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ABOUT OUR FIRM
Lewis & Associates serves clients from all over the world on a wide range of legal matters including family law, civil litigation and personal injury, wills and estate planning, refugee claims and appeals and immigration law, and can help you determine your best options for successful immigration to Canada.

Canada is a refuge for survivors of persecution and people who need protection from harm they may face in their homeland. Lewis & Associates specializes in Refugee Law and will handle your case from the first stage at the Immigration and Refugee Board Tribunal all the way through to Federal Court appeals.


Lewis & Associates was founded in 1991 by Jacqueline Lewis. With over 29 years of immigration experience, this boutique law firm practices Canadian Immigration and Refugee Law, Family Law, Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Law and Wills and Estate Planning Law. The firm prides itself on the care and attention each client is personally served with.

Ms. Lewis opened the doors of Lewis & Associates in 1991 and has dedicated her practice to ensuring that her clients receive an unparalleled level of service. Starting out in Family Law, she later switched gears to head up a high volume Refugee Law practice; she has a proven history of successful appeal applications before the Federal Court, on Permanent Resident Applications based on  Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds (H&C), Pre-Removal Risk Applications (PRRA), and has represented more than 2000 clients appearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board. Ms. Lewis is one of Canada’s most experienced Refugee Lawyers.

MEET OUR TEAM

Jacqueline Lewis

Ms. Lewis received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from York University in 1985. She completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Western Ontario in 1989. She completed her Master of Law Degree in Administrative Law at Osgoode Hall in 2001. Ms. Lewis has been Managing Partner at Lewis & Associates since 1991. She has almost three decades of experience representing refugees before the Refugee Protection Division and challenging negative decisions before the Federal Court of Canada. She has taught Immigration and Refugee Law at Carlton University and Western University. Her passion for Immigration and Refugee Law has lead her to build a strong and talented team of lawyers to represent Immigration and Refugee clients with complex and diverse needs, from all over the world. At the beginning of 2019 Ms. Lewis opened the Family Law division of Lewis & Associates, returning to the starting roots of her law career. Ms. Lewis registered as Foreign Legal Consultant at the Istanbul Bar Association in March 2020. That same month Ms. Lewis was awarded the Law Society of Ontario’s Laura Legge Award, which recognizes women lawyers who exemplify leadership within the profession.

Carla Sturdy, Lawyer

Carla Sturdy has dedicated her career to the practice of refugee law and has represented thousands of refugee claimants at their hearings before Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. 

Carla graduated from the University of Toronto in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) and received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia in 1993. She has been practicing immigration and refugee law since 1996. In addition to refugee claims, Carla is experienced in a wide variety of immigration matters, including matters before the Immigration Appeal Division, Applications for Judicial Review in the Federal Court as well as Humanitarian and Compassionate and PRRA applications.

Jordan Duviner, Lawyer

Mr. Jordan Duviner is an Associate at Lewis and Associates. He received his B.A. from University of Western Ontario and in 2014 moved to New York City where he studied at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and earned his Juris Doctorate. After graduating from Law School in New York, Jordan passed both the New York State and New Jersey State Bar exams and was waived into the District of Columbia. He was sworn in to these Jurisdictions in 2017. Jordan articled at Lewis and Associates, passed his Ontario Bar exams in 2016 and was called to the bar in 2017.

Jordan has been practicing exclusively in the field of immigration, citizenship and refugee law, handling all types of matters. He is licensed in the United States and maintains a focus on US Immigration having advised clients on various US Immigration Applications. Jordan has done Appeal work for the Federal Court of Canada as well as the Refugee Appeal Division. He has regularly worked on Stay of Deportation Applications, Pre-Removal Risk Assessments, Permanent Residency Applications based on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds, Deferral of Removal requests and many other areas of Immigration and Refugee Law.

https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2017/05/23/couples-split-by-asylum-outcomes-face-separation.html

Peter Neill, Lawyer

Mr. Neill joined Lewis & Associates in August 2017 bringing with him a wealth of knowledge in Immigration and Refugee work. Born in Scotland, he did his MA in History at Glasgow University and graduated in 2006. He carried on doing his LLB at Glasgow University graduating with Distinction in 2011.

Peter has a keen interest in sports and played American Football for Glasgow University and has played Rugby on three continents.

Prior to joining Lewis Peter had his own law practice where he specialised in Immigration and Refugee work. He also has expertise in Spousal and Family Sponsorships and articled at a busy litigation office.

Peter is a gifted advocate who passionately represents Refugees at the Immigration and Refugee Board an average of four times week. He also is experienced in Appeal work at the Refugee Appeal Division of the IRB and at the Federal Court. Peter’s expertise extends to Pre-Removal Risk Assessments and Applications for Permanent Residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds.

Peter has worked with Refugee clients from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America.

Jordana Rotman, Lawyer

Ms. Jordana Rotman graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008 and a double major in Sociology and Community Development. Jordana received her Juris Doctorate from Bond Univeristy in Australia in 2011. She articled at Boggs & Levin, a criminal defence law firm, from 2013 to 2014 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in June 2014. Jordana joined Lewis & Associates in January 2015 and currently practices exclusively in the area of Refugee Law. Her passion and primary focus is   representing Refugee Claimants before the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Subuhi Siddiqui, Lawyer

Subuhi Siddiqui joined Lewis and Associates in November 2018. She has a passion for immigration and refugee law, is a strong advocate for her clients and has argued for them through applications as well as at court hearings. In her eight (8) years of experience in immigration (over 4 as a lawyer), Subuhi has gained a strong command over the law and continues to serve her clients in a variety of immigration and refugee matters.

Subuhi has always had a passion for international law and development and as such, graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in International Development and Economics. She pursued her law degree at City University in London, United Kingdom, and was called to the Bar in the Province of Ontario in 2014.

Having a keen interest in litigation, Subuhi has represented her clients before the Refugee Protection Division as well as in appeals before the Immigration Appeal Division and Refugee Appeal Division. She has also attended Detention Reviews before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, as well as argued Judicial Reviews and Stay Motions before the Federal Court of Canada. With regards to civil matters, Subuhi has appeared before the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice.

Through her years of experience, Subuhi has grown her expertise by taking on challenging files. She uses her background in international development and immigration to weave strong Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) Applications along with Basis of Claim (BOC) submissions and Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Applications. With regards to immigration, Subuhi has centered her focus around permanent, temporary and business applications. Some of these applications include (but are not limited to) Express Entry (Profile and Invitation to Apply), Spousal Sponsorships (Overseas and Inland with or without an Open Work Permit), Temporary Resident Permits (TRP), Temporary Resident Visas (TRV), Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) and LMIA Exempt Applications such as Intra-Company transfers and C-11 (Significant Benefit) Work Permits. She is also very proud of the approvals she has attained on Medical Inadmissibility matters.

Subuhi has a reputation for retaining and working on complex cases and receiving positive results. She has a unique method of understanding her client’s immigration needs and creating an application specific to those needs. She takes great pride in being personable with her clients and effectively representing them. She places a high value on professionalism, client communication and confidentiality.

Adam Wawrzkiewicz, Lawyer

Adam Wawrzkiewicz joined the firm in December of 2018, after articling and working as an associate with a small immigration and family law practice in Toronto for a year and a half. The next four years found Adam working in a small litigation firm in Mississauga where he practiced family law and civil litigation.

Adam was born in Canada soon after his parents immigrated here as refugees from Poland and is fluent in the Polish language. Although he grew up in the GTA, Adam’s family moved to the USA, where he attended high school, before returning to Toronto to study at University of Toronto’s Trinity College.

In 2008, Adam obtained his Honors B.A. from University of Toronto with high distinction, as an Economics and Philosophy Specialist, and was awarded the John. A. Jessup Memorial Award for having the highest marks in philosophy among his graduating class from Trinity College.

While in law school, Adam volunteered his time at the FCJ Refugee Centre, gaining valuable experience in immigration and refugee law. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School in June of 2012 and was called to the bar in June of 2013.

Adam has significant experience litigating family law, civil matters, and immigration cases. He has appeared before the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice in Toronto, Brampton, Oshawa, and Newmarket on a variety of family matters, and has argued judicial review hearings for immigration cases at the Federal Court of Canada.

Adam’s education and experience brings a wealth of knowledge to our team.

Alex Fomcenco, PH.D., Lawyer

Dr. Alex FOMCENCO is a licensed lawyer with the Law Society of Ontario.

He holds a Ph.D. in international business and corporate law from Aalborg University, Denmark, an LL.M. in Canadian Common Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, as well as an LL.M. and an LL.B. from University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

He practiced as an in-house Legal Counsel for a few years while still working on his first LL.M. He then joined academia in 2012 and researched, taught, and published internationally on matters of general Corporate Law, EU law, Contract Law, North American Business and Corporate Law, and Transnational Mergers and Acquisitions for almost 8 years.

Among Alex’ most notable publications are the following:

· Mergers & Acquisitions: Counseling & Choice of Method; Alex Fomcenco, WERLAUFF Publishing, 2016

· The Palgrave Handbook of Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Entrepreneurship The chapter on International Law Perspective on Entrepreneurship; Alex Fomcenco & Sebastiano Garufi: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2018.

