-Vaccination Debate in the Courts

Lawyer David Frenkel argued that the justice system should not have given a platform in recent court proceedings for a mother to argue against the vaccination of her children with her estranged husband. I vigorously disagree with this view. Let me also identify that my personal views on vaccination play absolutely no part in the views I am about to express... Read more

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Irene Bardakjian

Irene Bardakjian, Law Clerk


Annamarria Savaglio

Annamaria Savaglio, Law Clerk

Gary S. Joseph LL.B, LL.M., C.S.

Managing Partner and Chair

Gary S. Joseph leads the Family Law Firm of MacDonald & Partners LLP as Managing Partner and Chair. He is a Certified Specialist in Family Law. He was called to the Ontario Bar (1978) and is a Member of the Alberta Bar (1985). He also received his LL.M. in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Gary has been reported in over 300 Family Law decisions at all Court levels in Ontario and Alberta. He has also appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada. He is a past Family Law Instructor, Ontario Bar Admission course. He is the author of Handling a Family Law Matter in Ontario and The Family Law Litigation Handbook (Ontario), The Family Law Litigation Handbook (Alberta), Family Law Arbitration in Canada, Carswell’s Family Law Memorandum Service and the upcoming Parenting Law in Canada. He is the author of numerous articles on Family Law in various professional and public media, including an article in the Huffington Post titled "Marriage and Divorce Attitudes: A tidal wave of change." He was named as one of the Top 50 Family Law lawyers in Canada, as noted by Lawday, an international publication. He has been consistently recognized as a leading family law practitioner and in 2019 was again named Lexpert Ranked Lawyer.

Gary has presented family law papers throughout Canada and recently presented a paper at the National Family Law Conference 2018 in Vancouver. He was recently asked to present a paper on the Divorce Act amendments to the 2018 Annual Lawasia Conference in Siam Reap, Cambodia. He will be presenting a paper at the AFCC Conference in New Orleans, USA in May of 2020.

Gary is an active and involved spouse, father and grandparent and has a variety of interests inside and outside of law, including reading, sailing, mountain biking, golfing and swimming. He is a retired triathlete having competed in 33 triathlons worldwide including three Hawaii Ironman competitions and the World Professional Championships (in France).

Experienced Family Law Practitioner

  • Certified Specialist in Family Law
  • Fellow of the International Association of Family Lawyers
  • Called to the Ontario Bar (1978)-Member of Alberta Bar, since 1985
  • Has been reported in over 300 Family Law decisions at all Court levels in Ontario and Alberta
  • Experienced Family Law Trial and Appellate Counsel
  • Trained Family Law Mediator
  • Appeared as Counsel in family law matter in the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Was recently voted by his peers at the bar to the 2021, 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada

Recognized and Respected Family Law Expert

  • Past Family law instructor, Ontario Bar Admission course
  • Author, Handling a Family Law Matter in Ontario
  • Author Family Law Litigation Handbook (Ontario)
  • Co-Author Family Law Litigation Handbook (Alberta)
  • Co-Author, Family Law Arbitration in Canada
  • Founding Lecturer, Family Information Session program of the Superior Court of Justice, recognized by the Chief Justice for his efforts
  • Top 50 Family Law lawyers, as noted by Lawday an international publication
  • Author of numerous articles on Family Law in various professional and public media, including an article in the Huffington Post Marriage and Divorce attitudes: tidal wave of change
  • Contributor to the Advocate Daily, Gary informs and reflects on various aspects of Family Law in print and on radio including the disadvantages of self-representation

Notable Publications

Notable Cases

Thank you for your work getting me to this place. I am very grateful to you.


Thank you to everyone for working together to help the children and me. I am grateful to all of you. 


Thank you for all you've done for me so far, I do appreciate it. I wish I started this process with you by my side from day one. I'm sure it would have been a completely different outcome.


Thank you again for yesterday and thank you for the talk we had after. I really appreciate your understanding and all that you do. 


Thanks to Gary for buying more time. Having a great team taking care of me is the only thing keeping me from insanity.


You couldn’t be in better hands ! Gary is an incredible lawyer!


Just wanted to let you know that the house closed today. Thanks again for all the help and support you and your team have provided over the past years. I'm happy to have this behind me. 


Thank you both for your professionalism and competence in dealing with this matter. It’s more than protecting my money, it’s also protecting my dignity and I feel you both executed it all very well. 


Thank you - you were brilliant Gary


Good luck. Well you really don’t need it cuz your damn good at what you do. 


Thank you for helping to fuel an important conversation. There are no easy answers, but I think it’s crucial that we as lawyers continue to discuss and work though how to best balance our competing duties to our clients, the administration of justice, the profession and society as a whole.


I want to express my gratitude for helping me out and doing a superb job.


Thank you very much for everything you have done for me.

You were the best.


Thank you so much for being so smart, so organized, and for marching right in to help in a legal system that, in my view, is not really very fair or balanced (you may disagree). I won the Jurisprudence award in law school, but the idea of justice has been a bit eroded these past three years. 
Thank you for everything: the legal skills, the advice, and the sense of hope I had (finally) when I met you.


I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work and attention to my case. 

You are amazing!  

I have already recommended you to a number of people. 

You are truly a rock

Thanks again for everything!



It's been a long journey and I have appreciated all your work and Amit's hard work. Your firm's professionalism, expertise and reputation I feel was superior. I do not feel any other firm would have handled this case any better. Thank you for all your assistance.


On behalf of all of the judges in Central West Region, I wish to express our thanks for your presentation and participation in our recent meeting. The program you presented with Stephen Kirby was extremely helpful and I know it will be of great assistance to our judges. It is greatly appreciated that you took time away from your busy practice to join us.

Justice Peter A. Daley, Regional Senior Judge, Central West Region

I appreciate all the hard work you guys did and can’t even put it in words. Gary and Serena I know you guys did more work than what I paid for and the reactions from those people that were surprised to see you guys at this lower court showed me that this type of case was below your pay grades. I know this and I hope god returns the blessings to both of your lives.


Thank you for all your help and advice, you have been very effective. I only wish I would have used your firm right from the beginning


I just wanted to say a great big thank- you to you today for all your help & that I really appreciated everything. Also, I just wanted to thank you for helping me through and understanding the emotional hard part too. I really appreciated that. Never easy. You are awesome & I think you are really great at what you do! I am very lucky to have you.


Thank you, Gary, Lauren, Irene, Monica and Annamaria. I appreciate all the work and effort that went into getting a decision that is a very good result!


You guys are great. Thank you for everything. Your firm is very thorough, and I had complete confidence when I first approached you in 2011. Thank you so much.



I want to again thank you for accepting to resolve my matter. It is an amazing feeling day in and day out knowing you are by my side. 



It was truly a pleasure meeting with you today and working through this difficult file. Whatever happens, it's good to know there is still respect and collegiality in our profession.