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Brian Smeenk

Brian P. Smeenk

Partner Fasken
Many employers aspire to achieve high levels of productivity while ensuring full legal compliance. Your lawyer should be able to help you achieve that.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1981
Language(s) English
Office(s) Toronto

Brian Smeenk’s practice is focused on management-side labour and employment law. Representing both private and public sector employers, Brian assists clients with all aspects of labour relations and employment law. Regularly appearing before courts and tribunals including arbitration boards, labour boards and human rights tribunals, Brian also frequently represents employers in complex union negotiations.

Brian has extensive experience in working for a wide variety of employers in the private and public sectors. He has represented companies in many industries, ranging from small start-ups to large national and multi-national businesses. He has also advised across the public sector, including crown corporations, the Province of Ontario, hospitals, municipalities, school boards and York University.

Brian is also the firm’s primary representative on the North America-wide Employers' Counsel Network. He is the founding editor of Fasken's weekly bulletin, HR Space, as well as Northern Exposure – Employment Law for US Companies with Operations in Canada, a blog published by HR

Brian is a past president of the Toronto Human Resource Professionals Association and Toronto Industrial Relations Association, and is President of the Merit Award Bursary Program. He was named Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2014.

Brian was also recently named a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a non-profit professional association honoring leading lawyers. His expertise has also been recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers Canada, Best Lawyers in Canada and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2016-2017 for Labour & Employment
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2007-2018 for Labour Relations
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016-2017 for Employment Law - Employee
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015-2016 for Employment Law - Employer and Workplace Human Rights - Employer
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2010-2018 for Labour and Employment Law        
  • Chambers Global 2009-2016, 2018 for Employment and Labour
  • Chambers Canada 2016 and 2017 for Employment and Labour: Nationwide and Employment and Labour: Ontario  
  • Legal 500 Canada 2016-2018 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


  • M.B.A. and Dipl. I.R. University of Michigan
  • LLB University of Ottawa

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
How Aggressive is Too Aggressive? Professionalism in Today's Business Environment location location Toronto
Practice Makes Perfect: Becoming a Better Labour Advocate location location Toronto
Employing in Canada 2012: Essential HR Policies and Practices


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