Andrea HimelAndrea Himel approaches her clients’ issues with empathy, practicality and knowledge.  Her mediation background includes working with couples engaged in the Court system and assisting those who wish to avoid Court.  She mediates cases with or without lawyers present and, where appropriate, interviews children to better understand their perspectives.

In addition to Himel Mediation and Family Law Services, the private practice that Andrea opened in 2008, she mediates on-site at the family court in Milton, Ontario. Andrea also mediates child protection cases with the Toronto-area Children’s Aid Societies.

Andrea is a member of the Social Justice Tribunal, as a Board Member of the Child and Family Services Review Board. In that capacity, Andrea provides mediation and adjudication services to families who are involved in disputes with institutions such as Children’s Aid Societies and School Boards. The cases Andrea has presided over and the decisions she has written can be found at: www.canlii.org.

In her family law practice, Andrea represents parents and kin in child protection cases (LAO certificates accepted). Andrea also provides advice and assistance to unrepresented litigants at Courts in the Toronto-area.  On behalf of the Office of the Children’s lawyer, she acts on behalf of children whose parents are involved in highly conflictual custody and access disputes and child protection proceedings. From 2000 to 2007, Andrea was a family lawyer at Torkin Manes, a well-established Toronto law firm.

Andrea is the President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (Ontario Chapter), a multi-disciplinary organization for lawyers, mental health professionals, mediators and judges. The organization provides professional training, engages in research and develops policies in an attempt to improve the lives of parents, individuals and children following a separation or family breakdown. Andrea is also co-chair of the Annual AGM and Conference, as well as co-chair of the Research and Policy Group. From 2015 to 2016, Andrea supervised research in the area of custody and access cases that intersect with the child protection system. Andrea is currently organizing a multi-disciplinary symposium to explore how we can build on this research to improve the management of these high conflict cases. In 2014, Andrea re-drafted an important policy paper entitled the “Updated Ideal Family Court Initiative”. Andrea’s “President’s Message” can be found in the Spring 2016 newsletter at www.afccontario.ca.

In July 2016 Andrea co-wrote 1-800-SkypeMe, which has been published in the Family Court Review, an academic and peer-review American Journal. She has also written many articles for publications such as the Canadian Family Law Quarterly, Canadian Moneysaver, The Advocates Quarterly, and for the Ontario Bar Association. Her publications relate to a variety of issues including: adult children and support, child abduction, pensions and the matrimonial home. Andrea has chaired several family law programs for professionals, and has spoken at various matrimonial law conferences including: Judicial Education Programs, The 6-Minute Lawyer; the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Annual Conference; and The Ontario Bar Association Conferences for Family Lawyers.

Andrea enjoys public policy work, and is often invited to participate in consultations on a wide variety of family law issues.  From time to time Andrea is contacted by the media to comment on important issues that affect families and parents.

Over the past five years Andrea has been a mentor to more than 25 students and new lawyers through the Externship Program at the University of Toronto and informally. After recently spending the day with Andrea in her role as duty counsel to self-represented litigants, one undergraduate student rated the experience a “10”, and explained, “Andrea was very busy and yet periodically checked on me to see if I was confused or overwhelmed. Andrea was very blunt about advice with no sugar-coating or vague answers. It’s clearly a tough and demanding job, but she also expressed a lot of love for it, and feels like this work completes her.” Another appreciative student advises, “Andrea is exceptional at what she does, and gives valuable information to clients in need and being patient, understanding, and a good listener. Andrea lets the clients speak and be heard, and proceeds to tell them the appropriate course of action while ensuring they understand everything thoroughly, including the process they must go through in order to complete their claims successfully. Andrea is willing to help students learn in any way she can. Through the external job shadowing program she immersed the students in her work as best as possible, and it was a truly wonderful experience.”

                                                             To learn more about your options, contact Andrea Himel today

(416) 551-8752 | andrea@himelmediation.com