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Heather McGeorge, JD, LL.M(TAX), CPA, CA, CPA(IL), CFP | McGeorge Tax & Estate Law Professional Corporation | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

T: 416.915.4244


"I give clients peace of mind that their affairs are in order."

There are many lawyers and accountants out there, but you offer something quite unique. Care to share?
I am multi-disciplinary, so I can look at things differently from other lawyers or accountants. When I do accounting, I have the advantage of solicitor-client privilege, which protects my communications with clients being shared with anyone else including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or a court. In other words, my clients do not need to engage both an accountant and a lawyer. I am also a US Certified Public Accountant and can deal with US income tax filings and cross-border tax issues.

Having US certifications must be useful since there's so much focus on the global economy.
Yes, absolutely. Families now have US connections, where a child who goes to school in the US and stays there, or a family member is transferred to the US for work. There are many complicated tax and estate issues that arise when other jurisdictions are involved.

How does being a woman in your industry work?
I may be more empathetic in dealing with clients and I think outside the box when it comes to possibilities and exploring them. I may also be better than male competitors at speaking with clients and I can soothe them when they are worried. Tax liabilities are very emotional for people and they are often very afraid of the CRA. I also try to be fair when billing and use fixed fees, or I work pro bono when I want to assist someone who doesn't have the resources.

You mentioned earlier that you're multidisciplinary. It seems that skill doesn't end with law and accounting.
[Laughs]. That's right. I'm passionate about fashion and decorating. I recently discovered auctions where dealers buy antiques and vintage clothing for resale, so I'm considering a side business doing that. Eventually, I may design clothing myself, as I draw inspiration from looking at old films and vintage or current fashion photos. We'll see what the future brings!

Is stepping outside of your main career part of a five-year plan?
Five years from now, I would like to have chosen between continuing to practice and doing something in fashion and decorating. Or maybe I could organize myself to do both. I'd like to be travelling with my partner and drawing inspiration from other cultures. I would also like to be assisting him with his charitable foundation, which provides education to underprivileged young people through artistic endeavors.

What is your greatest achievement/accomplishment in business?
Other than just starting and taking the plunge and becoming self-employed, it involves figuring out the steps involved in a tax plan and finding the required contacts in another jurisdiction and putting together a structure. I particularly enjoy coming up with creative solutions and have always been able to eventually find a tax saving solution.

Photographer: John Trigiani