By: Martens Lingard LLP On: January 02, 2014 In: Our Team Comments: 0

 Peter Lingard  Peter Lingard

Peter Lingard was born and raised in Port Hope, Ontario.  He and his wife, Lynn, moved to Niagara in 1976.  They have three sons, one of whom has chosen to follow his father’s profession.

Peter originally studied Engineering at Collège Militaire Royal de St. Jean, Quebec and obtained an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from Queens University in 1973.  After working with Goodyear Canada Ltd., Peter chose to study law. In 1976, Peter obtained an Honours Law degree at Windsor University and was called to the Bar in 1978.  He learned how to practise law from some of St. Catharines’ former leading trial lawyers and became a partner at their firm.  In 1988, Peter and Ron Martens founded the firm of Martens Lingard LLP with its focus on “Excellence in Advocacy.”

Peter is a trial lawyer who has been recognized by the Law Society since 1995 as a Specialist in Civil Litigation.  His professional associations have included: Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association, the Advocates  Society and the Hamilton Medical-Legal Association.  He is a member of the Lincoln County Law Association (formerly on the Executive) and the Canadian Bar Association.

Peter’s approach to trial work is to fully involve the client.  This includes obtaining “full” information from the person, family, witnesses and third party reports (eg. police, medical, etc.).  Only then can he provide informed answers to his clients, express an opinion, and assess the risks.  It is the client’s case.  Peter strives to achieve a reasonable result for his clients through negotiations, but he will not compromise his clients’ claim or rights for  the sake of a quick settlement.  He has a well-earned reputation as an aggressive  but fair advocate who, if necessary, is prepared to go to trial.

Peter is currently the Treasurer of the St. Andrew’s Charitable Fund and has been for the past nine years.  For the past year, he has been on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Children’s Centre. Previously, he was on the Executive of the Lincoln County Law Association, a member of The Advocates’ Society, an Executive member of the Canadian Bar Association, a Director of the St. Catharines Downtown Merchants’ Association and an Elder at both the Knox Presbyterian Church and St. Andrew’s Church.

Over the past few years, Peter has become a wine “aficionado.”  He and Lynn have started their own vineyard in order to pursue this passion further.


Ron-Martens   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 years 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, 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 will be much more costly than obtaining advice prior to signing.  The law is not always logical.

Currently, Ron is a director with the Education Foundation of Niagara and an active member of Southridge Community Church.  He has been involved in education for many years as a past Chair of the Eden Advisory Board, a past board member of Camp Crossroads, a former Trustee with the District School Board of Niagara and former chair of the Board of Eden Christian College.  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

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.

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 great lawyer, one who will work hard and care about his client’s case and the result.

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 and Court Process Committees.  Presently, he works with a Mental Health Committee dealing with the interaction of the criminal justice system and individuals with some form of mental impairment.

Outside of the practice of law, John spent over a decade on the Board of Youth Resources Niagara, which operates an open custody youth facility and a group home in Fonthill, Ontario. John has been on the Board of Directors of the St. Catharines Concord Soccer Club for a number of years, and he still plays and coaches soccer.  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.




 Kiran Sah  Kiran Sah

Kiran was born in Toronto and raised in the GTA. Although not from the Niagara region, she considers it to be her second home.

Kiran completed her undergraduate studies at Trent University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  She received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor in 2002. In 2003 Kiran was the recipient of a publication grant awarded by The Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law for her paper “The Necessity and Viability of Patent Protection for Software and Business Methods.”

After initially starting her career as a lawyer in the field of intellectual property, she found that she was drawn towards litigation. In 2004 she began working at Martens Lingard LLP. Kiran’s current practice is exclusively civil litigation, including insurance defence and family law. She is an experienced negotiator and litigator, committed to efficiently and fairly resolving matters. When a settlement seems unattainable, Kiran’s attention to detail and thorough preparation achieves successful results through litigation, mediation or arbitration.

Kiran successfully completed the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop offered through Osgoode Hall Law School in 2004.  In 2007, she was appointed as a member of the St. Catharines Community Liaison and Resources Committee for the Family Court.  She continues to sit on this committee. She is Vice-President of the Lincoln County Law Association, the Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee and Co-Chair of the Association’s annual Mentoring Dinner. Kiran is an active participant in the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association.

Kiran recognizes that all clients are unique. She believes applying a practical and individualized approach nets the best results.

