When the situation is highly charged and the problem seems unsolvable, Kirsten Mercer is the advocate you want in your corner.
Always calm and creative in a crisis, Kirsten is great at unpacking an issue, understanding what her client needs and crafting a successful resolution. Kirsten has learned that even the most complex disputes often have a relatively simple story at their core, and Kirsten is an expert at cutting through the noise to figure out what is really going on, and how to fix it.
Kirsten handles a wide range of civil litigation matters – large and small. With experience in administrative law, constitutional challenges, human rights complaints, class actions, employment matters and commercial disputes, she draws on her diverse background and unique adjudicative insight to advance her clients’ interests in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
After starting her career in the litigation group at another excellent firm, Kirsten left private practice to focus on legal and public policy challenges, serving as Senior Advisor to the Premier of Ontario and Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of Canada. Kirsten was then appointed to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal where she served as a full time Member, mediating, case-managing and adjudicating complaints. She is honoured to continue to serve as a part-time Member at the CHRT.
During her time in government, Kirsten worked on some of the largest legal and public policy issues in the country, including a vide variety of constitutional and access to justice issues, creating a regulatory framework to enhance the representation of women on corporate boards, human rights complaints about the rights of transgendered inmates, and labour and employment law reform. She was the chief architect of the Ontario Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan and has been intimately involved in legislative and policy reform behind the scenes at the highest levels of government. In fact, some of the most important things she has accomplished you will never hear about because Kirsten helped effectively navigate high stakes and highly charged challenges to a successful resolution.
Kirsten is a leading advocate for women and those who have experience gendered violence and harassment in the workplace or in the world. Kirsten knows how important it is to help these clients take back their power, to determine what justice looks like for them, and to achieve meaningful and just results on their own terms.
Drawing on her diverse range of professional experiences, Kirsten especially enjoys helping individuals, unions and progressive organizations strategically navigate seemingly unsolvable challenges, maximizing their impact and achieving meaningful results on the things that matter most to them. Whether that means launching a class action, drafting a submission to a legislative committee or navigating a potential crisis so that it never becomes a public problem, Kirsten is great at working with her clients to bring together the right team to help them achieve the result they are looking for.
Kirsten also regularly acts for senior employees and executives who have lost their job to ensure that they are being treated fairly and to fight for them when they are not.
Kirsten is committed to community service, whether that means serving on a national board of directors, leading a community agency through its strategic planning, knocking on doors for a political campaign or baking cupcakes for the school bake sale.
Kirsten spends her spare time with her family in Roncesvalles Village and loves watching the Blue Jays and the Raptors. When she can, Kirsten loves cooking for her friends and family and is perpetually planning the perfect dinner party.