Best workplace human rights lawyers in Toronto

These are the best workplace human rights lawyers in Toronto, based on the results of our extensive annual peer survey

These are the best workplace human rights lawyers in Toronto, based on the results of our extensive annual peer survey. For the complete roster of Ontario’s top lawyers and law firms in the field, check out our practice area rankings.

In our survey, the practice of workplace human rights law comprises the provision of advice and representation in all matters relating to discriminatory practices based on grounds that are or are argued to be prohibited by various federal and provincial statutes, codes, constitutional protections and at common law. Mandates in this area also include the development of training programs to enable legislative compliance.

Most recommended workplace human rights lawyers representing employers

Janice P. Rubin

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. She has more than 20 years of experience as an employment lawyer and is considered one of Canada’s foremost experts in workplace investigations. Rubin is also a trusted advisor to senior human resources professionals. She has co-authored two books, namely Human Resources Guide to Workplace Investigations and the second edition of Law of Termination. Rubin teaches a variety of educational programs for lawyers and HR professionals. She previously served as chair of the Canadian Women’s Foundation initiative called Women Moving Women, which helps women living in poverty.

Ranjan K. Agarwal

Law firm: Bennett Jones LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2004

Ranjan K. Agarwal is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP. He devotes his practice to complex disputes, including class action, commercial, arbitration, constitutional and employment matters. Agarwal has appeared as lead or co-counsel in almost 20 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also briefed and argued numerous cases in the Federal Court in Ontario and across Canada and provides strategic advice to companies, organizations and individuals at all stages of complex litigation. Agarwal is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and co-author of Class Actions Law and Practice. He has published numerous articles on a variety of litigation issues in the Supreme Court Law Review, National Journal of Constitutional Law, Alberta Law Review, Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law and the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. Agarwal is past president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto, one of North America’s largest diverse bar associations, and treasurer of the Ontario Bar Association.

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Raj Anand

Law firm: WeirFoulds LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1980

Raj Anand is a partner at WeirFoulds LLP. His practice includes administrative, human rights, constitutional and employment law, civil litigation, professional negligence and regulation. He represents both employers and employees in workplace rights cases. Anand is a former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and has served on a variety of administrative tribunals, including the boards of inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Police Services Act. He was appointed by the Ontario government to set up the independent Human Rights Legal Support Centre when it revamped the Ontario human rights adjudication process. As an elected bencher of the Law Society for more than a decade, Anand was the chair of the Tribunals Committee and headed its reform of the Law Society’s Hearings Tribunal process. He was also the bencher vice chair and continues as a non-bencher adjudicator on the Hearing and Appeal Divisions of the Law Society Tribunal, where he has heard hundreds of cases and written about 170 decisions relating to licensing, capacity and conduct. Anand has also acted as counsel on internal matters, judicial reviews or appeals for several professional regulators and administrative tribunals.

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Sarah C. Crossley

Law firm: Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1999

Sarah C. Crossley is a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP. She represents and advises employers in both federal and provincial jurisdictions. Her clients operate in a range of industries, including manufacturing, technology, retail, financial services, gaming and pharmaceutical. Crossley provides practical and strategic advice to clients in a variety of workplace matters, including human rights, performance management and terminations, collective agreement administration and the development of employment contracts and policies. Crossley regularly acts as employer counsel in wrongful dismissal litigation, grievance arbitrations and human rights proceedings. She also conducts workplace investigations. Crossley is a sought-after expert, having written on and delivered many presentations on employment and labour matters. She is a past course instructor for the employment law course at the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario and the HR Law for HR Professionals Certificate Program at Osgoode Professional Development, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Jonathan L. Dye

Law firm: Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1997

Jonathan L. Dye serves as a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP. He primarily litigates and advises employers on a range of issues such as wrongful dismissal, workplace human rights, employment standards, recruitment and dismissals, employment contracts and employment issues in corporate transactions. Dye has appeared as lead counsel before the Ontario Court of Appeal, Superior Court of Justice and Divisional Court, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, Ontario Labour Relations Board and Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. He is a past chair and executive member of the Labour & Employment Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Dye has been a guest instructor at the Schulich School of Business at York University and the School of Business Management at Ryerson University. He also taught employment law at Humber College as part of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation program. Dye has appeared on CTV television and has written for or been quoted in many legal journals and news publications.

