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Ontario Lawyers With a Reputation for Excellence

At Hicks Adams in Toronto, our lawyers have built a reputation for excellence in criminal defence. Our six partners alone possess more than 100 years of combined experience, and we use that experience to benefit clients facing criminal charges of all types.

 

To learn more about our lawyers, review their profiles below:

Christopher D. Hicks : Partner

Christopher D. Hicks

Christopher Hicks, along with Michael Block and Colin Adams, is one of the founding partners of the criminal law firm of Hicks Adams LLP. He has been practicing criminal law for more than 2 and a half decades, with a special interest, and extensive experience, in jury trials and appeals. In the course of his career, Christopher Hicks has been involved in scores of jury trials involving the most serious crimes in the criminal code, has argued appeals of both conviction and sentence in the court of appeal on a regular basis, and has represented clients in the Supreme Court of Canada on more than a half dozen occasions!

 

Article Links: Sentence ‘Absurd

 

E-mail me at: chicks@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

 

Litigation Percentage
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 1981

 

Education
University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Colin David Adams : Partner

Colin David Adams

Partner since 1995

 

Colin Adams has been a partner since the formation of the firm in 1995. His practice lies mainly in the area of jury trials involving serious and violent offences such as homicides and Dangerous Offender applications, and extends throughout the province. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he lectured in Anthropology at York University, including the Law and Society program.

 

E-mail me at: cadams@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Jury Trials

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 1990

 

Classes/Seminars
Lecturer, Anthropology, York University

Tyler Smith : Partner

Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith is a partner in the firm. He graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1996 and obtained his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario in 1999. Mr. Smith has been with Hicks Adams LLP since his articles. He is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and specializes in defending all criminal and youth charges with a particular emphasis on defending drug cases.

 

E-mail me at: tsmith@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2001

 

Education
- University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law, London, Ontario, Canada
   LL.B. – 1999
- University of Ottawa – 1996

 

Professional Associations and Memberships
Criminal Lawyers’ Association

Corbin Cawkell : Partner

Corbin Cawkell

Corbin Cawkell has been a trial lawyer with our firm since 2003 and a partner since 2011. He has been involved in a significant number of high profile and complex cases at all levels of court. Corbin’s success has resulted in several reported decisions. Corbin’s recent focus has been on constitutional issues and bringing challenges to recent amendments to criminal law. Corbin also has experience in child pornography cases, dangerous and long term offender hearings, and large scale ‘guns and gang’ prosecutions as well. Corbin received his B.A. with Honours from Dalhousie University in 1992, and he returned to university and received his LL.B. from Windsor in 1999. He was called to the Ontario Bar in April, 2001. Initially practicing in civil law, Corbin now practices exclusively in criminal law.

 

E-mail me at: ccawkell@h-b-a.ca

Areas of Practice
Domestic Assault
Child Abuse
Fraud
Narcotics
Trafficking
Guns and Gangs
Criminal Law

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2001

Education
- University of Windsor School of
   Law, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
   LL.B. – 1999
- Dalhousie University
   B.A. – 1992
   Honours: With Honour

Adam Forbes : Associate

Adam Forbes

Adam Forbes is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. He articled with the firm and joined as an associate after his call to the Bar of Ontario in June of 2008. Adam graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2007 with an LL.B., having focused his studies in the area of criminal law. He spent his second year at Osgoode working for the Innocence Project, a clinical program in which students, under the supervision of faculty, examine the cases of individuals who claim to have been wrongfully convicted and, where feasible, reinvestigate and seek proof of the claim of innocence. Prior to law school, Adam completed a Masters of Arts in Criminology at the University of Toronto in 2002. He earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2000.

 

E-mail me at: aforbes@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2008

 

Education
- Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
   LL.B. – 2007
- University of Toronto, Canada
   M.A. – 2002
   Major: Criminology
- University of Toronto, Canada
   B.A. – 2000
   Major: Criminology and Political Science

Aliki Yorgiadis : Associate

Aliki Yorgiadis

Aliki Yorgiadis is an associate with the firm Hicks Adams LLP. Aliki received her Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa in 2010, focusing her studies in the area of criminal law. During her legal studies at the University of Ottawa, Aliki was President of the Criminal Law Students’ Association, and worked as part of the University of Ottawa Innocence Project. In 2010, Aliki was selected to compete on behalf of the University of Ottawa in the Arnup Cup, an annual provincial criminal trial advocacy competition. After placing second in Ontario, she competed at the Sopinka Cup, the national trial advocacy competition finals. Aliki also completed two internships as a judicial clerk at the Ontario Court of Justice. Prior to law school, she received her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Law and Society from York University in 2007. Aliki summered and completed her articles at Hicks Adams LLP and joined the firm as an associate after being called to the Bar in 2011.

