Labour and employment in Canada

Lenczner Slaght

Litigation powerhouse Lenczner Slaght specializes in complex employment law disputes, in line with its firm-wide strength. The team, which acts for small tech start-ups through to multinational financial institutions, also advises on employment strategy and policies. Matthew Sammon fronts the practice and brings to bear strong experience in contentious employment matters, including wrongful dismissal and the misappropriation of trade secrets.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Sammon

Other key lawyers:

Aoife Quinn; David Salter

Key clients

Mackie Research Capital Corporation and Mackie Research Financial Corporation

Ernst & Young

Cineflix et al

BMO Nesbitt Burns / Bank of Montreal

Grant Edey, CEO of Canadian Mining Company

Xerox Canada Limited

Arthur J Gallagher Limited

RBC Dominion Securities Inc / Royal Bank of Canada

Fiera Foods Company

Work highlights

  • Represented RBC Dominion Securities in a wrongful dismissal action brought by a former commodities trader, whose employment was terminated for cause.
  • Advised Cineflix and its various affiliates in a proposed Ontario class action alleging that it misclassified a range of employees as independent contractors in order to deprive them of various compensation.
  • Advised the Royal Bank of Canada and RBC Investor Services Trust in a wrongful dismissal action.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

From well-staffed platforms in key Canadian provinces, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP provides a full-service national labour and employment practice, which frequently secures key roles in precedent-setting matters. In a recent example, the firm represented Dell Canada in a landmark case discussing the vesting of long-term incentives. Toronto-based Jeffrey Mitchell led on the Dell Canada work; other recommended practitioners in Toronto include labour and employment litigator Matthew Certosimo and Clifford Hart, who handles a mix of contentious and advisory matters. Montreal remains the group’s most high-profile seat and houses several key partners, including seasoned senior counsel Danny Kaufer, national department head André Royer and Maryse Tremblay, who brings to bear extensive expertise in advising federally regulated employers. Other noted names include Vancouver-based Shelley-Mae Mitchell, who handles an array of labour, employment and human rights law, and dual UK- and Alberta-qualified Duncan Marsden in Calgary.

Practice head(s):

André Royer

Key clients

Société Générale

Intact Corporation financière

Technicolor Canada

Canadian Linen

Transcat Canada

IKEA Canada

The Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario

CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Bell Technical Solutions before the Federal Court in a judicial review application brought by a former non-unionized employee challenging a decision issued by an adjudicator, in which his unjust dismissal complaint was dismissed.
  • Successfully represented Bell Canada in a grievance arbitration dispute filed by Unifor pertaining to the performance of a certain type of bargaining unit work by individuals outside of the bargaining unit, who are employed by an affiliated company.
  • Represented Dell Canada in an action brought by an individual for wrongful dismissal against his former employer.


Fasken‘s labour and employment practice secures rave reviews from clients for its ‘great bench strength’ and ‘commitment to the client’s cause‘. With footholds across Canada, the team is well-positioned to advise on federal matters and counts major national employers in the airline, telecoms and banking sectors among its key clients. It also acts for provincial employers, US corporations and other international companies on the full range of advisory, contentious and transactional-support work. Vancouver-based David Wong combines strength in labour, employment and human rights issues and co-heads the national practice alongside Montreal-based Stéphane Fillion, whose expertise spans all areas of labour and employment law, and Toronto-based Karen Sargeant, who is ‘strategic and creative‘. The group also draws on the senior expertise of go-to counsel Brian Burkett in Toronto, Montreal-based employment law specialist Magali Cournoyer-Proulx and Vancouver’s David McDonald, who focuses on labour relations and collective bargaining. Among the firm’s future stars, skilled advocate Jackie VanDerMeulen and talented associate Gillian Round are both noted in Toronto.


‘Great bench strength which includes some of the leading practitioners in federal labour law matters.’

‘The firm’s depth of knowledge and commitment to the client’s cause is impressive. Karen Sargeant and Jackie VanDerMeulen set a high bar for tenacity, professionalism, responsiveness and effectiveness.’

‘This practice is unique in the way lawyers work collaboratively with each other and with us as clients. The relationship with the practice is very cohesive and collaborative and makes it feel more than a typical lawyer/client relationship.’

