LEONARDO MONGILLO ; FAMILY LAW "Maintaining Hope In Light Of Family Challenges"
Leonardo Mongillo Family Law Lawyer
It might be a peculiar thing to associate “happy clients” with dissolution of marriages, but that’s what Leonardo Mongillo’s goal is.
Recognizing that a relationship break-up can be a daunting experience, fraught with fears and confusion, Leonardo handles cases with sensitivity and care.
He’s helped scores of clients over the past dozen years process their cases in an expeditious and cost-effective manner, while bringing a wealth of understanding, knowledge and experience on a wide range of intricate family law matters. They include: domestic contracts, divorce, custody and access, child protection, support, property and equalization issues.
Not only does Leonardo appreciate that each family is unique, with their own set of challenges, but he understands the nuances of the family dynamic himself, as a father and husband. Having argued cases in all three levels of Courts in Ontario, he has also represented clients through mediation, arbitration and the collaborative law processes.
Through his many years of honing his negotiating skills, Leonardo is able to find rewarding solutions and settlements, so that his clients can move on with their lives comfortably.
My Business Magazine asked Leonardo Mongillo about how he began in law, what drives him, how he measures success, and how he builds clients’ trust.
MBM: Tell us about when you first thought of going into law.
Leonardo: I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was a young child. I grew up in a religiously devout family and began my thirst for spiritual growth and knowledge at a young age. My parents taught me about the personal fulfillment of faith, hard work and helping others.
My family and my faith taught me that success lied in helping others.
I initially wanted to be a corporate lawyer and a director of companies. I undertook and achieved a specialized honours degree in business and economics at York University. My degree prepared me to solve and navigate through financial issues and find solutions to the complex financial aspects of family law while allowing me to analyze the cost and benefits of each claim. I understand concepts of valuation, accounting and logic.
MBM: Why family law?
Leonardo: I had my first taste of family law while working as a file clerk in a boutique family law firm in downtown, Toronto. While my first interaction with family law seemed more emotionally taxing than the career I had envisioned, I quickly realized the challenge of family law allowed me to help people at an individual level. I enjoyed interacting with clients and began to realize that helping people at a personal level provided far more fulfillment.
MBM: What is the most challenging part of the job?
Leonardo: Family law clients are dealing with what may be the most difficult decisions in their lives at a time when everything around them appears to be falling apart.
Most clients feel a sense of mourning, anger, fear and a range of other, usually negative, emotions. It is our job to do the best we can to help our clients through the process and put the pieces of their lives back together while making the process as easy and comfortable as possible.
I have always enjoyed working through and solving problems, and I take pride in my ability to find the best possible outcomes for my clients and their families. Each client that comes to me has their own set of unique family law issues.
I work hard to develop a personalized plan to address and work through those issues together as a team. I have had the benefit of working through some of the most complex family law issues in my fourteen years of practice as a lawyer and eightteen years working in family law.
MBM: How has your focus within family law changed in recent years?
Leonardo: I became a collaboratively trained family lawyer in 2011 and I have subscribed to the principals of collaborative law in my practice. While the majority of my career focused on litigation, the art of family law litigation has changed from when I first started. Collaborative law allows the parties to control the process and negotiations while the lawyers become facilitators. I like this process as I have a firm belief that each client needs to take an active role in the process; after all we are dealing with their lives.
The process allows a team approach where other collaboratively trained professionals such as accountants, valuators, financial planners and child specialist assist the parties, often, at a joint cost.
It requires the parties to leave their egos behind, produce disclosure and work fairly and honourably with lawyers and other professionals to reach the best resolution for all parties involved. While the collaborative process does not work for all separated parties, it is one of the most efficient and effective processes we have in family law.
MBM: What sets you apart from other firms?
Leonardo: Putting our clients first and our quality of service sets our firm apart from the rest. When clients call me or my clerks, they get the one-on-one focused attention they need. At those moments, regardless of our busy schedule or work load, we try to make that client feel like they are the firm’s only client.
MBM: How do you define your own success?
"My biggest measure of success is my long lasting relationship with my clients. My biggest compliment is having clients, or in some cases, the client’s former spouse, refer new clients to me. Building a level of trust with clients is a primary focus."
MBM: What do you find most rewarding about your practice?
Leonardo: We all need laughter and hope, especially in family law which is filled with turmoil and negative feelings. We should all strive to see and bring out the best in each other. I have seen clients’ self-realization of their true worth and potential bring tears of happiness and smiles where confusion, sadness and fear once resided. I receive all the recognition I need just knowing that I was part of this realization process.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly
Barrister & Solicitor
9040 Leslie St. Suite 7
Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3M4
905 291 1022