Who We Are
Sherrard Kuzz LLP is one of Canada’s leading employment and labour law firms exclusively representing employers. Recognized nationally and internationally our team is consistently named among Canada’s Top Employment and Labour Firms by Canadian Lawyer®, Chambers Global®, Lexpert®, Best Lawyers®, Who’s Who Legal® and Legal 500®, and as a 5-Star Safety Law Firm for excellence in occupational health and safety by Canadian Occupational Safety®.
Our clients are public and private, domestic and foreign, unionized and non-unionized, subject to provincial or federal regulation, and range in size and complexity of operations from small, single-location, single-business enterprises to large, multi-site, multinational organizations.
As leaders in our field, our lawyers publish articles and lead national and international conferences on the full range of employment and labour law.
Our Core Values
Our Core Values define the manner in which we serve and interact with our clients and the community at large. They emphasize exemplary service, creativity, collaboration, respect, transparency and value:
We aspire to excellence and are passionate about our work. We love what we do and project a positive outlook. We appreciate clients choose from a range of service providers and are honoured when they choose Sherrard Kuzz LLP. Our mandate is to demonstrate our thanks with exceptional service, collaboration, trust and transparency, delivering on time and within budget, and making our clients look like stars.
We focus on outcomes and are business and politically conscious. We understand clients operate in a business world, not a legal textbook. We ensure our advice is timely, cost-effective, practical and realistic within the larger business, political and cultural context.
We are creative and collaborate with our clients. We know “you can’t do that” is the easiest, and often safest, answer a legal advisor can offer. We also know this is not the kind of advice we are retained to provide. If we foresee a potential roadblock we collaborate with our client to navigate around it, minimizing risk and maximizing opportunity.
We do our homework. We spend considerable time – not billed – learning about each client’s priorities, objectives and culture. This detailed knowledge enhances our ability to assist clients proactively and strategically – often resolving issues before they become a concern.
We are accessible. Our live 24 hour telephone number is answered by a Sherrard Kuzz LLP lawyer, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. Many of our clients have 24 hour operations, or operate in a variety of time zones, and we are accustomed to serving them on their schedule. We believe this is another example of our unparalleled commitment to client service.
We are down to earth and respectful. We take our work very seriously, but we do not take ourselves seriously. We ensure every interaction with a member of our firm is professional, pleasant and productive. Our goal is to foster relationships in which clients look forward to working with us.
Our word is gold. We are transparent, accountable and trusted.
Our success as a firm can only be measured by the success of our clients.
In all of these ways, Sherrard Kuzz LLP is more than a law firm; our legal team strives to become a part of each client’s management team. This is our firm’s practice philosophy.
It informs the way we do business, distinguishes us from other law firms and ensures highly successful and lasting client relationships.
Our Unique Approach to Client Service
Our team is recognized for its unique approach which ensures uninterrupted, efficient, and consistently high quality service:
We staff files modestly, without sacrificing necessary skill and experience. Many of our lawyers started with our firm as first year law students and, as such, have many more years of experience than their year of call suggests.
Our lawyers do not practice in one discrete area of labour, employment or human rights law. Most of our colleagues have a practice that encompasses all of these areas, giving us enormous flexibility to assign work and bring people into a file as needed.
We cross-train our team so several of our lawyers and support staff remain familiar with every client and their unique needs. We routinely bring a second colleague to as many client meetings and proceedings as permitted. However, we do not bill for the second colleague’s time unless the context requires and upon prior approval of our client. This investment in client success is an example of our commitment to exceptional client service and the development of lasting, transparent relationships.
We ensure our clients receive exceptional value without sacrificing quality and experience. While senior team members play an active role, whenever possible, they supervise and direct those colleagues best able to skillfully and efficiently carry out the work at the most cost-effective level.
We leverage our collective knowledge and experiences. We regularly hold educational seminars and firm-wide meetings in which we discuss mandates within our office, updates in the law, and useful points of practice.
We respond quickly. For general matters, our firm standard is to respond within the same business day and within the hour, whenever possible. For urgent matters, our 24 hour line means we respond to clients immediately (or within minutes), regardless of time of day or night.
We are available whenever needed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our live 24 hour telephone number is answered by a Sherrard Kuzz LLP lawyer (not an answering service), 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. Several of our clients have 24 hour operations, and we are always in a position to serve them on their schedule.
We are committed to, and are known for, providing timely, practical, creative and user-friendly advice. We appreciate a straightforward, timely response can be critical to developing the most appropriate strategy. Because of our flat structure and emphasis on teamwork, if one lawyer cannot respond within the required timeline, another lawyer, with prior working knowledge of the client and file, will. This includes day-to-day advice and assistance, as well as more complex representation. For example, certain issues such as violence in the workplace, unlawful work stoppage, or an occupational health and safety matter, may require immediate attention. A hallmark of Sherrard Kuzz LLP is meeting and beating these timelines working around the clock at our office and/or at the client’s premises to provide excellent, cost-effective service and results.
Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Sherrard Kuzz LLP is committed to an inclusive work environment made up of people with diverse backgrounds, identities, and perspectives. We support equity and non-discriminatory practices not only because it’s the law, but because of who we are and what we stand for as a team:
- We are progressive, forward-thinking, supportive, and creative.
- We know a more diverse team that welcomes different opinions and ideas is better for our clients and for our colleagues.
- We are not afraid of change – we create change.
- We are not reluctant to test boundaries – we collaborate to define new ones.
Diversity and Inclusion Policy
Our Diversity and Inclusion Policy confirms our commitment to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace through recruitment, retention and advancement.
Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
Our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is comprised of senior management, lawyers, law students and support team members from diverse backgrounds, identities and cultures. The Task Force encourages a culture of inclusion and acceptance and meets regularly to identify new strategies to ensure our firm continues to evolve and improve as a workplace of choice for all.
Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation Initiatives
We lead by example, both within our firm and through our support for a variety of important external organizations. For example:
- We celebrate Pride Month, Black History Month, Holocaust Memorial Day and other important events with guest speakers.
- In collaboration with Scotia Wealth Management, and under the umbrella U Sports, we co-founded and co-fund Athletes on Track, a bursary and mentorship program designed to financially support university-level Black student-athletes and provide them with the tools necessary to enter and thrive in the job market, post-graduation.
- We support Pro Bono Ontario as a member of the 100% Access to Justice Leadership Circle.
- We support Newcomer Women’s Services, a non-profit organization that provides services to immigrant women, particularly around entry to the labour market, financially and by giving intern opportunities to these women.
- We support National GC Network (NGCN), an organization whose members are general counsel and senior in-house legal leaders who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, or People of Colour (IBPOC). NGCN’s mission is to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion values in the organizations of NGCN members and the legal community.
- We support KidsBeingKids an organization whose mission is to give every child the chance to play sports regardless of their economic circumstances.
- We regularly participate in CPD programs provided by external presenters that address a variety of equity, diversity and inclusion-related topics.
- We recognize Black Lives Matter and created a library of resources available to our firm.
- We acknowledged the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day and gave a meaningful donation to the Native Women’s Support Network.
- We support various Black (and BIPOC) law student groups, including attending, sponsoring and speaking at conferences and hosting events at our firm.
- We support community programs to help high school students from traditionally disenfranchised groups experience a professional office and create a professional network (e.g., Moving Toward Opportunity). In several cases, we have hired these students after high school and throughout their post-secondary education.
- Our signatures include preferred pronouns to signal our welcoming of gender diversity.
- We support “Q Biz” an online magazine dedicated to promoting and supporting LGBTQ+ businesses.
Sherrard Kuzz LLP is committed to serving its diverse communities. We encourage firm members to donate their time and expertise to a variety of worthy causes, individually and as a team. Directly and indirectly, we are proud to support the following community-based organizations (to name a few):
- Assaulted Women’s Helpline
- Atsikana Pa Ulendo
- Brampton Caledon Community Living
- Burlington Family Resource Centre
- Canadian Foundation for Aids Research
- Community Association for Riding for the Disabled
- Community Home Assistance to Seniors
- Community Living Renfrew County South
- CNIB (formerly Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
- Daily Bread Food Bank
- Daniels Spectrum
- Durham Family Court Clinic
- Eastwood Neighbourhood Community Centre
- Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth
- First Book Canada
- Habitat For Humanity
- Head to Head
- Independent Living Services of Simcoe County and Area
- Interim Place
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Lawyers Feed The Hungry
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada
- METRAC – Metropolitan Action Committee On Violence Against Women and Children
- Moving Toward Opportunity – Mentorship and Employment Program
- Native Women’s Resource Centre
- North Toronto Support Services
- North York Women’s Shelter
- Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
- Ovarian Cancer Canada
- Pro Bono Ontario
- Reach Out Centre for Kids (Rock)
- Redwood Shelter
- Second Base Youth Shelter
- Second Harvest
- Sick Children’s Hospital
- Simcoe Country Children’s Aid Foundation
- Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions
- Start Proud
- Stella’s Place
- Support Ontario Youth
- Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation
- Toronto Mayor’s Evening for the Arts
- True Patriot Love
- U Sports (formerly, Canadian Inter-university Sport)
- Veterinarians Without Borders
- Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie
- Women’s Support Network of York Region
- Yves Landry Foundation