‘The diversity on the team allows for a wider range of knowledge. The people in general are great to work with and are always willing to go the extra mile to help with a file. Everyone I have worked with has shown great pride and passion in their work.’

‘Associate Maria-Cristina Cavicchia is one of the most hard-working lawyers I have worked with. She always communicates clearly and effectively to ensure that myself and my team are aware of all the steps being taken in a file. She is always thinking one step ahead.’

Erin Porter is someone who I am always happy to work with. Her extensive experience and knowledge helps us to creatively and strategically approach grievances/arbitrations.’

The team, from the most junior staff all the way to partners, are incredibly responsive, provide quick and logical guidance and work hard to understand the values and culture of our organization and respond with guidance that reflects that.’

Karen Sargeant is always great to work with. It is clear to see how great of a mentor she is to everyone at the firm. She is always willing to answer questions and guide us in a way that is strategic and creative to resolve issues.’

Key clients

Air Canada

National Bank of Canada

Toronto Dominion-Bank


Sobeys Group

Humber River Hospital



Rio Tinto Alcan

Rogers Communication

Canadian Pacific Railway Company

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

York University

Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)

Cummins Canada ULC

Canada Post Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted Toronto-Dominion Bank, and its subsidiaries, with employment-related litigation across Canada, including employment litigation, human rights complaints, entitlement to disability benefits and unjust dismissal complaints.
  • Retained to provide critical advice and support to the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the approximately 60 National Sport Organizations across Canada, in navigating Covid-19.
  • Provided strategic advice to CP Rail on labour strategy and acted as counsel in labour arbitration proceedings, as well as other matters.

Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP

According to one national client, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP stands out as ‘the only workplace law firm with offices from coast-to-coast‘. The sizeable labour and employment boutique has six platforms across Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia, while globally it benefits from its participation in the Ius Laboris alliance. In Vancouver, national co-head Keith Murray has ‘decades of experience‘, particularly in labour relations and litigation, while Gradin Tyler‘s work spans labour, employment and human rights law. In Toronto, department co-head David Defrancesco specializes in representing manufacturers, retailers, public sector clients and construction companies in labour matters. Other key names in Toronto include occupational health and safety specialist Cheryl Edwards and John Craig, who has an emphasis on federal labour law. In May 2022, litigators Jeffrey Goodman and Maureen Quinlan joined in Toronto from Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP.


‘We like Mathews Dinsdale & Clark for its  dedication, rapid client response and excellent client relations. MDC is exceptional in that we feel like we always have a dedicated team standing by to assist and we never have to follow-up or press them for their attention.’

‘It is the only workplace law firm with offices from coast-to-coast, so being a national organization ourselves this is extremely important to us. It was Canada’s first law firm to devote its practice to employment law.’

‘The construction labour relations and litigation teams at MDC are true specialists in their field. The training, experience, and skill level of MDC’s construction labour counsel brings a level of sophistication that is unrivalled in this very specialized area of law.’

In addition to the firm’s legal acumen, the firm is extremely well managed, including its adaptability to new and ever-evolving business practice and technology. For instance, the firm quickly and seamlessly adapted to our organization’s new e-billing platform.’

‘Keith Murray is extremely knowledgeable and very responsive. His decades of experience, understanding of the law, and assessment of each situation is balanced with a pragmatic approach. His preparation is only exceeded by his delivery.’

Gradin Tyler is our number 1 go-to legal representative for all things related to labour, employment, WCB claims and WCAT reviews, OH&S advice as well as human rights concerns. Grady has always provided practical advice and creative solutions.’

‘Wilson Chan’s work product is exceptional and he is able to translate difficult technical issues into meaningful and practical advice. His arguments are persuasive, well reasoned and measured and he has a tempered personality that lends itself to tough negotiations.’

Lori Brienza has supported throughout the years. Lori is sharp and a skilled negotiator able to drive results and influence outcomes. She also maintains a broad practice and is a great asset to the firm.’

Key clients

EllisDon Corporation

PAL Airlines Ltd.

Sofina Foods Inc.

Canada Post


Porter Airlines

Fairmont Hotels


Labatt Brewing Company

Shutterstock Inc.

