Brian J. Burke

Brian J. Burke



Brian is a partner at Epstein Cole LLP. He is a frequently invited conference speaker on family law and professionalism topics, including conferences run by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Bar Association.

Brian started his legal career at one of Bay Street's top-tier ("Seven Sisters") firms, where he summered, articled, and then for a short time practiced corporate law, securities law, and commercial law. After that Brian joined Canada's premier boutique tax law firm as an associate lawyer, where his practice included corporate and personal tax planning, taxpayer representation, and litigation. Several years later Brian decided to pursue a career in family law.

While Brian takes on a wide range of family law matters, his cases often involve sophisticated corporate, trust, and other business and investment structures, as well as complex income/support issues. Many of Brian's custody and access cases involve a complicating element: a mobility/relocation issue; the necessity of a custody and access assessment; the hearing of the "child's voice" in the proceeding; substance abuse issues; domestic violence/intimate partner violence; the need for an unusual or complicated parenting plan; a parent exhibiting a personality disorder; etc.

Brian is comfortable in all modes of dispute resolution: litigation; mediation; arbitration; and negotiation. He is also fully trained in Collaborative Practice.

A list of Brian's academic and professional credentials, his awards, his invited speaking presentations, and his publications (apart from papers written in support of his invited presentations, which are not listed here) can be found on his curriculum vitae, here.

  • Member-at-Large of the Family Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association (2013-present)
  • Ontario Court of Justice/Superior Court of Justice Assessments Task Force (2014-present)
  • Organization Committee Member, Inaugural Walsh Family Law Negotiation Competition (to take place in 2015)
  • Organization Committee Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Ontario Chapter 2015 Annual Conference
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Collaborative Practice Toronto
  • Presenter for the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice Mandatory Information Program
  • Winner of the following prizes from Osgoode Hall Law School:
    • J.S.D. Tory Research and Writing Award
    • Borden & Elliot Essay in Constitutional Law
    • Ivan Cleveland Rand Scholarship (twice)
    • Walter Williston Essay Prize in Civil Liberties
    • Cassels, Brock & Blackwell Constitutional Law Annual Award
    • The Part-Time LL.M. Program in Constitutional Law Prize
Bar Admissions & Education
  • Called to the Bar of Ontario (2000)
  • LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School (1998)
  • B.A. from Trinity College at the University of Toronto (1995)