Our team’s commitment to creativity, practicality, and delivering an exceptional client experience has attracted lawyers who share our values. With steady growth, our firm has expanded its practice areas, diversified its client base, and established a global presence through strategic alliances. Today, Torkin Manes proudly serves a diverse range of high-growth companies and individuals across various personal and business practice areas.
We developed significant practices in health, construction, technology, and cannabis law. Today, Torkin Manes lawyers provide services in various personal and business legal practice areas.
From humble beginnings, our firm’s clients now include some of Canada’s largest financial institutions, insurance companies, major corporations, owner-operated private companies, entrepreneurs, and land development companies.
The mid-’80s and early 90s
The Firm’s broad client base and our reluctance to become overly dependent on a small number of large clients helped us withstand the mid-80s and early 90s recessions as many other medium-sized firms struggled. We acquired or developed practice groups in securities, labour relations and employment, and insurance litigation to broaden our client base.
In the 90s, we became co-founders of the International Alliance of Law Firms (now Ally Law), which enabled us to assist our clients in other jurisdictions and serve the clients of other members who had business in our jurisdiction. This considerably widened our international client base.
The firm’s growth
There has been tremendous growth in the Canadian economy and at Torkin Manes. Barry Arbus and Phil Christo brought their corporate/commercial practices to the firm, adding to its corporate base. Our family law, corporate-commercial, litigation, and real estate departments grew to meet the increasing demands of our clients.
The firm acquired a reputation for thoughtful, practical, strategic advice and quality work. As our clients grew and prospered, so did we.
The original six 1979
By 1979, the firm had grown to six partners. Barry Cohen had brought his corporate and real estate practice downtown from Yonge and Eglinton. Lorne Wolfson joined Ron Manes doing criminal, civil, and family law litigation.
Joe Feldman and Sid Troister arrived from other downtown firms, adding their real estate practices and expertise to the rapidly growing young firm. Having outgrown its original offices, the firm moved into a new building at the corner of York and Adelaide Street, eventually occupying two floors.
Torkin and Manes got involved in the legal and general community and quickly developed a reputation for being creative, smart, aggressive, practical, and client-focused. Typically, they worked for the underdog—a legal aid case here, a small real estate or business deal there, or some small lending or collection work.
They so often impressed the opposing parties enough that those parties later became firm clients. As their professional relationships expanded, they attracted like-minded friends who joined Larry and Ron to continue building the firm per their guiding vision and ensure that they had fun doing it.
Larry Torkin and Ron Manes graduated from law school and decided to start their own firm instead rather than accepting offers at large Toronto law firms. With no clients, personal networks, or business connections, they planned to do good work and build a positive reputation.
They also had a strong vision of what practising law should be like, what lawyers’ relationships should be like with their clients, and what lawyers’ connections should be like with their colleagues. Their vision became their legacy, guiding them in building a great law firm.