Chair David Whitten
Partner, Whitten & Lublin
David Whitten is an employment lawyer and senior partner at Whitten & Lublin, a nationally recognized employment law firm. What sets David apart is his abiding belief in fairness and commitment to flexibility in negotiated resolutions. He believes that in the most successful work environments, both employer and employees are treated with respect. David is a tenacious litigator who has appeared before all levels of the Ontario court and a range of labour tribunals. David provides counsel to public and private sector employers and is a trusted consultant to Canadian professional organizations and the media. In 2013, Lexpert named David a ‘litigator to watch’ in its US Guide to Leading Cross-Border Lawyers. He is the co-author of Carswell’s “HR Manager’s Guide to Independent Contractors in the Workplace.”
Chair James Heeney
Partner, Robinson Heeney
James Heeney is an employment lawyer, workplace investigator and partner at Robinson Heeney LLP. James is focused on integrity and attention to detail while providing cost effective and timely advice. He works diligently to ensure his clients make strategic and educated long term decisions regarding employment agreements, policies, restrictive covenants, and other important employment issues. James has been named a leading Toronto employment lawyer by Canadian HR Reporter and is a recipient of the Law Society of Ontario's Award of Excellence. He has written numerous articles for the CBC and other leading employment law forums.
Julie Breau is a senior lawyer at Restaurant Brands International, owner of Tim Hortons®, Burger King®, and Popeyes® brands. She currently serves as RBI’s Canadian employment counsel, Head of RBI’s Legal Centre of Excellence and Director of RBI’s global compliance program. Julie’s legal practice experience is diverse – she began in securities and has supported a variety of departments since. However, employment law has remained the foundation and primary focus of her legal practice throughout her career. She regularly advises on a wide range of employment matters, including termination, performance management, employment contracts, human rights, and others.
Jennifer Maurer is Senior Counsel for Scotiabank. Throughout her legal career, Jennifer has advised primarily in the area of employment law, with respect to terminations, wrongful dismissals, policies, executive contracts, employment standards and human rights. In her in-house role, she works with human resources professionals and employee relations teams in all areas of employment law. Jennifer’s work day is as varied and unpredictable as might be expected, but at a high level she regularly responds to demand letters, provides advice to clients regarding employee performance or concerns, negotiates with opposing counsel, drafts agreements and considers litigation strategies.
Anne Gallop practices in all areas of employment and labour law, including wrongful dismissal, human rights and disability management. She routinely advises on all aspects of employment policies, ensuring compliance with the various legislative regimes. Anne also 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. She routinely advises on employment and executive employment contracts, including executive compensation such as change of control agreements and stock option plans. Anne also has extensive experience with privacy legislation as it relates to labour and employment matters.
Neena Gupta is an award-winning partner at Gowling WLG Canada who focuses her practice on employment, labour and human rights matters. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada and Lexpert for her excellence in employment and human rights law. Her clients range from recent start-ups to Fortune 100 corporations, who rely on Neena for her practical solution-oriented advice. While Neena prefers to settle cases, she appears frequently in front of various courts and tribunals, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Superior Court of Justice and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. In 2002, Neena was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee medal in recognition of her service to the legal profession and her community. She received a Lexpert Zenith Award in 2017 in recognition of her demonstrated excellence and thought leadership in the legal profession.
Meaghen Russell is a partner is the Employment and Labour group at Denton’s Canada LLP. Meaghen’s practice involves advising and representing employers on a wide range of employment and labour matters. She has represented clients in numerous trials, mediations and hearings before a number of tribunals. Meaghen provides training to clients on a variety of topics, including accommodation and workplace violence and harassment. She has also participated in a number of comparative law seminars and presentations that focus on the differences between Canadian and US employment law.
