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Peter Lingard

Effective December 31, 2016 Peter J. Lingard has retired from the practice of law.

The lawyers of Martens Lingard LLP are happy to continue to serve his clients.

Ron Martens

Ron, a life-long resident of Vineland, received his early education locally in public and private schools. After high school graduation  he spent a year at Columbia Bible College in B. C. before attending  universities in Hamilton and Toronto.  Summer employment entailed working in the retail business and the construction industry.  Delivering building materials for many summers was a welcome change from the classroom setting.

Ron did his undergraduate studies at McMaster University, receiving a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1971.  He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1976 after receiving his Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in 1974.

Ron has practiced law in St. Catharines since 1976.  His early years were focused primarily on real estate law, including providing exclusive legal services to a local credit union.  His practice has expanded to the area of business and corporate law, including organizational planning, sales and purchases.  Ron also enjoys writing wills, powers of attorney and assisting with the legal aspects of estate administration.  These are challenging areas of practice, as laws change in response to the growth of technology, the increase of fraud and identity theft and the aging population.

Ron advises clients to obtain legal advice prior to signing contracts to avoid surprises.  Trying to get out of a deal after it is signed is much more costly than obtaining advice prior to signing.  The law is not always logical.

Currently, Ron is an active member of Southridge Community Church, the Lincoln County Law Association and the Ontario Bar Association.  He has been involved in education for many years as a former chair of the Board of Eden Christian College, a past board member of Camp Crossroads, a former trustee of the District School Board of Niagara, a past chair of the Eden Advisory Board, and a past director and treasurer of the Education Foundation of Niagara.  Ron also coached his children in co-ed baseball and house league hockey in Jordan.

After office hours Ron’s recreational highlights include reading, time spent with family on vacation, golfing with his sons and friends, boating and swimming with his nine grandchildren and driving his convertible.


John Lefurgey

John Lefurgey received his undergraduate education in Nova Scotia at Acadia University, and in Scotland at the University of Aberdeen. After working and travelling for several years in Canada, the Middle East, and India, he attended Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto where he received his LL.B. He then articled and worked as a lawyer in Toronto before seeing the light and moving to St. Catharines.

Prior to becoming a lawyer John’s work exposed him to a wide variety of people and situations. Jobs as varied as irrigation supervisor on a kibbutz in Israel, physical education teacher at an orphanage in India, tree planter in northern Ontario, and bartender in various cities around Canada feature among the life experiences that give context to his work as a lawyer.

John was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1989. The first decade of his practice was devoted almost exclusively to criminal law. Since that time, his practice has expanded to include civil litigation and construction lien work.
John has conducted dozens of jury trials and appeals and has been counsel in several hundred judge-alone trials. He has also acted as counsel in hundreds of other cases that settled before trial. John has led seminars at the Ontario Bar Admission Course and lectured at continuing education conferences on topics including evidence, criminal and civil procedure, and mental health law.

John believes that every person is entitled to the services of a lawyer who cares about their case and strives for the best result, each and every time.

John is a past President of the Lincoln County Law Association and of the Niagara Criminal Lawyers’ Association. He has been, and continues to be, involved with committee work for various law-related organizations including Judicial Liaison Committees, Court Process Committees, and Mental Health Committees.

Outside of the practice of law, John spent over a decade on the Board of Youth Resources Niagara, which operated an open custody youth facility and a group home in Fonthill, Ontario. John was on the Board of Directors of the St. Catharines Concord Soccer Club for a number of years, including a period as President. John has also coached basketball with the CYO Basketball organization. After earning his black belt, he taught jiu jitsu for a number of years at the St. Catharines YMCA. John still plays soccer, basketball, and golf and has recently taken up curling.

E-Mail: jlefurgey@martenslingard.com

Paula Ferré

Paula received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa, namely from its French-Language Common Law Program, and a Masters in Public Administration from Carleton University.  She has a B.A. in Translation, and worked as a Translator (English to French) for several years.  She is pleased to serve clients in either French or English.

As a former federal public servant, she has experience in various departments such as Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, and Public Safety.

Paula joined Martens Lingard LLP in 2008 after working as in-house counsel at two child protection agencies.  Paula practises family law (including custody and access, divorce and separation, equalization of complex property issues, Family Responsibility Office matters, and child protection) and estates litigation.

Paula is keen to ensure her files receive the attention and expertise required to conclude them in a satisfactory manner, whether through negotiation and agreement, or by thorough preparation and very accomplished representation before the court.