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended EllisDon Construction in a landmark policy grievance challenging a Covid-19 rapid on-site testing policy implemented by EllisDon.
  • Successfully defended Van Air Holdings in a grievance seeking group termination pay for a large number of employees who were terminated upon the expiry of their recall rights under the collective agreement.
  • Successfully represented Dataco Utility Services Ltd in one of the first decisions in the country relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and entitlement to severance under layoff provisions.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault‘s labour and employment practice brings to bear the full weight of its national offering. A dominant Ontario practice combines with an increasingly prominent Alberta team, together with well-staffed platforms in Quebec and BC, to provide extensive Canadian coverage of contentious and non-contentious labour and employment issues. In Toronto, national department head Tim Lawson is recognized for his broad practice, which has an emphasis on representing major clients in the energy, financial services, transport, retail and construction sectors. Other key names in Toronto include Toronto practice lead Sunil Kapur and Kate McNeill-Keller. In Calgary, Shana Wolch is a ‘highly intelligent and responsive lawyer‘, while rising star associate Justin Turc is a ‘trusted resource‘. In Montreal, André Baril is a go-to labour and employment specialist. Christopher McHardy is a key contact in Vancouver.

Practice head(s):

Tim Lawson


‘While I have worked with a number of law firms in the past who all have good knowledge in their relevant practice areas, the depth and breadth of the McCarthy team in the labour and employment area is second to none.’

‘Their approach to new files is always from a practical business perspective and they are acutely aware of current macro/market circumstances as well as specific issues that may change the risk/reward analysis that is done on a file and the ultimate path forward.’

The firm has built a very strong, responsive and diverse team. What makes their lawyers unique is their ability to deeply personalize their advice to the client, their context and their needs. MT has done this by strategically bringing on individuals who embody different backgrounds, strengths and talents.’

Shana Wolch is a highly intelligent and responsive lawyer. She does an incredible job of balancing our company’s context with the legal requirements for each and every situation. Most remarkably, Shana’s response time is way beyond any standard I have experienced.’

‘The responsiveness, practicality, business sense and sheer drive to get to the right outcome on a file makes Shana Wolch our first call for any L&E law matter. Shana provides us with exceptional service and exceeds our expectations in terms of outcomes on our L&E matters.’

Working for Shana Wolch, Justin Turc has also become a trusted resource over the years as we navigate L&E matters. Mirroring many of Shana’s traits, Justin’s support and vested interest on files has been invaluable.’

‘The firm has superior/outstanding client service and relationship development. It’s legal advice and practice is top of class. The firm has implemented some terrific technology wherein we share access to the work being done by the firm.’

‘We value the firm for its client service and practical experience, particularly Sunil Kapur and Kate McNeill-Keller; both are stand-outs.’

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

Hudson’s Bay Company

Cirque du Soleil

Via Rail


Ivanhoé Cambridge

Ericsson Canada


Rolls-Royce Canada Limited

Electronic Arts (Canada) Inc

CM (Canada) Asset Management

Inter Pipeline Ltd.

Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc.

CCMP Capital Advisors, LP

Score Media and Gaming Inc.


Enbridge Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising the Government of Canada to act as chief spokesperson for the first-ever collective agreement negotiations with the union representing over 18,000 RCMP uniform police officers.
  • Advising Cirque du Soleil in the context of the worldwide restructuring of the activities of the group of companies, including liaising and coordinating with outside legal counsel in various other jurisdictions.
  • Advising Hudson’s Bay Company throughout the pandemic on its Covid-19 strategy, including navigating government financial programs, layoffs, recalls, return to work protocols, vaccination policies and health and safety compliance.

McLennan Ross LLP

Widely regarded as the leading labour and employment practice in Alberta, McLennan Ross LLP is also active in the Northwest Territories through its Yellowknife office. The sizeable team’s geographical footprint ensures that it is a popular choice for construction industry clients, particularly companies in the industrial, energy and natural resources sectors. In Calgary, Tom Ross KC enjoys a strong reputation for his broad experience, which spans labour arbitrations, Labour Relations Board applications, collective bargaining and wrongful dismissal, among other issues. Also in Calgary, Tim Mitchell KC has notched up an impressive record in precedent-setting labour and employment disputes. Edmonton-based Maurice Dransfeld, who has niche expertise in workers’ compensation cases, co-chairs the department alongside Ross and Yellowknife-based Michelle Thériault, who practices exclusively in the North. Highly regarded Calgary-based associate Rebecca Silverberg provides support.

