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Fiona Brown

Partner
  • Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2011

Fiona is known for her commitment to outstanding client service. Whether assisting companies with their expansion into Canada, working with a team to manage complex transactions or acting as point person for advice on everyday matters, she is a hands-on client relationship partner. Fiona takes great care to understand her clients’ business objectives and to help her clients leverage the firm’s strengths across all practice areas. She leads multi-disciplinary teams of lawyers to provide clients with comprehensive service across all areas of business law. Clients appreciate her hands-on approach to managing the relationship and her guidance on complex matters. Fiona never loses sight of the human element in the legal issues facing her clients, and her responsiveness, focus on clear communication and project management skills show that she is personally invested in their success.

Fiona’s background in labour and employment law allows her to personally advise clients with respect to compliance with employment standards, human rights, pay equity, occupational health and safety requirements and minimizing liabilities with respect to terminations. Her 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. 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 clients trust her to manage their most important transactional, regulatory and operational legal issues. Fiona represents clients in the public, private, non-profit and charitable sectors across a range of industries and contexts, including technology, manufacturing, automotive, cannabis, health and wellness, insurance, transportation, retail and marketing, among others.

She is a practical lawyer who enjoys developing workable business solutions, and takes a proactive and comprehensive approach to helping clients succeed in a new market. Fiona works closely with lawyers and patent agents in other practice areas, including technology, litigation, intellectual property, regulatory law, banking, real estate and tax, to provide her clients with a full range of legal services to advance their business interests.

Fiona is a regular speaker and writer on market expansion matters. She is proud to be recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in Mergers & Acquisitions and in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Cannabis.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in Mergers & Acquisitions (2022)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Cannabis Law (2022)

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • MAPLE Business Council
  • Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE)
  • Human Rights Committee
  • Young Women in Law
  • Refugee Girls Worldwide

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 Mercury, a San Francisco-based company that provides banking built for startups, on its expansion into Canada. The innovative company is powering the next generation of business by providing full-service bank accounts that help tech companies scale.

Advising DroneDeploy, the leading drone software and reality capture company based in San Francisco, on its expansion into Canada. DroneDeploy transforms images from drones, robots, and handheld devices into 3D models, digital twins, and analytics. The insights generated from its solutions enable companies in construction, energy, agriculture, and other asset-intensive industries to streamline inspections, manage assets, and drive operational efficiencies.

Advising Nitro Software on its expansion into Canada. The technology company, headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Dublin, London and Melbourne, makes document productivity powerful and accessible to all. Nitro has over 2.2 million licensed users and over 11,000 business customers around the world, including over 68% of the Fortune 500 and three of the Fortune 10.

Advising FAIRTIQ, a Switzerland-based company that makes travelling by public transportation easy and cost-effective, on its expansion into Canada. FAIRTIQ’s ticketing mobile app can be used across the entire public transportation network in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, parts of Germany and Austria and soon in France and Belgium. Over 22 million trips have been taken using the award-winning FAIRTIQ app.

Advising FocusKPI, a leading analytics company based in Santa Clara with an office in Massachusetts, on its expansion into Canada. The data science and cloud technology firm services clients, including Fortune 500 companies, in the IT industry. FocusKPI supports users in harnessing data to make decisions.

Advising Sentry on its expansion to the Canadian marketplace. Sentry is an error and performance monitoring software that helps developers save time and channel their energy into fuelling innovation.

Advising the Hustle Fund on its expansion into Canada. Hustle Fund is a VC that invests exclusively in pre-seed companies based in the United States, Canada and Southeast Asia.

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 Scandal, Madam Secretary, The Purge: Anarchy, How to Get Away with Murder and Suits.

Advising Billennium, a global technology company with offices spanning three continents, on its expansion into Canada. Billennium provides innovative IT solutions to support modern business and has leading expertise in outsourcing, software maintenance and development, and Cloud computing. The company partners with other leading companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, and SAS.

Advising Origin Utility, Inc., a Las Vegas-based software and services provider, on its expansion into Canada. A leader in utility and municipality modernization, Origin offers world-class business and technology software solutions for utility companies and municipalities in North America and beyond.

Advising Cubigo, a multinational technology company, on its expansion into Canada. Cubigo is an integrated community platform that digitizes daily services in senior living communities. The technology is used by leading long-term care residences and Cubigo partners with notable brands like Lyft and Comcast.

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 S&S Northern, a gas safety company based in the United Kingdom, on its expansion into Canada. The company is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of cutting-edge gas pressure proving and gas detection equipment. S&S Northern has gas safety controllers in The Houses of Parliament, Windsor Castle and Manchester United’s Football Ground (Old Trafford). With over 5,000 projects completed and 35 years’ experience, S&S Northern combines the highest standard of service with the best products available.

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 Plan Shoot Deliver, a cloud-based video production company based in Prague, on its expansion into Canada. The company uses cutting-edge broadcast and virtual production technology to create unique content, backed by over two decades of experience using virtual sets and augmented reality.

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.

Selected Speaking Engagements

“SEED Market Briefing Session: Canada - Digital & Creative and Health & Life Science,” South East Export Development Webinar, June 8, 2022. 

"5 Surprising Reasons Canada is a Premier Destination for Growing European Companies," Waterloo Economic Development Corporation webinar, September 23, 2021.

