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Terribly sad news

October 20, 2020

Photo of DerrickIt is with profound sadness and grief that we share the news that our cherished friend and colleague, Derrick McIntosh, died suddenly on September 1st.

Derrick was a man of many dimensions. His quick wit, astute mind and wicked sense of humour were readily apparent to all those who met him, as were his compassion and profound sense of social justice. The outpouring of condolences we have received over the past few days from lawyers, clients, and arbitrators throughout the labour law community reflects the high regard everyone had for Derrick’s legal skills, and for his humanity, integrity and decency.

Photo of Derrick with other lawyers

It is difficult to convey how much Derrick meant to so many of us at the firm – lawyers and staff members alike. He was everyone’s friend. He enthusiastically celebrated the milestones and successes of his colleagues. Of his many gifts, perhaps the greatest was his ability to notice when someone might be struggling with work or personal issues. A truly empathetic and generous man, he was always willing to lend a hand – or an ear or a shoulder – to anyone who needed it.Photo of Derrick with other lawyers

Derrick was also a joy to spend time with, often winding up holding court at firm social events, sometimes into the wee hours. He could tell a story better than just about anyone – and he seemed to have endless side-splitting stories to tell. His stories were often self-deprecating, always hilarious, and he employed a dead-pan delivery and conspiratorial wink to devastating effect.

Perceptive, eloquent and analytical, Derrick excelled as an advocate. Photo of Derrick and other lawyersHe joined the firm in 2008 as a summer student from the faculty of law at McGill University. He held an honours bachelor of arts degree in anthropology and cultural studies, a masters degree in philosophy, and experience both as a factory worker and a union representative. His labour law professor described him as one of the most thoughtful and committed students she has ever taught. After obtaining his law degree, Derrick articled with us and was hired as an associate following his call to the bar in 2011. He quickly developed a thriving practice representing a variety of trade unions and employee associations and a reputation as an excellent lawyer.

Photo of DerrickWe welcomed Derrick into the partnership in 2018, and looked forward to so many more years of working together, hanging out, telling stories, and laughing ourselves into stiches.

Words cannot express how devastated we are and how deeply we will all miss Derrick. He was, quite simply, the loveliest friend and colleague. The firm will not be the same without him.

The firm is holding a virtual memorial service for Derrick on Saturday, October 24th at 2 p.m.

The bulletin for the order of service is here.


Update – October 20, 2020:  A trust fund has been established in Derrick’s name for a post-secondary scholarship for a graduate of Derrick’s high school, Norwell District Secondary School. The scholarship will be managed by the Upper Grand Learning Foundation (UGLF) and will be awarded annually. You may make a donation online here:  When making your donation, please be sure to specify “NDSS – Memorial Award (Derrick McIntosh)” in the ‘Message for Upper Grand Learning Foundation’ section so that the Foundation will know where to direct the funds.

If you prefer to give through cheque or other means, please complete this form and include it with your donation sent to the Upper Grand Learning Foundation, 500 Victoria Road North, Guelph, Ontario N1E 6K2. Please be sure to indicate that the funds are for “NDSS – Memorial Award (Derrick McIntosh)”.

Charitable Tax Receipts will be provided for donations of $20.00 or more by the UGLF when the donor’s name and address are provided in full. You can learn more about the UGLF on their website: