Jeffrey Lem, Director of Titles & well-known Real Estate Lawyer, dies in Toronto; Obituary

The legal and real estate community in Toronto is in mourning following the sad news of the passing of Jeffrey Lem, a distinguished figure in the legal profession. Jeffrey Lem, also known as Jeff Lem, was a well-known Toronto Real Estate Lawyer and Director of Titles for the Province of Ontario. His sudden demise has left a deep void among those who had the privilege of knowing him.

The news of Jeffrey Lem’s passing was confirmed on September 6, 2023, in a heartfelt post that described him as a giant of the legal bar, a true mensch, mentor, and an inspiration. While the cause of his death was not disclosed, the legal community and his friends and family were devastated by the loss.

As the Director of Titles for the Ontario government, Jeffrey Lem played a pivotal role in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. His responsibilities included overseeing the implementation of the Land Titles Act, the Registry Act, and other related statutes. Before joining the Ontario Public Service, Jeffrey had a successful career as a practicing attorney in Toronto, specializing in various aspects of real estate law.

Jeffrey Lem made history by becoming the first Canadian lawyer to be inducted into the prestigious American College of Mortgage Attorneys, a testament to his expertise in the field. He actively contributed to the legal profession as a member of the Real Property Executive of the Ontario Bar Association and served as the president of the Association of Chinese Canadian Lawyers of Ontario.

Throughout his career, Jeffrey earned recognition for his exceptional legal knowledge, receiving the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell. His contributions to real estate law were acknowledged by reputable publications such as Chambers, The Best Lawyers in Canada, the Canadian Legal LEXPERT Directory, and The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers.

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Jeffrey Lem’s commitment to legal scholarship was evident in his roles as the principal editor of Real Property Reports, the legal editor of Building Magazine, and the real estate law columnist for Law Times. He authored the Real Estate and Expropriation books in Halsbury’s Laws of Canada. His outstanding contributions were honored with awards such as the Award of Excellence in Real Estate from the Ontario Bar Association, the Honsberger Award for dedication to the legal profession from the Toronto Lawyers Association, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.

Jeffrey’s passion for teaching led him to the real estate law department at Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Law School, where he shared his knowledge and expertise. He also directed the Real Estate Law LL.M. Program at Osgoode Hall Law School and taught real estate law for the Ontario Bar Admission Course. His commitment to legal education extended to national and international lectures on real estate law, land registration, and professional accountability.

In addition to his illustrious career, Jeffrey Lem served as a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, where he continued to contribute to the legal community. His legacy as an exceptional legal mind and mentor will be cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

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