Katherine E. Ford

Law firm: Sherrard Kuzz LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2003

Katherine E. Ford is a partner at Sherrard Kuzz LLP. She also serves as the firm’s manager of knowledge management, who is responsible for enhancing the team’s practice efficiency and other knowledge management programs. Ford is an experienced employment and labour lawyer who, prior to assuming her current role, practised law for 13 years providing advice to employers across the country. Her expertise also includes workplace investigations, violence and harassment in the workplace and positive employee relations. Ford is widely published and regularly asked to lead professional webinars and conferences on a variety of employment and labour related issues. She is also the co-author of Carswell’s Practice & Procedure Before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Ford is a member of the Ontario Bar Association (Labour & Employment, Constitutional Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Civil Litigation), Law Society of Ontario and a former member of the Law Society of British Columbia.

Anne K. Gallop

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1997

Anne K. Gallop is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. She focuses on all areas of employment and labour law, including wrongful dismissal, human rights and disability management. Gallop advises on all aspects of employment policies, ensuring compliance with the various legislative regimes. She has significant experience in corporate reorganizations and corporate mergers and acquisitions, where she advises on the labour, employment and employee privacy issues arising from such transactions. Ford also advises on employment and executive employment contracts, including executive compensation such as change of control agreements and stock option plans. She has extensive experience with privacy legislation as it relates to labour and employment matters.

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Michelle S. Henry

Law firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)


Year called to the Bar: 2003

Michelle S. Henry is a partner at the labour and employment group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Toronto office. She was a partner at the firm until March 2012. In April 2012, Henry joined a leading international package and freight delivery company as corporate counsel and worked extensively in the area of federal employment related legislation. In October 2013, she resumed her labour and employment practice at BLG. Henry is a recipient of the 2017 Ann Wilson and Robert Prichard Award presented by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law for demonstration of the highest standards of professional integrity, excellence and leadership and significant contribution to the legal profession and community through public interest work, pro bono activities and community service.

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Alix P. Herber

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2001

Alix P. Herber is a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. His practice is focused on advising and representing employers in labour, employment and human rights matters. With considerable experience in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing and healthcare industries, Herber provides clients with strategic advice, ensuring legislative compliance and mitigating potential liability. He also advises union and non-union employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, employment agreements, performance management, employee discipline and terminations, company restructurings, collective agreement interpretation, collective bargaining and union organizational campaigns.

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Sunil Kapur

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1997

Sunil Kapur is a partner at the labour and employment group and member of the board of partners at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He advises employers in the sectors of financial services, manufacturing, transportation, education, health care, security, information technology, resources and public service. Kapur also assists employers in labour board proceedings, arbitration, mediation, collective bargaining, employment litigation, judicial reviews, civil appeals and human rights. He has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies on labour and employment matters arising from mergers and acquisitions. Kapur is a frequent speaker on labour, employment and human rights matters. He is a member of the business and employment sections of the American Bar Association, Ontario and Canadian Bar Associations and Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers. Kapur is also a co-author of A Legal Guide to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 published by Canada Law Book.

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Tim Lawson

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1992

Tim Lawson is the national practice group leader of the labour group and a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto office. He maintains a multifaceted practice representing employers in all sectors of the economy, with a focus on the federal sector where employers operate across Canada and internationally. Lawson always applies a result-oriented approach to client issues and is as a strong advocate at labour and employment tribunals and in court. Lawson frequently writes and speaks on such topics as legislative reform, collective bargaining, employer and trade union relations, employee engagement, corporate reorganization, human rights, performance management and privacy.

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Lorenzo Lisi

Law firm: Aird & Berlis LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1990

Lorenzo Lisi is a partner and the 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. Lisi has served on the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers and is a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario.

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Brian D. Mulroney

Law firm: Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1981

Brian D. Mulroney is a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP. He practises both management labour relations law and employment law in a broad range of areas. His labour relations practice includes appearances before labour relations boards and boards of arbitration and collective agreement negotiations. His employment law practice includes wrongful dismissal litigation at both the trial and appellate levels and mediated and arbitrated resolution. Mulroney has extensive experience with fiduciary duty, non-competition and non-solicitation litigation and with human rights litigation. He writes and speaks frequently on topics relating to employment and labour relations law. Mulroney is also a contributing editor to Halpern (Ed.), Advising the Family-Owned Business.

Chris G. Paliare

Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1973

Chris G. Paliare is a partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. He is considered one of Canada’s top litigators at trial and appellate levels, 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 a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (Eastern Canadian Chair), International Society of Barristers and American College of Trial Lawyers. He is also a former Ontario provincial chair. Paliare is an honourary member of COMBAR and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He was inducted into the Order of Ontario in 2011 and received the Law Society Medal in 2004.

Angela E. Rae

Law firm: Rae Christen Jeffries LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1989

Angela E. Rae is a founding and managing partner at Rae Christen Jeffries LLP. She is a trusted advisor who represents employers in all aspects of labour and employment law, including negotiations, arbitrations, labour board proceedings and actions for wrongful dismissal. Rae also represents clients in employment standards matters and has extensive experience litigating human rights and pay equity matters. She is a sought-after speaker who has lectured on all aspects of labour and employment law for the International Bar Association, Law Society of Ontario, Ontario Bar Association, Ontario Labour Management Arbitrators’ Association, National Academy of Arbitrators, Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers,  Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto, the Osgoode Hall Law School and Ryerson University Certificate in Labour Law programs and the Canadian Industrial Relations Association. Rae is regularly engaged by both public and private sector employers to develop and implement employee and management training programs. She is a past vice-chair of the Administrative Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association.

Karen M. Sargeant

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1996 (BC); 1997 (ON)

Karen M. Sargeant is a partner Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. She acts on behalf of large and small employers in both the private and public sectors. Her practice covers employment contracts, wrongful dismissals, departing employee litigation, human rights, employment standards, union relations, labour arbitrations, workplace safety and insurance and disability management. Sargeant provides day-to-day advice to employers in relation to non-union and unionized workplaces. She frequently represents employers before courts, boards of arbitration and various administrative tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Ontario Labour Relations Board, Ministry of Labour Employment Practices Branch and Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. Sargeant is a regular speaker at conferences and to groups of management employees on a variety of employment and labour matters. She also is a regular contributor to several legal publications.

Shane D. Todd

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2009

Shane D. Todd serves as a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He advises employers on workplace issues and represents them in legal proceedings. Todd has won cases at trial and on motions, negotiated and enforced agreements and achieved great settlements for clients. He is frequently retained in high-stakes litigation. Todd has worked as a human resources professional prior to beginning his practice.

Jackie VanDerMeulen

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2010

Jackie VanDerMeulen is a partner Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. She devotes her practice to all aspects of labour and employment law. VanDerMeulen regularly represents clients in labour and employment adjudication, including labour arbitrations, interest arbitrations, federal and provincial labour board matters, employment litigation and applications for judicial review. She works with employers in across a variety of sectors, including telecommunications, transportation, banking, manufacturing and healthcare. VanDerMeulen has represented employers before numerous federal and provincial arbitrators, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Ontario Labour Relations Board, Canada Industrial Relations Board, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Divisional Court, Federal Court and Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Most recommended workplace rights lawyers representing employees

Susan M. Ursel

Law firm: Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1986

Susan M. Ursel is a senior partner at Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP. She represents unions, organizations and individuals on arbitrations, labour board proceedings, tribunal hearings and litigation before all levels of court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. Her practice focuses on labour, employment, pay equity, employment equity, human rights, insolvency, pensions and benefits. Ursel was named to the independent advisory board for SCC justices in 2016 and 2017. She was senior counsel to the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation in its successful charter challenge to Bill 115. Ursel also served as counsel to Canadian Bar Association in its intervention in the TWU v. LSUC case in the SCC and to Sears Canada employees in ongoing Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings. She was counsel to Essar Steel Algoma retirees in CCAA proceedings, court-appointed counsel to Air Canada union retirees in 2004 and engaged in class action litigation for pension plan members adversely affected by government reorganizations in the broader public sector. Ursel is a fellow in the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Caroline V. (Nini) Jones

Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP


Year called to the Bar: 2001

Caroline V. Jones is a partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. She devotes her practice to employment and union-side labour law, including collective bargaining. Jones also has a special interest and expertise in human rights matters. Her practice includes a substantial amount of work in the police sector, where she represents police associations in labour relations, human rights issues, collective bargaining, discipline and other work-related disputes. She also provides comprehensive advice to her clients about all aspects of labour and employment law, including human rights, employment standards, pay equity and health and safety. Jones regularly speaks and provides workshops for and continuing legal education to other lawyers, organizations and clients on a range of issues, including administrative law, workplace discipline, addressing workplace criminal conduct, privacy and electronic communications, human rights, the duty to accommodate, grievance handling, labour and employment damages, not-for-profit board governance and collective bargaining strategy.

Linda R. Rothstein

Law firm: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1982

Linda Rothstein is a senior partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP. She is best known for probing cross-examinations, strategic advice and behind-the-scenes counsel work on high-stakes cases. Rothstein practises 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. Her high-profile work includes acting as commission counsel to the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology and lead counsel to the Motherisk Hair Analysis Review. Rothstein was awarded the Law Society Medal by the Law Society of Ontario and the Award of Distinction from the Toronto Lawyers Association.