Employment & Labour

Ovsyannikov practices the art of listening in client service

By AdvocateDaily.com Staff

Vaughan employment lawyer Dennis Ovsyannikov tells AdvocateDaily.com that his job is all about client service, and that starts from the moment a person walks through the doors of his office with a problem.

In order to get clients the result they deserve, he does “a great deal of listening in that first meeting,” says Ovsyannikov, associate with Zeilikman Law.

“I want to make sure they’re put at ease and are not rushed so that I can understand their problem fully. To do that, I give them the time they need to convey their concerns, and gather as many facts as possible,” he adds. “Then we can go about finding solutions together, and determining what works best for that client’s particular circumstances.”

Ovsyannikov felt destined for the profession at a young age, setting his sights on the law during high school.

“It seemed like a perfect match for my personality, and also corresponded with all my strongest skills,” he says. “I love reading and researching, but I’m also good at negotiating and communicating. I get to use that full range of skills in my job now.”

After completing a B.A. in history at York University, where he graduated with the highest honour, he went on to law school at the University of Ottawa, where his employment law classes struck a chord.

“I liked the subject, and decided to proceed in that direction,” Ovsyannikov says.

Following the completion of his articles at a litigation boutique in Toronto, he spent some time as an associate in another mid-size firm, before joining Zeilikman Law, where he serves clients in both English and Russian.

Since his call to the bar, Ovsyannikov has successfully acted for clients before the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice and small claims court, as well as at administrative tribunals such as the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

Ovsyannikov’s practice is now primarily devoted to employment and labour law, acting for both employers and employees in a variety of matters, including wrongful dismissals, injunctions, restrictive covenants disputes, and workplace harassment. Despite his wide range of clients, he makes sure to adjust his approach to suit each one individually.

“Depending on their size and prior experience, employers will generally have a good idea of what they need, which means they’re more focused on the details,” he explains. “For employees and individuals, especially those who have been blindsided by a recent termination, they need more time to process what has happened to them and more guidance on their legal rights and the process in general before we can decide on the correct strategy for moving forward.”

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