Hilary works hard to understand what each client needs to reach a workable settlement.

Hilary A. Linton

J.D., LL.M., Acc. FM, FDRP Arb, FDRP PC.

Hilary practised civil and family law for almost 15 years, and was a partner at a Toronto boutique family law firm when she started her dispute resolution career. She established Riverdale Mediation Ltd. in 2001, where the Riverdale team provides affordable family mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination and arbitration screening services, working with lawyers and with unrepresented parties.

Cliff has worked with and for families in Ontario for decades, and brings wisdom and knowledge of the law to the table for our clients.

Clifford S. Nelson


After practicing family law in Toronto for 28 years, Clifford Nelson was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) where he specialized in family law. For nineteen years, Clifford dealt with all manner of family law disputes from cases involving children to cases about property and support.

As a skilled and practical mediator and arbitrator, Avagene promotes timely and effective resolution of family law issues.

Avagene Skervin


Avagene is a senior family lawyer and mediator, working in both private practice and in court-mandated mediations. She has worked in the family law field since her call to the Ontario bar in 2005. In addition to her work at Riverdale, Avagene practices litigation at her firm Skervin Law in Mississauga.

Borzou is a skilled, compassionate and patient mediator and a highly effective parenting coordinator. He uses his legal knowledge and many skills to settle mediations and get matters resolved in parenting coordination.

Borzou Tabrizi

B.A., J.D., Acc. FM

Borzou brings his years of family law experience to his work as a family mediator, arbitrator and parenting coordinator. He has worked for many years with Toronto Family Mediation Services at Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice, helping high-conflict and distressed parties resolve difficult matters.

Lindsay is a tenacious, skilled and focused parenting coordinator, helping parents resolve disagreements about their parenting plans, affordably.

Lindsay Kertland


Lindsay has successfully worked with parents experiencing high conflict for many years. Her approach to parenting coordination balances focus, structure and understanding. She uses her mediation skills to guide parents to settlements in many cases, and delivers a fair and affordable arbitration process for those who cannot agree.

Riverdale Mediation began at a shared law office space in Riverdale in 2001. Our founder, Hilary Linton, wanted to offer separating couples something more than adversarial approaches and outcomes that rarely left anyone happy. She focused on designing a dispute resolution process that would achieve the values of respectful self-determination, client empowerment, safety for clients and children, including the voice and the views of the children, confidentiality and legally-informed outcomes.

We worked hard in those early days to promote family mediation as a natural, practical and affordable way for separating couples to work out their differences themselves.

Our first print ad, circa 2002.

Our focus from the start was on respecting the fundamental principles of family mediation: a fair, safe, balanced process of self-determination that does no harm. Hilary’s years of family law experience was very helpful in both helping parties to understand the costs and benefits of mediation compared to court, and also in providing separating couples without lawyers with useful legal information and guiding them through the negotiation process, together.

As the practice became busier, family mediation interns joined, followed by our first associate, family mediator Catherine Davison.


Hilary Linton, 2001

Our first three-panel brochure, promoting our services, 2002.


Our first business card, 2002.

Over the years, the practice grew. Some of our associates over the years have included:

And as our practices grew, so did the demand for new services (arbitration and parenting coordination).

Our mediation training practice also grew each year and we became one of the province’s busiest family mediation training practices, equipping many family mediators each year to become accredited by the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM) and the ADR Institute of Ontario, and, more recently, the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario.

With the 2007 amendments to the Family Law Act and Arbitration Act, we started offering family arbitration and, later, parenting coordination services, offering families in conflict even more options for resolving their family law matters out of court.

We have worked with leading professionals in the development of our mediation training program. Our current training and coaching team can be found here.

When we outgrew our Riverdale space, we moved downtown to Law Chambers 393 University Avenue.

And with the pandemic arriving in 2020, our business changed again, moving all our services and training online. Through it all, our outstanding support and administrative group has kept us going:

In 2011, Hilary was awarded a contract with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General to provide family information and family mediation services in Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice (and later also the Ontario Court of Justice) and our sister company, mediate393 inc. (Toronto Family Mediation Services), was born.

Today, Riverdale Mediation offers a full range of Family Dispute Resolution Services including:

1.  Family mediation, med-arb and arbitration of all issues on separation and divorce, including:

  • financial disclosure, review of financial statements and supporting documents, and joint preparation of net family property statements
  • income determination including review of income tax returns, and working with financial professionals to determine income, child support, including guidelines, section 7, shared custody, and including creating Divorcemate Calculations for legal review
  • spousal support, including review of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines and creating Divorcemate Calculations for legal review
  • parenting plans including parenting time, decision-making, and all related terms

2.  Parenting coordination for parents who seek assistance with implementing their parenting plans

3.  Interviewing children and writing Hear the Child Reports

4.  Preparing Third Party Screening Reports for family arbitrators

5.  Mediation of co-habitation and marriage agreements