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Practice Areas

Executive and Plaintiff-Side Employment Law

We are here to assist employees with all aspects of the employment relationship, from the offer through to termination, resignation, or retirement and everything in between. We can provide advice and counsel with respect to employment contracts and offers, wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, and other changes to employment, termination, bonus concerns, promotion, resignation, retirement, human rights, and other employment law matters.

The lawyers at Mathers McHenry & Co. have focused much of their practice on the niche area of executive employment law and litigation. We frequently assist senior employees and executives with matters specific to the senior or executive employee including: complex compensation models and plans, equity and other deferred compensation, changes of control, mergers and acquisitions, and non- compete and non-solicitation agreements.

Not every employment-related issue has or needs an exclusively legal or law-based solution. We are often retained to act for our clients as advisors and strategists to help them navigate complex employment or workplace related issues or situations with the relevant law in mind as part of a comprehensive strategy designed to help them achieve their unique goals.

Prompt resolution of your matter where possible is our aim, and we are seasoned and effective advisors and negotiators first. Most of our successes are a secret and that suits us just fine, because it means we often can and do achieve excellent results for our clients without having to resort to formal dispute resolution.  However, where early successful resolution is not possible, we are ready to work tirelessly and creatively to bring your case to trial or arbitration, and we have a well-earned reputation as formidable litigators when that is what is called for.

Employment Law for Employers

At Mathers McHenry & Co. we think we do better work for all of our clients by working on both “sides” of employment law.

As plaintiff or employee-side employment counsel we are the people who capitalize on an employer’s failure to adequately and effectively limit their liability, or to deal strategically and thoughtfully with matters in the workplace as they arise, whether it is in the context of a re-organization, a merger, a complaint, a disability, or otherwise.

Employees are many companies’ biggest asset.  They are also many companies’ biggest potential liability. We are happy to field your employment questions or deal with your employment law issues as they arise (or go sideways), but we are happier still to get to know your business, your culture, and your team, and work collaboratively with you from the earliest stage possible to help you avoid problems and liability. We are firm believers that getting effective employment advice early is the best way for employers to save money. Our lawyers are skilled at proactively helping employers limit their liability, while still cultivating and retaining their valued employees.

We are available to advise employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including contracts of employment, compensation plans and arrangements, managing leaves, termination, demotions, re-organizations, mergers, resignations, human rights issues, and investigations.

Commercial Litigation

Mathers McHenry and Co. has a broad civil litigation practice that includes many different kinds of disputes which arise within commercial and workplace contexts, including: contract, corporate governance (both for and not-for profit), partnership disputes, shareholder disputes, securities, economic torts, executive employment, unfair competition and breach of confidence, professional negligence, torts, franchise, conspiracy, defamation, commercial real estate, class actions, oppression and fraud-related matters. Our lawyers have appeared before administrative boards and tribunals, all levels of Court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. We regularly appear before both the Commercial List, the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, and the Ontario Labour Relations Board. We also participate regularly in private arbitration, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution processes.

Our lawyers are sophisticated litigators with a proven track record of achieving excellent results. We thrive on complex and high stakes matters, working with clients to develop smart and strategic approaches to resolving (where possible) or litigating disputes. If you are facing a dispute, call one of our lawyers directly to see how we can help you or your business.

Appeals

Employment law is a frequently evolving area of law with significant public policy implications – not to mention implications for the litigants on both sides of a dispute.

In employment law, as in most areas of civil litigation, the overwhelming majority of cases settle and the cases which make it to trial are often those where the legal answer is not crystal clear. Sometimes, even judges get it wrong – that is why we have courts of appeal.

The lawyers at Mathers McHenry & Co. are available to work directly with clients or to work collaboratively with existing counsel, whether as lead counsel, co-counsel, or consultants, with respect to appealing final or interlocutory decisions where needed. We’ll apply a fresh perspective, smart and strategic legal analysis, and effective advocacy. And, if we think an appeal is a bad idea, we’ll tell you that too.

Workplace Investigations and Assessments

Our extensive litigation and employment law experience and expertise makes Mathers McHenry & Co. lawyers uniquely positioned to advise employers on when a workplace investigation is required, and conduct independent investigations that are designed to meet the legal and factual needs of the particular circumstance.  The lawyers at Mathers McHenry & Co. have investigated a variety of workplace issues and complaints including abuse of authority, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of workplace policies, breach of legal or regulatory obligations, conflict of interest, financial impropriety, theft and fraud. We also often represent the participants in workplace investigations. We act both on behalf of those bringing allegations forward and those responding to them.

As a result of that experience, we are keenly aware of both the need for impartial workplace investigations and the damage they can cause when not done well.  A poorly conducted investigation can expose the employer to significant legal liability and/or irretrievably damage the workplace culture.

The lawyers at Mathers McHenry & Co. understand that where an investigation is necessary, it is vital to consult with the employer to design a process that is:

  • Tailored to the specific circumstances;
  • Objective;
  • Fact-based;
  • Time-sensitive and efficient;
  • Minimally disruptive and discreet;
  • Sensitive and (where applicable) trauma informed; and
  • Legally reliable.

Call us to discuss how our approach may work for your workplace.

Mediation and Facilitation Services for Workplace Disputes

Workplace disputes, whether they are at risk of heading to litigation or not are disruptive and they can be very costly for everyone involved: jobs are lost, good employees leave, partnerships dissolve, and businesses and people suffer as a result.

As counsel, the lawyers at Mathers McHenry & Co. usually get involved well after a situation has devolved into conflict, often unnecessarily.  Building on that experience, Mathers McHenry and Co. offers early pre-dispute mediation and facilitation services designed to avoid, where possible, a costly and disruptive dispute ever getting off the ground.  Some of the types of situations with which we can assist include: helping to avoid constructive dismissal claims and/or employee attrition in the context of re-orgs, mergers, acquisitions and significant new hires, inter-personal conflicts between key employees or executives, facilitated returns to work following leaves of absence, dealing with concerns about or the conclusion of investigations in the workplace (irrespective of outcome), and managing employee concerns in the context of significant changes.

For most civil disputes that have made their way into litigation, mediation is mandatory in Ontario.  Effective and creative mediation can often allow parties to resolve their disputes faster and without the need for a costly, time-consuming, and stressful trial or arbitration.

If you are seeking effective and reasonable mediation or facilitation services for a workplace-related dispute, whether involving an employee and employer, partners, business owners, or others, call us to see whether we can offer a process that may help you achieve resolution.  We will work with you, or with counsel, to design a process that makes sense for the people and the issues involved.

Please note that where we are retained to provide exclusively neutral facilitation or mediation, we cannot and will not provide any party with legal advice.  In many cases it will be necessary or beneficial to have the parties represented by counsel.

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