Nelligan O’Brien Payne has been representing unions in their relationships with employers for over 50 years.

Labour law has taken us across Canada – east, west and north. We work with small unions that represent the workforce of a single employer, the large public sector unions and all else between.

We know labour law.

But we understand that isn’t enough. Sure, we have the expertise to deal with the transactional needs of our clients in a quite technical area of law. But unions and the relationships between employer and employee are about people. The dynamics of personalities trying to find common ground.

2017 Best Lawyers Award - Labour Law

It’s this aspect of the work that energizes us. We want to build lasting relationships with clients. We don’t hesitate to roll up our sleeves. If your shop has internal concerns or conflicts that impact its ability to serve your members, we are here to help you resolve them. It gives us tremendous satisfaction to help people overcome their differences.

Since we are part of a full-service firm, our colleagues are ready to help with any related matter such as intellectual property or real estate. We can also assist with the personal needs of your members. People with difficulties in their employment may face other challenges as well – disabilities, mental health issues and other personal trials that impact their work.

Speaking of the rest of the firm, yes, we do have an Employment Law practice group. But We understand and appreciate the need for Labour and Employment to remain at arm’s length. Our Employment group will not take as a client an employer that could potentially be at odds with one of our Labour clients.

Our team is also sensitive to the fact that many union shops have limited resources – they need select legal services, but not the full package. That’s why we’re flexible in how we work with clients. No two situations are ever the same. We are always eager to try a different approach and find a creative way to resolve an issue.

You could say we’ve become victims of our own success. After this long in the game, some perceive us as blue-chip and pin-striped. But our team is a diverse mix of the old guard and the new. We consider ourselves down to earth, maybe even a little funky. Come see for yourself.

We provide advice on all aspects of:

  • Organizing workers and getting bargaining rights
  • Collective agreements interpretation and administration
  • Making effective use of labour relations legislation
  • Negotiation of federal and provincial collective agreements
  • Representing members before professional tribunals
  • Harassment rights
  • Human rights and discrimination
  • Union administration and member representation
  • Maintaining member rights in restructuring situations
  • Workers compensation

We’ve got labour covered

Our specialists have broad experience doing appeals, applications for judicial review, injunctions, and all types of employment-related litigation. We have recognized experts in crucial areas like workers’ compensation and interest arbitration.

We act on behalf of unions and employees at grievance arbitration and adjudication hearings throughout Canada. We handle cases before the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Public Service Staff Relations Board, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Human Rights Commissions, and Workers Compensation Boards, as well as all levels of courts.

We act on behalf of unions and employees at grievance arbitration and adjudication hearings throughout Canada. We also handle cases before the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Public Service Staff Relations Board, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Human Rights Commissions, and Workers Compensation Boards, as well as all levels of courts.

The specialists in this group have broad experience doing appeals, applications for judicial review, injunctions, and all types of employment-related litigation.

We publish a regular blog, Labour of Law, which you can read or subscribe to.

Are you a leader or member of a union or association? Find out about our unique Union Consulting Group for unions and associations.