About Us

Who We Are

Morphew Symes Barristers provides high quality legal representation to clients charged with criminal, quasi-criminal, and regulatory offences. We successfully advocate for our clients’ interests in serious and high-profile cases – and have done so at all levels of court in Ontario. Our pursuit of excellence in law also extends beyond the courtroom. We have spoken on a variety of topics at legal conferences and educational events and have taught criminal law at the University of Toronto. The lawyers at Morphew Symes Barristers are sole practitioners who practice in association with each other.

Our Guiding Values

At Morphew Symes Barristers, we are unwavering in our commitment to our clients’ causes. We have the years of education, experience and accomplishment necessary to be effective advocates. But we believe that intelligence alone is not enough to succeed. Instead, we also put in the hard work necessary for us to examine our clients’ legal issues from every possible angle, and for us to be the most prepared lawyers in any given courtroom.
We believe that everyone deserves due process and a fearless defence. At Morphew Symes Barristers, we work tirelessly for our clients, regardless of their personal notoriety in the community or their financial means. As part of our commitment to promoting access to justice for everyone, we accept a limited number of retainers through Legal Aid Ontario and on a “pro bono” basis.
At Morphew Symes Barristers, we believe in being completely transparent with our clients. Our role is to empower our clients, educate them, and put them first. We believe that it is our clients, not us, who need to make final decisions about how their cases move forward. Our job as lawyers is to provide a voice to our clients and to use our experience as successful advocates to maximize our clients’ chances of success.

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Areas of Experience

Serious Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Offences

The lawyers at Morphew Symes Barristers focus on representing clients charged with criminal, quasi-criminal, and regulatory offences. At Morphew Symes Barristers, we collectively have extensive experience successfully advocating before judges and juries for clients charged with serious criminal and quasi-criminal offences.

First-degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, accessory after-the-fact, counselling murder, conspiracy to commit murder, indignity to a human body, and infanticide.
Aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, “domestic” assault, choking, utter threats, forcible confinement, kidnapping, robbery and criminal harassment.
Fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000, theft over $5,000, theft under $5,000, break and enter (commercial and residential), being unlawfully in a dwelling home, possession of break-in instruments, possession of proceeds of crime, transportation fraud, theft of a motor vehicle, mischief, credit card fraud, extortion, identity fraud, trespass to property and arson.
Dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, fail to remain at the scene of an accident, impaired driving (by drugs or alcohol), impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, driving “over 80,” refuse to provide a breath sample (“refuse to blow”), and care and control.
Possession of a firearm, use of firearm in commission of offence, possession of concealed weapon, careless use or storage of a firearm, pointing a firearm, trafficking in firearms, importing firearms, possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, and weapons dangerous.
All offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act including, possession of a controlled substance (including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and ketamine), possession for the purpose of trafficking, trafficking a controlled substance, importing and exporting a controlled substance, and production of a controlled substance (including marijuana).
Sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault causing bodily harm, aggravated sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, possession, production, distribution and making available child pornography, luring, voyeurism, publication of an intimate image without consent (“revenge porn”), indecent act and human trafficking.
Breach of recognizance, breach of probation, breach of parole, breach of undertaking, fail to attend court, intimidation of a justice system participant, obstruction of justice, obstructing a peace officer, perjury, public mischief, escape lawful custody, unlawfully at large, contempt of court, and disobeying a court order.
Representing the interests of clients who are in custody, including advocating against the use of solitary confinement.
Offences under the Highway Traffic Act and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act; City bylaw infractions; and offences pursuant to the Employment Standards Act.
Professional misconduct, workplace misconduct, proceedings before the Law Society of Ontario (formerly the Law Society of Upper Canada), and proceedings before the Ontario Review Board.

“Pre-Charge” Advice and Independent Legal Advice to Witnesses and Complainants

At Morphew Symes Barristers, we provide individuals with guidance prior to any charges being laid against them. The criminal and quasi-criminal justice process does not always involve criminal charges. We are frequently called to advise clients before they have been charged by the police. We are able to provide clients with advice and guide them through the criminal justice process in a way that can help them avoid being charged with a criminal offence or to prepare them for what to expect upon arrest.