Practice head(s):

Maurice Dransfeld;Tom Ross KC; Michelle Thériault

Other key lawyers:

Tim Mitchell KC; Dave Ross KC; Alison Adam; Rebecca Silverberg; Damon Bailey KC

Key clients

Worley Industrial Services

Stuart Olson Inc.

CESSCO Fabrication & Engineering

Construction Labour Relations

Edmonton Kenworth Ltd.

City of Calgary

The Board of Governors of Bow Valley College, Grand Prairie Regional College, Lethbridge College, Medicine Hat College, Olds College, Portage College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and The Alberta University of the Arts

Cargill Ltd.

University of Calgary Board of Directors

Work highlights

  • Represented Aluma Systems in a Labour Relations Board decision in which the complainant was refusing to accept a settlement that was considered to be fair and reasonable.
  • Acted for the City of Okotoks in its successful defeat of a union certification application before the Alberta Labour Relations Board, where the IBEW Union attempted to organize the water treatment plant.
  • Represented Cargill in an unfair labour practice complaint and related proceedings before the Alberta Labour Relations Board.

Norton Rose Fulbright

It was a year of transition for Norton Rose Fulbright‘s labour and employment practice, which saw high-profile senior partner Richard Charney step down as department head in 2021, though he still remains practising in Toronto. The team is now led nationally by partners from across all six of the group’s Canadian platforms, including regulatory partner Lindsay Mullen in Calgary and Taryn Mackie in Vancouver. The robust national group, which is particularly prominent in Ontario and Quebec, also draws on the experience of Montreal-based François Côté, who has a focus on grievance arbitration, occupational health and safety and labour relations, and Toronto-based litigator John Mastoras. Up-and-coming litigator Daniel Mcdonald is also noted in Toronto.

Key clients

Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc.

Hydro One

Victoria Order of Nurses

Maritime Employers Association

Arnprior Aerospace Inc.

PSP Investments

SSQ and La Capitale – Beneva

Association provinciale des agences de sécurité (A.P.A.S.)

Canadian National Railway Company

Canadian Union of Public Employees

Work highlights

  • Represented Aurora Cannabis Enterprises in a union application for certification because the union alleged that certain agricultural legislation is unconstitutional.
  • Represented Arnprior Aerospace in unfair labour practice proceedings for the Ontario Labour Relations Board with respect to a conversion of a defined benefits pension plan to a defined contribution pension plan.
  • Represented Canadian National Railway Company in an application to the Canada Industrial Relation Board seeking the merger of multiple bargaining units throughout the country into a single bargaining unit.

Baker McKenzie

The Toronto-based labour and employment team at Baker McKenzie is distinguished by its ability to lean on the wider firm’s premier global group to advise multinational clients on cross-border matters. Primarily recognized for its management of complex employment and labour disputes, with Toronto managing partner George Avraam particularly sought after in this sphere, the team also advises on regulatory compliance, labour relations and transactional support. Other key contacts include Andrew Shaw, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and the talented Jennifer Bernardo who made partner in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

George Avraam

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Shaw; Jennifer Bernardo


‘Global capabilities are strong, especially in North America. Responsive. Andrew Shaw is a trusted advisor.’

‘George Avraam is the go-to for labour and employment matters. He provides a practical approach and takes into account the company’s operational needs and risk tolerance. He is also a strong advocate when he has had to appear on our behalf in court.’

‘Baker McKenzie’s labour and employment practice has provided exceptional service to me and my organization for many years. Its expertise and service orientation were particularly evident in the last few years.’

‘Baker McKenzie manages to achieve seamless collaboration with our human resources and legal teams and is particularly effective at responsive communication.’

‘I work primarily with George Avraam and his team and can confidently say that they are outstanding. George is a consummate professional with a depth of knowledge that provides me and my organization with confidence.’

