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Michael Church



P 416.775.4675 P 416.775.4675 F 416.366.3293

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Sharon Henry P 416.366.3763 x238 P 416.366.3763 x238

As senior counsel at CaleyWray, Michael consistently goes the extra mile for the clients he represents, fearlessly pursuing and protecting their rights and interests. With more than 35 years of labour law experience and many precedent-setting cases under his belt, Michael continues to be ranked by his peers as one of the pre-eminent union side labour lawyers in Canada.

Honest and approachable, he provides effective representation to unions in complex cases, including acting as counsel on many of the leading decisions on drug and alcohol testing in the transportation industry such as CEP v Imperial Oil Limited 2009 ONCA 420, CAW-Canada v CN Railway, [2000] 95 L.A.C. (4th) 341, CEP Local 593 v Petro-Canada Lubricants Centre, [2009] 186 L.A.C. (4th) 424, and Dupont Canada Inc. v CEP Local 28-0 (2002) 105 L.A.C. (4th) 299. He was successful in all of these challenges.

Michael also acted as counsel for the United Transportation Union and George Cairns et al before the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal in the successful decade long fight for justice on behalf of the former Conductors at Via Rail Canada (UTU and George Cairns v Via Rail Canada CIRB 390).

Practicing in all areas of labour law, Michael acts on behalf of both public and private sector trade unions (including construction trade unions), employees and associations before labour boards, tribunals and arbitrators. He also appears before courts for judicial reviews and appeals. In addition, Michael provides advice to union boards of trustees on health and welfare benefit plans, pension plans, and other plans. He regularly argues cases in the federal jurisdiction across Canada involving the railway, aviation and telecommunications industries.

As the articling principal at CaleyWray, Michael has been mentoring the firm’s students for nearly 30 years. He is also active in establishing, promoting, and serving as an elected representative to the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers (CALL) and presents at conferences across North America on topics of interest to the labour movement.

Michael enjoys travel, reading and trying to avoid the effects of aging by engaging in golf, hockey and alpine skiing (having fun despite being terminally mediocre and getting worse in all these sports).

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in Canada for many years including 2017, Labour and Employment Law, as selected by Best Lawyers, Inc
  • Rated as a leading practitioner in labour and construction law by L’Expert for many years including 2017
  • Consistently ranked by his peers as one of the best union side lawyers in Canada and rated very high in legal ability and ethical standards


  • Call to Bar: 1981
  • J.D./LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1979


  • Canadian Bar Association – Ontario
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers (CALL)
  • CALL Past Vice President (Ontario), past Treasurer (17 years) and past Member CALL Executive