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Canada: Labour & Employment 2016

A total of 67 lawyers are identified in this chapter, who have a proven track record in representing and advising management, and senior executives and partners, on all aspects of labour, employment and industrial relations law.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Danny Kaufer Borden Ladner Gervais, Montreal
Thomas Roper Roper Greyell, Vancouver
Eric Harris Harris & Company, Vancouver
Patricia Gallivan QC Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver
Brian Burkett Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, Toronto

Three firms garner five listings in the chapter. Harris & Company’s founder Eric Harris is widely known having practised labour and employment law for almost 40 years. “He is incredibly knowledgeable and absolutely a go-to name for his labour law expertise,” according to observers. He is joined by Gavin Hume QC who specialises in representing management clients before the labour relations boards, arbitration boards, as well as the Provincial Court and Supreme Court of British Columbia. He is commended for his “quick thinking and sharp intellect”. Donald Jordan QC is extensively experienced across a wide area of labour and employment law, with peers describing him as a “strong negotiator”.

Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti’s Peter Thorup is highly praised for offering “bespoke solutions” to clients. His practice covers all forms of collective bargaining and corporate restructuring, as well developing employer strategies and handling employment litigation. Name partner Roy Filion QC has a statesman-like reputation in the market. Sources say he “brings a wealth of expertise to collective bargaining and labour matters”. James Knight is described as “incredibly efficient and responsive”. He specialises in collective bargaining and in negotiations between employers and trade unions. 

At Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie, Henry Dinsdale has over 25 years of experience representing and counselling employers at both the federal and provincial court levels. He is known as “an exceptionally strong disputes lawyer”. Stephen Shamie’s practice concentrates on the negotiation of collective agreements, as well as defending employers in litigation. Clients say he “fights hard for his clients”. The “excellent” Elizabeth Brown specialises in pensions and benefits law, advising public and private sector employers on governance, compliance and administration matters.

McLennan Ross is home to David Ross QC who has a reputation as “Alberta’s top management labour and employment lawyer”.  He has acted on behalf of employers in the construction, natural resources, utilities, manufacturing and broadcasting sectors among others. Hugh McPhail QC is held in high esteem with an impressive roster of clients covering a wide variety of employment law issues in western Canada.

Stewart McKelvey’s Brian Johnston QC is a favourite among clients for bringing a “calm demeanour” to proceedings and being “always on hand to answer queries”. Alongside him James Lemesurier is described as a “highly capable and accomplished lawyer”. He has counselled leading corporate and institutional employers in both the public and private sectors. 

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin is home to the “excellent” Charles Harrison.  His clients come from across the utilities, municipal government, construction and the forestry industries, and they describe how they benefit from his “forensic approach” and “careful handling” of cases. Alongside him Brian Burkett counsels both individual employers and employer associations, who praise his “clear and concise advice” which “always gets to the root of the problem”.

At McInnes Cooper Malcolm Boyle impresses with his “encyclopaedic knowledge of employment law”. He represents local, national and international employers across the Atlantic region in all sectors and industries. Denis Mahoney is also highly recommended at the firm.

At Borden Ladner Gervais Danny Kaufer is considered one of the very best labour lawyers in the country. He is valued for his extensive experience in high-level employment negotiations where he is “skilful in presenting a strong line of argument”. He is joined by Maryse Tremblay and Robert Bonhomme who both receive recognition for their outstanding work in this area of law.

Thomas Roper QC from Roper Greyell – Employment and Labour Lawyers has a particularly notable reputation for his employment litigation practice. Clients value his “fluent advocacy”. Delayne Sartison QC assists clients with all aspects of management-side labour and employment law and is considered “very user-friendly”.

At Lawson Lundell Patricia Gallivan QC displays “excellent attention to detail” and is “always thoroughly well prepared”, according to respondents. Her practice includes providing strategic and tactical advice to the firm’s corporate and institutional clients, concentrating on the preventative aspects of labour and employment law. She is joined by Robert Sider who assists clients with the labour and employment aspects involved in commercial transactions, as well as guiding them through day-to-day matters. Clients value him for being “quick to respond, very helpful and efficient.”

Birch Miller from Blake Cassels & Graydon also stands out in our research for her advice in complicated employee matters. Clients state that she is “business-like” and possesses “top-notch intelligence and judgement”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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