Founded in 1966, we have earned a reputation throughout Canada and the United States as one of the country’s premier labour, employment and human resources law firms. Formerly known as Stringer Brisbin Humphrey, we have represented a wide and diverse range of local, national and international employers in both the private and public sectors.
Our firm draws on over 50 years of experience, knowledge of the current environment and the in-depth expertise and insight of its members in key areas to provide advice and representation that combines the highest professional quality with service excellence.
As a member of the Worklaw Network, we are part of a network of top management-side labour and employment law firms throughout the U.S. and other jurisdictions. In this way, we can provide our clients with the employment law support they need outside of Canada.
As a specialty firm all of our lawyers are focused on one thing – labour and employment law – and our clients get the benefit of the expertise that comes with this focus. We have a significant depth of specialization in certain sub-specialties of labour and employment law, such as human rights, wrongful dismissal, occupational health and safety and workers compensation matters. We also have significant experience in certain industry sectors, including healthcare, public sector and broader public sector, construction, retail, and manufacturing.
But the most unique aspect of our firm is that our clients don’t get lost in the shuffle. As a boutique firm, we work as one team; when you deal with one lawyer, you are dealing with the firm.
We are readily accessible and ensure that our service is delivered when you need it – which is often immediately in our practice area. Our clients are often impressed that a live person is always available to answer their calls during business hours. Our clients also appreciate that we are always willing to meet in person if they wish rather than just communicate by e-mail or over the phone.
Our clients frequently have emergencies that require immediate attention. We are not afraid to give our cell phone numbers to our clients and we encourage them to use them after business hours when they need to discuss an issue with us!
We strive to become our clients’ external business partner. We invest in learning about their business and how the legal results we achieve can best align with their human resources and labour relations goals. Many of our clients come to view us as an extension of their team.
Given our level of specialization, our firm has also developed an extensive research and precedent database. This allows us to deliver the highest possible legal product to our clients at a fraction of what other, less specialized, firms may charge.
We are always prepared to meet our clients at their premises so that they do not have to make the trip to downtown Toronto. We also invest in educating and informing our clients about the latest developments in labour and employment law. We often provide training sessions for management and supervisors, often at a significant discount on our usual hourly rates.
We always strive to provide exceptional value to our clients for our services. We understand that often times legal fees are an expense and that there is no apparent value added to the overal business in incurring legal fees, particularly in employment and labour matters. Accordingly, we strive to keep our fees to a minimum while ensuring that the services we provide are exceptional.
While we have traditionally based our fees on a competitive hourly billing rate, and often still do, we recognize that more and more clients are looking for more predictable fee arrangements based upon a set amount of services that are to be provided. We have worked closely with some of our clients to establish such arrangements. We are always trying to identify possible arrangements which are in the best interests of establishing a long term relationship with our client and will continue to do so.
Most of our work is still billed on an hourly fee basis and is billed on a monthly basis. We do offer alternative fee billing arrangements to clients who are interested in them. Such arrangements may take the form of a flat rate for a particular piece of litigation or a file or a discount based on volume of work.
Our clients are mainly employers ranging in size from small businesses with only a few employees to Fortune 500 companies and multinationals. Our clients operate in a wide range of industries and service sectors. Some areas where we have a particular strong client list include manufacturing, construction and high-tech.
We also act for public sector and not-for-profit clients. We have a number of municipalities as clients and have a deep understanding of the unique labour relations issues faced by these employers.
We sometimes take on executives as clients, particularly to advise in regard to executive compensation or negotiation of packages.
Learn more about the industries and sectors we service.
Yes. Our firm has advised and represented clients based in the U.S. and internationally since its inception. We understand the challenges faced by employers when confronted with Canadian employment problems. We also understand the challenges faced when trying to operate across borders with a common H.R. corporate culture. We help global employers achieve their goals while still complying with Canadian employment laws.
As a member of the Worklaw Network, we are able to tap into a network of expert firms just like ours throughout the U.S. and in many countries around the world. This allows us to ensure our clients get access to the best advice.
We know that litigation is expensive for our clients and we are always looking to achieve a cost effective and fair resolution to any litigation, whether it be a lawsuit, health and safety charges, human rights complaint or labour grievance arbitration.
That being said, there are times when a reasonable settlement is not possible and our clients want to fight a case to trial or hearing if necessary. In those cases, we are tough and aggressive advocates for our clients’ interests.
Our firm’s early reputation was built on being effective advisors to management in maintaining a union free workplace. We provide advice on union-proofing strategies and also provide training sessions to supervisors and management that have proven effective in keeping unions out.
Although the best way to stay union-free is to take a proactive approach to preventing a union from gaining a foothold in your company, we have a strong record of success in helping our clients respond successfully to applications for certification.
Our WSIB team, which includes 3 lawyers and 1 paralegal, can help your company manage its response to WSIB claims to help protect your claim frequency and experience rating, which can impact your premiums to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. We regularly help our clients develop and implement claim management policies and procedures, draft and review form 7s, initiate questionable claim objections, identify and pursue (or defend) cost relief and cost transfer applications, and provide representation at the appeals resolution stage and before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.