AvraamGeorge

George Avraam

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

George Avraam practices trial and appellate litigation. The Law Society of Ontario has designated George as a specialist in civil litigation. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, has been ranked in Chambers, and has been recommended as a leading lawyer in Legal 500 and Lexpert. George is also the Chair of the North America Employment and Compensation Law Practice Group, a member of the North American Trial Team Steering Committee, and a member of the North American Trade Secrets Steering Committee.

Practice Focus

George practices trial and appellate litigation. He has first-chaired trials, appeals, judicial reviews, class actions, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings in a range of matters, including those involving administrative and constitutional law, human rights, harassment, fraud, post-secondary education law, fiduciary duties, trade secrets, and labour and employment law.

George has expertise in judicial reviews and appeals and has argued some of the most significant cases in the labour, employment, and administrative law areas in the recent past. George represented the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada at 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 has been 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), 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), and the enforceability of termination clauses in employment contracts (Holland and Andros).

George has also argued significant cases on judicial review, including Bart v. McMaster University that involved the scope and powers of an internal administrative tribunal and 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. 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 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 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 major Ontario universities in a number of matters, including matters before the trial and appellate courts.

  • Lead counsel to a security company in an off-the-clock employment class action.


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

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