Legal support for a Broad Range of Need


Real Estate

Liens, undertakings, land use – there are many details to a purchase and sale agreement that can complicate a transaction. Whether you're a new home buyer, or a property owner selling commercial space, you want to make sure any issues are resolved by the closing date.

At Polak McKay & Hawkshaw, we offer efficient and cost-effective legal services aimed at finding solutions tailored to your real estate needs. Based in Ajax, Ontario, our lawyers offer advice and address concerns related to residential and commercial transactions and disputes throughout the Durham Region and Greater Toronto Area.

Community Connection

Established in the 1950s, Polak McKay & Hawkshaw has participated in the growth and development of Ajax's residential and commercial real estate market. We share that rich history with our clients by helping them reach an informed decision regarding:

  • Purchase and sale agreements

  • Condominium real estate transactions

  • New build freehold homes or condominiums

  • Commercial properties and vacant land

  • Recreational properties, including cottages

  • Mortgage agreements and refinancing

  • Spousal or family title transfers

  • Survivorship applications and title considerations upon a person's death

Overlooked Issues

In addition to notices, liens, and securities, there are other title issues that you may encounter. Rights of survivorship to a property, adding or removing a spouse to title, and the transfer of ownership through a will, are all issues we can help guide you through regarding your rights to purchase or sell a property.

At Polak McKay & Hawkshaw, our extensive knowledge of real estate laws allows us to minimize any potential issues or problems regarding the sale of your property. We leverage this experience to help simplify complex situations and reduce the potential for future legal disputes.

Family Law

Polak McKay & Hawkshaw delivers cost effective, client-centred services in family law. Our firm understands that family law matters present specific challenges. We navigate these issues by listening to our clients and providing focussed advice.

Domestic Contracts

Marriage Contracts, Cohabitation and Separation Agreements

We work together with our clients to draft domestic contracts which are attentive to their needs and secure their rights. We help our clients understand the legal context of their situation and when necessary, negotiate to produce agreements in a timely and cost-effective manner.

We also have the tools to enforce agreements - that is, situations where a party has breached the contract terms.


We assist clients with uncontested divorce proceedings in a sensitive and efficient way.

Independent Legal Advice

We provide practical, cost-effective independent legal advice, which is recommended prior to signing Domestic Contracts.

Zoning,Land Use and Bylaw Litigation

Unique Knowledge Of Municipal And Bylaw Litigation

Polak McKay & Hawkshaw is among the few law firms in Durham Region with noted knowledge and practice experience in municipal law. Our lawyers represent municipalities, land developers, residential property owners and other parties in all aspects of zoning and land use litigation. We have appeared in numerous forums, including before the Ontario Municipal Board, to represent our clients' interests.

Disputes Over Municipal Regulations And Bylaws

Developers, homeowners and city authorities must all abide by a maze of laws that are passed at the municipal level, and resolution of these disputes differs from other forms of litigation. Our lawyers' experience in this area gives our clients an edge in the advancement of their interests.

Municipal litigation involves all aspects of city regulation and bylaw enforcement. Our lawyers provide advice on many issues, including:

  • Building code violations

  • Fire code violations

  • Bylaw infractions

  • Commercial and residential zoning

  • City tax assessments

  • Expropriation

  • Land use permits and restrictions

  • Environmental assessments

  • Minor variance applications

Often, our team can act proactively to ensure that an anticipated development or home renovation does not conflict with municipal regulations. When an activity is under challenge, we provide assertive and effective client representation.

Our team members have extensive experience as courtroom counsel, adding to our ability to provide high-quality service to clients who are in conflict over a city regulation. To learn more, please get in touch.


At the Ajax firm of Polak McKay & Hawkshaw, we maintain a corporate-commercial practice that is focused on the transactional needs of businesses. Over our decades of service to clients in Durham Region, local businesses have come to rely on our excellent service and in-depth knowledge of Ontario commercial law. We reward our clients' trust by providing timely and efficient legal services.

Tailored To The Fundamental Aspects Of Business Operations

Our firm's corporate lawyers assist local business owners who want to purchase or sell a business or to modify its legal structure, in ways that comply with both provincial and federal law. In addition, we are a trusted resource for legal services in all aspects of day-to-day business operations, including:

  • Buy-sell agreements

  • Shareholder and partnership agreements

  • Franchise agreements

  • Incorporation

  • Sales and supply contracts

  • Purchase and sale of commercial land

  • Share and asset purchase agreements

  • Insurance contracts

  • Leasing agreements

  • Employment contract drafting and review

Strategic, Effective Solutions

Drawing upon our business knowledge and legal experience, we provide advice designed to meet a business's current needs and anticipate future challenges.

