AvraamGeorge

George Avraam

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

George Avraam practices trial and appellate litigation. He is a certified specialist in civil litigation, is ranked in Benchmark Litigation, Chambers, Legal 500, Lexpert, and Best Lawyers in Canada. George is also a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Practice Focus

George practices trial and appellate litigation. He is lead counsel on trials, appeals, judicial reviews, class actions, arbitrations, and proceedings before administrative tribunals. George's practice involves a variety of substantive legal areas, with specific expertise in labour and employment law, university law, administrative, public, and constitutional law.

George has been lead appellate counsel on precedent setting cases, including:

  • whether an employer must provide an employee consideration for a termination clause in an asset transaction (Olympus, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada denied);

  • the scope and purpose of punitive damages (Pate);

  • the jurisdiction of the court to entertain a wrongful dismissal after a union has been certified but before a collective agreement has been finalized (Cintas);

  • the enforceability of termination clauses in employment contracts (Holland and Andros);

  • the authority and powers of a university administrative tribunal (Bart);

  • the jurisdiction of a labour board over a foreign entity (Wal-Mart Stores Inc.);

  • the lawfulness of a store closure during a union certification drive Wal-Mart (Jonquiere, SCC);

  • moral damages flowing from an employment relationship (Honda v. Keays (SCC)); and

  • the validity of McMaster University's mandatory vaccine policy (Michalski).

George's trial practice involves clients in complex litigation matters, including partnership disputes at professional service firms, fraud, complex commercial matters, class actions, and labour and employment matters.

He has also been lead counsel in significant employment-related class actions, all of which were resolved on extremely favourable terms for the employer.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Lead counsel to McMaster University on an application for judicial review challenging its mandatory vaccination policy.

  • Lead counsel in two different class actions involving security companies in off-the-clock employment class actions.

  • Lead counsel in Andros v. Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc. 2019 ONCA 679, which addressed the enforceability of termination clauses.

  • Lead counsel in Krishnamoorthy v. Olympus Canada Inc. 2017 ONCA 873, in which the Ontario Court of Appeal found that fresh consideration was not required for a termination clause secured as part of an offer of employment in an asset transaction. The Supreme Court denied leave to appeal.

  • Lead counsel in Bart v. McMaster University 2016 ONSC 5747 (Can LII), in which he successfully represented McMaster University in one of the most significant judicial reviews involving internal university administrative tribunals.

  • Lead counsel in Holland v. Hostopia.com, 2015 ONCA 762 in which he successfully upheld the trial court's findings that the Plaintiff was not entitled to commissions arising out of a transaction.

  • Lead counsel in Pate Estate v. The Corporation of the Township of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey (2013), 117 O.R. (3d) 481 on the scope and purpose of punitive damage awards.

  • Lead counsel for the intervener, the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada, at the Supreme Court of Canada in Plourde v. Wal-Mart Canada Corporation, 2009 SCC 54 and Desbiens et al. v. Wal-Mart Canada Corporation, 2009 SCC 55.

  • Lead counsel for the intervener, the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada, at the Supreme Court of Canada in Honda Canada Inc. operating as Honda of Canada Mfg. v. Kevin Keays: 2008 SCC 39.

  • Lead counsel for Sony of Canada Ltd., 2015 ONSC 5859, in Riskie v. Sony of Canada Ltd., in which he secured a complete dismissal of all claims in a motion for summary judgment.

  • Lead litigation counsel for Wal-Mart Canada Corp. in a successful defence of a certification application and an unfair labour practice before the Ontario Labour Relations Board in UFCW Canada v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2011 CanLII 44470 (ON LRB).

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation, Law Society of Ontario
  • The Advocates' Society
  • Canadian Association of University Solicitors
  • Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers

Admissions

  • Ontario~Canada (1999)

Education

  • Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.M. Administrative Law) (2002)
  • Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B.) (1997)
  • York University (B.A.) (1993)

Languages

  • English
  • Greek