· Special Purpose Vehicle: A “Micro Merger” or Merely a Way of Cooperation? European Company Law, Wolters Kluwer, (2013)

· Material Adverse Effect Clause – Proper Legal Work or Contribution to False Sense of Security? European Business Law Review, Wolters Kluwer (accepted for publication)

· Introductory Guide to the European Corporate Law. ISBN 978-87-996778-0-1

· Business Law, Europe, Fomcenco & Werlauff, ISBN 978-87-996778-2-5, WERLAUFF Publishing, 2014 –publication in process

· The Textbook, Fomcenco & Werlauff, ISBN 978-87-996778-3-2, WERLAUFF Publishing, 2014 – publication in process

· Rise of a new corporate vehicle: Public Benefit Corporation, European Company Law, Wolters Kluwer, (accepted for publication)

· It is No Longer Business as Usual: An Assessment of the Canada Corruption of Public Officials Act; Alex Fomcenco & Dave Deonarain, Journal of American Academic Research. [2018] Vol. 6 issue 2.

· A Critique of the Doctrine of Good Faith in Canada; Alex Fomcenco & Dave Deonarain; Journal of American Academic Research. [2018] Vol. 6 issue 1.

· A Bridge Too Far”: A Critique of Canada’s Oppression Remedy; Alex Fomcenco & Dave Deonarain; Business Law Review, Kluwer Law International, [2018] 39 BLR 12-16.

· Good Faith: “English Hostility”, Unworkable Obligations for Commerce, or a Healthy Development? What to Expect in Canada? Alex Fomcenco; Business Law Review, Wolters Kluwer, [2017] 38 BLR 156-162.

Today, Alex’ interests in law are broad and include also immigration law, real estate law, and criminal law.

Besides possessing strong academic skills, Alex is a talented and a hard-working legal practitioner that has his clients’ best interests at heart. Under the banner of his strong work-ethic, he works tirelessly to ensure that his clients receive the best service that they deserve.

Alex Fomcenco is fluent in English, Danish, and Russian

Vanessa Leigh, Lawyer

Vanessa Leigh joined Lewis & Associates in June 2018 after articling at an immigration law firm. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2018.

Vanessa graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2017. While in law school, Vanessa developed an interest in immigration and refugee law by working for Lifeline Syria and the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program. In addition, Vanessa served as a caseworker at Parkdale Community Legal Services in the Immigration Division. Vanessa also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

Vanessa speaks English and Spanish.

Seyfi Sun, Lawyer

Seyfi Sun is one of the esteemed associates of Lewis & Associates. He was called to the Law Society of Ontario in 2020, having earned his Legum Magister degree from the University of Toronto in 2018 with high distinction.

Prior to his call, Seyfi was practicing at a boutique immigration law firm as an articling student. He also worked as a legal assistant at several immigration law firms in Toronto, assisting clients and lawyers with their applications and gained vast experience in immigration and refugee law in Canada.

Seyfi practices in all areas of Canadian Immigration Law, he provides assistance and advice to clients, both individual and corporate, with various aspects of immigration law such as temporary and permanent residence applications, citizenship, admissibility, sponsorship, and appeals of immigration applications. He mainly focuses on business immigration applications and provides consultation to investors who wish to immigrate to Canada.

Seyfi also has law practice experience in Turkey. After graduating from the law school in Istanbul, he completed his internship at the Istanbul Bakirkoy Courthouse. Simultaneously, he was working as an intern lawyer at a respectful law firm specialized in Corporate Law. He also has experience in Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law and accomplished many successful Debt Enforcement procedures in Turkey.

With his legal background in both Turkey and Canada, Seyfi helps many clients from Turkey and all around the world. He is passionate about corporate law practice in Canada and plans to help clients to improve their businesses after their immigration processes are done.

Aside from his professional career, Seyfi also mentors many students in Canada and Turkey who wish to become lawyers in the future. He also mentors lawyers from various countries who want to be accredited in Canada.

Anoosh Salahshoor, Lawyer

Anoosh Salahshoor is a lawyer based in Toronto. He has appeared before the Superior Court of Justice, Toronto and Hamilton divisions. His guiding principle when advocating for clients is using his empathy and grit to get to the very heart of the matter so his clients’ vision and voice shine through.

Before joining Lewis & Associates, Anoosh was involved in the successful dismissal of a vexatious court action seeking $1.7mil in damages and against sixteen different parties. He was also involved in numerous high-stake real-estate and settlement negotiations and preparation of appeals to different bodies.

Anoosh has a bachelor of Honours from University of Toronto, and completed his law degree at the idyllic Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia.

Before becoming a lawyer, Anoosh worked as an immigration law clerk for many years, advocating for persons that experienced domestic violence, torture, and those with mental health issues.

Upon graduating from law school in 2017, Anoosh completed his articles with a Law Society bencher and a prominent real-estate, wills and estates lawyer in downtown Toronto.

