Michael S. Richards

Co-Chair, Canadian Employment and Labour Group 

Michael S. Richards is a partner specializing in employment and labour law in Toronto. Michael was called to the bar in both Ontario and British Columbia and has represented clients before various levels of courts in both provinces, before administrative tribunals, at arbitrations, in mediation and at other negotiations, including collective bargaining.

After graduating from the University of Toronto, Michael returned to British Columbia where he was the law clerk to Madam Justice Jo-Ann Prowse of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Michael articled in the Vancouver office and was called to the British Columbia Bar before transferring to the Toronto office where he has practised since early 2001.

Michael’s practice in employment and labour law includes providing advice to both national and international organizations on a daily basis and representing clients with respect to various labour and employment issues including:

  • The recruitment, hiring and termination of employees.
  • Providing advice with respect to group terminations and business closures.
  • The successful and cost effective defence of wrongful dismissal claims, grievance and human right complaints.
  • The preparation of employment, consulting and independent contractor agreements including the provision of advice with respect to the enforceability of non-solicitation, non-competition and confidentiality agreements.
  • The negotiation and interpretation of collective agreements.
  • The interpretation and application of employment standards legislation, workplace safety and insurance legislation, occupational health and safety, and human rights legislation.

Finally, Michael’s practice also includes privacy law and advising businesses in Ontario with respect to their obligations under privacy legislation, including performing privacy audits and assisting clients in the development of privacy policies compliant with applicable legislation. 

Bar admissionsBritish Columbia, 2000Ontario, 2001


  • Represented Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA and NASDAQ: APHA) in its reverse takeover of Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY).
  • Advised Canadian independent bandwidth infrastructure provider Beanfield Technologies in its acquisition by Digital Colony Capital, Inc.
  • Provided employment advice to Tier1 Financial Solutions‎‎ on its acquisition of Alessa.
  • English
  • LL.B., University of Toronto, 1999
  • B.Comm., (Honours), The University of British Columbia, 1996


  • The Legal 500 in Canada (Labour and Employment), 2024
  • Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate and Commercial Litigation), 2016-2024
  • Winner of the Lexpert Zenith Awards: Mid-Career Excellence in the Legal Profession for Employment Law, 2018
  • Lexpert’s Litigation Lawyers to Watch, 2014
  • Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 in Canada, 2013
  • Lexpert's Litigation Lawyers to Watch, 2011


  • Michael has co-chaired the firm’s National Employment and Labour Law ‎Conference in Toronto and regularly speaks at the firm’s professional development ‎seminars.‎‎

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member, Law Society of British Columbia
  • Member, Law Society of Ontario
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Member, British Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, Advocates Society