Employment & Labour

Natalie MacDonald launches new employment law firm

By Jennifer Pritchett, Associate Editor

Toronto employment lawyer Natalie MacDonald has launched another new boutique employment law firm but this time, all on her own.

MacDonald & Associates has been formed not only to continue to provide counsel to both employers and employees, but to continue the education of all regarding Canadian employment law, litigating where necessary to make a positive difference.

“The firm is invested in changing the lives of people for the better through employment law,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.

MacDonald, owner and founder of MacDonald & Associates, says the new entity provides counsel on all issues in employment law, including policy and contract drafting, employment contracts, hiring processes, terminations, disciplinary matters, restrictive covenants, employment standards issues, workplace bullying and harassment, human rights and sexual harassment.

It represents employees and employers, ranging from the smallest family-run business to the largest corporations.

The firm is based in Toronto but serves clients across Canada.

MacDonald, who has been named one of the world’s leading employment law practitioners by the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Expert Guides Women in Business Law guide, authored Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law, a legal textbook published in 2010.

She says she’s built her employment law career over the last 18 years on a commitment to “making positive change in Canadian employment law for both employers and employees.”

Her firm’s goals include building on that commitment “through litigation of important cases, and education to the public about rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees.”

MacDonald says MacDonald & Associates strives to make it easier for people to navigate the world of employment law.

“The law is ever-changing, and I will continue to write about this, as I always have, to facilitate the understanding of that,” she says.

“We want to make both employers and employees more aware of their rights. We want to do that through our work with companies to ensure they have the correct policies and contracts in place so that the nature of employment is well-defined within the organization.

“We will also continue to represent employees who have been harmed in some way by what’s happened in the workplace.”

Through webinars, LinkedIn Q and As, speaking engagements and media appearances, MacDonald & Associates will focus on educating the public about employment law matters.

MacDonald brings a wealth of experience to the firm.

She is a former editor-in-chief of the Employment Bulletin, as well as a contributor to Canadian HR Reporter, Canadian Employment Law Today and Canadian Employer.

MacDonald holds numerous leadership positions in the legal community and beyond.

She is the founding co-chair of the Employment Law Practice Essentials’ Annual Conference, an online course hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada. MacDonald is the architect of and founding program director of Osgoode’s Certificate in Advanced HR Law for Experienced HR Professionals.

She also enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through teaching, and regularly chairs and speaks at conferences, including those offered by the Human Resources Professional Association, Ontario Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

She currently serves on the Employment Advisory Board of Directors for Practical Law in Canada, and is the author of the chapter on Extraordinary Damages for its online publication, and has authored a chapter on Damages for Lexis Nexis.

She also donates her time, along with associate Cody Yorke, to assist employment law litigants through Pro Bono Law Ontario.

As part of her commitment to public education, MacDonald continues with a busy schedule of speaking engagements, including a presentation to the Ontario Bar Association’s Panel for Successful Female Lawyers on Oct. 12, and another for the International Women’s Economic Forum in Iceland on Oct. 19 and 20, when she’ll appear as a speaker with the former prime minister of Iceland.

After working as a partner in two law firms and co-founding another, MacDonald says launching MacDonald & Associates was a “natural progression for her career.”

She credits her associates and staff as being a significant source of support in moving forward with the new entity.

“I wanted to name it MacDonald & Associates to be inclusive of both the associates and staff, all of whom are critical members of the team I’ve created,” she says. “I firmly believe you don’t do anything by yourself and there’s always a team standing with you.”

The team includes senior associate Christine Krueger, as well as associates Cody Yorke, David J. Master, Geoffrey Lowe and Richa Sandill.

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