Anoosh assists his clients in a variety immigration, litigation and family matters. His immigration practice involves citizenship law, cessation and vacation, and variety of appellate applications. His family practice involves helping clients with divorce, separation and marriage agreements, spousal and child support, custody, access and division of property.

Anoosh also practices civil litigation, where his focus is on cyber defamation, contractual disputes, and dealing with vexatious parties.

In his free time, Anoosh enjoys reading, playing chess and watching film noir.

Anoosh is fluent in Farsi and Turkish.

Debie Eze, Lawyer

Debie studied Social Anthropology at York University and earned an Honours B.A degree.  She continued her studies of Social Anthropology earning a M.A at Concordia University.  She gained her legal training in 2015 at Osgoode Hall Law School.  While there, she focused her education on Immigration and Refugee matters. She graduated in 2018 and was called to the Bar in 2019.

Alison Pridham, Lawyer

Alison Pridham earned a Juris Doctor from the University of British Columbia where she was actively involved with the Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic, volunteered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and received the Hon. Thomas A. Dohm QC Prize in Immigration Law. After articling at a criminal defence firm, her interests in human rights and access to justice led her to positions at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Community Legal Education Ontario. She then spent several years working in the field of workplace discrimination and harassment prevention, before returning to her original passion of immigration and refugee law. She joined Lewis & Associates in 2019 and has quickly gained experience with several stages of the refugee claim process. She also has experience with private refugee sponsorships through her involvement with the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program.

 

In her spare time, Alison enjoys being outdoors and reading to her children.

Gavin MacLean, Lawyer

Gavin joined Lewis and Associates as an articling student in 2019 after completing his Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa the same year. Gavin also holds a BA Hons. from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MA from Western University. In 2020, Gavin was called to the bar in Ontario.

As a first-year student, Gavin interned with a criminal lawyer in Ottawa. In each semester of his second year of law school, Gavin worked as part of the team at the Refugee/Criminal Law Clinic where he performed research for public interest groups who intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. In between Gavin’s second and third year, he worked at a boutique immigration law firm.

In all three semesters of his third year, Gavin interned at Community Legal Services Ottawa in the Immigration and Refugee Law Division where he assisted with applications for leave and for judicial review, spousal sponsorships, refugee claims, and permanent residence applications.

As a third-year student, Gavin was awarded the Rita Marguerite Houle Prize and the Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP Prize. Both awards were given for highest standing in the Trial Advocacy course.

Linda Kassim, Lawyer

Linda Kassim joined Lewis & Associates in February 2020, after articling at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2019.

Having a strong interest in helping people, Linda pursued her education and graduated from York University with an Honours B.A. with a double major in International Development Studies and Sociology. Linda continued her education at Osgoode Hall Law School and graduated in June 2018. During her study at Osgoode, Linda participated in Immigration Intensive Program at Parkdale Legal clinic, where she assisted clients with variety of citizenship and immigration law matters including temporary work permits and study permits, permanent residence and citizenship applications. Linda also worked as Research Assistant for Professor Sean Rehaag conducting legal research on Immigration Law and International human rights.

Soo-Jin Lee, Lawyer

Soo-Jin is a lawyer licensed to practise law in Ontario. Soo-Jin graduated with civil law (B.C.L.) and common law (LL.B) degrees from McGill, Faculty of Law. She completed her articles of clerkship at the Law Society of Ontario. In law school, she was part of an international law journal, volunteered at a legal information clinic and played keyboard in a musical group at McGill Law’s annual talent show. She grew up in Toronto and studied English Literature during her undergraduate studies in Michigan, United States. Before starting law school, Soo-Jin spent some time working in public schools with middle and high school students as an English Language Assistant in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France.

Alia Rosenstock, Lawyer

Alia is the proud granddaughter of refugees. She is happy to assist you in English and French and is proficient in Spanish. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Dalhousie University and her Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Alia articled and began practicing at a full-service law firm in Ontario where she specialized in municipal matters. While in law school, she summered with Legal Aid Ontario and their migrant justice program.

Before returning to private practice in 2017, Alia was the Director, Opera Division for Dean Artists Management and In-House Counsel for Dean Artists Management and Talent House, Inc., in Toronto, Canada.

Alia is a member of the Legal Aid Ontario Refugee and Domestic Violence panels. She is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario, the Canadian Bar Association/Ontario Bar Association, Refugee Lawyers Association and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers. She is an Alliance for Sustainable Legal Aid committee member, representing the Executive Board of the Refugee Lawyers Association. Alia is a certified Meditation Instructor and is an advocate for the mindful and collaborative practise of law. Alia welcomes collaborations with like-minded individuals and groups from all professional backgrounds.