In addition to “pre-charge” advice, we provide advice to complainants and witnesses in criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings. We have often been consulted by complainants in sexual assault cases and individuals seeking guidance with respect to being a witness in court proceedings. With our experience, we have successfully helped numerous individuals understand the workings of the justice system and prepare them for what will happen in court.

Areas of Service in Ontario and Languages in which Services are Provided

Morphew Symes Barristers provides services to clients all over Ontario, including Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, Oshawa, Hamilton, Brantford, Barrie, Midland, Bradford, Collingwood, Cobourg, Peterborough, Lindsay, Kitchener, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, St. Catherine’s, Milton, Burlington, Sarnia, London, Kingston, Belleville, Bracebridge, Parry Sound, St. Thomas, Windsor, Ottawa, Stratford and Cornwall.

We are able to communicate with clients in English,
Russian and Ukrainian.


The lawyers at Morphew Symes Barristers have years of experience and success in conducting appeals before a variety of different appellate courts, including the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. A criminal conviction does not mean the end of the road. At Morphew Symes Barristers, we help clients have their convictions overturned or their sentences reduced on appeal. We also help clients secure bail pending appeal and stays of driving prohibitions, so that they are not waiting in custody or unable to drive while waiting for their
appeals to be heard.


The first step in the criminal justice process is securing release while waiting for trial, also known as “bail.” Securing bail is critically important to someone who is charged with an offence. This is because being held in custody can put pressure on a person to plead guilty, and can separate them from their families and their lives for years.

At Morphew Symes Barristers, we understand the importance of not only getting our clients bail but also of securing reasonable bail terms. We work with sureties to prepare in advance for bail hearings, and make sure that the terms of release are workable and do not set up our clients for a breach.

We also encourage our clients to get in touch with us before arrest, if possible. We have experience negotiating release terms with the police, ahead of an arrest. This provides certainty to our clients who are going to surrender at a police station.

Even when an initial bail hearing is unsuccessful, there are avenues for “reviewing” the original bail decision. The lawyers at Morphew Symes Barristers have experience conducting bail reviews, and will assist our clients with pursuing all avenues for obtaining bail.

Clients with Mental Health Needs

At Morphew Symes Barristers, we have expertise in assisting clients with mental health related matters. We have a thorough knowledge of the applicable mental health legislation in Ontario and how the criminal justice system impacts on individuals with mental health needs. We have strong professional relationships with leading forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals in Ontario.

We have represented clients at criminal trials who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, and we understand how mental illness can play a role in a person’s criminal defence.

The Team

Service you can count on and experience you can trust


Anne Marie Morphew

Principal Lawyer

Anne Marie was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2012. Her practice focuses on complex criminal trials and appeals. Anne Marie believes that being the most prepared person in the courtroom wins trials and she approaches every case with that mentality. Anne Marie has conducted numerous homicide, complex fraud, gun, drug, sexual assault, and impaired driving trials. She regularly appears before all levels of court in Ontario. Anne Marie appears before quasi-criminal tribunals and has been counsel at a Coroner’s inquest.

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Karen Symes

Principal Lawyer

Karen was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2013. Her practice focuses on complex criminal trials and appeals. Karen brings a thoughtful and creative approach to every case and has obtained success by thinking outside of the box and advancing novel legal arguments. Karen regularly appears before all levels of court in Ontario. Karen has conducted many homicide, gun, drugs, and violent offence cases. She also appears before quasi-criminal and regulatory tribunals. Karen passionately advocates for prisoners’ rights and against the use of solitary confinement.

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To Schedule A Consultation Call Us At (416) 628-3753


Morphew Symes Barristers
133 Richmond Street West
Suite 506
Toronto, ON M5H 2L3

Tel: 416-628-3753
Fax: 416-607-7395

Contact Us

Drop us a line or give us a ring. We accept collect calls.

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