Justin is the Principal of de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. Justin was a partner at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (now Dentons LLP) and a partner and counsel at Hull & Hull LLP. He is the founder of allaboutestates.ca; a popular collaborative blog on estate and trust matters. Justin is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Advocates’ Society, the Estate Planning Council of Toronto, and the Estate Planners’ Council of Halton. He has consistently been named one of the “Best Lawyers in Canada/Trusts & Estates”.
In addition to completing his LL.B., Justin received an American law degree from the University of Detroit/Mercy School of Law, an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto, and a French language diploma from Aix-Marseille Université in France. Justin was also a Fox Scholar at the Inns of Court in London, England.
Justin has appeared before all levels of the Ontario Court and the Federal Court. His clients include individuals, private banking groups, trust companies, estate trustees, as well as private trusts, charities, and foundations. Justin has litigated and mediated:
• Contested wills and will interpretations
• Passing of trustees’ and executors’ accounts
• Estate administration and probate applications
• Trustee disputes/Variations of trusts
• Powers of attorney and guardianship disputes
Justin was a long-time instructor at the Ontario Bar Admission Course. He has also chaired and spoken at many Law Society of Upper Canada and OBA programs on estate, trust and capacity matters. Justin routinely acts as a court appointed estate trustee during litigation and is counsel to the Oakville Community Foundation.
For 15 years, Justin was a contributing editor to Ontario Civil Practice, a leading text on the Rules of Civil Procedure. He has acted as a court appointed pre-trial judge and as pro-bono disciplinary counsel for the Law Society of Upper Canada. Justin has published articles in Estates & Trusts Pensions Journal, The Litigator, Toronto Law Journal, OBA’s Deadbeat, Money & Family Law, Lawyers Weekly, and Gift Planning in Canada.
Justin W. de Vries has been recognized by Lexpert, Best Lawyers, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and Chambers and Partners. Most recently, Justin earned the classification of consistently recommended in Lexpert’s Canadian Legal Expert Directory for 2021. He is one of seventeen lawyers countrywide to be selected by Chambers and Partners’ 2022 rankings for private wealth disputes in the high net worth category, for which he has earned Band II. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers Canada each year since 2010 in the categories of alternative dispute resolution/trusts and estates law.
de VRIES LITIGATION LLP has also been ranked Band II by Chambers and Partners’ 2022 ranking for firms dealing with private wealth disputes in the high net worth category, and has been named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of Canada’s top ten boutiques in the area of wills, estates and trusts since 2019.