 

E-mail me at: ayorgiadis@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2011

 

Professional Associations and Memberships
Criminal Lawyers’ Association
Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association
Toronto Lawyers Association
Durham Region Law Association

 

Languages
English
Greek

Education
- University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Ottawa,
  Ontario, Canada
  J.D. – 2010
- York University (Certificate in Practical Ethics),
   Toronto, Ontario, Canada
   B.A. (Cum Laude) – 2007
   Major: Criminology
   Major: Law and Society

Anthony J. La Bar : Associate

Anthony La Bar joined Hicks Adams LLP as an associate in 2012. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. La Bar ran his own practice where he represented clients charged with a wide range of criminal offences.

 

Mr. La Bar’s trial and appellate practice is directed to criminal, quasi-criminal and related regulatory matters. He has a particular interest in financial crime and drug prosecutions.

 

Mr. La Bar is a member of various professional associations including Criminal Lawyers’ Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (U.S.), Canadian Tax Foundation, Canadian Bar Association/Ontario Bar Association – Taxation Law Section, and Toronto Lawyers Association. He is also a Director-at-Large for the Hispanic Ontario Lawyers Association.

 

E-mail me at: alabar@h-b-a.ca

Areas of Practice
- Criminal Litigation
- Quasi-Criminal and Regulatory
   Litigation
- Appellate Litigation

Litigation Percentage
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2011

Education
- University of British Columbia,
   Faculty of Law, Vancouver,
   British Columbia, Canada
   J.D. – 2010
- Mount Saint Vincent University,
   Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
   B.A. – 2006
   Honours: With Distinction
   Major: Peace and Conflict    Studies

Professional Associations and Memberships
- Criminal Lawyers’ Association,
   Member
- National Association of Criminal
   Defense Lawyers, Member
- Canadian Bar    Association/Ontario
   Bar Association, Member
- Toronto Lawyers Association,
   Member
- Hispanic Ontario Lawyers
   Association, Member,
   Director-at-Large

Past Employment Positions
Law Office of Anthony J. La Bar,
Sole Practitioner, 2011 – 2012

Catriona Verner : Associate

Catriona Verner

Catriona Verner has been an appellate lawyer with our firm since 2001 and is currently managing our large appellate practice. We have close to 100 appellate clients at any one time and their appeals are at all levels of Court, but predominately at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Catriona has had significant success in her practice. She has been counsel in a number of successful homicide appeals (see: R. v. McIntyre, 2012 ONCA 356, R. v. Docherty, 2012 ONCA 784, R. v. Bucik, 2011 ONCA 546 and James, 2011 ONCA 839), as well as in a number of successful sexual assault appeals (see R. v. P.G., 2012 ONCA 859, R. v. M.B., 2011 ONCA 76 and R. v. K.K., 2004 CanLII 59970). She has also been instrumental in the development of the sentencing regime for manslaughter (see: R. v. Devaney, [2006] O.J. No. 3996 and R. v. Clarke, [2003] O.J. NO. 1966).

 

Catriona received her Bcomm with Honours from Queen’s University in 1994 and returned to Queen’s to receive her LL.B. in 1999. She was called to the Ontario Bar in January, 2001.

 

E-mail me at: cverner@h-b-a.ca

Representative Cases
R. v. McIntyre, 2012 ONCA 356
R. v. Docherty, 2012 ONCA 784
R. v. James, 2011 ONCA 839
R. v. Bucik, 2011 ONCA 546 (CanLII)
R. v. P.G., 2012 ONCA 859
R. v. M.B., 2011 ONCA 76 (CanLII)

Areas of Practice
Homicide
Sexual Assaults

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2001

Education
- Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
   LL.B. – 1999
- Queen’s University, Canada
   Bcomm – 1994
   Honours: With Honours

 

Gabriella Ruta : Associate

Gabriella Ruta

In 2002, Gabriella Ruta graduated with merit from York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Certificate of Proficiency in Italian. Ms. Ruta obtained her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2004. She completed her articles at Hicks Adams LLP in 2005 and following her call to the Bar, joined the firm as an associate. Ms. Ruta is fluent in Italian. She has dealt with numerous Criminal Code charges – including property offences, assault, breaches of court orders and drug related matters – in the Ontario Court of Justice from the bail hearing stage to trial.

