Cathy Lace is one of Canada’s leading legal experts on the representation of university faculty associations. She represents numerous faculty associations in arbitration, labour board and internal university proceedings. This includes cases involving tenure and promotion, academic freedom, research ethics and discipline, as well as issues of significance to medical faculty and residents. Cathy also frequently advises faculty associations on the negotiation of their collective agreements and the resolution of their disputes at interest arbitration.
Cathy’s mark on university labour relations has been significant. As one university faculty representative put it, “Without Cathy’s astute judgments, deliberative skills and creativity, many women faculty would not have the careers they have today. Her advice to the association has been key in achieving dozens of settlements and/or in preventing formal grievances in the first instance.”
Human rights law is also a primary focus of Cathy’s practice. For many years she has represented clients in negotiating and litigating the achievement and maintenance of pay equity, and advising clients on employment equity issues. She also advises and acts in cases involving many other types of human rights issues, including workplace harassment and violence, employment discrimination and the duty to accommodate.
Over the course of her career, Cathy has been a frequent speaker at legal conferences and seminars addressing discrimination and harassment issues, and pay and employment equity. She has also spent many hours educating her clients about these often complicated areas of the law, as well as about issues of specific concern to them, including academic freedom.
Cathy received her law degree from the University of Toronto and has a bachelor of arts degree from Queen’s University. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979 and to the British Columbia Bar in 1980.