Philip White is a senior Toronto employment lawyer whose practice is focused exclusively on
representing employers and employees in employment and labour law.
He is a wrongful dismissal lawyer, constructive dismissal coach and human resource
advisor. He also reviews employment contracts for individuals who have been offered new employment
Phil was the successful lead lawyer in Waksdale v. Swegon North America, a 2020 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal. Waksdale has been described as a “truly revolutionary decision“ that was in the top 10 of new court decisions accessed by lawyers in 2020. As a result of Waksdale, the vast majority of termination clauses in employment contracts in Ontario are now void and unenforceable thereby entitling dismissed employees to significantly longer notice periods.
Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer
The primary focus of Phil’s work is wrongful dismissal litigation. He is an expert in litigation disputes involving:
- severance package disputes;
- commission, bonus and stock option entitlements; and
- terminations for just cause;
- constructive dismissals;
- non-competition and non-solicitation clauses; and
- workplace discrimination (Human Rights).
Phil has represented clients across Canada and has successfully appeared before the Court of Appeal, Divisional Court, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, as well as various Tribunals including the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Human Rights Tribunal. He has represented employers and employees of all levels including senior executives and professionals such as doctors, dentists and veterinarians.
Constructive Dismissal Coach
A significant part of Phil’s practice involves coaching employees who are dealing with the
difficult situation of either working in a poisoned work environment or responding to a
reduction in their duties, responsibilities and/or compensation.
Quitting and claiming constructive dismissal is arguably the most significant risk an
employee can take in his or her career. Given that risk, Phil’s approach is to coach and
guide the employee in the background so that the employee can either resolve their
workplace issue(s) or trigger a severance package from their employer without the need to
claim constructive dismissal. If quitting and claiming constructive dismissal is the only
option, Phil works with employee to ensure that the employee has properly documented his
or her constructive dismissal case so that the employee can move forward with as strong a
case as possible.
Phil’s extensive constructive dismissal expertise also makes him a valuable resource to
employers who intend to make changes to their workplace. His practical advice helps
employers understand their options and develop a plan to implement the changes that will
allow them to achieve their objectives in the most cost effective and sensitive manner
Human Resource Advisor
Phil provides expert legal advice to employers of all sizes and human resource professionals.
His approach is to provide common sense solutions and advice that reduce employers’
exposure to costly workplace disputes and litigation. He drafts employment contracts and
policies for employers and acts as an on-call advisor to employers of all sizes.
Phil is a practice advisor in employment law for Lexus Nexus Canada, a subscription
research website used by law firms a past contributor to the Employment Bulletin, published
by Canada Law Book. He has spoken on employment law at conferences organized by the
Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Society of British Columbia and Infonex.
Prior to commencing a career in the practice of law, Phil worked in both human resources
departments and as an agency recruiter focusing on information technology professionals.
He also spent five years working for a large manufacturing company as a key account
the manager responsible for both automotive and industrial clients in Canada and the United
Phil’s in-depth employment law knowledge and his background as a human resource and
sales professional enable him to provide his clients with practical legal advice that takes into
account the realities of the modern workplace.