Zeeshan Baig, Lawyer

Zeeshan joined Lewis & Associates in July 2020 after working at busy Toronto boutique and mid-sized law firms as well as running his own private practice. He has acted for small businesses,  investors, developers, mortgage lenders, condominium corporations, individuals, and families.

Zeeshan’s practice focuses on the following areas:

Real Estate Matters: advising clients on acquisitions, dispositions, leasing and financing across several sectors including cottage properties, commercial properties, single family residential properties, and multi-residential properties.

Corporate Matters: advising clients on corporate formation and key corporate governance matters, corporate acquisitions and dispositions, negotiation of commercial agreements and providing general support in respect of day to day matters.

Wills and Estates Matters: advising clients on the preparation of last wills and testaments, corporate wills, powers of attorney, obtaining probate, and administering estates.

Family Law Matters: advising clients on non-contentious separation agreements, applications for divorce, and opinions on foreign divorces.

Zeeshan has a keen interest in the business of law and is committed to keeping his clients up to date with the evolving state of the practice of law during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since he began practicing in 2015, Zeeshan has been a firm believer that the practice of law must adapt alongside tried and tested technological advances to make sure that his clients always receive the best and most efficient service. As such, Zeeshan follows the innovations of the legal tech community very closely, and you will often find him excitedly talking the ears off his supportive colleagues about the newest tools disrupting the legal market.

When not at the office, Zeeshan spends his time caring for his two sphynx cats and enjoying time with his wife and their families when the cats allow for it.

Ian Mason, Lawyer

Ian received his Bachelor of Arts from Ryerson University in 2010 and his Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall in 2018, where he was also the editor-and-chief and a regular columnist for the student newspaper, Obiter Dicta. He completed the Bar exams in June 2018 and was called to the Bar in June 2019.

Ian articled with a family lawyer but developed an interest in immigration and refugee law in law school and was ecstatic to join Lewis and Associates in July 2019. Working in family law, he helped many people (including immigrants and refugees) secure needed support for themselves and their children in the aftermath of often-brutal separations.

In his spare time, Ian plays hockey and softball, and is the bass player for local rock band, Starship Experience. He has volunteered for Lawyers Feed the Hungry and his local NDP candidate in the riding of York-South Weston. He has also dabbled in community theatre.

Karim Escalona, Lawyer

Karim Escalona is a lawyer at Lewis and Associates. Karim completed an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Law and Society from York University and an Honours LL.B degree from the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom.

During law school, Karim was selected as one of twelve students to be a part of the University of Sussex’s Criminal Justice Project, a legal clinic that provides pro bono legal services to inmates convicted under the problematic joint enterprise law.

As part of the “Joint Enterprise, Not Guilty by Association” (JENGbA) branch of the clinic, Karim worked alongside other legal clinical students and lawyers to effect a change in certain aspects of the joint enterprise law.

After graduating law school in 2018, Karim was offered a scholarship to complete an LL.M at the University of Sussex. Instead, Karim accepted an offer for an LL.M in Canadian Common Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, which he successfully completed in 2019.

During his studies at Osgoode, Karim was part of the Pro Bono Students Canada program. It is during a placement that he was first introduced to Lewis and Associates and became exposed to immigration law and refugee law. Due to Karim’s keen interest in human rights law and its intersection with refugee law, he was thrilled to join the firm after completing his LL.M at Osgoode.

Pantea Samei, Lawyer

Pantea Samei graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Psychology. She pursued her law degree in the United Kingdom and graduated with an Honours LL.B from the University of Leicester. Pantea completed her articles at a personal injury firm, where she practiced plaintiff personal injury, family law, and estates law. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020 and due to her keen interest in immigration and refugee law, has recently joined the team at Lewis and Associates.

Pantea is fluent in English and Farsi.

Yuchen Song, Lawyer

Yuchen graduated with the LL.B. degree from Beijing, China in 2009, she then obtained her Masters Degree in International Business Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2010. After working at a busy litigation law firm in Toronto for four years, she went to the University of Ottawa to pursue her J.D. degree in Common Law in 2014. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2018 and has been working as a litigation lawyer since then.

Yuchen is passionate about advocating for her clients. She has worked on numerous litigation files at various court levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Yuchen has worked with individual clients as well as international corporate clients during her practice. She has negotiated the RMB agreements with the Big Five Banks in Canada, as well as assisted the sophisticated Chinese companies to invest and expand in Canada.

Yuchen is caring, empathetic and creative and would like to further her career in Immigration and Refugee law to help more people obtain their status in Canada.

Yuchen speaks English and Mandarin.

