Our Firm

Family Law Mission

It is our mission at JMS Law to understand and assist, inspire and empower our clients when they are in transition; and collaborate with solutions-focused clients to help them achieve their goals. We offer efficient and stress-free real estate, wills and estates, family law and mediation services.

We support the changes that our clients make to help them establish new lives, new neighbourhoods or new beginnings.

About Us

Our caring, authentic and highly competent legal and support team treat each client with respect, compassion and empathy, educating them on how to achieve their goals through peaceful resolution and healing.

We are evolving a forward-looking standard for family law and mediation that is resolution-focused and based on individual needs.

Serving Cottage Country, Simcoe County and the GTA, including; Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Innisfil, Bradford, Newmarket, Aurora, and Toronto.

Joanna M. Shaw

Hons., BA, LLB, MES, LLM, ACC. MEDIATOR, NOTARY

Principle lawyer of JMS Law, Children’s Lawyer, Mediator, I am also the Developer, Facilitator and Director of the Transformative Parenting Program offered by JMS Law. It is my goal to encourage and foster a practice of law that is compassionate and mindful, not only of clients but of the JMS Law team. We are a team of lawyers, mediators, clerks, and managers, 13 people in total, seeking ways to serve and to make a positive impact on our community and Society as a whole. We believe that justice exists in the hearts of people, so we seek opportunities to go deep into people’s hearts to find solutions and transform the issues.

I consistently remind my team that everyone has a story, and every story is valid and deserving of attention and non-judgement. I challenge my team and clients to become more self-aware and reflective in efforts to find solutions that allow for inner-growth and success not just for themselves but for those around them. It is my belief that a better world, lived from non-judgment, compassion, mindful practice and kindness is possible. This allows for inclusivity and diverse perspectives on issues.

Whether I am working on real estate files or family files, I engage in this approach. When working with all Clients in conflict, I will tell you what you need to hear—which isn’t always what you want to hear—because my goal is to get you to resolution, not deeper into conflict. It is to help you see your conflict as a catalyst for personal change and self-mastery and to live authentically from that place. I encourage my entire team to work in this way.

This approach often shortens the amount of time people spend in a conflict which then lessens the financial, emotional, and oftentimes, the physical cost of conflict. My own life experience has equipped me with tools for personal transformation which I readily share with anyone who is open and ready for change and if they choose to engage with me in that way. I do everything I can to live authentically from a place of compassion, empathy, mindfulness and humility and I encourage my team to do the same, in all areas of our lives, personal, the office and in the courtroom.

JMS Office

My approach to law, and indeed my life, is greatly informed by Yoga, Meditation and Buddhist philosophies and all other practices that engender compassion and mindfulness. My spiritual practice borrows from as many cultural and spiritual practices I have encountered. I am a seeker, a student and someone who is ready to act in my own transformation.

My first love is teaching and working with people in a way that will allow them to transform their lives in a truly great way. Out of this love has grown the work I do as an agent for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer where I represent children in family law disputes and child protection. Both as a mediator and a Children’s lawyer I encourage clients and lawyers on the opposing side to foster compassion for themselves, others and to see possibilities where there might not otherwise be any.

At JMS Law, we encourage people to negotiate from a place of mindfulness and compassion with their future, and that of their children, at the fore. The well-being of both our clients and their families is of the utmost importance. I believe that healthier families lead to healthier communities, which, in turn, lead to a healthier world. I work hard to help clients get to a place where they can see their future independent of their current conflicts. I empower my clients and those around me to participate in a collaborative process that focuses on understanding and healing and results in long-lasting, cost-effective resolutions that benefit the whole family, in particular children whose parents are involved in the conflict.

Joanna M. Shaw
Purple Quote
“If you correct your mind, your life will follow.”
– Lao Tzu

Joanna was a finalist for the Chamber’s Women in Business Heart and Soul Award.

With Joanna’s leadership, JMS Law donated $20,000 to local charities by featuring a charity each month and donating 10% of the proceeds from its real-estate and wills and estates revenue during 2020 at a time when everyone was struggling.

Recently Joanna was nominated for the RBC Women of Influence award (2021).

Practicing law for almost 17 years a children’s lawyer for almost 16 years.

Attended university and law school as a single mom after being homeless for 3 years. Stayed in a shelter for pregnant women during her pregnancy with her now 28-year-old son.

Immigrant from South America – fled her originating country with her Mother at the age of 14 – her mother was fleeing domestic and political violence. Felt that her entire teenage and young adult life was spent in culture shock and feeling the sting of discrimination and exclusion.

All the latter is intended to share that Joanna is informed by her experiences and it is from those experiences that she came to learn that justice exists in the hearts of people not institutions and systems, as a result we all have a duty to look deep within ourselves and heal ourselves from the inside before moving outward to heal the world. Personal transformation is a must if we are to transcend poverty, discrimination, exclusion, mental health breakdown and suffering in general. As we heal ourselves, we heal others.

