Combining retail and law to deliver "Axess-able" legal services

How Lena Koke's and Mark Morris's retail law firm model might change everything.
Combining retail and law to deliver
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Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold interview Lena Koke, co-founder of Axess Law, Canada. The group discusses the innovative approach that Axess uses to deliver legal services. The law firm works in retail spaces across Ontario, with 12 locations in the greater Toronto area, ten of which are in Walmart stores. In 2016, Axess served 40,000 clients across the province and saw a significant increase in revenue. In this interview, Lena tells BNL how she and her partner, Mark Morris, came up with the idea.

Lena Koke

Guest

Lena Koke, Axess Law

Lena Koke is the co-founder of Axess Law. Axess provides convenient law services to average people, and their services are offered in several Walmart locations. Lena also has a business background and has worked in the retail industry.

Peter Aprile

Host

Peter Aprile, Counter Tax Lawyers

Peter Aprile is a senior lawyer specializing in tax dispute resolution and litigation. His vision as Counter’s founder and his everyday role at the firm are one and the same: to be an agent of change, uncovering opportunities and developing strategies that achieve more than anyone expected. A creative thinker, Peter studies problems from all different angles to find what others have missed. He’s also convinced that he likes winning more than most people.

Different people describe Peter in different ways. At the CRA and the federal Department of Justice, the word relentless comes up quite a lot. Admittedly, so does the word a**hole – but it’s often said with a certain grudging respect, if not affection. Peter’s clients call him a saint. Well, some of them, anyway. His colleagues describe him as empowering and harddriving, but fair. Peter’s friends call him loyal. His wife describes him as a lot to deal with, but worth it. Peter encourages his young daughter and son to call him “The Big Homie,” though with limited success. His mother describes him with the single word mischievous – before going on to complain that he should call more.

Read Peter’s complete bio →

Natalie Worsfold

Host

Natalie Worsfold, Counter Tax Lawyers

Natalie is a tax lawyer who represents individual taxpayers and owner-managed businesses in disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). She also successfully challenges CRA decisions denying taxpayer relief and helps facilitate applications under the Voluntary Disclosures Program.

But what you really need to know about Natalie is that she’s a tax litigator with heart. When she takes a case, it’s not out of technical interest – it’s because she cares. And if she believes the government has got something wrong, she won’t stop until it’s been put right. She’s fierce.

Natalie is the co-architect behind many of Counter’s process workflows, software and data analytics systems, as well as our comprehensive knowledgebase (loving named Hank). And when it comes to preparing cases, she’s Counter’s secret weapon – happiest when elbow-deep in evidence, meticulously building creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Because the fact is Natalie sees things that other people don’t.

Natalie’s family and friends describe her as loyal, selfless, understanding and fun. They also mention stubborn. To her Counter colleagues she’s a combination of stellar brainpower and contagious enthusiasm who elevates the game of everyone around her.

Read Natalie’s complete bio →

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What Accountants Say

Peter Aprile is a very hands on and practical tax lawyer who is very focused and diligent. He is a pleasure to work with.

- Susan Farina, Tax Partner, Price Waterhouse Coopers

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What Clients Say

I’m a Senior VP with an accounting and finance background. I’ve worked with lawyers and large law firms. I was referred to Counter to fix a tax dispute. It is very rare to encounter lawyers that combine expertise, dedication, and a businesslike approach to litigation. I have no hesitation in recommending Counter.

- David Cuddy, Senior Vice-President, Finance & Business Operations, CFL

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What Accountants Say

Counter Tax Litigators has worked with Fuller Landau to resolve several of our clients’ tax disputes. Counter delivers superior communication.

- Laura Couvrette, CPA, CA, Fuller Landau LLP

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What Clients Say

I spent a good part of my career dealing with attorneys on innumerable matters, and found Peter to be extremely competent, open-minded and exceptionally honest. I would not hesitate to use Peter again, and highly recommend the team at Counter Tax Litigators.

- Mark Ram, Retired CEO

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What Clients Say

Counter’s representation on our behalf was well informed, professional and efficient, which ultimately resulted in a highly satisfactory decision in all aspects.

- Klaus W. Reif, President, Reif Estate Winery

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What Clients Say

I was amazed with the results. They went above and beyond, and I would recommend Counter to any person or business with a significant tax dispute.

- Brian Grott, Northland Screen Corp

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