Lee Villar, partner

Photo of Lee
Lee Villar

I was born in Bath England and came to Canada with my parents when I was ten. We moved to Guelph when I was 15 and I have since then always considered Guelph my home. I attended Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar in 1983. I worked in downtown Toronto for six years before making the decision to return to my hometown and practice in Guelph. Next to marrying my wife, it was the smartest move of my life. I joined Nelson, Watson LLP in 1992.

I have always believed that community is important and have been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Guelph since 1989. I am a past secretary, past president and past lieutenant-governor of that organization. I am also a past president of the Victoria Order of Nurses.

While I have many interests including travel, wine and food, my real passion is golf. Fortunately my wife shares my enthusiasm and we love to combine all these activities by travelling to fun golf destinations.

In the practice of law I have tried to follow two basic rules. First: solve the problem, not add to it. My mentor when I started to practice always referred to himself not as a lawyer but as a problem solver. I have always followed that mantra and focus on determining the possible solutions to whatever the problem might be. I apply this philosophy to all my clients although if a fight is necessary I am quite prepared and willing as I have appeared in every level of trial court as well as most of the appellate courts.

Second: help people move forward with their lives. Whether someone is buying a home, developing a business or separating from their spouse, I want clients to look to the future and not be stuck in the quicksand of legal disputes. It means moving forward looking for solutions not grudge matches. A reasonable and cost effective solution requires a practical and common-sense approach. Battling over who is right does not always advance the interest of the client; it only serves to satisfy the ego of the lawyer and that is not what I call servicing the client.

I have extensive advocacy experience, have practiced litigation for over 25 years and I share that experience consulting on more complex litigation files handled in our office. I now practice primarily in transactional work including providing corporate and commercial legal services to a number of local business people and their business interests, as well as individual families.

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