 

E-mail me at: gruta@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal Charges
Property Offences
Assault

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2005

Education
- Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario,
   Canada
   LL.B. – 2004
- York University
   B.A. – 2002
   Major: Sociology

Languages
Italian

Kristin Bailey : Associate

Kristin Bailey

Kristin Bailey is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. Kristin graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2005 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in Philosophy. Following this, Kristin graduated from the University of Toronto Law School in 2008 with a J.D. While at the University of Toronto, Kristin worked with Downtown Legal Services assisting people who had been charged with a criminal offence. She also worked for the University researching various human rights issues and assisted editing a textbook on criminal law. In 2008-2009, Kristin articled with Hicks Block Adams LLP, and joined the firm as an associate following her call to the Bar in June 2009.

 

E-mail me at: kbailey@h-b-a.ca

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2009

 

Education
- University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
   J.D. – 2008
- University of Western Ontario
   B.A. – 2005
   Honours: With Distinction
   Major: Philosophy

Education
- University of Victoria, Faculty
  of Law, Victoria,
  British Columbia, Canada
  LL.B. – 2008
- Mount Allison University,
  Sackville, New Brunswick,
  Canada
  B.A. – 2004
  Major: Psychology

Professional Associations and Memberships
- Criminal Lawyers’ Association
- Canadian Bar Association

Past Employment Positions
- Lungile Tinarwo Law Office,
  Owner/ Lawyer, 2010 – 2012
- Legal Aid Ontario – Criminal Duty
  Counsel, Articling Student,
  2009 – 2010

Misha Feldmann : Associate

Misha Feldmann

Misha Feldmann is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. He has a B.A. in History from McGill University, an LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, and an LL.M. from the University of Toronto.

 

Misha maintains a busy trial practice, representing clients in the Ontario Court of Justice and in the Superior Court of Justice on a wide range of criminal matters, including homicide, firearms and drug offences, sexual assault and other serious criminal offences.

 

Misha is also a member of our appellate advocacy group, representing clients at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada.

 

E-mail me at: mfeldmann@h-b-a.ca

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2007

 

Education
- University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
   LL.M.
- University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
   LL.B.
- McGill University
   B.A.
   Major: History

Richard Litkowski : Associate

Richard Litkowski was called to the Bar in 1991 after serving his articles at the Supreme Court of Canada as a clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer in 1989-1990. In his first few years as a lawyer, he had a wide ranging trial and appellate practice. More recently, his focus has been on appeals before the Court of Appeal for Ontario, where he appears regularly. He also has experience before the Supreme Court of Canada. He is an adjunct professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he has taught Evidence and Advanced Evidence. He has also contributed to various publications, including The Supreme Court Law Review, and continuing legal education panels sponsored by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Advocate’s Society. He was a co-author of the sixth edition of Sentencing with Clayton Ruby and others, an instructor at the Bar Admission Course in Criminal Procedure and Advocacy from 1993-2005, a Review Counsel and Lecturer at the Downtown Legal Services (the student-run legal aid clinic at the University of Toronto Law School) from 1996-2006, and he appears regularly before the Court of Appeal for Ontario as a Duty Counsel for Inmate Appeals in Toronto and Kingston.

 

E-mail me at: rlitkowski@h-b-a.ca

Areas of Practice
100% Criminal Law

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 1991

Education
- Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario,
  Canada
   LL.B. – 1989
   Honours: Bronze Medalist
- McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
   B.A. – 1986
   Honours: With Honours

Classes/Seminars
Summer Trial Advocacy College, Advocates Society, 2009 – 2011
Evidence and Advanced Evidence, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2006 – 2012
Ontario Crown Attorneys Summer Education Program, July 2009
Downtown Legal Services, University of Toronto Law School, Part Time Review Counsel and Lecturer,
1996 – 2006
Bar Admission Course, Instructor in Advocacy and Criminal Procedure, 1993 – 2005
National Judicial Institute Canada-China Linkages Project, November 2005

 

Past Employment Positions
Supreme Court of Canada, Law Clerk to Chief Justice Lamer, 1989 – 1990
Gold & Fuerst, Associate, 1991 – 1993
Sole Practitioner, Criminal Trials and Appeals, 1993 – 2000
Ruby & Edwardh, Sole Practitioner and Associate, 2000 – 2006
Sole Practitioner, Criminal Trials and Appeals, 2007 – 2011

Scarlet L. Smith : Associate

Scarlet L. Smith

Scarlet Smith is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. She graduated with a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2010. Scarlet worked as a student lawyer with the Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP) during law school, and received a grant in 2009 to create a program at Brookview Middle School that taught youth about their Charter rights with police. In collaboration with Jane-Finch.com, a video titled ‘Know Your Rights’ was created and has been distributed to schools.

