Brian Thiessen, KC

Brian is the Managing Partner of the Calgary office, and his practice focuses on the managerial side of employment and labour issues, including executive employment arrangements, retention arrangements, restrictive covenants, privacy law matters, employment disputes and human rights complaints.

He frequently advises corporations on the employment and privacy law ramifications of corporate transactions, including with respect to unionized and non-unionized employees. In addition, he has worked with corporations to facilitate the development and implementation of privacy and employment policies, including the training of employees, managers and privacy officers.

Brian’s privacy practice includes advising clients on drafting policies, complaint procedures, website information packages, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests and assisting clients with Privacy Commissioner complaints.

Brian has appeared as counsel in the Provincial Court of Alberta - Civil Division and before the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta and the Court of Appeal of Alberta. He has represented clients on the interpretation of executive employment contracts, shareholder disputes, wrongful dismissal actions, share purchase agreements, and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.


Representative Work

  • Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

    Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking in its $1.13 billion acquisition of People Corporation

  • Suncor Energy Inc.

    Suncor Energy Inc. in its takeover of day-to-day operations at Syncrude oil sands mining joint venture

  • Clio

    Clio in its record-setting US$250 million Series D equity financing from TCV and JMI

  • Morgan Stanley

    Morgan Stanley in its acquisition of Solium Capital for $1.1 billion

  • RSM US LLP

    RSM US LLP in the launch of RSM Canada

  • Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. in its C$1 billion acquisition of Pelican Lake assets from Cenovus
  • Safeway on its C$5.8 billion sale of Canada Safeway to Sobeys
  • Agrium Inc. in connection with its C$1.8 billion supported funding of Glencore International plc’s $6.1-billion acquisition of Viterra Inc, and the subsequent acquisition by Agrium of Viterra’s wholesale and retail agri-products division
  • Keller Group on its C$320 million purchase of North American Energy Partners’ piling division
  • Agrium Inc. on its C$915 million disposition of Viterra’s interest in Canadian Fertilizer Limited’s nitrogen production facilities to CF Industries
  • Nexen Inc. on its C$15.1 billion acquisition by CNOOC Limited
  • Pembina Pipeline on its acquisition of Provident Energy in a transaction valued at C$3.2 billion
  • Daylight Energy Ltd. on its C$2.2 billion acquisition by China Petrochemical Corporation, known as Sinopec Group
  • UTS Energy Corporation on its C$1.5 billion plan of arrangement with Total E&P Canada Ltd. whereby Total acquired UTS Energy
  • Suncor Energy Inc. on its C$43.3 billion strategic merger with Petro-Canada
  • KUFPEC Canada Inc. in connection with its proposed acquisition of Chevron Canada Limited’s 30 per cent interest in its Duvernay shale play for US$1.5 billion
  • ENMAX Corporation on its purchase from Encana Corporation of the 115 MW, natural-gas-fired, Cavalier electricity generation facility located near Strathmore, Alberta, and of Encana’s 50 per cent interest in the 110 MW, natural-gas-fired, Balzac electricity generation facility located near Balzac, Alberta

 

Other Work:

  • Counsel on the managerial side of employment and labour issues, including executive employment arrangements, retention arrangements, restrictive covenants, privacy law matters, employment disputes and human rights complaints
  • Advises corporations on the employment and privacy law ramifications of corporate transactions, including with respect to unionized and non-unionized employees
  • Works with corporations to facilitate the development and implementation of privacy and employment policies, including the training of employees, managers and privacy officers
  • Practice in privacy includes advising clients on drafting policies, complaint procedures, website information packages, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests and assisting clients with Privacy Commissioner complaints
  • Appears as counsel in the Provincial Court of Alberta – Civil Division and before the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Court of Appeal of Alberta

Latest Insights

  • Osler Update Dec 10, 2021

    Supreme Court clarifies jurisdiction of labour arbitrators in human rights issues

    Supreme Court of Canada confirms the jurisdiction of labour arbitrators in human rights issues where collective bargaining agreements designate...

