AvraamGeorge

George Avraam

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

George Avraam practices trial and appellate litigation. George is a certified specialist in civil litigation, is ranked in Chambers, The Legal 500, Lexpert, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. George also holds several leadership positions at the Firm.

Practice Focus

George practices trial and appellate litigation. He is lead counsel on trials, appeals, judicial reviews, class actions, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings. He has particular expertise in administrative and constitutional law, post-secondary education law, fiduciary duties, trade secrets, fraud, and labour and employment law.

George has been lead counsel on significant judicial reviews and appeals, including two cases at the Supreme Court of Canada involving Wal-Mart's decision to close a store in Jonquiere, Quebec, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada's seminal case of Honda v Keays.

George has also been lead counsel on several precedent setting matters. These cases include 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 powers of a university administrative tribunal (Bart), and the jurisdiction of a labour board over an American entity (Wal-Mart Stores Inc).

George also has a robust trial practice. He has acted as lead counsel on complex litigation matters, including gender pay and partnership disputes at professional service firms, fraud, class actions, and high-value and high profile labour and employment matters.

Representative Legal Matters

  • 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 in Krishnamoorthy v. Olympus Canada Inc. 2017 ONCA 873, 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 in Andros v. Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc. 2019 ONCA 679, which addressed the enforceability of termination clauses.

  • Lead counsel to a security company in an off-the-clock employment class action, which resulted in a settlement of less than 10% of the claim.

  • 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 for the intervener, the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada, in Travailleurs et Travailleuses de L'Alimentation et du Commerce, Section Locale 503 v. WalMart 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 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.


Professional Associations and Memberships

  • 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