‘George and his team (including Jennifer Bernardo) are incredibly detail-oriented and manage to handle multiple complex files with precision. They listen carefully and have adjusted their practice and procedures to the ever-changing landscape of labour and employment law during the pandemic.’

‘Quick and efficient services, subject matter expertise and excellent quality of legal services’

‘Andrew Shaw has provided excellent legal legal services, leading to quick resolution of our matters.’

Key clients

McMaster University

RSM Canada

Russell Security Services

KIK Custom Products

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association

Laicor Fixtures Inc.






Work highlights

  • Represented McMaster University in removal proceedings against a faculty member who engaged in sexual assault and an abuse of power as a faculty member.
  • Successfully defended McMaster University’s mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy on judicial review, whereby the Court dismissed the four applicants’ claims.
  • Represented the Canadian subsidiary of a provider of audit, tax and consulting services, in its defence against a civil action brought by an partner alleging breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, bad faith conduct, discrimination on the basis of gender, and sexual harassment.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP strikes a balance between transaction-support work and contentious matters. In terms of the former, the team is noted for its experience in advising infrastructure and energy clients on the labour and employment aspects of M&A deals. On the contentious front, the group handles a significant volume of complex litigation and arbitration cases. Calgary-based John Gilmore is well versed in advisory, contentious and transactional matters and co-heads the department alongside Toronto’s Carl Cunningham. Toronto-based pensions and benefits specialist Susan Seller and Calgary-based up-and-coming partner Christine Plante are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Gilmore; Carl Cunningham

Other key lawyers:

Christine Plante; Susan Seller

Work highlights

  • Advised Canada Oil Sands Co, a subsidiary of Japan Petroleum Exploration, on the employment aspects of the sale of its equity interest in Japan Canada Oil Sands to a special purpose acquisition vehicle owned by Greenfire Acquisition Corporation.
  • Acted for ATCO in an arbitration involving a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy for its employees.
  • Acted for Kidoodle TV on employment litigation involving issues relating to alleged employee share entitlement, wrongful dismissal, and quantum meruit claims.


Dentons impresses clients for ‘matching the right lawyer to the project at hand‘. Well-versed in all elements of labour and employment law, the group has an emphasis on health and safety law, labour relations, restrictive covenants disputes and wrongful dismissals. With platforms in each of the four largest Canadian provinces, Toronto is the seat of national lead Andy Pushalik, who handles a mix of advisory and contentious matters. In Vancouver, clients highlight Eleni Kassaris for her ‘exceptional advice‘. Montreal managing partner Christian Létourneau and Calgary-based April Kosten are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andy Pushalik


‘As a non-profit, we rely on Dentons for support for labour/HR guidance and advice. The support we receive ensures that we are able to support and manage our people in a way that balances the organization’s needs while being a great employer.’

‘Andy Pushalik stands head-and-shoulders above his peers in terms of quality of advice and service. He takes great care to first understand the intricacies of a company and the industry in which it operates in order to best tailor his advice to match that client’s particular needs.’ 

‘Eleni Kassaris is timely, efficient, clear, and brings a broad range of experience and perspective. Her advice has both helped us sharpen our HR practices, tools, and approaches, AND guided us through some very complex HR matters to positive resolution.’

The team is outstanding: knowledgeable, extremely responsive, efficient, and it provides targeted advice with both legal and business considerations in mind. A highly collaborative practice that takes advantage of specialists throughout the firm, matching the right lawyer to the project at hand.

‘We deal with Eleni Kassaris in the Vancouver office and I am constantly amazed by Eleni’s level of care, professionalism and compassion. Eleni is never too busy to jump on a call and consistently gives exceptional advice.’

Meaghen Russell is our primary relationship partner at the firm. She is one of the best employment lawyers with whom we have worked. We rely on her to handle every type of issue, from the most complex to the mundane.

‘The Dentons team is very practical and responsive. They’ve built up tremendous corporate knowledge about us and they tailor their advice accordingly. In addition, they very much view us holistically and as a member of the Edmonton/Alberta community.’

‘Dentons Canada LLP is exceptional in its handling of all our inquiries. The level of professionalism far exceeds other firms that we have dealt with. We get solid no-nonsense advice covering all aspects of law and the current outcomes in labour law.’

