“Playing guitar taught me the importance of rhythm and tempo, two principles I apply every day in the practice of law. Whether you’re in a courtroom, a settlement meeting or a client consultation, the timing and pacing of your delivery determines the impact of your words.” - Paul Ingrassia
Paul Ingrassia Associate
When it comes to the law, Paul Ingrassia holds three principles in high regard. Put your client’s needs above your own. Always be over-prepared. And do your best to ensure the justice system is accessible to everyone. A civil and commercial litigator, he uses the wisdom of the entire Scarfone Hawkins team to help his clients—many of whom are at an emotionally and financially vulnerable time in their lives—reach a successful resolution and return to what matters most to them.
The law runs in his blood.
Paul Ingrassia is the third generation of his family to dedicate his career to Lady Justice. His grandfather, affectionately known as “The Chief,” was an early advocate for Italian-Canadians in Hamilton’s North End. His father is a respected corporate and commercial lawyer in the city.
“I think I was the only six-year-old who understood the concept of ‘the reasonable man’,” Paul laughs. “Growing up with two generations of advocates in the family opened my eyes to the power of the law to balance the inequities between those who have power and those who don’t.”
As a member of the Thompson, Moloci and Stanton team, Paul is free to put his values into practice in an atmosphere that is, in his words, accessible and unintimidating. “Our team is informal. We have personalities. We aren’t the stereotypical British barristers wearing wigs who charge exorbitant fees for services that no one can explain,” Paul says. “Clients are free to question us—they’re part of the team as well.”
Some clients may want to pursue a fight to the bitter end to defend a principle, but Paul regularly reminds them that principles are expensive. “I’m not a scorched earth litigator,” he says. “There are times when the facts call for going to court, but the cost is high and it can take a lot of time. It’s tough for the little guy who isn’t well heeled and favours the litigants with the treasure chests. It’s our job to make sure the system is fair to all parties—but especially the little guy.”
Paul may love the theatre of the courtroom, but he doesn’t get distracted by it. “No matter how intricate the arguments and complex the law, at the end of the day it’s still real people whose lives are being profoundly impacted by the process and the outcome,” he says. “We can never lose sight of that.”
In 2013, Paul won the Scotiabank Award, presented to an upper year student earning the highest standing in the wills or trusts course.
Q: Artistic style that best represents your approach to law.− A: “I love Renaissance art, especially the character-driven scenes from Botticelli’s work. They remind me of a courtroom, where everyone has a role and agenda.”
Q: Your greatest role model.− A: “There isn’t a single role model—it’s my family as a whole. Family keeps me grounded and inspired. It both supports me and drives me forward.”
Q: Words to live by.− A: “‘There’s no such thing as a small case, only a small lawyer.’ It’s a quote from my father, who always believed the law is in place to protect the little guy, too.”