Lexpert’s comprehensive peer review reveals Canada’s top labour and employment lawyers.
Employment law governs the rights and obligations between individuals and their employers. Its practice involves the negotiation and drafting of individual employment contracts, advice with respect to the numerous aspects of the main obligations, and drafting of non-solicitation and non-competition clauses, golden parachute compensation plans and arbitration clauses. Employment law also involves litigation arising from the employment relationship, and the application of provincial and federal related statutes such as Labour Standards, Human Rights and Health and Safety in the workplace.
Year called to the Bar: 1984
Robert Bonhomme is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)’s office in Québec. He specializes in employment, labour and administrative law, including collective and individual relations in federal and provincial jurisdictions. Bonhomme is a regular speaker on industry conferences, discussing pension plans, benefits, stock option plans, privacy, termination issues, transborder data flow of personal employee information and employers’ duty to accommodate. His firm is a bilingual and serves businesses and institutions across Canada.
Read more about Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) on open banking in Canada
Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)
Year called to the Bar: 1995
Matthew L.O. Certosimo is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), where he held the role of national leader from 2011 to 2016. He is a labour law specialist certified by the Law Society of Ontario. Certosimo frequently appears before courts, including at the appellate level. He counsels and acts on behalf of private and public sector employers in labour relations and employment law, which includes wrongful dismissal litigation, labour arbitrations, collective bargaining, human rights complaints and charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. His law firm is the largest of Canada’s few AmLaw Global 100 firms, excelling under both the common and civil law systems.
Read more about Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) on liability for connected devices
Year called to the Bar: 1970
Roy C. Filion has practised labour and employment law on behalf of management throughout his entire career. He is currently a senior partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP, a firm that specializes in labour relations and employment law on behalf of employers. Filion is a civil litigation specialist certified by the Law Society of Ontario. He has extensive experience in representing employers before the courts, federal and provincial labour boards, arbitration tribunals and other administrative tribunals. Filion is also well-versed in collective bargaining, mediation and all forms of dispute resolution. He is one of the few Canadian labour lawyers to be inducted as a fellow in both the American College of Trial Lawyers and College of Labour and Employment Lawyers (USA).
Year called to the Bar: 1982
William R. Gale has been a partner at Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP since 1989, where he practises in the areas of employment and labour law. He represents management exclusively in labour law and has appeared before labour boards and arbitrators. In employment law, Gale has appeared in the courts at both the trial and appellate levels to argue many reported decisions involving issues such as wrongful dismissal, human rights, and pensions and benefits. Known as someone with a deep passion of the arts, he has chosen to represent several arts organizations and serves as chair of the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Gale has also written articles about employment law for numerous publications. His law firm is recognized as one of Canada’s leaders in the field of labour and employment law.
Law firm: Israel Foulon LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1978
Peter Israel is a founding partner at Israel Foulon LLP, a Toronto-based employment law firm. He has practised exclusively in the areas of employment and labour law throughout his career and has appeared at all levels of courts in Ontario, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. As a mediator, Israel’s established reputation and professional accomplishments as a lawyer have provided credibility and catapulted him to becoming one of the “go-to mediators” in the Greater Toronto area.
Year called to the Bar: 1990
Lorenzo Lisi serves as partner and practice group leader at Aird & Berlis LLP’s workplace law group. He has practised labour and employment law exclusively for more than 30 years, representing clients both provincially and federally. His expertise spans the broad spectrum of workplace law, from defending employers against employee claims such as wrongful and constructive dismissal, human rights and harassment to dealing with a unionized workplace. Lisi has substantial experience in grievance and labour board litigation, injunctive proceedings, responding to union organizing and applications for certification, collective bargaining and grievance arbitration. He advises management clients on acquisitions, divestitures and restructurings, enforceability of restrictive covenants and the application of various labour and employment statutes. His firm is a full-service law firm with more than 170 lawyers and business advisors.
Read more about Aird & Berlis LLP on technology’s role in law
Law firm: Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1984 (NL); 1989 (ON)
Malcolm MacKillop has practised employment law exclusively for more than 30 years. He spent 17 years at two national law firms before joining Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP, an employment and labour law boutique, where he currently serves as partner. MacKillop represents employers and senior executives in all aspects of employment law, including issues involving constructive dismissal, disability-related issues, just cause, fiduciary obligations and human rights. He has extensive experience in trial litigation and has been recognized by the Law Society of Ontario as a civil litigation specialist.
Year called to the Bar: 1973
Chris G. Paliare, OO, LSM is known as one of Canada’s top litigators at trial and appellate levels. He has extensive experience in shareholder disputes, securities litigation, administrative law, Charter of Rights and Freedoms and constitutional litigation, class actions, employment law and white-collar criminal law. Paliare is currently a partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, one of the country’s top-tier litigation firms.
Read more about Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP on international class actions
Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1982
Linda R. Rothstein is a senior partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, a Toronto-based litigation firm. She specializes in civil and administrative litigation with expertise in class actions, commercial litigation, professional liability and misconduct, public law, employment and human rights, and judicial review and appeals. Rothstein is known for probing cross-examinations, strategic advice and behind-the-scenes counsel work on high-stakes cases.
Read more about Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP on mediation-arbitration processes
Law firm: Rubin Thomlinson LLP
Year called to the Bar: 1991
Janice P. Rubin is the co-founder and co-managing partner of Rubin Thomlinson LLP, a Toronto-based law firm specializing in workplace and institutional investigations, and assessments, training for human resource professionals and consulting. She has more than 20 years of experience as an employment lawyer, boasting expertise in workplace investigations. Rubin is also a trusted advisor to HR practitioners and teaches several educational programs for both lawyers and HR professionals. She has co-authored two books on workplace investigations and law of termination.
Year called to the Bar: 1998
Nancy Shapiro is a partner and head of the litigation group at Koskie Minsky LLP, a labour and employment law firm based in Toronto. She devotes her practice to employment law, serving both employers and employees. Shapiro assists clients in the preparation and negotiation of employment contracts, manuals and policies, restructuring, terminations, human rights, tribunal advocacy, private arbitration, trial and appellant work. She also boasts extensive experience in workplace investigations, and frequently represents regulated professionals in partnership disputes and complex litigation matters. Shapiro is a regular speaker at industry conferences on matters concerning employment law, civil litigation and law practice management.
Read more about Koskie Minsky LLP on class division