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Fiona Brown

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2011

In dealing with a wide variety of labour and employment issues, Fiona takes great care in understanding her clients’ businesses and delivering advice that is tailored to meeting their specific needs. She cares deeply about addressing her clients’ concerns and resolving their issues. 

Fiona’s practice focuses on advising clients with respect to compliance with employment standards, human rights, pay equity and occupational health and safety requirements and minimizing liabilities with respect to terminations. Fiona also regularly drafts, negotiates and advises on the enforcement of contractual and commercial arrangements with employees, including employment and consulting agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, equity and non-equity based compensation arrangements and bonus plans, the assignment of intellectual property rights and separation packages. In addition, Fiona represents clients in litigation arising out of the employment relationship, including wrongful and constructive dismissal litigation and matters before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Fiona’s commercial employment law practice involves assisting the firm’s corporate clients with all labour and employment aspects of corporate transactions, restructurings and mergers and acquisitions, including employment-related diligence, successor employer issues and preparing related employment and consulting agreements. Fiona represents employers in the public, private, non-profit and charitable sectors across a range of industries and contexts, including technology, manufacturing, automotive, health and wellness, insurance, transportation, retail and marketing, among others.

In addition, Fiona frequently advises international clients expanding into Canada. She works closely with firm members in other practice areas, including technology, cannabis and corporate/commercial, to provide her clients with a full range of legal services to take their business to the next level. Fiona enjoys working with clients to develop workable business solutions.

Fiona is a regular speaker and writer on employment and labour law matters.

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE)
  • Human Rights Committee
  • Young Women in Law

Community Involvement

  • Toronto Public Library Foundation, Hush Hush Committee

Representative Matters

Advising an American recruiting software firm on its expansion into Canada, including providing advice on employment matters. 

Advising an American online learning platform company in connection with employment matters related to its expansion into Canada.

Advising a global consulting company that provides cloud-based products, IT infrastructure services and cloud migrations on establishing a Canadian subsidiary.

Advising a technology firm based in the United Kingdom on its expansion into Canada, in relation to employment and incorporation matters.

Advising a global technology company that provides business application implementations and software product engineering on various employment matters.

Advising an American digital marketing company on matters related to its expansion into Canada.

Providing day-to-day operational advice on employment matters for a national industry association.

Advising multiple multinational manufacturing companies on a variety of matters, including providing regular day-to-day advice on a wide range of employment matters.

Advising a clinical research organization in the health-care sector in connection with its expansion into Canada.

Advising a large multinational furniture company expanding into Canada on the structuring of its employment practices and facilitating the provision of related tax, corporate/commercial and intellectual property matters.

Represented Baylin Technologies Inc. (TSX:BYL), a diversified leading global wireless technology management company, in the completion of a $40.25 million bought deal public offering of subscription receipts and 6.5% extendible convertible unsecured debentures and the related acquisition of Alga Microwave Inc.

Acted on behalf of Shahid Khan in his purchase of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. The purchase represents the largest single-asset price-per-room hotel transaction in Canadian history. Through various family holdings, Mr Khan took immediate ownership of the hotel, which will continue to be managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. 

Represented Baird Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, in the acquisition of Litecorr Global Inc., a leading edge developer/manufacturer of LED lighting products, for use in a variety of applications across a range of industries.

Selected Speaking Engagements

“#Me Too and the Law,” Masters Association of Ontario Conference, September 25, 2019.

“Doing Business in Canada,” Marseille in Canada 2019, July 8, 2019.

“Employment 101 for Startups,” Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, July 4, 2019.

"Cannabis in the Workplace," Start Proud’s Law Without Judgment – New Precedent Conference, May 4, 2019. 

“Legal Issues Facing Today’s HR Professional,” Feldman Daxon Partners’ 5th Annual HR Breakfast Meeting, November 2018.

“Cannabis Legalization: How Are You Managing Your workplace Risks,” IIA Panel, PwC Webinar, October 2018.

“Cannabis and Corporate Culture,” OMERS Ventures Webinar, September 2018.  

“Employment Matters Affecting Startups,” Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, June 2018.

“Investing in Cannabis: Canada’s Landscape and New Markets,” Lift Toronto Cannabis Expo, May 2018.

“The Legalization of Marijuana,” City of Surrey, Risk Management Division (Session with The Society of Fellows), April 2018.

“Deals, Mergers and Acquisitions,” Cannabis Law Institute, July 2017.    

“A Year in Review: Top Issues in Employment Law,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, January 2017. 

“Tough Questions, Difficult Answers and Head Scratchers: A&B Workplace Law Lawyers Answer Your Questions,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, October 2016.

“The Employment Contract: From Marriage to Divorce,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, September 2016.

“Changing Demographics in the Workplace: How To Manage And Thrive,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, May 2016.

