What do Arbitrators do?

Guest: Catherine Spafford

Episode Details

We explored Collaborative Law in a previous episode and we described it as an alternative to fighting things out in court.

Another means of working through decisions in separation and divorce is through Arbitration.

Rather than choosing court and waiting for that moment in front of a judge, you and your family can choose a trained, third-party decision maker called an arbitrator to decide the outcome of a disagreement

Catherine Spafford takes us through all the considerations when it comes to hiring an Arbitrator.

Guest Bio

Catherine Spafford is a litigator, mediator and registered collaborative family lawyer. She believes the best results are achieved when clients are supported with the knowledge they need to make their own choices, rather than leaving important decisions about their children, finances and future in the hands of a judge.

Where out-of-court settlement is not possible, Catherine is an articulate litigator with experience in Provincial Court, the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal of Alberta. She has successfully argued applications relating to custody, access, parenting, child support, spousal support, grandparent contact, guardianship rights, termination of guardianship, imputation of income and division of property, including corporate assets. She also drafts and provides independent legal advice on separation agreements, pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements.

Catherine was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and graduated from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law in 2010. During law school, she volunteered with the Canadian Bar Association and achieved first place in the American Bar Association’s negotiation competition.

Catherine articled at a boutique civil litigation firm on Bay Street where she gained experience in a range of practice areas. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2011 and then began her practice with a family law firm in Toronto specializing in divorces with complex property issues and high net-worth individuals.

Catherine was called to the Alberta Bar in 2013 and joined Bruyer & Mackay LLP (then Gordon Zwaenepoel) in 2017. She volunteers with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, providing advice and assistance to low-income individuals.

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