Gail L. Gatchalian

Gail practices in the areas of labour, employment and human rights, and is a trained workplace investigator.

A partner in Pink Larkin’s Halifax office, Gail is a leading labour, employment and human rights lawyer, with 20 years of experience representing unions, employers, employees, professionals, and not-for-profits. Gail has extensive litigation experience before arbitrators, in court and before administrative tribunals, including professional discipline boards. Gail has particular experience in labour relations in the education sector, having represented the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the Prince Edward Island Teachers’ Federation for many years.

As a workplace investigator, Gail is retained by large and small employers and organizations to conduct competent, prompt, independent and fair investigations, primarily involving complaints of harassment, discrimination and bullying.

Gail provides mediation services through Halifax Mediation. As a mediator, Gail draws on her substantial experience in labour mediations, as well as her advanced training in Transformative Mediation.

Recognized for her excellence as a labour and employment lawyer, Gail is the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association National Labour and Employment Law Section, having previously served for six years on the Section Executive. Gail is also a Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry Chair.

Gail’s leadership in the profession includes her role as Vice-President of the Canadian Bar Association – Nova Scotia Branch. Prior to this, she served as Treasurer and a two-year term as Equity Chair of the Branch, during which her focus was on highlighting the need to increase the diversity of Nova Scotia’s judiciary and on enhancing awareness of equality issues in the legal profession.

Having been active member of the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education for several years, Gail is a member of the Board of Directors of CAPSLE and Co-Chair of the 2018 Halifax CAPSLE conference.

Gail is a thought-leader on the conduct of proper workplace investigations. She is frequently asked to provide both basic and advanced workplace investigation training to human resources professionals, and to speak to national and international audiences about how to transform and restore relationships through workplace investigations, including at the 2016 CAPSLE Conference, the 2016 International Restorative Conference, and the 2016 Association of Labor Relations Agencies Conference.

Gail has a significant interest in assisting organizations to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based harassment. Gail is one of four speakers featured in a free March 8, 2017 podcast on addressing workplace sexual harassment and violence called “Not Just a Bystander,” sponsored by the CBA National Women Lawyers Forum. You can read Gail’s interview about the podcast with the CBA’s National Magazine here.

Raised in Cape Breton, Gail graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biology from Dalhousie University in 1993, and received her LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1996. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998, having articled with Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish in Toronto. She moved back to Halifax in 1999 to practice with Pink Larkin. Gail’s interest in human rights law began with a visit during her undergraduate degree to the Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Development in Mexico, which offers students the opportunity to experience the struggle for justice in Latin America. Gail later spent a year volunteering for Canadian Crossroads International in Central America. Having learned Spanish, Gail volunteered as a legal caseworker for Latin American immigrants and refugees at the Centre for Spanish-Speaking People in Toronto during law school.

Year of Call
Nova Scotia, 1999

Law School
LL.B., University of Toronto, 1996

B.Sc., Dalhousie University, 1993

Workplace Investigations
Labour Law
HR Law
Professional Regulation
Human Rights