Ben Aberant is a Partner in the Labour and Employment Group at McCarthy Tétrault. He practices in both Toronto and Calgary and advises clients on the respective provincial employment laws. Ben represents his firm in a variety of labour and employment issues including employment standards, occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation, wrongful dismissals, labour board proceedings, grievances and arbitrations. Ben advises both provincially and federally regulated employers and has conducted unjust dismissal hearings under the Canada Labour Code. He frequently advises on human rights issues, including defence of claims, and has been the lead investigator in workplace investigation matters. He also advises clients on privacy issues arising in the workplace.
As a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP, Sarah Crossley acts for employers in both federal and provincial jurisdictions in a range of industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, retail, financial services and pharmaceuticals. Sarah provides practical and strategic advice to employers on all aspects of labour and employment law. She conducts workplace investigations and regularly acts as counsel in wrongful dismissal litigation, human rights proceedings and grievance arbitrations. Sarah is a sought-after expert on such issues as workplace investigations, discrimination and harassment, terminations and employee agreements. She has taught employment law courses for HRPA and the HR Professionals Certificate program at Osgoode PD.
Kim Pepper is a partner at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. Kim works with public, private and not-for-profit sector employers to assist in effectively managing all aspects of human resources. She regularly advises clients on matters including negotiating and drafting employment agreements, performance management, collective agreements, human rights, and discipline and dismissal. Kim has successfully represented clients in civil and administrative proceedings including labour rights arbitrations, civil actions for wrongful dismissal, employment standards proceedings, applications before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Canadian Human Rights Commission and unjust dismissal proceedings under the Canada Labour Code.
Ian Campbell is a partner at Fasken. Ian has a diverse labour, employment and human rights practice, representing unionized employers before federal and provincial tribunals as well as providing strategic advice on business planning, reorganizations and collective agreement negotiations. Ian is known for providing practical advice that helps clients achieve their strategic objectives. He has developed a particular expertise in the federal sector and regularly advises national clients on all manner of issues related to the
Canada Labour Code and
Canadian Human Rights Act.
Barry B. Fisher is a mediator and arbitrator whose practice focuses on labour and employment law matters. He is one of the most often chosen mediators for employment law cases under the Ontario Mandatory Mediator Program and is a frequent presenter at seminars and courses on employment law, labour law, and ADR. In 2011, Barry was awarded the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in ADR. He is the author of Carswell’s online Wrongful Dismissal Database, designed to assist lawyers and HR professionals in determining reasonable notice periods. In 2016, Barry became a Distinguished Fellow of the Internationals Academy of Mediators.
Connie Reeve brings over 30 years of experience as an advocate, including 17 years as a specialist in employment law, to her mediation practice. In the course of her career as a lawyer Connie studied and taught mediation and other forms of dispute resolution. She also represented clients at hundreds of mediations. Her experience as a lawyer gives her firsthand knowledge of the many different barriers that can stand in the way of a negotiated resolution to a dispute. Connie encourages her clients to rigorously examine each party’s position and facilitates a considered evaluation of the full range of potential negotiation outcomes.
Gord Luborsky has been an arbitrator and mediator for the past 20 years. He was an associate and partner of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie before leaving for private industry in 1994. He returned to legal practice in 1996 as the co-chair of the labour and employment law group at Lang Michener LLP, and was later appointed to the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s list of approved arbitrators for appointments under the Labour Relations Act in 1999. In 2002 he was appointed to the list of adjudicators under the Canada Labour Code and has been a vice-chair/arbitrator at the Ontario Grievance Settlement Board since 2013. He has conducted hundreds of arbitrations and mediations in his private practice as an arbitrator and mediator over the years, with primary emphasis on labour and employment law disputes.
Jeremy Hahn is Counsel in Baker and McKenzie LLP’s Labour, Employment and Regulatory Law Practice Group in Toronto. In his litigation practice, Jeremy has represented employers before many arbitrators, courts and tribunals at the provincial and federal level. In his counseling practice, Jeremy advises clients daily on typical workplace issues such as reductions in force as well as a variety of employment standards and benefits-related inquiries. He also regularly deals with more nuanced issues such as the duty to accommodate and workplace privacy concerns. Jeremy is also experienced in handling the numerous employment and labour issues that arise from corporate transactions.