Kiran is very family-oriented and loves spending time at home with her husband and young children. Her other priorities in life include staying active and working out.


  Paula Frerre 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 exclusively family law, including custody and access, divorce and separation, equalization of complex property issues, Family Responsibility Office matters, and child protection.

Possessing a keen interest in her family law practice, Paula is careful 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 her participation in the Family Law Group.  Her interests include a passion for fine cuisine, cycling and travel.


 Andrew Burton   Andrew Burton

Andrew Burton is a criminal defence lawyer. While Andrew grew up in Wolfville, Nova Scotia he has become a permanent fixture in the St. Catharines community and has a close connection to the area.

Andrew received his undergraduate education from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and went on to study law at the University of Toronto from whom he holds a Juris Doctor degree in law.

While studying law at the University of Toronto, Andrew spent three years at the faculty’s legal clinic, Downtown Legal Services, where he worked as a caseworker and an instructor to incoming law students. He also coordinated a satellite clinic at Street Outreach Services, a Toronto social services agency which focuses on harm-reduction and advocacy for street life involved youth.

Andrew was called to the Ontario Bar in 2009 and has been an Associate Lawyer with Martens Lingard LLP ever since. He is a member of the Board of Directors of both the Lincoln County Law Association and the Niagara North Community Legal Assistance clinic.

Andrew prides himself on providing a high level of client service and makes himself available to his clients by cell phone, especially when they need it the most.  Although sometimes difficult to find in the law firm’s office, he is generally no further than 100 metres away at the St. Catharines Courthouse fighting for his clients by running trials, bail hearings, or making sentencing submissions.

Outside of the practice of law, Andrew enjoys playing soccer, dodgeball, and Ultimate Frisbee.


Marlene VanderSpek   Marlene VanderSpek

As an associate with Martens Lingard LLP, Marlene’s practice focuses primarily on family law and real estate.

Marlene received her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University in Montreal in 2012 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2013.  Before attending law school, Marlene earned an Honours degree in International Relations and French from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Marlene is committed to serving her clients with fair and judicious representation.  She began practising with Martens Lingard LLP in February of 2013.  Prior to joining Martens Lingard LLP, she acquired experience in family law through her volunteer work at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, through her articling experience with a sole practitioner specializing in family law, and also by volunteering at a women’s shelter in downtown Hamilton.  Marlene’s experience at Martens Lingard LLP builds on the strong foundation she established before her arrival in St. Catharines to practise law.

While studying law at McGill University, Marlene was actively involved in numerous student organizations, including the Student Advocacy Program, Pro Bono Students Canada and the Christian Law Students’ Association.  Marlene currently volunteers with Good Shepherd Outreach Services for Women and Children, providing legal advice on family law and violence against women.

In her spare time, Marlene loves to travel.  She also enjoys camping, biking and spending time with her family and friends.


 Rachel Slingerland  Rachel Goerz (Slingerland)

Rachel is a litigation lawyer.  Her practice includes employment law, civil litigation, wills and estates, and corporate commercial law.

Rachel received her Juris Doctor from the University of Western Ontario.  Prior to law school, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science.  She articled with Martens Lingard LLP before being called to the Bar and returning to the firm as an associate.

In her final year of law school, Rachel was chosen to compete in an international advocacy competition where she argued issues of humanitarian intervention and international responsibility.  Her team reached the finals which were held at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Rachel was also actively involved in several associations during law school, including holding the position of President of the International Law Association, and the position of Treasurer of the Western Environmental Law Association and the Law and Animals Club of Western. Rachel also volunteered for Pro Bono Students Canada and the Canadian Environmental Law Association. Currently, Rachel is serving on the Board of the Directors for the Lincoln County Law Association as the chair of the Young Lawyers Committee, organizing both formal and informal networking events.

A life-long resident of the Niagara Region, Rachel worked at her family business prior to entering the practice of law.  Her exposure to employment issues there led her to pursue her interest in law school, and now she handles such issues in her practice, acting for both employers and employees.

Rachel has appeared in various levels of Court including Small Claims Court, Superior Court, Divisional Court, and the Court of Appeal. More recently, Rachel has been acting for Landlords in Appeals in the Divisional Court and for both contractors and home owners during renovation/construction disputes.

Rachel prides herself on her passionate advocacy for her clients, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the legal profession.  Outside of her practice, she enjoys playing soccer, piano and snowboarding.

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