Principal, Naymark Law
Called to the bar in 2009
In 2011, as a second-year associate at Lax O’Sullivan LLP, Daniel Naymark got his first chance to deliver a closing argument (in an investor-fraud case). The night before, he perfected his dramatic opening, but a minute into the address, the judge cut him off: “Mr. Naymark, there’s no jury here. Just skip to the facts.”
Naymark has since dropped the theatrical style, but he remains passionate about the courtroom. In 2015, he started a solo practice, specializing in civil, commercial and regulatory disputes. “I don’t like having a boss,” says the 35-year-old. “Now, I can do whatever cases I want.”
When he told Clifford Lax, of Lax O’Sullivan, that he was leaving, Lax supported the decision. “I thought he’d have a brighter future starting his own firm,” he says. “I knew he had the kind of personality that would attract people to him.”
“I want to help people,” says Naymark, who is married to Joanna Lambert, a high-school drama teacher, and has two young kids. “If they trust me with their problems, I take that responsibility seriously.”
One case stands out. He recently represented a lawyer suffering from depression, whose conduct was investigated by the Law Society of Ontario. When investigators contacted the lawyer with questions, he would, as a result of his depression, freeze and fail to respond. For that, the lawyer faced disciplinary charges. Naymark argued that the Law Society should allow lawyers with a mental illness to respond to investigators with, say, a phone call instead of written communication. In May, the Law Society Tribunal ruled in his favour. He hopes the case leads to lasting reform. “I’m trying to change things for the better through litigation.”
This story is from our Summer 2018 Issue.