Associate Solicitor – Contracts / Commercial Law

  • City of Guelph
  • Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • Oct 07, 2019
Full time Lawyer (Private Practice) Lawyer (In House Counsel) Lawyer (Public Sector) Lawyer (Other) Litigator Solicitor

Job Description

The City of Guelph is a vibrant community with over 120,000 people located in the heart of Southern Ontario, just one hours driving distance from Toronto. Set in a picturesque natural setting, Guelph is known for its rich architectural heritage, growing economy and excellent quality of life – all good reasons to consider a career in this beautiful city.

Job summary

Resumes are being accepted for the position of Associate Solicitor – Contracts / Commercial Law within the Legal, Realty and Court Services Department. Reporting to the City Solicitor, the successful candidate will provide legal representation and advice to City Council and City Departments primarily in relation to complex contract and general commercial law matters. Guided by the goals and objectives of the City of Guelph Corporate Administrative Plan and committed to the Corporate Values of integrity, excellence and wellness, the candidate will aid in the achievement of the Community Vision – to be the city that makes a difference.


  • Provide clear and concise advice to City Departments and City Council as required on a diverse range of general corporate matters, including business operations and municipal services.
  • Work with the Project Management Office to support identified complex capital projects.
  • Review, draft and negotiate sophisticated agreements in connection with commercial transactions (including procurement, RFPs, construction, infrastructure and IT projects) involving both public and private sector entities.
  • Lead front-line negotiation and preparation of commercial contracts.
  • Assist with the hand over of finalized, negotiated contracts to City Departments, and support ongoing management of such contracts throughout the contract lifecycle.
  • Assist the City’s project teams to avoid disputes or, where not possible, resolve them amicably, professionally and efficiently.
  • Participate in mediations and arbitrations relating to commercial contract disputes.
  • Support, and in some cases lead, the negotiation and creation of partnerships, corporations, and other joint venture entities in respect of targeted business pursuits.
  • Interpret federal and provincial legislation / regulations and case law relevant to the City.
  • Anticipate Department business issues, investigate underlying causes and develop and implement practical short- and long-term solutions to legal problems.
  • Occasionally retain, instruct and manage external counsel.
  • Support other internal counsel or external counsel with commercial contract litigation.
  • Develop and continuously improve contract practices within City Departments.
  • Anticipate, plan and conduct legal training sessions for City Departments.
  • Deal with multiple internal and external stakeholders, including other levels of government.
  • Meet tight deadlines and balance conflicting priorities.
  • Assume leadership role, provide guidance and may lead individuals, teams or projects
  • Prepare and review Council and Committee reports.
  • Attend Council and Committee meetings and other public meetings, as required.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


  • Considerable experience related to the duties above, normally acquired through the completion of a law degree and five (5) or more years of legal experience. Candidates with an equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Licensed or eligible to be licensed to practice law in Ontario and a lawyer licensee in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario.
  • Experience in a range of relevant commercial law matters gained from private practice and/or in-house.
  • Strong corporate / commercial legal skills, including excellent drafting, negotiation and attention to detail.
  • Experience in public sector procurement, project management or municipal complex construction projects would be considered an asset.
  • Candidates with an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively with a variety of stakeholders, including senior management, City Council, and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work well both independently and in a team environment.
  • Strong business and political acumen, creativity and sound judgment.
  • Ability to accurately scope out length and difficulty of issues and set priorities.
  • Active listener, approachable and composed under pressure.
  • Ability to explain / present complex ideas in a clear and understandable fashion, and influence others.
  • Ability to provide clear direction to others and comfortably delegate tasks.
  • An understanding of how to motivate others and how to build effective teams.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the key industry trends and market changes and the ability to develop legal strategies accordingly.
  • Excellent communication skills (both oral and written) with the ability to communicate with all levels of staff, stakeholders, the media and the general public.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.


$98,786.96 – $123,483.70

How to apply

Qualified applicants are invited to apply using our online application system by Wednesday October 9, 2019. Please note all applicants must complete the online questionnaire specific to this position at the time they submit their resume and cover letter in order to be considered. Proof of qualifications will be requested at the interview stage.

Please click on the “Apply for this job” button. Instructions will follow.

Apply for this job

The City of Guelph is an equal opportunity employer which values diversity in the workplace. We are therefore happy to accommodate any individual needs in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the hiring process, please contact us to make your needs known in advance.

Personal information collected through the recruitment process will be used solely to determine eligibility for employment. We thank all candidates in advance; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted via the clear legal job board.

Practice Area(s)

Commercial Law