• L.L.B., 1976
    Osgoode Hall Law School at York University
  • B.A., 1973
    University of Toronto

Year of Call/Admission

  • Ontario, 1978

Languages Spoken

  • English

Brian W. Burkett

  • Share this page


+1 416 865 4466
+1 416 364 7813 (fax)

Brian W. Burkett is a senior partner with Fasken Martineau's Toronto office.

Brian has practiced exclusively in the area of management labour relations and employment law since his call to the Ontario Bar in 1978. His law practice on behalf of individual employers and employer associations includes: providing strategic labour and employment law advice for clients; strategic input on the development of labour and employment law policy at the provincial, federal and international levels; appearances before grievance arbitration and labour relations boards at the provincial and federal level; and negotiation of collective agreements on behalf of a variety of employers in the telecommunications, transportation, energy, retail, automobile manufacturing and health care sectors.

Brian has held the top ranking of Band 1 in the Chambers Global Rankings for a number of consecutive years, up to and including 2017. He has been similarly recognized in all of the following publications: Chambers Canada (Band 1-2017), The International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers, (6th Edition (2013)), the Annual Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada published by Lexpert/American Lawyer Media, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2016), and The Best Lawyers in Canada (2016).

Brian is a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in the United States. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating awarded to a lawyer for his legal skills and sense of ethics.

He is a Director of and counsel to the Canadian Employers Council (CEC). The CEC represents the interests of Canadian employers at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, and in connection with the Summit of the Americas Process.

Brian is co-author of the book Canadian Labour and Employment Law for the U.S. Practitioner (Forth Edition, 2017), published by Bloomberg BNA Books of Washington, D.C. He is also co-editor and an author of Federal Labour Law and Practice, published by Canada Law Book in 2013.

Brian is a member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Labour Law Association (CLLA). He is an associate editor of the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal and a member of the International Association of Labour Law Journals.

Brian sits on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources (CIRHR) at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace at the Faculty of Law, Queen’s University.

Brian is an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources (CIRHR) at the University of Toronto and co-teaches the Developments in International Labour and Human Resource Policy course at the University of Toronto: CIRHR.

Finally, Brian is co-Chair of the one of a kind in Canada International Conference in respect of the world of work. The 2017 Conference, to be held on November 3-4, 2017 at the campus of Western Law in London, Ontario, features the keynote speaker Professor David Weil, author of “The Fissured Workplace”. Professor Weil is the former administrator for the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hours Division under the Obama Administration. Professor Weil was recently appointed Dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Honours and Awards

  • Chambers Global 2014-2017 for Employment Law - Employer and Labour Relations Band 1
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory for Employment Law and Labour Relations, 2013-2017
  • Chambers Canada 2016-2018 for Employment and Labour: Nationwide and Employment and Labour: Ontario 
  • Chambers Canada 2018 for Employment & Labour: Canada
  • Legal 500 Canada 2016-2017 "Leading Lawyer" for Labour and Employment
  • Annual Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014-2018 for Labour and Employment Law
  • Who's Who Legal 100 2014-2015 for Labour and Employment
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2014-2016 for Labour and Employment
  • The International Who's Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell (AV® Preeminent™)
  • The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (Fellow)
  • Recognized as an Acritas Star™ Lawyer 2016


  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Co-Director, Canadian Labour Law Association (CLLA)
  • Director and Counsel, Canadian Employers Council
  • Member, International Association of Labour Law Journals
  • Member, International Organization for Standardization (IS)
  • Member, International Society for Labour and Social Security Law
  • Member, Inter-University Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT)
  • Member, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Member, The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario)