Canadian Lawyer InHouse

April/May 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse 19 SINCE THE PANDEMIC crisis led to layoffs, staffing changes and many new workplace safety regimes, labour and employment issues have been top of mind for in-house counsel. Retaining a reliable firm to navigate these intricacies is critical, so labour and employ- ment boutiques have been in high demand during the past year. As the COVID vaccine rolls out and many employees begin to return to physical workspaces this year, that is likely to continue. Readers voted Rae Christen Jeffries LLP among Canadian Lawyer's Top 10 Labour & Employment Boutiques. Since its inception in 2018, the Toronto-based boutique firm has continued to grow and has attracted a team of associates who serve a wide range of client needs. As executive vice president, chief legal officer and public affairs at Sun Life, Melissa Kennedy juggles various labour and employ- ment issues for the financial services giant. She values the help of law firm lawyers such as Angela Rae, founding partner at Rae Christen Jeffries. "Angela brings practical expertise, real common sense and vast experience from being an expert in her field for 30 years," says Kennedy. Mary Senkbeil, associate vice president, employment law, safety and risk at Regis Corporation, enjoys working with Rae Christen Jeffries partner Frances Gallop. "Frances is my go-to person," says Senkbeil. "I value that she knows and understands our business, and she is extremely timely and has a good sense of humour." Another client of Rae Christen Jeffries, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, outsources several labour relations and employee relations matters, including arbitration, workplace investigations and wrongful dismissal claims. Top 10 Labour & Employment Boutiques Leading firms offer creativity and value for money "I've worked with the firm since its inception, and before that, I worked with the founding partners and many of the associates, says Sharon Chilcott, managing director and associate general counsel, employment law and litigation at OTPP. "What I find in Rae Christen Jeffries is responsiveness, creativity and a deep expertise." Chilcott also appreci- ates the cost-effective service provided by associates working at the boutique firm. "A firm is most useful to us when they understand who we are, what we stand for and what we believe in so they can come up with practical solutions, and Rae Christen Jeffries does that extraordinarily well," says Chilcott. "A firm is most useful to us when they understand who we are, what we stand for and what we believe in so they can come up with practical solutions, and Rae Christen Jeffries does that extraordinarily well." Sharon Chilcott, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

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