Martha McCarthy, LSM
Martha McCarthy was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1991, winning the Silver Medal and the Family Law and Advocacy Prizes. She has practised family law since her call, first in a large Bay Street firm, then at a large specialist boutique, and now with her own firm.
Martha has regularly advocated on behalf of same-sex couples. Martha's work in M. v. H., Halpern, and the Same Sex Marriage Reference resulted in equal marriage and widespread amendments to federal and provincial legislation for same-sex couples. Martha has also been actively involved in same-sex parenting rights, including AA v. BB v. CC, a case which achieved legal recognition for a three parent family.
Apart from gay and lesbian equality issues, Martha's areas of specialty include the interaction of family issues with business organization and valuation, shareholders' remedies, marriage contracts, equality claims in family law, child representation and the effect of divorce on children.
Martha is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers and has instructed trial advocacy at the University of Toronto law school for more than a decade. She has received numerous awards, including the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference Hero Award from the Canadian Bar Association (1999), the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Family Law (2007), the Hope and Freedom Award from Toronto's Metropolitan Community Church for her contribution in the progress towards equality (2010) and the Law Society Medal (2013) for outstanding service within the legal profession.
Martha is a Past President of The Advocates' Society and served on that board for 10 years. She continues to work on law reform projects with The Society relating to family law and access to justice.