Mike is a founding partner of Watershed LLP. From his call to the Ontario Bar in 1993 until founding Watershed, Mike practiced management side labour and employment law at one of Canada’s largest national Bay Street law firms and was an equity partner in that firm. For the past 16 years he has taught the Employment Law at the University of Toronto (Woodsworth College). He also teaches the Employment Law course at Brock University, Faculty of Business.
Mike has extensive experience representing public and private organizations throughout Canada in all areas of traditional labour and employment law. Mike has built a reputation as a practical, pragmatic and creative advisor and advocate on behalf of his clients and is well regarded for his strategic and direct approach when dealing with complex legal issues. His approach is proactive rather than reactive, anticipating and getting ahead of issues before they become costly problems to his clients.
Mike has designed and delivered training programs for clients on a host of issues including violence and harassment in the workplace, attendance and disability management, and performance management and supervisory training. Mike’s practical approach and experience as an Adjunct Professor at the University or Toronto uniquely positions him to design programs for clients that go beyond the traditional lecture format and, instead, focus on the particular learning styles of adults.
He has provided advice and counsel on every manner of labour and employment law issue, and has represented employers in countless cases before grievance arbitrators under collective agreements and before employment tribunals in Ontario including the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Superior Court of Justice and the Divisional Court.
Mike’s has been retained as lead Canadian labour and employment counsel in a variety of complex business restructuring and change management initiatives. Mike’s creativity and experience have assisted clients execute their business decisions with a minimum of disruption.
Mike has co-authored two books Recent Developments in Union Certification and Decertification and Understanding Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, has written on a wide range of labour and employment law topics, and speaks regularly at various conferences including at the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario. Mike has been interviewed by, among others, MacLean’s, CBC, Report on Business, the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Lawyer’s Weekly, Law Times, Canadian Lawyer and the CBA National Magazine on a variety of labour and employment law issues.
He is also the founder and author of Thoughts from a Management Lawyer, one of the first Canadian legal blogs and the oldest blog in Canada devoted to providing information and resources on labour and employment law. Mike’s blog has been recognized as one of the leading practitioner legal weblogs in Canada.
Mike has been recognized as one of Canada’s 24 Top Legal Social Media Influencers, and has been listed in Lawday.ca top 100 leading lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Employment Law and in Canadian HR Reporter’s Employment Lawyers Directory (a Comprehensive Directory of the Top Employment Law and Immigration Law Practitioners in Canada).