Smart. Savvy. Strategic.

We help solve employment, labour and business problems.

We assess legal risks and opportunities, we provide innovative advice, and we litigate disputes.

Matthew Cooperwilliams has more than 30 years’ experience with difficult employment, labour and business problems, representing employers, employees and businesses in courts, tribunals and arbitrations across Canada. His extensive experience allows him to tailor his advice and advocacy to achieve each client’s strategic goals.

Services

Employment Law

Employees are the heart of every business and work is central to the lives of most Canadians. Matthew advises employers and employees across Canada about employment law problems and acts as counsel before courts, human rights tribunals and administrative adjudicators.

  • Wrongful dismissal litigation
  • Severance negotiations
  • Non-compete/non-solicit litigation
  • Employment contract drafting and review
  • Human rights issues
  • Restrictive covenant drafting and review
  • Executive compensation
  • Personnel policies and manuals
  • Bullying and harassment issues
  • Employment standards issues

Labour Law

Effective labour relations require thoughtful management of the employer/union relationship over the long-term as well as agile response to crises. Matthew provides strategic advice to employers about a wide variety of issues in unionized workplaces and represents employers at the BC Labour Relations Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board and before collective agreement arbitrators.

  • Collective agreement arbitrations
  • Collective bargaining, strikes and picketing issues
  • Certification and decertification applications
  • Bullying and harassment issues
  • Unfair labour practice complaints
  • Human rights issues
  • Successorships
  • Inclusion/exclusion issues
  • Collective agreement interpretation
  • Common employer and true employer issues

Litigation

When disputes can’t be resolved by agreement, litigation requires sound knowledge of the law, tactical savvy and the sophisticated advocacy skills that come with long experience.  Matthew represents employers, employees and businesses in a wide variety of litigation matters before courts, tribunals and regulators across Canada.

  • Contract claims
  • Injunctions
  • Judicial review proceedings
  • Partnership disputes
  • Professional discipline cases
  • Regulatory proceedings
  • Recovery of confidential information
  • Agency disputes
  • Commercial arbitration
  • Garnishment proceedings

About

Qualifications

  • Bar of British Columbia, 1988
  • Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales, 2001
  • LLB, University of Manitoba, 1987
  • Adjunct Professor in Employment Law, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, 2010 – 2015
  • Chair and Co-Chair, Employment Law Conference, The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, 2009 – present
  • Founder and first Chair, Employment Law Section, Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch

Representative Cases

Negotiated
  • Severance packages for CEO, CFO, COO, and General Counsel
  • Employment contracts for President, CEO, CFO, and Chief Human Resources Officer
Defended
  • Wrongful dismissal claim for commercial insurer
  • Human rights judicial review proceedings in Nova Scotia for telecommunications retailer
  • Physician in professional disciplinary proceedings
  • Human rights claims in Ontario and Quebec for retailer 
  • Disability benefits claim for accounting firm
  • Labour Relations Board judicial review proceedings for grocery retailer
  • Restrictive covenant injunction proceedings for insurance broker
  • Founders of tech startup in wrongful dismissal and breach of confidentiality actions
Pursued
  • Ex-employee in restrictive covenant action for manufacturer
  • Future commissions for sales executive
  • Return of confidential information from ex-employee for auto parts retailer
  • Garnishment of funds before judgment in wrongful dismissal action for CFO
Advised
  • Insurance brokerage about non-competition strategy and restrictive covenants
  • Manufacturer about drug and alcohol policy
  • Post-secondary institution about bullying and harassment issues
  • Accountant about competition issues after leaving firm
  • Retailer about mass terminations across Canada
  • Auto dealership about constructive dismissal claim in Alberta

Rankings

  • Ranked, Best Lawyers in Canada – Labour and Employment Law, 2016 – present
  • Recommended, Employment Law – Employer, Canadian Legal Expert Directory, 2013 – present
  • Ranked, Who’s Who Legal Canada – Management Labour & Employment, 2016 – present

Recent Presentations

  • Co-Chair, Employment Law Continuing Legal Education Conference, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, May 2019
  • “Current Employment Law Issues for Business Lawyers”, Synergy Business Lawyers LLP, March 2019
  • “Employment Law for Corporate Counsel”, Guest Lecturer, Corporate Counsel Externship Program, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, September 2018 and January 2019
  • “The Sandwich Generation: Human Rights and Family Care Obligations”, Local Government Management Association of BC Annual Conference, May 2018

Publications

  • “Study: Canada Ranks Third-Worst for Paid Vacations”, (quoted), BC Business, May 2013
  • “The Backlash Against Unpaid Internships”, (quoted), Maclean’s Magazine, February 2011

Contact

© 2019

Matthew Cooperwilliams Law Corporation