Purple Lotus Flower

Meet the JMS Law Team

Rose Pellar
Rose Pellar
ROSE PELLAR, B.A.S., LL.B.

Rose became a lawyer in 1997 and brings with her a wealth of family law experience to the practice. Rose operated her own law practice in Toronto from 1997 to 2000 with a primary focus on Family Law. She was also an Associate Lawyer in the Family Law Division of Oatley, Purser in Barrie. Later, she maintained a very busy practice for approximately four years as an associate lawyer at the firm of McGee & Fryer (family lawyers) in Unionville. In July 2005 she joined Galbraith Family Law as an associate lawyer in Barrie, servicing a huge family law clientele. In October 2006, she created Pellar Family Law and after 15 years at Pellar Family Law she has opted to join JMS Law in September 2021. Rose indicates that the mission of JMS Law dovetails very nicely with her own philosophy of helping clients.

Rose is a certified Collaborative Family Law Lawyer and was a founding member and a Director of the York Collaborative Practice Group. She is a current member of the Simcoe County Collaborative Practice. Rose relates exceptionally well to her clients because (in her own words) she’s “been there”. Rose was divorced and has happily re-married in 2006. Rose knows only too well the emotional toll of separation and the importance of resolving the issues quickly and cost-effectively. Rose ensures however that her clients make well informed decisions. She makes a point to remind them that one day they will feel less emotional and could feel differently about the decisions they have made.

Rose believes in being involved in her Community. She has served on the Board of Directors for New Directions in Toronto, and for the Unionville Home Society in Markham, as well as for a Condominium Corporation in Richmond Hill. She was also on the Board of Directors for the Wasaga Society for the Arts. In addition, many years ago when her sons were in Cubs and Beavers, she served on the group committee for a local Scouts Canada Group as a member of the committee and later as Vice-Chair and Chair. Rose participated in the first ever 60km Breast Cancer Walk in 2003 and personally raised approximately $4,000 for the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. She also participated in the “Stop Violence Against Women” walk in Wasaga Beach in Summer 2006. Rose was a co-facilitator for 9 years for a Divorce Recovery (9 week) Workshop twice yearly through the Mapleview Community Church in Barrie. She has also run the same workshop for the Lighthouse Community Church in Wasaga Beach.

In June 2009 she participated in a Habitat for Humanity build in Scarborough. Rose receives a lot of satisfaction from seeing the difference she has made, and continues to make in the lives of others through her practice and her volunteer work.

Rose was a contributing writer for the Women With Vision magazine for a number of years and she is the author of “A Gift in Every Challenge” (a part memoir/part inspirational book about her mother for whom divorce was not an option and about herself for whom divorce was the only option).

Having a passion for impacting lives in a positive way, she is coaching women experiencing divorce to get through and beyond their divorce.

Jillian C. Bowman
HONS., BA., LLB, NOTARY

Jillian joined JMS Law as an associate in 2016. She obtained her BA from York University and her LLB from the University of Sussex law school.

Prior to law school, Jillian worked as a certified Law Clerk in family law, which inspired her to further her legal education. Jillian’s areas of practice include Family Law, Child Protection as well as Wills and Estate Administration. Jillian assists her clients with matters such as separation, divorce, custody and access, child support, spousal support and child protection matters. Jillian can also assist you with your estate planning and drafting of your wills and/or powers of attorney.

Jillian is passionate about family law and committed to playing an active role in the Simcoe County community as well as the legal community. Jillian is the Vice President of the Simcoe County Family Law Lawyer’s Association and a volunteer with Barrie Lawyers feed the Hungry and is a member of BNI. Her enthusiasm for the Law, helping others, personal and inner growth is second to none.

Danielle Gendron
Danielle Gendron
HONS, BA, LLB, NOTARY, ADR Certified

Danielle grew up in a small town just south of Barrie and graduated from the University of Guelph in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree. The following year, she obtained her Court and Tribunal Agent diploma from Seneca College where she was also certified in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Shortly thereafter, Danielle worked in the Municipal and Land Use Planning practice group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Toronto location, as well as the Construction Law practice group.

In 2010, Danielle obtained her law degree from the University of Kent in Canterbury, United Kingdom. She completed her articles with a criminal defence firm in Toronto and went on to become an associate lawyer with Caramanna Friedberg LLP. For several years, Danielle conducted trials in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice throughout various courts in the province. She also argued summary conviction appeals in Superior Court and has worked on cases at the Court of Appeal.

