Employment Services

Key Contacts

Cunningham Carl High Resolution Image Carl Cunningham
T: 416.777.4847
Gilmore John High Resolution Image John R. Gilmore
Partner, Co-Head of Employment Services
T: 403.298.3297
Miller Jennifer Image Jennifer A. Miller Q.C.
T: 780.917.4261
Seller Susan High Resolution Image Susan G. Seller
Partner, Co-Head Employment Services
T: 416.777.5638

With complex employment and labour laws, an aging population, technology that opens businesses to increased risks, and the complications of a global marketplace, being an employer is a sophisticated endeavour.  With a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers practising in all Bennett Jones offices, our employment services practice represents private and public sector clients whose operations span business, government, trades and the professions. Whether the issues call for preventative measures or decisive action, we work with employers to manage their human capital and mitigate employment risk and disputes. Our practice includes all aspects of employment such as labour, occupational health and safety and pensions and benefits.

A major element of our practice involves advising on employment matters arising out of mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and reorganizations, including developing executive compensation structures and devising action plans and termination packages for company relocations, closures, corporate downsizing, employee outsourcing and contract staffing.

We also advise on pension and employee benefit matters, provide counsel on the wide array of employment benefit plans and guide fund and investment managers who manage pension funds. From an employer perspective, we help clients structure pension plans and other benefit plan trusts – such as employee share ownership plans, bonus and stock-option incentive plans, group benefit plans and supplemental retirement plans – by advising on design options, drafting the required compliance documents, and setting up the necessary contracts and procedures governing employee subscriptions and distributions.

Our advice to pension plan, administrators and trustees involves pension plan review and interpretation, plan administration issues such as preparation and review of plan texts and related funding agreements, communications with plan members, plan governance structures, pension fund investment structures and strategies and fiduciary obligations. We also advise on the tax implications of various plan structures, pension deficit and surplus issues, wind ups, disclosure and compliance issues and pension-related litigation.

In the labour arena, we represent employers involved in union certification drives, collective bargaining sessions, and in the negotiation, drafting and interpretation of collective agreements.

Select Experience

  • Cenovus Energy, in connection with its acquisition of ConocoPhillips' Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia and 50% interest in the FCCL Partnership.  Read more
  • The Government of Bermuda, as Chief Legal Advisor, in connection with the redevelopment and 30 year operation of Bermuda's L.F. Wade International Airport.  Read more
  • Statoil ASA, in connection with the sale of its Alberta oilsands assets to Athabasca Oil Corporation for the consideration of $435 million cash, 100 million common shares and contingent value payments triggered at oil prices above US$65/bbl WTI. Read more

Recent Recognitions

  • 2017, Chambers Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Employment & Labour: Canada

    "A true partner to the business; they understand our world and our work. They feel like an extension of us.  Flawless execution."
  • 2017, Chambers Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Employment & Labour: Alberta

    "I cannot say enough good things about them. They are great at accommodating and quickly understanding our values. They are there at a moment's notice, and that is really important in an employment group.”"
  • 2017, The Legal 500: Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Labour and Employment

    "highly effective labour firm"

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