Principal Lawyer, Estates Team Leader

CALLED TO THE BAR: 2001 (Ontario)

Karissa is a solutions-oriented business lawyer focused on supporting her clients through all legal aspects of business planning, from startup to exit.  Her extensive experience and “outside the box” approach allows Karissa to deliver efficient and practical-focused advice to clients on all aspects of business management issues, including governance and operational matters, restructuring, estate planning, acquisitions and sales, family business transition planning, business dispute resolution, commercial financing, and real estate acquisitions, sales and leasing. Karissa enjoys working with businesses of all types and sizes, including family-run, farming, retail, manufacturing, professional, construction, service, franchise, supply, resource management, and non-profit.

Karissa and her husband, Jason Ward, are the founding owners of WARDS LAWYERS PC which was established in 2003. Both Jason and Karissa worked at large downtown Toronto law firms as associates before the arrival of their first child and their decision to move to the Kawarthas to start their own Firm.  As the Firm grew, their family grew – settling at three children and a dog. 

Karissa’s practice focuses principally on business law, supporting both profit and non-profit businesses in a variety of sectors (e.g. retail, manufacturing, farming, professional services, property management, construction, franchise, consulting, technology, trades, and emerging markets) through all stages of business development. Her services to clients include transition planning, commercial financing, purchase and sales, contracts, dispute resolution, and succession and estate planning for the business owner. She also supports the Firm’s litigation practice in corporate commercial and estate litigation matters.

Karissa was awarded the Business Leader of the Year Award by the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce. And has also been honoured with the Extraordinary Business Woman of the Year in the City of Kawartha Lakes by Women’s Resources.

When not practicing law, Karissa enjoys taking advantage of the outdoors in the City of Kawartha Lakes and spending time with family and friends.


WARDS LAWYERS PC – Lawyer (2004 – Present)

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt Law Firm – Lawyer (2002 – 2004)

University of Western Ontario, Juris Doctor (2002)

University of Toronto, Masters (2002)

University of Guelph, B.A. (1996)


Member, Estate Planning Council Kawartha Lakes

Member, CCCKL Capital Campaign Fundraising Cabinet

Governor, Ross Memorial Hospital Board of Governors

Chair, Ross Memorial Hospital Board of Governors (2004 – 2013)

CDN and Ontario Bar Association Member (Wills and Estates, Real Estate)

Director and Advisor to many local non-profit and community programs

Former Director, Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative

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