Our Team

Cecil J. Lyon Tamara Scarowsky Alexei Durgali Chelsea Bland Tracy Bourne Jaclyn Jensen Venassa Ventura
Lawyer Lawyer Lawyer Lawyer Legal Assistant Legal Assistant Legal Assistant

Cecil J. Lyon
Lawyer/CFL Panellist/Mediator

Cecil has been helping people resolve their disputes since he started practicing law in 1989. Cecil's practice focuses on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Stepping outside the traditional adversarial box whenever possible, Cecil uses a problem solving approach rather than a problem-making approach. The key lies in identifying the legal issues and working with and for the client to select the most appropriate dispute resolution tool or tools based on their particular facts and legal issues. The goal is to help clients resolve their disputes as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Cecil's practice focuses on all types of family law disputes with particular emphasis on litigation prevention and Appropriate Dispute Resolution including mediation, Collaborative Family Law, arbitration, early neutral evaluation (ENE) and principled negotiations.

Cecil also has extensive experience doing both trial and appellate work. Cecil has appeared in the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Canada, Immigration and Refugee Board, Ontario Labour Relations Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Outside the office Cecil can be found on the ice coaching or playing hockey, the ski hill (but only in the winter), fly fishing (at any time of the year), golfing, SCUBA diving, Bungee jumping, zip-lining, curling or spending as much time as possible with his son who is the apple of his eye.

Cecil is an Honoured Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution.

Cecil was a long time columnist with the Lawyers Weekly and a member of the Collaborative Family Law Network where he is a panel lawyer. He is also a Rostered Mediator with the Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program at Ottawa.

Cecil is past President of the Dispute Resolution Centre for Ottawa-Carleton, a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, National Institute for Dispute Resolution (NIDR), Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM), Family Mediation Canada (FMC), Society for Conflict Resolution (SCRO), Network: Interaction for Conflict Resolution and other dispute resolution organizations. He has extensive training in ADR beginning in 1986. He carries on an active mediation practice including commercial and family mediations. He is the past Chairperson of the Canadian Bar Association (Eastern) ADR Section and a past member of the Canadian Bar Association's National ADR Section.

Cecil has appeared on the CBC program "The Docket"and been a panellist on CBC radio. Cecil has been a participant in many Continuing Legal Education programs offered by the County of Carleton Law Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada as well as teaching Judges how to mediate. Cecil has also taught at the Bar Admission Course for the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Faculty of Common Law, University of Ottawa and Queen's University Faculty of Law.

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Tamara Scarowsky

Tamara practices almost exclusively in the area of family law, handling a wide range of family law files, including high-conflict custody disputes, child and spousal support applications/variations, cohabitation agreements, complex property divisions, simple divorce applications, separation agreements and marriage contracts.

Tamara not only advises her clients about their substantive legal issues, but she also explores the dispute resolution options that may be available to them, from mediation to litigation. This way, Tamara helps ensure that her clients obtain the best outcome through the most suitable process, one that meets her client's interests, whether they be cost-savings, privacy, a speedy resolution, or otherwise.

Having landed a summer internship at our firm in 2008, Tamara got her foot in the door and the rest is history. She obtained her L.L.B./J.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2009 and then returned to our firm as an articling student. She rejoined us as an associate after her call to the Ontario Bar in 2011.

As an avid volunteer, Tamara is on the board of directors of a local private elementary school, and chairs the programming committee at her synagogue. In the past, she has volunteered at the Family Law Information Centre ("FLIC") providing legal assistance to low-income families. Tamara is a passionate writer and educator. She is involved in various initiatives to increase access to legal information.

Tamara is the proud mother of three. She has lived in 3 different continents and is fluent in English, Spanish and Hebrew. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of British Columbia.

  • The Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • Collaborative Law Network of Ottawa
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Alexei Durgali

Alexei's practice is focused primarily on family law. He finds it personally rewarding to help people move on with their lives by developing long-lasting and cost-efficient solutions to their family disputes.

Alexei comes from Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), a national law firm, where he was part of a crisis-driven family law practice. He worked on complex parenting, child support, spousal support, and property cases in the context of high-conflict litigation in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Alexei also negotiated domestic contracts and represented clients who chose mediation or arbitration instead of going to court.

Prior to working at BLG, Alexei was an associate at the Law Office of Audra Bennett, where he also completed his articling program. His practice involved working with victims of domestic violence and economically disadvantaged families.

Alexei graduated law school from the University of Ottawa in 2013. While in law school, he assisted self-represented litigants at the Ottawa Family Law Information Centre with their family court matters. Before law school, Alexei conducted legal research for a charity working with Ukrainian street youth.

In his free time, Alexei enjoys cross-country skiing in the Gatineau hills, working in his backyard garden, biking, and just being outside with his family.

Alexei is fluent in English, Russian, and Ukrainian.

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Chelsea Bland

Chelsea was born and raised right here in Ottawa. Before attending law school at Queen’s University in Kingston, she attended Carleton University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Law, with a minor in Psychology. In law school, she obtained invaluable work experience at the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic. Chelsea advocated on behalf of the inmates in the federal penitentiaries on a wide range of legal issues. Chelsea was called to the Ontario Bar in 2018.

Prior to joining the Lyon Family Law team, Chelsea articled and worked in the areas of real estate, corporate, wills and estates. This experience allows Chelsea to bring a well-rounded approach to her practice of family law as it often the case that family matters involve questions involving real estate, business interests, and succession planning.

Chelsea is committed to providing her clients with the necessary legal information and any additional resources required to make the decisions they face following separation. Her compassionate nature comes to the fore when advising her clients when facing perhaps the most challenging period of their lives.

Chelsea’s client centred approach focuses on practical resolutions whether the resolution is achieved through litigation or another appropriate dispute resolution process. As a young lawyer, Chelsea has already started to expand her dispute resolution tool kit by completing the collaborative practice training.

Chelsea enjoys starting her day at the kickboxing gym. During the summery months, you will find Chelsea whiling away her weekends camping and hiking in Algonquin Park or climbing some peak in the Adirondacks. In the winter, you are more likely to find her curled up near a fire with a good book.

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Our Legal Assistants

We are proud to have three highly competent, hardworking and efficient legal assistants as part of our team. Jaclyn, Tracy and Venassa work tirelessly to keep our practices organized, ensure effective communication between lawyers and clients, prepare legal documents, gather and assemble financial and other disclosure, and schedule meetings and court appearances.



Jaclyn Jensen is a 1999 graduate of the Algonquin College Legal Assistant Program, and has been with our firm since May 2005. Jaclyn is indispensable in handling our firm's accounting, administrative and legal clerk duties. Venassa Ventura is a 2015 graduate of the Algonquin College Law Clerk program, and has been with our firm since graduation. Prior to completing the Law Clerk program Venassa spent 10+ years in the client service industry and has brought that knowledge to Lyon Family Law. Tracy Bourne graduated from the Legal Assistant Program of Algonquin College in 2005 and became part of our team in January 2006. She is an invaluable resource, providing a myriad of legal clerk and administrative duties.

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