Jennifer Bernardo is a partner in the Employment & Compensation Law Practice Group in Baker McKenzie's Toronto office. As a litigator, Jennifer represents clients in labour, employment, and corporate/commercial law matters before a variety of administrative tribunals, labour arbitrators, and all levels of court in Ontario.
Jennifer has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Legal 500 and "One to Watch" by Best Lawyers in Canada.
Jennifer is a frequent contributor to Baker McKenzie's Canadian Labour and Employment Law blog, and co-author of the Employment Contracts Handbook (4th ed.). She co-chairs the Toronto office's Pro Bono Committee, is a member of the Toronto office’s Inclusion & Diversity Committee, and is the Toronto office chair of the North America Baker Asian Lawyers Network.
Jennifer is an experienced employment law litigator and counselor with a broad trial and appellate advocacy practice, focusing on labour, employment, and administrative law. She has been lead counsel in grievance arbitrations, administrative proceedings and trials, and has served as junior counsel on judicial reviews, corporate/commercial trials and appeals, class actions, and complex labour and employment hearings and appeals.
In addition to her litigation practice, Jennifer investigates and advises clients on contentious and non-contentious workplace issues, such as employment standards requirements, workplace accommodation, discrimination and harassment, collective bargaining and labour relations, reductions in force, and workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Representative Legal Matters
- Represented McMaster University in Bart v. McMaster University, one of the most significant judicial reviews involving the authority and powers of a university administrative tribunal.
- Successfully defended against a cross-appeal for a USD 5 million payment in Couper v. Nu-Life Corp et al.
- Counsel in the appeal of Andros v. Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc., which addressed the enforceability of termination clauses.
- Lead counsel to major Ontario universities in a number of litigious matters before administrative tribunals and labour arbitrators.
- Counsel for security company clients in employment-related class actions, which were resolved favourably for the companies.
- Advised a purchaser on potential litigation arising out of an unsuccessful procurement process.
- Advised a global pharmaceutical company on an internal investigation and media crisis response strategy relating to alleged employee misconduct.
- Conducted an investigation for a major financial technology company relating to alleged workplace sexual harassment.
- As pro bono counsel, successfully resisted third-party records applications relating to survivors of human trafficking.
- Rising Star, Legal 500 (2020-2022)
- One to Watch, Best Lawyers in Canada (2022)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- The Advocates' Society
- Ontario~Canada (2015)
- University of Toronto (Master of Global Affairs) (2014)
- University of Toronto (J.D.) (2014)
- University of Manitoba (Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Political Studies) (2010)