By Nicola Watson
Nearing the end of my law school studies in Toronto, I knew I wanted three things: (1) to practice employee-side labour and employment law, (2) to work in private practice for a reputable firm, and (3) to return home to and live in Nova Scotia.
By landing an articling position at Pink Larkin’s office in Halifax, I achieved all three.
In 1989, four lawyers left Nova Scotia’s largest full-service firm and formed Pink Larkin to better serve Atlantic Canada’s labour-side employment law needs. Now 25 lawyers and growing, Pink Larkin has expanded its horizons beyond its labour roots, while continuing to be a leading firm in the area.
On Monday, January 8, 2018, Pink Larkin was recognized in Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the 2018-2019 top Labour and Employment Boutiques in the country.
For the first time, Canadian Lawyer has included a list of top five Union-side Labour and Employment Law Boutiques in its cross-country boutique firm rankings. Notably, Pink Larkin was the only union-side boutique firm listed that was located outside of Ontario (and the only one without a Toronto office!) This a true testament to Pink Larkin’s legacy and reputation in the area of labour and employment law.
With respect to Pink Larkin, one survey respondent commented that Pink Larkin has “[d]epth of experience in labour and employment.” And further, that it has “[e]xcellent lawyers with different practice areas within labour and employment and [an] excellent reputation for both quality of work and client service.”
As a young lawyer, I have benefitted from the experience and client relationships fostered by my colleagues at Pink Larkin, which has enabled me to dedicate much of my time to work with trade union clients in various sectors across, and extending beyond, the Atlantic Provinces.
The Canadian Lawyer article also notes that, “[e]volving from a “work law” heritage in employee-side labour law, the firm has honed its negotiation skills to resolving problems that range from complex high-level conflicts and intricate cases to everyday business issues.”
In my three years with Pink Larkin, we have launched a commercial litigation practice with one of Nova Scotia’s pre-eminent litigators at the helm, and Canada’s first full-time pro bono practice focused on systemic litigation that presents law reform possibilities for the poor.
These exciting initiatives, along with Pink Larkin’s existing practice areas, have provided me, and other junior lawyers, the opportunity to work on high profile litigation files outside of the field of labour and employment law, and use our skills to tackle important social justice issues.
With union-side labour remaining a key area of Pink Larkin’s practice, our firm is committed to staying true to the roots and values upon which it was founded, yet strives for excellence in all of its endeavors. I am proud to contribute to the continued work of Pink Larkin and provide a high level of dedication to quality work and client service for which Pink Larkin is recognized.