Paula enjoys organising the Family Law Group, which has existed for over 40 years.  Her interests include a passion for fine cuisine, cycling and travel.


Rick Dilts

“A quiet conscience makes one strong!” — Anne Frank

A principled, pragmatic, and seasoned lawyer with many years of experience, Rick’s area of expertise is in the complicated but captivating worlds of real estate and wills and estates. Rick has built a solid reputation for excellence based on honesty, integrity, and hard work.

Armed with an undergraduate science degree from University of Toronto, he pursued his legal studies and graduated in 1977 from the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa as a Medalist. He has practiced law since 1979 and was a partner at Morgan, Dilts & Toppari from 1985 to early 2018. In Spring 2018, he became an Associate with Martens Lingard LLP in order to better serve his clients and to accommodate his personal plans. He is currently a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Canadian Bar Association, Lincoln County Law Association (LCLA), and is a past Executive Member of LCLA, having served in that capacity for five years.

Rick believes in a healthy work-life balance and purposely looks for opportunity to create connections and serve the community in which he lives. A lifelong resident in the Niagara Peninsula, Rick has established deep roots and built strong bonds with his family, his church, and his friends. When his children were young, he was a Convenor of the Boys Basketball Division and a former President of Fonthill (Pelham Panthers) Basketball League. Satisfying his love of music, he has been an accompanist at Port Colborne Brethren in Christ Church for 45 years, a choir director for 35 years, and is a Music Director of several performing musical groups. He is a member of Port Colborne Brethren in Christ Church and was the Former Chair of the Board for 11 years. He is also a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Niagara Christian Community of Schools (Niagara Christian Collegiate). He is a past member and a honourary lifetime member of the Fonthill Rotary Club, a past member of the Executive of the Fonthill Rotary Club, Past Chair of the Rotary TV Auction, a Paul Harris Medal recipient of Rotary International, a past member of the Board of Directors of Big Sisters of Welland/Port Colborne, and former Niagara College Law Clerk Advisor counsel, a position he held for 10 years.

None of this work would be possible or sustain him without the love and support of his wife, his children, grandchildren, and extended family, each of whom give him joy and happiness and make his life complete.

E-Mail: rdilts@martenslingard.com


Stefanie Mandl

Stefanie is the firm’s newest associate lawyer. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a Double Major in Environmental Sustainability and Marine Biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During this time, she had the chance to complete two research internships in Belize and South Africa, studying marine megafauna including great white sharks. These opportunities further provided the chance to travel and scuba dive in remote areas of the world.

Following her undergraduate degree Stefanie pursued her legal education at the University of Sussex in England. During her legal education she competed in mooting (mock trial) competitions in England and Ireland to develop her litigation skills.

Upon returning to Canada following her LLB, Stefanie earned her Certification of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation, allowing her to practice law in Canada after receiving an international legal education. While completing the required exams to earn her Certification she worked as a family law clerk. She then articled at a law firm in the Durham Region where she worked solely on family law matters. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020.

Stefanie’s legal practice at Martens Lingard will focus on family law. She looks forward to working within the St. Catharines area and supporting clients at a challenging time in their lives.

In her spare time Stefanie enjoys spinning, yoga and working on her golf game.


Jacob Harper

Born and raised in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Jacob is proud to serve and work in the community he has long called home. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brock University. While at Brock, Jacob developed a passion for activism, volunteering as a student advocate, which led him to attend law school at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. He graduated from Bristol with the degree of Masters of Arts in Law. While at Bristol, he was a finalist at the university’s mooting competition and was a member of the university’s law school committee where he assisted in organizing events and competitions for students. Jacob also acted as a mentor for fellow international students in the final year of his program.

Following graduation Jacob completed his articles with a small-town firm in Leamington, Ontario before moving back to the Niagara Region. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2019 and has built a solicitor’s practice; working in the areas of Real Estate, Wills & Estates and Corporate Law.

In his spare time Jacob enjoys racing sailboats and competes with his brothers in the Shark 24 class. In 2018 they took home the coveted Shark of the Year trophy for winning the class’s regatta circuit that year. He takes pleasure in learning about history and has traveled extensively while studying abroad. Jacob has a basic proficiency in German as a result of a year-long exchange in Germany before attending post secondary studies.

E-Mail: jharper@martenslingard.com