George Avraam was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1999 and has since practiced as a trial and appellate litigator. He is designated by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation. George has been ranked in Chambers Global and Chambers Canada and Ontario (Band 2), has been recommended as a leading lawyer in Legal 500 for Labour and Employment, and has been recommended as a leading employment lawyer in Lexpert. George is Chair of the North America Employment and Compensation Law Practice Group and a member of the Global Employment and Compensation Law Practice Group’s Steering Committee.
George practices trial and appellate litigation, with a focus on labour, employment, public and administrative law, class actions, education law, and fiduciary duties. He has acted as lead counsel in arbitrations, administrative proceedings, trials, appeals, judicial reviews, class actions, and injunctions.
George has been lead counsel on some of the most significant cases in these areas. He has represented the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada in two cases involving Wal-Mart and its decision to close one of its stores in Jonquiere, Quebec. He also represented the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada in the seminal employment case of Honda.
At the Ontario Court of Appeal, George was lead counsel on precedent setting matters, including whether an employer must provide an employee consideration for a termination clause in an asset transaction (Olympus), the scope and purpose of punitive damages in wrongful dismissal matters (Pate), and the jurisdiction of a court to entertain a wrongful dismissal case after a union has been certified but before a collective agreement has been negotiated and finalized (Cintas).
George has also argued significant cases on judicial review, including in Bart v. McMaster University where the Divisional Court thoroughly addressed the scope and powers of an internal administrative tribunal at a University and in UFCW, Local 1400 v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. where the Saskatchewan Queen's Bench upheld the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board's decision that it had no jurisdiction over Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a successor and related employer application.
Representative Legal Matters
Lead counsel for the intervener, the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada, in Travailleurs et Travailleuses de L'Alimentation et du Commerce, Section Locale 503 v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp.
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 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 to a municipality on a case involving a CAD 550,000 punitive damages award in a wrongful dismissal and malicious prosecution matter, which award was reduced by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Lead counsel in Krishnamoorthy v. Olympus Canada Inc. in which he persuaded the Ontario Court of Appeal that fresh consideration was not required for a termination clause that was secured as part of an offer of employment in an asset transaction. The Supreme Court denied leave to appeal.
Lead counsel for Sony of Canada Ltd. in Riskie v. Sony of Canada Ltd., in which he secured a complete dismissal of all claims in a motion for summary judgment.
Lead counsel to major Ontario universities in a number of litigious matters, including matters before the trial and appellate courts.
Lead counsel for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a successful defence of a judicial review application before the Saskatchewan Queen's Bench in UFCW, Local 1400 v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., 2010 SKQB 61.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario
- Ontario Bar Association - Executive Member, Labour Law Section 2004-2005
- The Advocates' Society
- Canadian Association of University Solicitors
- Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers
- Ontario~Canada (1999)
- Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.M. Administrative Law) (2002)
- Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B.) (1997)
- York University (B.A.) (1993)