Loeb remains the face of condo law in Ontario
By AdvocateDaily.com Staff
Toronto condominium lawyer Audrey Loeb became the public face of Ontario’s Condominium Act almost as soon as she began practising law.
The 1967 Act underwent its first wave of revisions in 1974, shortly after Loeb joined the province’s Ministry of Consumer Services, which was responsible for its administration. A major revamp would follow in 1978, but Loeb’s boss in the legal department disliked public speaking.
“Every time someone was supposed to speak about the Act, I was sent out, and eventually, I became affiliated with the law from a government perspective,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.
More than four decades later, Loeb, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP, has long since switched to private practice, but remains synonymous with the law, having written several leading texts on the subject, including The Condominium Act: A User’s Manual and Condominium Law and Administration.
She also played a role in the development of the law via her membership in panels created by the provincial government to review and advise on amendments to the Act.
It could all have turned out differently for Loeb, who says she felt pushed into law school by her mother but took to the subject “like a fish to water.”
But when she graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, one of just 15 women in the class, Loeb found Toronto’s legal scene an unwelcoming place.
“The only jobs women could get were in family or estates law,” she says. “I was married, I was a woman and I was Jewish. The truth is, nobody wanted me.”
Loeb landed a job at a small firm but left within six months before switching to the government job that set the course for the rest of her career.
After leaving her government position, she spent a number of years at smaller firms before joining a large Bay Street firm and establishing a practice group wildly regarded as a leader in condo law. Last year she and all the other lawyers from the group moved to Shibley Righton.
“It’s been a fabulous transition for us,” Loeb says. “When you’re with a big national firm, people get the idea that you’re really expensive, even though we were never really charging huge amounts.
“It’s not something our competition can use against us anymore and our profile has really grown since the move,” she adds.
At the moment, her group is focused on the changes from the most recent revamp of the Act in late 2017, arguably the most complex since the law was introduced.
Despite all the changes Loeb has witnessed over her years in condo law, she says some things will always remain the same.
“We still act for our very first condo corporation client,” she says. “We have a reputation for reasonableness, honesty and practical solutions, and that’s not going to change because we service our clients to death, they stay with us, and then refer us to other people.”