Brian Smeenk is a partner in the Firm's Labour, Employment & Human Rights Group. Since 1981, Brian's practice has focused on management-side labour and employment law.
Brian represents both private sector and public sector employers in all aspects of labour relations and employment law. He appears regularly before tribunals such as arbitration boards, labour relations boards, employment standards adjudicators and human rights boards of inquiry. Brian also acts as counsel in employment-related civil actions, judicial reviews and appeals at all levels.
He has extensive experience in labour negotiations for a wide variety of employers in the private and public sectors. In 1995, he was named to national mediation-arbitration panels chaired by Mr. Justice George Adams to resolve national railroad strikes involving CP Rail and five of its unions.
Brian is the firm's primary representative on the North America-wide Employers' Counsel Network. He is the editor-in-chief of Fasken Martineau's new weekly bulletin, HR Space, as well as Northern Exposure – Employment Law for US Companies with Operations in Canada, a blog published by HR Hero.com. He was also the editor of Canadian Employment Law For U.S. Companies, published in the US by M. Lee Smith Publishers (1993 to 2001). He was granted the designation of Certified Human Resources Professional (C.H.R.P.) by the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO). He is a past director of HRPAO and past-president of both the Toronto Human Resource Professionals Association and the Toronto Area Industrial Relations Association. He is also a National Board Member for Breakfast for Learning. Brian was named Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (2014).
In 2015, Brian was named a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Brian appears in the 2009 to 2016 editions of Chambers Global, as a leading lawyer in the area of employment and labour. He also appears in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2007-2015), a guide to the leading law firms and practitioners in Canada, as a leading lawyer in the area of labour relations, and in Best Lawyers in Canada (2010-2016). Brian is also recognised as one of the leading Labour lawyers in Canada in the 10th anniversary edition of Practical Law Company's Labour and Employee Benefits multi-jurisdictional guide.
Honours and Awards
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2007-2016 for Labour Relations
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016 for Employment Law - Employee
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015-2016 for Employment Law - Employer and Workplace Human Rights - Employer
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2010-2017 for Labour and Employment Law
- Chambers Global 2009-2016 for Employment and Labour
- Chambers Canada 2016 and 2017 for Employment and Labour: Nationwide and Employment and Labour: Ontario
- Legal 500 Canada 2016 for Labour and Employment
- Practical Law Company's Labour and Employee Benefits for Labour
- Martindale-Hubbell "AV Preeminent" rating since 2012
- 2014 International Law Office Client Choice Award for Employment and Labour in Ontario
- Fellow, College of Labour and Employment Lawyers, since 2015
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Ontario Bar Association