Littler Opens Toronto Office

Firm Adds Seven Canadian Lawyers; Strengthens Capabilities in Americas

TORONTO, CANADA (August 4, 2015) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labour law practice representing management, has expanded into Canada with a new office in Toronto that will employ seven Canadian lawyers from respected law firms based in Toronto. The move establishes Littler’s 67th office and follows a period of global expansion in which the firm has dramatically increased its international footprint, particularly across North, Central and South America.

“As we continue to amplify our global capabilities, expanding into Canada was a natural evolution in our strategy of providing a single source solution for multinational employers,” said Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth, co-managing directors of Littler, in a joint statement. “Canada has seen solid economic growth, particularly in sectors with robust labour and employment needs such as energy, financial services, retail, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. With a global client base increasingly interested in business opportunities in Canada, and our already strong foothold in Latin America, we are excited to add an on-the-ground Canadian presence to our global platform and look forward to additional expansion in the country in the near future.”

Peter Susser, Littler’s Global Practice Leader and chair of the firm’s International Employment Law practice, noted that “Littler has long been interested in expanding into Canada, and in the past few years, more of our U.S. and global client base has been seeking our assistance in Ontario and beyond. Establishing a Toronto office comprised of local attorneys with strong ties to the Canadian business and legal community allows us to build from an existing client base with substantial operations in Canada. A presence in the financial and legal capital of Canada complements our existing capabilities in a country with close ties to the United States, and allows us to serve Canadian investors and companies who are increasingly interested in Latin American business opportunities.”

Six of the seven Canadian lawyers joining Littler’s new Toronto office come from Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, an established boutique firm well recognized in the Canadian labour and employment community, which was recognized for the third time by Canadian Lawyer magazine (most recently for 2014−2015) as one of the top 10 labour and employment boutiques in Canada. The additional member of the team, Sari Springer, comes with 25 years of in-depth employment law and human rights experience from Cassels Brock, a large Canadian firm. She will serve as the Toronto office managing shareholder. John Kloosterman, a shareholder in Littler’s San Francisco office and a licensed Canadian practitioner, will help establish operations in the new Toronto office.

“It’s exciting to become part of a prestigious global firm with unsurpassed levels of expertise and resources, from both a technological and services perspective,” said Sari Springer, office managing shareholder in Toronto. “Littler’s innovative approach to the delivery of legal services offers us a chance to give Canadian clients access to Littler’s highly sophisticated technology platform. And no other firm has Littler’s global presence and depth of experience in labour and employment law.”

Barry Kuretzky, a shareholder in Littler’s Toronto office, previously a senior partner at Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, added, “Our firm has significant name recognition in Canada and will be able to introduce Littler into the market, which will be an advantage as the firm builds its Canadian practice. The key benefit of joining with Littler is its corporate client base around the world. Canadian clients with operations in South America, for example, are thrilled at the prospect of accessing the expanded network that Littler offers. Joining Littler gives us the flexibility to service client needs seamlessly and conveniently in what amounts to a one-stop shop, with no need for different firms in different countries.”

The Canadian attorneys joining Littler noted that the firm impressed them with its global presence in which all lawyers specialize in labour and employment law; its diversity and inclusion policies, innovation, and strong industry sector practices. “Joining Littler, with its extensive U.S. presence and resources, makes good sense for our clients,” continued Springer.

Littler’s international offices now include: Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The firm’s global capabilities also include U.S.-based lawyers with exceptional international experience, and who are licensed practitioners in Australia, Brazil, China, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.

About Littler’s New Toronto Office Lawyers In Brief:

Marnie Baizley, Counsel
Baizley, formerly of Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, practices exclusively employment and labour law. She provides advice to employers and human resource professionals on issues arising at all stages of the employment relationship. Baizley develops practical, cost-effective strategies to promote positive employee relations in a wide range of industries and workplaces.

Adrian D. Jakibchuk, Associate
Jakibchuk, formerly of Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, is focused on the representation of employers across a broad spectrum of labour and employment law matters, with an emphasis on labour relations. He has written numerous articles published in leading employment law publications.

Barry Kuretzky, Shareholder
Kuretzky was formerly a senior partner at Kuretzky Vassos Henderson. He has practised for 37 years and specializes in the area of employment and labour law. He represents many of Canada’s largest companies. Recipient of the Continuing Legal Education Long-Term Achievement Award presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada for his significant contributions to the legal profession. Frequent Chair and speaker at most key employment law conferences. Co-author of two leading books: Mediating Employment Law Disputes (second edition) and Human Resources Guide to Workplace Harassment. He is consistently recognized by LEXPERT, Best Lawyers and Labour and Employment Expert Guide as one of Canada’s leading employment lawyers, including LEXPERT’s Canada’s Top 500 Lawyers.

Sari L. Springer, Shareholder
Springer was a partner in the advocacy group at Cassels Brock for 25 years. Over the years, Springer’s practice has primarily focused on employment law, with a particular emphasis on human rights issues.

George J.A. Vassos, Shareholder
Vassos was a senior partner at Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, and has been practising labour and employment law since 1983. His work includes a wide variety of labour and employment law issues, including wrongful dismissal and employment litigation. He is consistently recognized by LEXPERT, Best Lawyers and Labour and Employment Expert Guide as a leading employment lawyer in Canada.

Monty Verlint, Shareholder
Verlint was a partner at Kuretzky Vassos Henderson and is well recognized as a speaker and writer on a wide variety of issues, including wrongful dismissal, human rights and employment contracts. Practising since 2001, Verlint has substantial experience in representing his client’s interests and developing solutions to the most challenging employment law issues.

Jordan S. Waltman, Associate
Waltman, formerly with Kuretzky Vassos Henderson, advises employers and employees on a broad range of employment law and labour matters. He also advises clients on various human rights issues in the employment context.

About Littler

Littler is the largest global employment and labour law practice, with more than 1,000 attorneys in over 60 offices worldwide. Littler represents management in all aspects of employment and labor law and serves as a single-source solution provider to the global employer community. Consistently recognized in the industry as a leading and innovative law practice, Littler has been litigating, mediating and negotiating some of the most influential employment law cases and labour contracts on record for over 70 years. Littler Global is the collective trade name for an international legal practice, the practising entities of which are separate and distinct professional firms.