Key clients

Canopy Growth Corporation


InnVest REIT (Hilton Quebec)

CBI Health

Imperial Oil Limited

Avis Budget Group

Alamos Gold Inc.

Canadian National Railway Company

LifeLabs LP

Postmedia Network Inc.

Work highlights

  • Retained by Hilton Quebec as spokespersons to lead the collective agreement renewal negotiations, as part of a sector-wide negotiations process.
  • Represented LifeLabs LP in a two-week strike involving its courier drivers, including successfully representing it in proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and in injunction proceedings before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
  • Represented Imperial Oil in labour relations matters discussing what aspects of the union’s alcohol and drug policy grievance can or should be heard on their merits, including whether random alcohol testing should be considered.

Lawson Lundell LLP

Vancouver-headquartered Lawson Lundell LLP houses one of BC’s leading labour and employment practices. Handling a mix of advisory, contentious and corporate-support work, the group is particularly recognized for its close relationships with clients in the manufacturing, mining, retail, transport, forestry and energy sectors. Department head Robert Sider KC advises on the labour and employment aspects of commercial transactions, as well as day-to-day matters, both contentious and non-contentious. The team also includes increasingly prominent sector specialist Nicole Skuggedal, privacy and employment lawyer Ryan Berger and Deborah Cushing, who brings to bear strong public- and private-sector in-house experience.

Practice head(s):

Robert Sider KC

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

With prominent teams in Calgary and Toronto, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP‘s practice is equipped to advise on a wide range of labour and employment matters, from day-to-day compliance advice, through to complex collective bargaining negotiations, disputes and M&A-related issues. In Toronto, department chair Allan Wells advises management on all spheres of labour and employment law, as does up-and-coming partner Sven Poysa. In Western Canada, Calgary managing partner Brian Thiessen is widely acknowledged as an expert in the area. Also in Calgary, Shaun Parker handles an array of litigation, compliance and corporate-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Allan Wells

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Leveraging the firm’s top-tier corporate practice, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP‘s group has a strong record in advising on the labour and employment aspects of major M&A and corporate transactions. The team also handles a steady stream of advisory and contentious work. Key names in Toronto include national department lead Andrea York as well as Holly Reid, both are well versed in transactional, advisory and contentious matters. In Calgary, Birch Miller is a first port of call for energy sector-based employers, while de Lobe Lederman is a talented associate.

Practice head(s):

Andrea York

Key clients

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Carillion Canada

Equinix, Inc.

Getty Images


MCAP Financial Corp.

Nestlé Canada Inc./Nestlé Waters Canada

Omnicom Canada Corp.

Spence Diamonds, Ltd.

Strathcona Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Equinix on strategic employment, labour and benefits matters in connection with its acquisition of BCE’s data centre operations.
  • Advised Penn National Gaming on its $2bn acquisition of Score Media Gaming.
  • Advised Hg on the employment, labour and privacy aspects of its cross-border acquisition of Benevity.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

The labour and employment team at Stikeman Elliott LLP is well-weighted between transactional support and standalone matters, including compliance work and disputes. Gary Clarke leads the group for Western Canada and splits his time between Calgary and Vancouver. Patrick Essiminy fronts the Montreal team and represents both provincially and federally regulated companies. Nancy Ramalho, who spearheads the department in Toronto, and former Toronto lead Lorna Cuthbert are also senior names. The national group also includes Kathleen Chevalier and pensions and benefits head Natasha vandenHoven, both are based in Toronto.

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Chevalier


Torys advises on a varied mix of transactional support work, labour relations, executive hiring and dismissals, compliance and litigation. Lisa Talbot leads the employment litigation and advisory practice and has strong experience in representing large Canadian employers on overtime-related cases and other employment class actions. Key support is provided by Jennifer Lennon, who has a focus on compensation arrangements, and counsel Darryl Hiscocks, who handles all areas of human resources and labour law. Mitch Frazer chairs the overarching Toronto-based pensions and employment practice.