The long-term clients with whom we have established relationships are the best evidence of the ongoing work we do to provide strategic, effective solutions to business needs.

Notarization (Notary) Services

Our office is pleased to offer Notarization (Notary) and Commissioning Services, with no appointment necessary. Our notaries and commissioners can witness oaths or solemn affirmations, sign affidavits or statutory declarations, and certify documents as true copies of the originals.

Civil Litigation

Advancing Your Interests

Polak McKay & Hawkshaw maintains a civil litigation practice that is focused on insurance claims, negligence and contract disputes, among other matters. Our civil litigation lawyers provide clients with the honest, upfront advice they need to make choices about their legal rights and obligations. When a client chooses to pursue litigation or must defend against a claim, our representation is hands-on and strategic, with client success as the ultimate goal.

In addition to our history of client representation at all levels of Ontario courts, we attend board and tribunal hearings and participate in mediations and arbitrations. As a client-focused practice, we are, above all, committed to exploring legal options. Clients receive a full assessment of their rights and the risks that may accompany a proposed course of litigation.

Our civil litigation practice is therefore broad-based. A sampling of the kinds of litigation in which we participate includes:

  • Contract disputes

  • Negligence claims

  • Small claims court matters

  • Insurance disputes

  • Occupiers' liability and slip-and-fall claims

  • Dog fight claims

  • Personal injury claims

  • Leasing contract disputes

  • Real estate litigation

  • Estate litigation and will challenges

  • Passing of estate accounts

  • Construction liens

  • Municipal litigation, including zoning and land use

With the exception of motor vehicle accident claims, our lawyers can assist you with routine dispute resolution matters and complex litigation. With practice areas that also include corporate-commercial law and employment, we have the legal background and knowledge to take an in-depth and informed approach to any civil dispute.

Wills and Estates

The wills and estates practice of Polak McKay & Hawkshaw serves the complete needs of individuals and families in Ajax. Our services include:

With over 65 years of experience helping clients in Ajax and throughout Durham Region, our lawyers help you plan your estate, ensure that a loved one's estate is properly looked after and resolve any estate conflicts.

A Complete Perspective On Estate Laws

When we advise clients on estate planning, we do so in a way that is designed to reduce or eliminate conflict later on. With ample experience in estate administration, we see firsthand the kinds of conflicts that arise and how best to prevent them.

As advisers to estate trustees, we also know the potential risks and liabilities to which a trustee might be subject and can therefore effectively handle a trustee dispute.

Skill And Dedication

The law firm of Polak McKay & Hawkshaw has been a fixture of the Ajax community since the 1950s. Our group of experienced lawyers works collaboratively with several long-term staff members. Together, we provide excellent service to all of our clients.

Our lawyers maintain diverse legal practices that often intersect with our estate work. As corporate-commercial lawyers, we assist entrepreneurs with succession plans for family businesses. As experienced litigators, we provide options for people who want to challenge a will, using the court process or alternative resolution methods.

Employment and Wrongful Dismissal

Employers and employees trust the advice and representation of Polak McKay & Hawkshaw. Our law firm provides strategic employment law advice during the course of employment and in the event of a dispute.

We represent clients in common law (non-union) disputes, on terms in an employee contract, or under standards set by Ontario legislation.

Located in Ajax, we are trusted by business owners and workers throughout Durham Region to protect their legal interests and enforce their legal rights.

Termination Letters And Severance Packages

For employees, we review termination letters and proposed severance pages, and provide guidance regarding your legal entitlements. In both with cause and without cause circumstances, we negotiate on your behalf, and where necessary, provide full legal representation to ensure your rights are protected. We are prudent and practical, and when a termination letter or severance package provides adequate compensation, we will tell you this.

Our work for employers is similarly tailored, striving to achieve agreements that best satisfy their legal interests. We assist with the prevention of legal action against an employer for an inappropriate package or to commence action on behalf of an employee.

Wrongful Dismissal Claims

Wrongful dismissal claims are another aspect of our litigation practice. Our representation of parties extends to out-of-court forums such as mediation where appropriate. Wrongful dismissal claims can cover a variety of issues such as:

  • Just cause for dismissal

  • Amount of notice/severance

  • Constructive dismissal

  • Demotion or change in working conditions

To receive information about your legal options, we encourage you to contact us.