Fiona Brown

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2011

Fiona is known for her commitment to outstanding client service. Whether responding to labour and employment issues or coordinating a team of lawyers to assist in other areas, Fiona takes great care to understand her clients’ businesses and deliver advice that is tailored to meeting their specific needs. Her responsiveness, dedication to clear communication, and hands-on approach show that she is personally invested in the success of her clients.

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 lawyers and patent agents in other practice areas, including technology, litigation, intellectual property, corporate/commercial and cannabis, to provide her clients with a full range of legal services to take their business to the next level. Fiona is a practical lawyer who 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 Gatik AI, an autonomous vehicles company based in California, on its expansion into Canada.
 
Advising Voxer, a leading global technology company providing integrated mobile communication tools, on its expansion into Canada. Voxer is recognized as one of the top 25 social networking applications in more than 60 global markets.
 
Advising VFX Legion, a well-known visual effects studio based out of Los Angeles, on its expansion into Canada. The studio’s portfolio of work includes high-profile and critically acclaimed television shows and feature films, including ScandalMadam SecretaryThe Purge: Election YearHow to Get Away with Murder and Suits.

Advising Grifa Filmes, a Brazilian production company that produces documentaries and series, on its expansion into Canada. The company has two documentaries that qualified for the Oscars and has received three Emmy nominations.
 
Advising People.ai on its expansion into Canada and establishing operations in Toronto. The San Francisco-based company accelerates enterprise growth through AI and machine learning for some of the world’s leading brands.
 
Advising Kalamuna, a California-based company that provides website strategy, design and technology development services, on its expansion into Canada.
 
Advising fizor., an innovative consultancy firm providing high-quality business consultancy and enterprise applications, on its expansion into Canada. The European-based firm supports SMB, SME and Large Enterprise clients globally with their transition to modern enterprise technology and application infrastructures.
 
Advising Attached, a language services and solutions company founded in the Netherlands, on its expansion into Canada. The company provides a wide range of translation services (legal, marketing, finance, e-learning, etc.), content creation and localization to clients located around the world.
 
Advising Rallyware, a company founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that deploys workforce engagement solutions, on its expansion into Canada. The technology is used by companies in more than 50 countries and has impacted over 10 million people.
 
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.
 
Advising MedTrix Healthcare Communications, a technology company that helps pharmaceutical companies actively engage with health-care professionals, on its expansion into Canada.
 
Advising Galen Data on its expansion into Canada. The U.S.-based software company provides device-to-cloud connectivity and data analysis, harnessing the power of medical information to lead to new innovations in the health-care sector.
 
Advising AIMS Canada, a global leadership and consulting firm, on its expansion into Canada. AIMS Canada is a member of AIMS International staffing and recruitment firm, a global company that supports its clients with executive searches, leadership development, executive coaching and talent management in over 50 countries worldwide.
 
Advising a Dutch company that provides cloud-based technological solutions on its expansion into Canada.
 
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 technology company that provides early learning programs on its expansion into Canada.
 
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. 

Selected Speaking Engagements

"The Legal Implications of Managing a Remote Workplace," Aird & Berlis Workplace Webinar, May 12, 2020.

"Expanding Your Business to Canada - A Legal Primer for Tech Companies," Aird & Berlis Technology Webinar, May 5, 2020.

"Crisis Management: What companies should know when responding to COVID-19," April 13, 2020.

"The Virtual Office: Effectively Developing a Secure Work-From-Home IT Solution," Aird & Berlis Technology Webinar, April 9, 2020.

“#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 Labour & Employment Webinar, January 2017. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selected Publications

Co author, "The Pendulum Swings Back," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law BulletinJune 22, 2020.

Co author, "Ontario Government Introduces Infectious Disease Emergency Leave," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law BulletinJune 2, 2020.

Co-author, "COVID-19 and the Workplace: Remote Working Legal Considerations and Recommendations," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law BulletinMay 26, 2020.

Co-author, "COVID-19 and the Workplace: Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Summer Jobs Program," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law BulletinApril 22, 2020.

Co-author, "Expanding Your Business to Canada," April 9, 2020.

Co-author, “Food Delivery Drivers Open to Unionization – Expanding Labour Relations to E-commerce,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, March 2, 2020 and The Lawyer's Daily, March 4, 2020.

Co-author, “Novel Coronavirus 2019 - Precautionary Measures in the Workplace,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, February 20, 2020.

Author, "What Employers Should Know About Ontario's Pay Equity Act," The Lawyer's Daily, November 15, 2019.

Author, “What U.K. Employers Should Know About Canadian Human Rights Employment Law,” The Lawyer’s Daily, November 1, 2019.

Author, “What U.K. Employers Should Know About Canadian Termination, Dismissal Law,” The Lawyer’s Daily, October 21, 2019.

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 Jun 22, 2020 The Pendulum Swings Back
Publications Article Apr 09, 2020 Expanding Your Business to Canada
Publications Article Aug 14, 2018 Ontario Government Confirms Private Retail Model

Education

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