Practice head(s):

Mitch Frazer

Key clients

George Weston Limited

Brookfield Asset Management

Fairfax Financial Holdings

Mandy Bujold & the Canadian Olympic Committee

Canada Cartage Systems

IFM Investors

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

Anaergia Inc.

Canada Development Investment Corporation and its subsidiary, Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising George Weston on the employment and pension aspects of the C$1.2bn sale of Weston Foods’ fresh and frozen bakery businesses and the C$370m sale of Weston Foods’ ambient bakery business.
  • Advising Brookfield on its most significant transactions and arrangements, including employment and benefits advice to Brookfield Asset Management regarding the spin-off of its reinsurance-related operations to create Brookfield Asset Management Reinsurance Partners.
  • Acting for Fairfax Financial Holdings on its sale of Toys ‘R’ Us to Putman Investments.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Over the past year, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP has advised on a wide scope of compliance-related issues, especially in relation to Covid-19, as well as transactional support matters and litigation. Led from Toronto by Adrian Jakibchuk, the department also benefits from the senior expertise of Laurie Jessome and firm managing partner Kristin Taylor; both of whom are also based in Toronto and strike a balance between contentious and non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Jakibchuk

Other key lawyers:

Kristin Taylor; Laurie Jessome

Key clients

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

8th Avenue Food & Provisions, Inc.

Becton Dickinson Canada

FlightSafety Canada Ltd.

TMAC Resources Inc.

Amex Canada Inc. and Amex Bank of Canada

CDW Canada Corp.

General Mills Canada Corporation

Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada

CTS of Canada Co.

Sensient Flavors Canada Ltd.

NFP Canada Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advised Becton Dickinson Canada on restructuring efforts related to Covid-19, among other matters.
  • Acted for CDW Canada Corp on day-to-day human resources-related matters, including compliance, accommodation, privacy, termination issues and litigation.
  • Advised Arjo Canada Inc on the development and implementation of its vaccination policy.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP ramped up its labour and employment offering in January 2022 with the hire of high-profile specialist Hélène Bussières into Montreal from Stikeman Elliott LLP. Also in Montreal, Louise Patry is noted for her extensive labour law experience, honed during an early career stint at the Québec Union of Service Employees. In Toronto, Seann McAleese and Jessica Bullock are key contacts.


The team is successful, easy to talk to and gets good results.

Lawyers are fluently bilingual and understand the issues.’

Key clients

Epiq Systems, Inc.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Investissement Québec

Avior Integrated Products Inc.

Compagnie Selenis Canada

SharkNinja Operating LLC

The Blackstone Group

Cominar REIT


Kansas City Southern

Shaw Communications Inc.

Aldo Group Inc.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments)

Yellow Group Inc.

IA Financial Group

FedEx Logistics

Acuity Brands Lighting

Allstate Insurance and Waste Management

Sleep Country Canada

WellSpring Pharma Services

Alimentation Couche Tard

Work highlights

  • Acting for the World Anti-Doping Agency on a multitude of employment matters, including international employment law issues such as hiring, dismissal and termination settlements.
  • Acting for OMERS Administration Corp and OMERS Private Equity on a lawsuit filed by a former employee, who is alleging, among other matters, breach of a long-term compensation plan and related wrongful dismissal.
  • Advising Investissement Québec on all aspects of its human resources operations, including legislative compliance.

Aird & Berlis LLP

Equipped to advise on the full range of labour and employment matters, Aird & Berlis LLP's recent experience spans compliance issues, hiring and dismissals, collective bargaining and contentious matters. Experienced partner Lorenzo Lisi heads the Toronto-based group and handles a broad spectrum of workplace law. Michael Horvat is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Lorenzo Lisi 

Other key lawyers:

Michael Horvat 

Key clients

PepsiCo Canada

Xerox Canada

Baxter Corporation

Lear Corporation

Evonik Corporation

MHI Canada Aerospace

Georgian International, former owner of Air Georgian Limited, a partner of Air Canada

Black & McDonald Inc.

Multy Home LP

Silverstein’s Bakery Limited

Equinox Development Inc.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing advice to PepsiCo Canada on its general labour and employment matters.
  • Providing ongoing labour and employment advice to Xerox Canada.
  • Advising Baxter Corporation on general labour and employment matters.