“Medical Marijuana in the Workplace,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, February 2016.

“Top Issues In Employment Law,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, January 2016.

“Issues in Accommodation,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, October 2015.

“Workplace Law Update: What to Watch out For,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, September 2015.

“Social Media in the Workplace: The Evolution of New Rules and Practices,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, March 2015.

Selected Publications

Author, “Compensation, Time Off Differences Between Canadian, U.K., Employment Law,” The Lawyer’s Daily, October 7, 2019.

Author, “What U.K. Employers Should Know About Canadian Employment Law,” The Lawyer’s Daily, September 20, 2019.

Author, “Health, Safety, Vacation Differences Between U.S. and Canada Employment Laws,” The Lawyer’s Daily, September 10, 2019.

Author, "Compensation, Termination Differences Between U.S. and Canada Employment Law," The Lawyer's Daily, August 21, 2019.

Author, "What American Employers Should Know About Canadian Employment Law," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, August 19, 2019.

Author, "Differences Between Canadian, American Employment Law," The Lawyer's Daily, August 15, 2019.

Co-author, “The Duty to Accommodate: A Cooperative and Collaborative Process,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 9, 2019.

Co-author, “Restrictions on Cannabis Consumption in the Workplace,” The Lawyer's Daily, September 26, 2018.

Author, “Restrictions on Cannabis Consumption in the Workplace,” InvestorIntel, September 24, 2018.

Co-author, “Bill 148 Update: Getting Ready for “On-Call” Changes to the Employment Standards Act,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, September 19, 2018.

Co-author, “How the Tobacco Industry Stands to Profit from Cannabis,” InvestorIntel, September 17, 2018.

Author, “Acquisition of Cannabis Genetics Could Lead to Bottleneck,” The Lawyer’s Daily, August 28, 2018.

Author, “The Future Is Green, but Cloudy,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, August 21, 2018.

Author, “Ontario Employers Should Prepare Now for Bill 148 Changes to On-Call Work Regulations,” The Lawyer’s Daily, August 21, 2018.

Author, “Doug Ford’s Pot Plan Leaves Black-Market and Supply-and-Demand Issues Unresolved,” The Lawyer’s Daily, August 15, 2018.

Co-author, “Ontario Government Confirms Private Retail Model,” Aird & Berlis LLP Cannabis Newsletter, August 14, 2018.

Co-author, “One of the Biggest Barriers in Canada’s Cannabis Market?,” InvestorIntel, August 14, 2018.

Co-author, “Acquiring Cannabis Genetics Under the New Cannabis Regime,” Aird & Berlis LLP Cannabis Newsletter, August 7, 2018.

Co-author, “ESA Update: Ontario Set to Return to Its Former Public Holiday Pay Calculation,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 15, 2018.

Co-author, “Collective Agreement Benefits vs. Paid Emergency Leave – First Look After Bill 148,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 15, 2018.

Co-author, “Bill 53 Proposes Minimum Pay Rates for Workers Under Government Contracts,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 14, 2018.

Co-author, “Ontario Introduces Sweeping Changes to Workplace Laws with the Passing of Bill 148,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, December 1, 2017. 

Co-author, “Ontario Moves Closer to Marijuana Legalization,” Aird & Berlis LLP Cannabis Newsletter, November 17, 2017. 

Co-author, “The Government of Ontario Reveals Proposal for Regulatory Structure for the Sale and Distribution of Recreational Cannabis,” Aird & Berlis LLP Cannabis Newsletter, September 13, 2017.

Author, “How to Manage Your Legal Risk,” Fitness Business Canada, July/August 2017 edition.

Author, “Decriminalization vs. Legalization: The Cannabis Act,” Aird & Berlis LLP Cannabis Newsletter. Fiona was subsequently interviewed in response to this article by Leafly, June 13, 2017.

Author, “Getting Fit… Legally – How to Manage Your Legal Risk as a Fitness Business Owner,” Fitness Business Canada, May 18, 2017.

Author, “Fixed Terms – Can They Be Broken?,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, July 2015.

Author, “The New Statutory Leaves of Absence in Ontario,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, April 2015.

Co-author, “The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005: Have You Complied?,” Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Law Bulletin, October 2013.

Co-author, “Misconduct and addiction: When is cause enough?,” Canadian Employment Law Today, November 13, 2013.

Insights

Publications Article Sep 28, 2018 Restrictions on Cannabis Consumption in the Workplace
Publications Article Aug 21, 2018 The Future Is Green, but Cloudy
Publications Article Aug 14, 2018 Ontario Government Confirms Private Retail Model
Publications Article Nov 17, 2017 Ontario Moves Closer to Marijuana Legalization

Education

  • JD, University of Windsor, 2010
  • BA, Queen's University, 2007