"Workplace Law Issues for Eye Health Professionals," Academy of Ophthalmic Education webinar, September 12, 2021.

“Insurance Claims Landscape 2021,” Insurance Institute of Canada webinar, June 3, 2021.

"Expanding Into Canada for Experts (and Non-Experts, Too!)," Waterloo Economic Development Corporation webinar, April 21, 2021.

"Top Labour and Employment Trends From 2020: Preparing for the Unpredictable," Aird & Berlis Workplace Webinar, February 2, 2021.

Aird & Berlis Workplace Law Online Session, November 24, 2020.

“Expanding into Ontario, Overview of Corporate and Employment Considerations,” Toronto Global Forum 2020, October 26, 2020.

"NextGen Meeting," Interlaw Live: 2020 Virtual Annual Global Meeting, October 19, 2020.

"The Canadian Landscape for Business Expansion and Relocation," Aird & Berlis Technology Webinar, September 16, 2020.

"The Changing Insurance Landscape Amid COVID-19," Centre for Study of Insurance Operations Webinar, August 24, 2020.

"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.

“#MeToo 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, “Quebec’s Bill 96: What Employers Need to Know,” Market Expansion Bulletin, June 8, 2022.

Co-author, “Expanding to Canada Q&A with Capitalize Consulting,” Market Expansion Bulletin, April 26, 2022.

Co-author, “Expanding to Canada Q&A: Cowbell Cyber,” Market Expansion Bulletin, March 15, 2022.

Co-author, "COVID-19: Back to Normal?," Market Expansion Bulletin, April 5, 2022.

Co-author, “Amendments to the Build Ontario Act: What You Need to Know,” Market Expansion Bulletin, February 2, 2022.

Co-author, “Key Update for Employers: Amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000,” Market Expansion Bulletin, January 11, 2022.

Co-author, "CASL’s Impact on Organizations and People Across Canada and Beyond Our Borders," Market Expansion Bulletin, November 16, 2021.

Co-author, "Employment Class Action Against Uber Takes Another Step Forward," Market Expansion Bulletin, October 26, 2021.

Co-author, "Vaccination Policies in Ontario: What Employers Need to Know," Market Expansion Bulletin, October 5, 2021.

Co-author, "Competition Act Requirements for Companies Acquiring an Existing Canadian Business," Market Expansion Bulletin, September 13, 2021.

Co-author, "Toronto Workplaces Now Required to Have Vaccination Policies," Market Expansion Bulletin, August 31, 2021.

Co-author, "Major Changes to Ontario’s Canadian Residency Requirement Coming into Effect Next Month," Market Expansion Bulletin, June 21, 2021.

Co-author, "COVID-19 Reporting: Responsibilities and Best Practices,Market Expansion Bulletin, June 15, 2021.

Co-author, "Ensure Your Canadian Business is Compliant with the Investment Canada Act," Market Expansion Bulletin, May 25, 2021.

Co-author, “Future of Work: Considering Long-Lasting Effects of COVID-19 for Employers,” The Lawyer’s Daily, May 20, 2021.

Co-author, "Seller Beware! New Canadian Sales Tax Changes for Online Sellers,Market Expansion Bulletin, May 11, 2021.

Co-author, "It’s Not a Question of Why – But Why Not File for a Patent in Canada?,Market Expansion Bulletin, January 26, 2021.

Co-author, "Eight Fun Facts About Canada," Market Expansion Bulletin, December 22, 2020.

Co-author, "Government of Ontario Extends “COVID-19 Period” Until July 3, 2021," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, December 22, 2020.

Co-author, "The First Step to Protecting Your Brand in Canada," Market Expansion Bulletin, November 10, 2020.

Co-author, "Legislative Requirements for Ontario Workplaces," Market Expansion Bulletin, October 27, 2020.

Co-author, "Are Employees Entitled to Incentive Payments During the Notice Period?," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, October 19, 2020.

Co-author, “Expanding to Canada is About to Get Even Simpler,” Market Expansion Bulletin, October 14, 2020. 

Co-author, "Pathway to Canadian Immigration - Why Purchasing an Existing Canadian Business May Be Right for You," Market Expansion Bulletin, October 9, 2020.

Co-author, "Is Your Business Growing? Make Sure You’re Compliant With Pay Equity Obligations," Market Expansion Bulletin, September 10, 2020.

Co-author, "Guide to Incorporating In Canada" August 19, 2020.

Co-author, "Key Differences in Employment Law between Canada and the United States," August 19, 2020.

Co-author, "Enforcing Termination Clauses Just Got More Difficult in Ontario," The Lawyer's Daily, August 4, 2020. 

Co-author, "Global Mobility in the Wake of U.S. Order to Ban the Entry of Foreign Workers to the United States," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, July 16, 2020.

Co-author, "Waksdale: Termination Pendulum Swings Back," The Lawyer's Daily, July 10, 2020 and Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law BulletinJune 22, 2020.

Co-author, "Uber v. Heller: Supreme Court Throws Out Dutch Arbitration Clause As Unconscionable," Aird & Berlis LLP Litigation Bulletin, July 9, 2020 and The Lawyer's Daily, July 23, 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 Aug 19, 2020 Guide to Incorporating in Canada
Publications Article Jun 22, 2020 The Pendulum Swings Back
Publications Article Apr 09, 2020 Expanding Your Business to Canada

Education

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