Andrea York
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5263

Andrea is an experienced advocate with over 15 years of practice devoted exclusively to advising corporations and other employers on employment and privacy law matters.

Andrea provides timely and practical advice to employers across a variety of sectors, including banking and financial services, retail, manufacturing, health-care products, technology, and marketing and advertising. In addition to providing day-to-day compliance and strategic advice, she regularly acts for employers in various legal proceedings, including wrongful dismissal and human rights claims and in claims enforcing post-employment obligations. Andrea also advises on the employment and privacy law aspects of commercial transactions, including M&A transactions, reorganizations, insolvencies and outsourcing transactions.

Andrea is the Practice Group Leader of the national Employment & Labour group, Co-chair of the Privacy group and the Firm's National Privacy Officer. She is also a member and past Co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Blakes.


  • Led the Blakes employment law team advising Wells Fargo on the Canadian employment law aspects of its US$31-billion acquisition of GE Capital's global commercial distribution finance and vendor finance businesses
  • Provided key employment law advice to Canadian Tire Financial Services on its strategic partnership with the Bank of Nova Scotia, which included the sale of a 20% interest in its credit card business
  • Successfully defended multi-national employer in credibility-focused Human Rights Tribunal hearing dealing with claim of pregnancy discrimination following termination
  • Represented multi-national transportation company in Human Rights Tribunal hearing in high-profile case involving a conflict between religious accommodation requirements and worker health and safety
  • Represented a large U.S.-based financial institution in wrongful dismissal and human rights claims
  • Regularly negotiates and drafts executive employment contracts, termination agreements, restrictive covenant agreements, and advises on incentive compensation arrangements and employee policies

Andrea has been recognized for her expertise by the following publications:

  • Who's Who Legal: Labour, Employment & Benefits 2017 (Labour & Employment)
  • The Legal 500 Canada 2017 (Recommended - Labour and Employment)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 (Labour & Employment Law)
  • Acritas Stars 2016: Independently Rated Lawyers (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel)

Andrea was also named a Canadian Diversity Champion by Women of Influence magazine in 2012.

Show Past:
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Co-author: Top 10 Recent Developments in Canadian Dismissal Law
Recent Developments in Labour and Employment Law, Blakes Business Class Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, June 9, 2016.
Co-author: Technology in the Workplace: Top Nine Issues for Employers
Internet and E-Commerce Law in Canada, LexisNexis Canada Inc., Volume 16, No. 10, February 2016.
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Panel Member: Hot Privacy Topics: Hiring, Health and Hacks
13th Annual Conference, Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers, Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 22-24, 2016.
Panel Member: Employee Whistleblower Protections
Connections Conference, Dublin, Ireland, May 2017.
Moderator: Balancing Interests: Employee Monitoring & Workplace Privacy
International Association of Privacy Professionals, KnowledgeNet, Toronto, Ontario, January 2017.
Presenter: Emerging Ethical Trends in Workplace Law
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto, Ontario, February 24, 2016.
Speaker: Emerging Technologies and Social Media
The Osgoode Certificate in Regulatory Compliance & Legal Risk Management for Financial Institutions, Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development Program, Toronto, Ontario, April 21, 2015.
Panel Member: Effectively Managing Social Media Risks in the Workplace
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Speaker Conference: The Business of Law, Black Letter and Beyond, Toronto, Ontario, April 20, 2015.
Presenter: Social Media @ Work
Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms, Toronto, Ontario, March 4, 2015.
Panel Member: Crisis Management, Social Media & the Law
The Osgoode PD Webinar Series, Managing the Legal and Business Risks of Social Media, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, November 5, 2014.
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Quoted: Take Care With Tracking Monitoring, Outside Employee Movement May Violate Privacy Laws
Article by Sandra Rubin, Lexpert Magazine, February 1, 2017.
Quoted: Take Care with Tracking Monitoring, Outside Employee Movement May Violate Privacy Laws
Article by Sandra Rubin, Lexpert Magazine, February 1, 2017.
Quoted: Employee reinstated after 14 years
Article by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours, The Lawyers Weekly, June 24, 2016.
Quoted: Social Misconduct: managing workplace social media risks
Lexpert Magazine, December 14, 2015.
Quoted: Same principles prevail in social media, says counsel
Article by Kim Arnott, The Lawyers Weekly, May 8, 2015.
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