LAWYER PROFILES

LAWYER PROFILES 2018-09-23T15:37:01+00:00
D. Bruce SevignyPartner
Bruce Sevigny founded his own labour and employment law firm in January, 2001, following a ten-year professional relationship with one of Ottawa’s leading law firms. This move was specifically designed to enhance and support the specialized nature of Bruce’s labour and employment law practice, and to reflect his commitment to the provision of timely and effective legal services.

In July, 2001, Bruce joined forces with John Westdal, a respected colleague in the labour and employment law field. In September, 2006, after five years of successful collaboration, Bruce and John founded Sevigny Westdal LLP.

Bruce regularly advises both employer and employee clients on a wide range of labour and employment law issues, including wrongful dismissal litigation, employment contract issues, federal and provincial labour board proceedings (including union certification and decertification applications), human rights complaints, labour arbitration proceedings and collective agreement negotiations. Bruce has appeared as lead counsel in labour and employment disputes before all levels of courts in Ontario, as well as the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board and private boards of arbitration.

Bruce graduated from Queen’s University Law School in 1990, following undergraduate studies at Carleton University, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1992. In addition, he has been active as a sessional lecturer at both Carleton University and the Ontario Bar Admission Course, and he is a frequent speaker on a variety of labour and employment law issues.

John R.S. WestdalPartner
John Westdal practices on behalf of both employees and employers in all areas of labour and employment law.

Throughout John’s legal career, he has devoted himself exclusively to this field. He commenced his practice with a boutique labour and employment firm in Ottawa. In 1998 he ventured to Australia where he worked in the Workplace Relations Group of a leading Australian firm. During this time, he also gained valuable hands-on experience with a secondment to the firm’s human resources department. Upon his return to Ottawa in 2001, John continued his labour and employment practice. This depth of experience and detailed understanding of complex workplace matters make John uniquely qualified to assist his individual and corporate clients with their labour and employment law issues and challenges.

John is a graduate of McGill (Economics, 91) and Queen’s (Law, 95). He regularly speaks at seminars for lawyers and human resources practitioners and is the Co-Chair of the area law association’s annual employment law conference. He has appeared before a variety of courts and tribunals at the federal and provincial level. John is the Chair of the Law Day Fun Run/Walk, which raises money for local charities, and he is an active participant in other volunteer organizations. He is also an avid mountain biker and cross-country skier.

Marie-France DupuisLawyer
Marie joined Sevigny Westdal after articling and practising civil litigation at a large, full-service law firm in Ottawa. Marie now focuses her practice exclusively in the areas of labour, employment and human rights law.

Fluently bilingual in both official languages, Marie graduated Cum laude from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law in 2010, following the completion of her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Ottawa in 2007.

Since she established herself in Ottawa, Marie has become involved in a variety of volunteer and fundraising initiatives in the community, including the Terry Fox Run, the Relay for Life, and the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program. Marie also does her best to make time for the many athletic pursuits she enjoys, including basketball, volleyball and running.

Lauren Garrison Lawyer
Lauren joined Sevigny Westdal following her Call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018. Before joining the firm, Lauren worked at a full-service law firm in Kingston, Ontario, where she gained valuable experience in the areas of labour, employment and human rights law.

After completing her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, Lauren spent two years earning a Master’s degree at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. She later returned to Queen’s University to study law.

While completing her law degree, Lauren worked as a caseworker for the Queen’s Elder Law Clinic, and was awarded the Queen’s Elder Law Prize for exceptional client service. Lauren also volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada, the Queen’s Law Journal and the Academic Assistance Program.

Lauren was born in Ottawa and spent much of her childhood here. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys practicing hot yoga, re-watching episodes of The Office and discovering new restaurants with her husband.

Our Support Staff

Jennifer JohnsonOffice Manager
Jennifer joined the firm early in 2016 following the retirement of the long-serving and dedicated Office Manager, Cindy Kneif. Jennifer previously worked for the City of Ottawa as an Executive Assistant for Members of Council. Prior to her employment with the City, she was an intermediate teacher with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.

Jennifer is a strong supporter of amateur sport and volunteers her time with many local clubs and organizations. She currently is an active Board member with the Ottawa National Diving Club and continues to lend her support to both the Leitrim Minor Hockey Association and the Manotick Curling Club.

As much as she enjoys working with young athletes in her community, Jennifer also enjoys staying active as often as possible and can regularly be found cheering loudly at Ottawa Senators and Redblacks games.