Celia Chandler

Celia Chandler, Partner

cchandler @ ilercampbell.com
416-598-0103 ext. 120

For a disproportionate number of us at Iler Campbell, law is a second career. For me it’s a third. I’m not in it for money or prestige. At Iler Campbell we’re lawyers because of what law allows us to do. We all have pet causes, issues that we care deeply about, and believe in ways of living that we think are worth fighting for. And the reason that so many of us became lawyers later in life is that lot of us tried working on these causes in other ways before turning to law.

For many years I worked at the City of Toronto. I held a number of positions there, many of which directly relate to Iler Campbell’s clients’ needs. These include: the City Clerk’s office, managing the Toronto City Council meeting process; and the Freedom of Information Office, implementing privacy legislation.

My ‘second’ career was as director of administration at an international environmental NGO. This organization is, not coincidentally, a client of Iler Campbell. In my five years there I worked quite closely with Ted, and on some occasions, Brian.

It was in this job that I really began to understand the challenges that non-profits face daily as they work with committed but overworked staff, volunteer boards, limited time and money, demanding funders, and well-meaning but sometimes inexperienced volunteers. This experience really pushed me to think about how best I could serve the sector. Law seemed the obvious choice. To tell the truth, it was Ted’s story of going to law school in later life that really inspired me to do the same. It was comforting to me to know that it was possible to get a law degree beyond the age of 25.

I joined Iler Campbell as an articling student in 2005 and was pleased to have been hired on following my call to the bar the next year. I’ve no regrets. Iler Campbell is a great fit because it combines many of my past professional experiences and interests and allows me to work in a range of areas of law inside and outside the courtroom.

I spend most of my time working with our co-op housing clients. Co-ops are a fascinating model for community development and I’m always impressed by the level of commitment that the members have for the model. They work hard to make it work – and it does! I get a charge out of going to co-op board meetings and trying to help them figure out what makes sense for them.

I like to think that I bring something very practical to the advice that I give. I’ve managed legal budgets in a non-profit and I know that they can’t always afford the luxury of the Cadillac of legal opinions – sometimes the reliable and sensible Toyota is all that’s needed. I’m always happiest when clients tell me that they understand what I’ve said. I don’t want to sound like a lawyer.

Presentations and Seminars

Celia is a regular presenter at conferences and education events across Ontario, including:

She is available to speak on a range of topics, primarily geared to housing providers, including human rights, preparing for Landlord and Tenant Board hearings, evictions, employment law, board ethics and privacy.

If you’d like Celia to speak to your event or privately with your board, staff, or clients, please contact her directly.

Community involvement