 

Scarlet articled with Hicks Adams LLP and joined the firm as an associate after being called to the Bar in 2011. Prior to law school, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development Studies and Geography from the University of Winnipeg, completing a placement on the Pikangikum Reserve.

 

E-mail me at: ssmith@h-b-a.ca

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

 

Honours and Awards
Harley D. Hallet Scholarship (Osgoode Hall), 2007 – 2008
Ian Scott Public Interest Internship Award, 2009

 

Professional Associations and Memberships
Toronto Lawyers Association, Member, 2010 – current
Criminal Lawyers Association, Member, 2010 – current

 

Sierra A. Robson : Associate

Sierra Robson is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. She graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Queen’s University Faculty of Law in 2011. As a student, she volunteered with the Legal Aid Services Program and took the Correctional Law Program, representing inmates at parole and disciplinary board hearings. Sierra worked as a summer student, as well as articled, with Hicks Adams LLP and joined the firm as an associate after being called to the Bar in 2012. Prior to law school, she received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Guelph. She graduated with distinction.

 

E-mail me at: srobson@h-b-a.ca

Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2012

Education
- Queen’s University Faculty of
   Law, Kingston, Ontario,
   Canada
   J.D. – 2011
- University of Guelph, Guelph,
   Ontario, Canada
   B.A. – 2008
   Honours: With Distinction
   Major: Psychology
   Major: Sociology

Honours and Awards
Queen’s University Faculty of Law Entrance Scholarship, 2008

 

Professional Associations and Memberships
Toronto Lawyers Association
Criminal Lawyers’ Association

Theo Sarantis : Associate

Theo Sarantis

Theo Sarantis is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. Theo articled with the firm and joined as an associate after his call to the Bar of Ontario in July of 2006. Theo graduated from the University of Ottawa Law School in 2005 with an LL.B., and from the Michigan State University School of Law in 2005 with a J.D.

 

E-mail me at: tsarantis@h-b-a.ca

 

Year Joined Firm
2006

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2006

 

Education
- University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
   LL.B. – 2005
- Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan
   J.D. – 2005

Todd James Morris : Associate

Todd Morris is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP. Todd graduated from the University of Windsor with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology in 2006 and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology/Criminology in 2008. Todd attended the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, and graduated in 2011, receiving his Juris Doctor. During his time at Law School, Todd worked and gained experience assisting those who could not afford to retain a lawyer at Community Legal Aid – a poverty law clinic. In 2011 -2012, Todd articled with Hicks Adams and returned as an associate following his call to the Bar in June 2012.

 

E-mail me at: tmorris@h-b-a.ca

Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2012

Education
- University of Windsor School of Law,
   Windsor, Ontario, Canada
   J.D. – 2011
- University of Windsor, Windsor,
   Ontario, Canada
   B.A. – 2006
   Honours: With Honours
   Major: Criminology

Shaunna Kelly : Associate

Shaunna kelly is an associate with Hicks Adams LLP.  Ms. Kelly graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, receiving her J.D. in 2008.  She was called to the Law Society of Upper Canada Bar in 2009.  Prior to law school, Ms. Kelly graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.

Ms. Kelly’s practice focuses, in part, on the overrepresentation of Aboriginal Persons in the Criminal Justice System.  She has developed a specific interest in the principles enunciated in section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code and the factors that the court must consider upon sentencing Aboriginal Persons, including the extension of these factors and their application to any hearings where an Aboriginal person’s liberty is at stake, such as bail hearings.

 

Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

 

Bar Admissions
Ontario, 2009

Education
- Queen’s University Faculty of
   Law, Kingston, Ontario,
   Canada
   J.D. – 2008
- Laurentian University, Sudbury,
   Ontario, Canada
   B.A. – 2009
   Honours: With Distinction
   Major: Art
  

Honours and Awards
International Criminal Law Certificate from Herstmonceux Castle (Queen’s Campus, UK) 2006
Professional Associations and Memberships
Osgoode Aboriginal Intensive Program in Lands, Resources and Governments with placement with a Native Title Representative Body in Western Australia