Brian Heller graduated from McGill University Faculty of Law in 1975, and practiced criminal law in Montreal until 1982, when he re-established in Toronto. Brian is certified as a Specialist in Criminal Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. With a concentration in the area of 'white collar' crime, ranging from fraud, customs/income tax/retail sales tax evasion and anti-dumping to price-fixing, bribery and money laundering, his practice extends from defending individuals and corporations to assisting victims of crime with the investigative and judicial process. Brian has consistently been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in Canada since 2006, and is recognized by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review with an 'AV Preeminent' rating.
Howard Rubel graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1985 and practices exclusively in the area of criminal defence litigation. Howard is a founding member of the Heller, Rubel law firm. He is certified as a Specialist in Criminal Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada, and his practice extends to all types of criminal litigation and appeals to all levels of Canadian Courts. In addition to defending individuals, corporations and professional organizations charged with criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory offences, Howard frequently provides legal advice and assistance to other lawyers, government counsel, police authorities and professional organizations on a consultative basis. He also assists clients with cross-border and international issues relating to criminal and regulatory matters. Howard is named in "The Best Lawyers in Canada" and is recognized by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review with an 'AV Preeminent' rating.
Christi Hunter has been a member of Heller, Rubel since her call to the Ontario Bar in February 2001. Ms. Hunter has successfully represented clients at all levels of court in Ontario on a wide variety of criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory matters including murder, sexual assault, domestic assault, conspiracy to commit indictable offences, drug offences, as well as 'white collar' offences including income tax evasion, customs violations, and large scale frauds.
Luba Szkambara graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2006, where she received awards for her legal research and writing and was a recipient of the Charles Edward Woodrow Award for academic excellence. She articled with Heller Rubel and has been practicing criminal defence law with the firm since her call to the Bar. Luba has defended all manner of criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory matters including property offences, frauds, assaults, sexual assaults and drug matters at the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice. Luba is fluent in Ukrainian and can provide service to clients in that language.
Melissa Azevedo joined Heller, Rubel after articling with the firm in 2007. Melissa received her L.L.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2007 and was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2008. Upon completing her first year of law school, she was accepted into the Cornell Law School International and Comparative Law Program at the Université Sorbonne in Paris, France where she studied Comparative Corporate Law and International Commercial Arbitration. Melissa has successfully defended cases ranging from “Guns and Gangs” project cases, weapons, 'impaired/over 80' and drug offences to criminal harassment, threatening, all forms of assaults and property-related offences. Her practice includes quasi-criminal and regulatory matters. Melissa is fluent in Portuguese and can provide services to clients in that language.
Taufiq Hashmani articled with Heller, Rubel and successfully ran his own firm for five years before merging his practice with Heller, Rubel. His practice is focused on criminal, quasi-criminal, and regulatory trial and appellate work. Taufiq has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario, successfully defending serious criminal charges ranging from drug trafficking, firearms offences, organized crime, and homicide charges. As part of his practice, Taufiq also routinely represents individuals who have been found Not Criminally Responsible on account of mental health issues before the Ontario Review Board.
Russell Robinson-Grant received his JD. from Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. He completed his articles with Heller, Rubel and is now a member of our legal team. During his articles and throughout the early stages of his practice, Russell has assisted with a wide variety of criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory matters. In addition to his experience in dealing with charges under the Criminal Code, Russell has also worked on files involving Interpol, as well as ‘white collar’ offences, such as charges under the Customs Act and the Income Tax Act.
Nick Kandel joined Heller, Rubel after articling with the firm. During Nick’s articles, he assisted with successfully representing clients charged with a variety of criminal and regulatory offences, including murder, drug and firearm offences, assault, sexual assault, dangerous driving, and offences under the Highway Traffic Act, among others.
Nick obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Windsor. While at law school, he was copy editor for the Law Review, a research assistant, and worked at Community Legal Aid where he represented clients in criminal and landlord-tenant matters. In his final year, he was awarded the Dean’s Achievement Award.