Human side of condo law


Patrick Greco

Toronto condominium lawyer Patrick Greco likes to feel involved in his clients’ communities.

Greco, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP, tells that condo law by its nature is a “very human area” of practice.

“I really like that aspect of it — getting to interact with owners, board members, and property managers,” he says. “I like to think of myself as a partner in their communities — someone who knows the owners and the board, and is just a call away when any of them needs help.

“I’m part of their team,” adds Greco, who tries to take a friendly and humorous approach to all of his dealings with clients.

 “There’s already enough stress in the condo world, and if you can’t laugh, then you’d cry,” he says.

And Greco gets plenty of opportunities to develop those relationships since many of his evenings are spent attending or chairing meetings of unit owners or condo corporation boards, while his days are frequently filled with providing quick-turnaround answers to queries and concerns coming in from clients.

When he was a law student, Greco might not have recognized his current practice. He graduated around the same time as Ontario’s Condominium Act came into force, revolutionizing the regulation of condos in the province.

“It wasn’t something I had heard much about,” he explains.

A keen debater who loves the mental puzzles provided by legal problems, Greco initially thought he would be an international corporate lawyer, but found his skills were better suited to commercial and construction litigation.

After finding his work frequently brought him into contact with the firm’s burgeoning condo law group, he eventually joined them.

“Much of my work dovetailed nicely with the issues that condos face,” Greco explains.

His practice still involves a certain amount of construction law, and he has significant experience in construction lien, real estate, and professional negligence disputes.

Greco has also handled numerous matters before the Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal, as well as assisted in the preparation of submissions to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Still, his condo law practice does provide him with the occasional litigation.

“From time to time, matters will need to be addressed in court or at tribunals,” says Greco, who was a competitive athlete both at the high school and university level.

“I do enjoy that element of going to court,” he says. “You practise, you rehearse, and then it’s game time when you have to show up and perform. I still relish getting up there and arguing a case for a client.

“It’s a real adrenalin rush, and there’s nothing else quite like it in law,” Greco adds.

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