James  Hassell

James Hassell, Partner, Employment & Labour

Contact Information

  • tel: 416.862.6623
Download V-Card

Bar Admission

Ontario, 1976


  • Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B.
  • University of Toronto, B.A.






Jim has over thirty years experience advising both private and public sector employers in all aspects of labour relations and employment law, including corporate transactions and restructurings, executive employment arrangements and union organizing campaigns. He assists employers in managing workplace risks in connection with human rights, employment standards, pay and employment equity and occupational health and safety. Jim advises on workplace investigations, employee terminations, downsizings and facility closings and workers’ compensation. Jim represents employers before various tribunals, boards, agencies and in the courts. Jim has conducted over 100 rounds of collective bargaining in various sectors and including first contracts and contracts for employer associations. Jim is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Labour Law. Jim is a former Chair of the Firm’s National Labour and Employment Law Department.

Notable Matters

  • Restructuring the Canadian labour relations and employment arrangements of a global manufacturer.
  • New employment agreements for the executive team of a major Canadian corporation.
  • Labour relations matters for a major financial institution.
  • Labour Board jurisdictional dispute regarding nursing work for a major public hospital.
  • Grievance arbitration in connection with retiree benefits for a global organization.

Reported cases include:

  • General Motors of Canada Limited and Ministry of Labour and the CAW and its Locals 303 and 252, Decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, R.O. MacDowell, Adjudicator/Referee
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and Ministry of Labour Decision No. ESC 93-225
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital, 35 O.R. (3d) 91 (Divisional Court and Court of Appeal)
  • Corporation of City of Toronto, [1986] O.L.R.B. Rep. 1834


  • American Bar Association, Labor Section
  • The Toronto Board of Trade, Labour Law Committee
  • Canadian Bar Association, Labour Section
  • Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario
  • Law Society of Upper Canada

Industry Recognition

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers 2014: Employment & Labour
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2015: Labour and Employment Law
  • Practical Law Company 2010/2011: Labour and Employment
  • Expert Guides: The Legal Media Group Guides to the World’s Leading Lawyers 2011: Labour & Employment


Jim has chaired programs, conducted seminars and webinars and written extensively on matters of topical interest in the areas of employment law, labour relations law, occupational health and safety and human rights.  Some recent examples include:

  • Business Risk Management Strategies: Key Employment Law Developments to Consider, Osler Webinar, December 2013.
  • Key Developments in Employment and Labour Law, Osler Webinar, September 2012.
  • Canada/US Employment and Labour Law Distinctions, Osler Webinar, January 2012.
  • Employment and Labour Relations Issues in Corporate Transactions, Osler Webinar, November 2011.
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Osler Webinar, June 2011.
  • Labour Relations Issues in Transactions, Osler Webinar, March 2011.
  • Getting up to Speed on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and a Refresher on Pay Equity, Osler Webinar, June 2011.
  • Bill 168 Workshop(Workplace Harassment), Osler Seminar, May 2010
  • Canadian Labour and Employment, InfoPAK, Association of Corporate Counsel.