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    Supreme Court clarifies jurisdiction of labour arbitrators in human rights issues
  • Osler Update Sep 28, 2021

    Tort of ‘Public Disclosure of Private Facts’ recognized in Alberta in ‘Revenge Porn’ case

    The definition of common law privacy torts in the province of Alberta has been expanded as a result of the recent decision in ES v Shillington...

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    Tort of ‘Public Disclosure of Private Facts’ recognized in Alberta in ‘Revenge Porn’ case
  • Osler Update May 31, 2021

    B.C. introduces paid sick leave regime

    The British Columbia government has introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, c 113., which require employers to provide...

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    B.C. introduces paid sick leave regime
  • Osler Update May 4, 2021

    Brian Thiessen on what sets Osler apart in the Calgary market, opportunities for growth and more – Lexpert TV

    Lexpert Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur recently sat down with Brian Thiessen, QC for a virtual interview for the Lexpert TV Legal Leaders Series.

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    Brian Thiessen on what sets Osler apart in the Calgary market, opportunities for growth and more – Lexpert TV
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Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Employment & Labour (Alberta) (Band 1)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Employment & Labour
    • “[Brian is] one of the best attorneys I’ve worked with in terms of responsiveness.”
    • “Commentators confirm he is ‘very strong in the area of employment law’ and point to his assistance with transactional mandates.”
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Employment Law – Employer; Data Protection & Privacy
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Employee Benefits Law; Privacy and Data Security Law; Employment and Labour Law; “Lawyer of the Year”, Privacy and Data Security Law (2023)
  • Legal 500: Recognized as a Recommended Lawyer, Employment & Labour Law
  • Who’s Who Legal: Recognized in Canada – Employment & Labour; International – Employment & Labour
  • Thomson Reuters: “Stand-out Lawyer”

Media Mentions

  • Osler News Jun 29, 2023

    29 Osler lawyers recognized in Lexpert Special Edition: Technology and Health 2023

    Congratulations to 29 of our lawyers for their inclusion in the Lexpert Special Edition: Technology and Health 2023.

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  • Osler News Aug 25, 2022

    Osler recognized in 2023 edition of Best Lawyers Canada

    Congratulations to 170 of our lawyers who have been ranked across multiple practice areas and 13 who earned recognition as “Lawyer of the Year”.

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  • Media Mentions Nov 2, 2020

    Supreme Court decision aggravates termination clause problems for employers – Benefits Canada

    The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Matthews vs. Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited, 2020 SCC 26, will have a significant effect on employers...

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  • Media Mentions Sep 4, 2020

    The workplace will be a whole new world: A guide to returning to the office – The Globe and Mail

    “Properly implemented” temperature checks will be required for some employees as companies return to the office, Osler partner Brian Thiessen...

    Read more
View all

Community Involvement

  • Calgary Police Foundation, Board Director
  • Calgary Police Commission, Chair
  • Ronald McDonald House Calgary, Board Director
  • Calgary Homeless Foundation Government Relations Committee

Speaking and Writing

Speaking Engagements

speaker 12/2/2020
Employment and Labour – A Year in Review and a Look Forward
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speaker 25/1/2018
Cannabis Legalization: Understanding the Implications for Business
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speaker 18/10/2017
Calgary Breakfast Seminar Series – October
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speaker 06/4/2017
Employment Law 101 for Emerging Companies
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speaker 27/2/2017
CBA Seminar: Cybersecurity for the Legal Professional
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speaker 27/1/2017
Cybersecurity: A Primer for Executives, Managers and Counsel
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speaker 15/6/2016
2016 Annual Privacy Conference
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Published Work


Credentials

Education

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals, CIPP/C
  • University of Calgary, J.D.
  • Queen's University, B.Com (Hons)

Languages

  • English

Professional Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Calgary Bar Association
  • The Law Society of British Columbia
  • Institute of Corporate Directors
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Human Resources Institute of Alberta