Vakkas Bilsin, NCA Candidate

Vakkas is an NCA Candidate and joined Lewis & Associates in the spring of 2019. He is enrolled to GPLLM Program in Canadian Law at the University of Toronto as part of his licensing process in Canada. He obtained an LL.B in 2013 and LL.M in Public Law in 2015 from Galatasaray University, in Turkey. He also specialized in international law through LL.M in international legal studies at the University of Vienna.

Prior to joining Lewis & Associates, he served as a trainee lawyer at a corporate law firm in Turkey. He practiced banking law, data privacy, corporate law and public-private partnership. He helps clients with their immigration law matters.

He speaks English and Turkish.

Ariel Hollander, LPP Candidate

Ariel is an LPP Candidate at Ryerson University and joined Lewis & Associates in 2020. He obtained an LL.B in 2013 and LL.M in 2014 from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

After graduating from law school, Ariel interned at the Ministry of Justice in Israel for a year and was called to the Israeli bar in 2014.

As a young lawyer, Ariel was chosen to develop and lead the Law society’s search engine for lawyers. In 2016, Ariel moved to Toronto Canada and soon after started a 5-year career as an analyst for Israel’s biggest legal search engine.

Ariel is fluent in both English and Hebrew.

Gokhan Toy, Articling Student

Gokhan Toy joined Lewis and Associates as an articling student in August 2020. He obtained his NCA Certificate of Qualification in September 2019, having earned his LLM degree in Canadian Common Law from the University of Toronto in 2019 with high distinction. Gokhan had also passed Law Society of Ontario-Barrister and Solicitor Exams in November 2019.

Before his legal career in Canada, Gokhan served at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a legal counsel and a career diplomat. Between 2011-2014, he worked as an in-house legal counsel at the Legal Branch of the Ministry’s Human Resources Department. He undertook legal works related to personnel issues, ministerial legal cases, preliminary criminal examinations, and administrataive investigations during that time. He contributed to drafting new institutional regulations and attended administrative inspections conducted in Turkish foreign missions.

He is also an alumnus of Clingendael International Relations Institute of the Netherlands (2013), which provided him with a unique opportunity to obtain theoretical and practical experience on the functioning of the European Union’s legal and administrative institutions structure under the EU’s “acquis.” Here he followed the works of International Court of Justice and joined the hearings of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Permanent Court of Arbitration as an observer diplomat.

Gokhan served at the Turkish Consulate General in Toronto as a vice-consul from March 2014 to July 2016. As a political officer with a legal background, he was in charge of political, legal and security related issues (fight against terrorism and humanitarian issues arising from the civil war in Syria).

Due to his personal resettlement experience after his career in Turkish Foreign Service, Gokhan developed a strong interest in human rights issues and immigration and refugee law and now committed to helping immigrants and refugees from all around the world.

Gokhan speaks English and Turkish.

Shokur Fahd, Articling Student

Shokur is an articling student and a candidate for the March Bar exam in 2021. He specializes in Global and Canadian immigration matters. Prior to joining our firm, Shokur was a Senior Analyst at Deloitte Canada’s corporate immigration department for three years, assisting multinational corporations with immigration matters both domestic and global. Shokur obtained his B.A from the University of Toronto with a specialist degree in political science and his law degree LL. B from the University of Sussex.

In addition, Shokur is a strong advocate for refugees volunteering at Matthew House and assisting with mock refugee trails as well as fund raising efforts for the organization.

Shokur is fluent in English and Arabic.

Judy Bergman, Office Manager

Judy Bergman joined Lewis & Associates as the firm’s Administrator and has grown into the role of Office Manager. Judy brings over 20 years of administrative and advertising/marketing experience.

Josef Brown, Law Clerk

Originating from the island of Jamaica, raised in the United States and finally emigrating to Canada in 2010; Josef Brown has had personal experience with immigration his entire life.
After a successful internship as an Honor Roll student from Toronto’s Centennial College, Josef joined Lewis & Associates as a Law Clerk in 2012. Over the years Josef has worked diligently assisting our lawyers in hundreds of Immigration and Refugee cases as well as appeals to the Federal Court of Canada representing people from all corners of the globe.
Josef recently took his passion for helping immigrants and refugees a step further by graduating Humber College’s accredited immigration consultant course with honors.

Tugrul Pinar, Administrative Assistant

Tugrul came to Canada as an international student to pursue his dream of higher education. He graduated from York University with a degree in Psychology. He acquired certificates in the field of Psychological First Aid and Epidemiology from John Hopkins University and North Carolina University respectively.

Right after school, Tugrul worked at a medical clinic in Toronto as a clinical assistant where he engaged with patients who developed and sustained biopsychosocial hardships mainly due to motor vehicle accidents. In 2018, he started working for an immigration law firm up-town and developed a firm understanding of the various immigration processes. In March 2020, Tugrul joined Lewis and Associates as an experienced immigration law clerk.