In 2019, Danielle decided to pursue her passion for family law and began assisting clients in the following areas: separation, divorce, custody and access, spousal support, child support and division of property. In early 2020, Danielle joined JMS Law to further her career as a family lawyer and obtained her Family Law Skills and Practice Certificate with Osgoode Hall Law School. Danielle also practices real estate law and proudly assists clients in the Barrie and surrounding area with their residential real estate law matters. Danielle is dedicated to obtaining the best results for her clients. Her superior advocacy experience and negotiation abilities have led to many successful acquittals, resolutions and settlements. She has skillfully assisted clients with a variety of challenging residential real estate closings.

Danielle is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Family Lawyers Association, the Simcoe County Law Association, the Simcoe County Family Lawyers Association. She holds the Residential Real Estate Law seat with Business Network International (“BNI”) Spirit Catchers chapter.

Nicole Cianci
Nicole Cianci
BA (Hons.), J.D., Barrister and Solicitor

Nicole joined JMS Law in 2020 following her call to the Ontario Bar. Nicole completed her Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree at York University and obtained her law degree from the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law.

During law school, Nicole was an active and engaged volunteer at the Community Legal Aid office in Windsor, Ontario. Nicole worked in the Family Law Practice portion of the clinic as a full-time case worker and student litigator, where she advocated on behalf of her clients in the Ontario Court of Justice on matters involving custody, access and child support claims.

Nicole is passionate about family law and strongly believes in a resolution-focused approach. In August 2020, Nicole obtained her Certificate in Family Mediation at York University where she gained the skills and experience needed to confidently mediate conflict and assess for family violence.

Nicole’s areas of practice include Family Law, Child Protection, and Wills and Estates.

Nicole sits on the Board of Directors for Rainbows for All Children Canada and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, Toronto Lawyers Association, Family Law Association of Ontario, Young Women in Law, and the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association.

When Nicole is not advocating on behalf of her clients or reading the latest family law case law, she is enjoying a glass of red wine at home in the company of her beloved mini-schnauzer, Nina.

Yvette Claro
Yvette Claro

My name is Yvette Frohlich-Claro. I was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, moved to Toronto, Canada with my parents and sister in 1987 and then to Barrie in 1990. I graduated, with Honours, from the Law Clerk program at The Toronto School of Business in 1995. I landed a job (initially on a volunteer basis to gain “hands on” experience) in a sole practitioner’s office in downtown Barrie, where I worked for the first 22 years of my career handling mostly real estate files (residential and commercial), along with some corporate and estate planning matters.

I am thrilled to have joined Joanna Shaw and her team at JMS Law, where I continue to demonstrate my strong commitment to providing exceptional service to all existing and new real estate clients of JMS Law. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my amazing family, traveling around the World and interior decorating. I also strive to live a healthy, well balanced lifestyle.

Kristie Wilson
Kristie Wilson
Law Clerk

Kristie began her journey as a Law Clerk in August of 2015 and received her diploma from the Law Clerk program at Georgian College in October of 2017. She has been a Law Clerk at JMS Law since June of 2017.

Since Kristie joined the JMS Law team, she has been assisting with Family Law, Mediation, and Wills and Estates, she has also been coordinating with students at Georgian College to assist them with complete their field placements here at JMS Law.

Kristie is glad to be a part of JMS Law, where the highest priority is helping people during difficult transitioning periods in their lives.

Merridith Edwards
Meredith Edwards

Jennifer Parkinson
Jennifer Parkinson
Law Clerk

Jennifer joined JMS Law as a Law Clerk in 2019. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2014 and a Master of Arts in 2015 from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Law Clerk Diploma from Georgian College in 2019.

TESTIMONIALS

“Jillian, You recently spoke to a grassroots organization I belong to called Barrie Sandwich Generation on Planning of Wills and Estates. You put it into plain language and related to not only the Seniors in our lives but also how we can organize ourselves and out younger families…. I can also see the degree of dedication, knowledge, and support that you and the JMS Law team has on Family Law, specifically in Wills and Estates.”

Janet M
TESTIMONIALS

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!!
To some of the strongest Women I know – this day is for YOU! Each of you have helped me get through some of the hardest days of my life – I truly appreciate all of your help and I wanted to take a minute to show my appreciation and what better day to do that then today!”

Jamie
TESTIMONIALS

“My wife and I redid our wills and power of attorney with JMS. I would highly recommend them to anyone.”

– Rob Newman
TESTIMONIALS

“Their tagline is “an awakened approach to law” and it shows. A warm welcome and kind thoughtful lawyers are such a nice change from the norm. I send my clients here and they all say great things.”

– Tara Hannam
TESTIMONIALS

“Thank you for all for the amazing service when dealing with my divorce shenanigans! Wonderful customer service 😊”

– Jacob Johnson
TESTIMONIALS

“We went with JMS for the sale and purchase of our home. They were lovely. Very efficient and quick.”

– Michelle Chen