Tugrul is very much interested in social sciences and information & technology. By August 2020, he is expected to acquire the CS50 computer science certificate from Harvard University.

Furthermore, he has always been passionate about music and sports. He plays classic, electric, bass guitar, and piano. He played guitar for a local band in Toronto in university. He also loves playing soccer and training Muay Thai.

Heather Middlestadt, Administrator

Heather Middlestadt, Administrator/Reception

Heather Middlestadt joined Lewis & Associates at the end of December 2018. Working as an Administrator and Receptionist fits well with Heather’s passion for meeting new people and helping both clients and staff get what they need.

Heather’s early career was in radio, then sales, then family law, followed by making and selling artisanal chocolate. She is happy working with such a diverse group of colleagues in the hub of Lewis & Associates in the heart of Toronto.

Jesse Lewis, Administrator

Jesse Lewis joined the Lewis and Associates team in April 2019 as an Administrator. Jesse graduated from George Brown College’s acting for media program in the Spring of 2018.

Being the nephew of Jacki Lewis, Jesse is dedicated to working hard for the firm and making sure all pressing matters are taken care of swiftly and correctly.

Jesse is also pursuing a career in the entertainment industry in several capacities, such as Acting, Directing, Writing and Pro-wrestling.

Ryan Prussky, Administrator

Ryan Prussky joined Lewis & Associates as an administrator in October 2019. He graduated from The University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts in 2017. Prior to his employment at the firm, he worked in the hospitality industry and as a multimedia editor. He proudly assists the lawyers and clients to ensure all matters are handled swiftly and efficiently

Beatrix Olah, Legal Assistant and Interpreter

Ms. Beatrix Olah was born and raised in Budapest-Hungary in Roma family of professional musicians. She continued the family tradition and played the violin for 16 years while completing her education with a double major in trade & management. In1994 Beatrix began work as the Sole Representative for the Design and Fashion House of Christian Dior until she left Hungary and immigrated to Canada in 1999.

In Canada, Beatrix commenced her education in Refugee Law by working through her own Refugee claim. In 2001 she began to work professionally in the field at the New Comer’s Centre in Hamilton. She also did freelance interpretation for the new Hungarian Roma Immigrants at Sanford Avenue Public School and in the community in Hamilton. Moving to Toronto in 2004 she joined the Roma Community Centre where she volunteered, helping Roma families for over 6 years to integrate into Canadian society.

Beatrix continued freelance interpretation in Toronto at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in hospitals, Ontario Social Service Offices, with the Toronto Police and at various refugee law firms. She worked for 6 years at Joseph Farkas Law Firm as a Legal Assistant and Interpreter for Hungarian Roma matters. She joined Lewis and Associates in 2018 bringing her legal and interpreting skills to her support work in Immigration and Refugee matters at the RPD, IRCC and primarily focusing on appeal support work at the RAD, Federal Court and IRCC.

Thilakarani Karuppannan (Tutu), Administrative Assistant and Interpreter

Tutu was born and raised in Sri Lanka, it’s a small beautiful island situated in the middle of the Indian ocean also called the pearl of the Indian ocean.

She received her degree from Eastern University in Sri Lanka in 1996 and she majored in Bachelor of Arts, Economics.

She has honor in “English for Communication”, which was conducted by the Department of Examinations, Sri Lanka, on behalf of the University of Warwick, Coventry, England.

She is an outstanding Assistant with over 20 years of experience in coordinating office management in Tea plantation and Political sectors. Tutu joined our firm in October 2019 and has continued to work with us as an Interpreter for refugees from Sri Lanka and India.

She has trilingual Communication skills in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

Muhammad Saleem Shahzad, Solution Architect 

Being an experienced Solution Architect with 25+ years of professional experience, I have developed well-developed skills to design cost-effective business solutions by utilizing technical tools and technologies. I own expertise in evaluating client’s requirements for business applications, defining strategy and formulating strategic plans to achieve project objectives.

I am target-driven and technically focused individual with key skills in designing, implementing and supporting integration solution; my strong organizational and interpersonal skills to communicate with project teams including IT and operational architects to ensure solutions are profitable for company.

CORE STRENGTHS & ENABLING SKILLS
§ Governance, Compliance & Regulation
§ Evaluation & Business Risk
§ Infrastructure & Cloud Consultancy
§ Project Management & Auditing
§ Business & Disaster Continuity Plan
§ Customer & Vendor Management
§ Technical Reporting & Documentation
§ Team Leadership & Management
§ Communication & Presentation Skills
§ Integrity, Dependability, Reliability, Team Work, Self Motivated, Soft Skills

Larry Lewis, Accounting

Larry Lewis joined Lewis & Associates as the Chief Financial Officer in June 2017. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and spent his career as a Chief Procurement Officer and General Manager of a large manufacturing company.

Ildiko Moldovan, Interpreter

Ms. Ildiko Moldovan joined Lewis &Associates as an interpreter in May of 2017. Her previous work includes four years at the law office of Davis & Grice and two years at the Parkdale Intercultural Association as a Settlement Worker. Ms. Moldovan also worked at 911 Interpretation Services translating Romanian and Hungarian in person and on conference calls with Toronto Public Health Services and the Children’s Aid Society. While much of her focus is on Hungarian refugees of Roma ethnicity, she also works with Romanian and Hungarian clients.

Ms. Moldovan graduated from Evergreen College in 2012 as a Social Worker. She brings tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to her clients in their refugee and immigration matters; her passion for settlement work comes from her own experience immigrating to Canada.  Her clients count on her support at many stages of their immigration and refugee matters including appointments with: the CBSA, Panel Physician’s Office, Medical Assessments and Detentions, coordination with lawyers and translation of legal documents.  Ms. Moldovan is an integral member of the Lewis & Associates team and enjoys working closely with and learning from her lawyer and paralegal colleagues as they represent their clients with a wealth of knowledge and a high level of professionalism.

Linda Qian, Interpreter

Ms. Linda Qian graduated from the business program at the University of Shanghai. She ran her own successful global import/export business in China before immigrating to Canada.

In Canada Linda has worked as an interpreter for over two decades. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and the Shanghai dialect.

Linda has specialised in Immigration and Refugee cases assisting clients at Landing and CBSA interviews. She has also worked for social services and in Family Law.

Sayed-Jalal (jay) Kowsari, Farsi Interpreter

Jalal (Jay) from Iran, joined Lewis and Associates in March 2019 as a Farsi Interpreter working on a refugee claim. From the first day, he saw the opportunity to serve his people and he found it like a job straight from Heaven. This was a true promise of a valuable, rewarding and gratifying way of life!

Sixteen years ago, Jalal’s first job in Canada was an Agency Advocate for the ‘Daily Bread Food Bank’ in Toronto. Working for four years in the service of marginalized people from diverse backgrounds was a perfect match for the calling Jalal has always felt to be of assistance to others.

Jalal brings an intense passion and enthusiasm and a wealth of communication expertise and experience to his work with clients at Lewis & Associates. Establishing the kind of relationship that does not have to end even after the claim has been approved.

Working with clients, during this period, he has earned their documented trust as he had made it clear to all of them that “No Question is a Bad Question”.

Jalal believes that “THIS JOB” is his true calling despite over twenty years of schooling back home (in the area of Marketing) and an expensive private college degree in ‘Advertising Design’ from IADT (International Academy of Design & Technology) in Toronto.

As an Immigrant who has chosen ‘The Great Country of Canada’ as his new home, his motto is:

**LET US DO WHAT IT TAKES, TO MAKE THE LIVES OF OTHERS EASIER, ONE STEP AT A TIME**

Begum Merve Ertugrul, Case Worker

Begum is a case worker and joined Lewis & Associates in January of 2020. She is an internationally trained lawyer and she obtained an LL.B in 2005 from Marmara University Faculty of Law, in Turkey. She graduated from Immigration Consultant Diploma program in Toronto in 2019 to specialize her carrier further on Immigration law.

Prior to joining Lewis & Associates, she served as a lawyer and trade mark attorney in Turkey with more than 10 years of experience and represented several big companies in Turkey. She practiced Trade mark law, banking law, insurance law, corporate law and public-private partnership. Also she is writing a column for a Canadian-Turkish newspaper and works as volunteer to provide support for women in need in her community.

She speaks English and Turkish.

Yasamin Rohshan, Immigration & Refugee Case Worker

Ms. Rohshan received her Bachelor in Law from Germany in 1997. She obtained her Paralegal Diplomas from Vancouver and Toronto. She received her Masters of Law from York University in 2016.Since 2007 Ms. Roshan has been working with various law firms in the areas of Immigration and Refugee Law, Family Law, Civil Law as well as Criminal Law.Ms. Roshan is passionate about uncovering the truth for her clients through her extensive expertise in legal research.

LET’S WORK TOGETHER

Lewis & Associates is here to help you come to Canada to pursue your dreams. You may want to visit, study or even become a citizen of this incredible country. We can help you. Our team offers you a wealth of experience and expertise. We are dedicated to your needs and work together tirelessly with you, translators, immigration consultants and third-party experts, towards the best possible outcome for your goals. When we take the quality of your life in our hands we regard it is a sacred responsibility – one of the many reasons choosing Lewis & Associates is a wise decision; you can depend on our team to be your team in Canada.

Contact Us Today