Legal Counsel

  • City of Ottawa
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • May 16, 2021
Full time Lawyer (In House Counsel) Lawyer (Public Sector)

Job Description

Competition Number: 2021-EX-EN-53280001-01
Competition posting date: 2021-05-14
Competition closing date: 2021-05-28

Innovative Client Services Department, Legal Services, Municipal and Regulatory Law Branch
2 Full-time Temporary Positions (up to 1 year) - 35 hours/week
Affiliation: MPE
Salary: $84,020.30 to $106,260.70 annually (2019 rates of pay)
Location: 110 Laurier Avenue West

Category: Current Opportunities

Job Summary

Responsible for providing a wide range of legal services to City Council, Committees, Departments, local boards and agencies, in one or more of the following areas:

Planning and development law focusing on:
Planning and development law, including land subdivision, severances, condominiums, official plans, zoning and development, by-law preparation, preparation of development agreements and planning issues generally, including representing the City at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)

Environmental law focusing on:
Environmental legislation and regulations, assessment, Waste Master Plan, by-law prosecutions and environmental issues generally.

Employment law and Labour Relations focusing on:
Labour arbitrations, Labour Relations Board and Human Rights Tribunal proceedings, pay equity, occupational health and safety, workers' compensation, wrongful dismissal, litigation and other labour relations and employment law issues generally.

Contract law focusing on:
Revision and creation of construction, purchasing and consulting service contracts, documents and procedures; construction disputes/liens and bonding; review and preparation of contracts before tender call and after contract award; contract law training programs; contract management and dispute resolution.

Civil litigation and claims/prosecutions focusing on:
Claims made by and against the City, its boards, commissions and agencies, including the Police Services Board, conducting litigation/prosecutions before courts, boards and tribunals, negotiation of litigation settlements.

Real Estate and Property law focusing on:
Issues relating to the acquisition/disposal of lands including acquisitions, sales, expropriations, leases and title information processes and related easement and encroachment agreements.

Administrative law, focusing on:
Interpretation/preparation of all manner of documents, including by-laws, corporate documents or specialized applications, drafting of all manner of reports and correspondence, the development of standardized contracts, agreements or forms, ATIP (Access to Information Privacy) administration, handling all manner of various enquiries/responses, and making final determinations on collections pertaining to monies owed the City.

Provides legal opinions and policy advice to an assigned client group and are responsible for protecting/advancing the legal interests of the City, advocating and defending corporate positions before the courts and external decision-making bodies. Provides guidance and mentoring to more junior Legal Counsel, Articling Law Students and Paralegals/Law Clerks in the respective practice area.

Innovative Client Services is committed to an equitable and inclusive hiring process and supports a workforce that reflects the diverse population of Ottawa. In addition to meeting the operational requirements of the position, valued assets include:

  • Lived experience and identity as a member of Indigenous, Black and/or People of Colour communities and/or as a Person with Disabilities, or member of other equity groups
  • Experience working with diverse employee and resident communities
  • Demonstrated understanding of the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Ability to apply an equity and inclusion lens to customer service and to internal decision-making processes

Education & Experience


Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree (a 3-yr program after first degree).



Two (2) years broad legal experience in the practice of municipal law, as outlined in the Job Summary, which may include experience before civil courts, administrative boards and tribunals, or specific experience directly related to the assigned area of practice.


  • Experience and formal training combined with demonstrated performance and ability may substitute for stipulated academic requirements.

Language, Certificates & Licenses

Must be called to the Bar of Ontario and be a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada.

English oral, reading, writing required.


  • Knowledge of the Municipal Act 2001
  • Knowledge of the Code of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Working knowledge of municipal operations, City organizational structures, and departmental business requirements, complexities, and inter-relationships
  • Working knowledge of the specific legislation, regulations, policies/guidelines and methods/procedures relating to the assigned area of practice
  • Working knowledge of the law of civil procedures and practice before the courts, and or administrative boards or tribunals
  • Working knowledge of the principles, practices, and procedures relating to interviewing, facilitation, negotiation, dispute resolution, and mediation
  • Protocols for developing submissions, briefings, reports
  • Protocols for responding to inquiries, and preparing reports, briefing notes and other communiqués
  • Knowledge of Employee Code of Conduct as well as applicable health and safety legislation, including the rights and duties of workers.

Competencies & Skills

  • Able to work independently, with minimal direction, and collaboratively with all staff as part of a team
  • Able to professionally represent the City before the courts and or administrative tribunals, and at meetings involving multiple shareholders and the general public
  • Possess leadership and human relations skills to provide ongoing mentoring, training, and coaching to more junior Legal Counsel, Articling Law Students, Paralegals and Law Clerks
  • Possess organizational skills and flexibility to plan, initiate, organize and prioritize own work, to manage multiple projects, and to deal effectively with multiple demands, conflicting priorities, pressures and timelines
  • Able to consult with internal corporate clients and provide problem solving advice, opinion and guidance on legal matters
  • Able to undertake research, investigate/define issues, isolate key components of diverse issues, analyze/evaluate/interpret information, present findings and make recommendations
  • Possess articulate and persuasive communication skills and strong influencing/negotiating skills/abilities in order to handle the advisory, adversarial and administrative nature of the work
  • Able to describe legal concepts in readily understandable terms, and provide timely, constructive professional advice/information to all clients to assist in the decision-making process
  • Skilled in composing and writing pleadings, opinions, reports and summaries and other documents for assigned client group
  • Able to write contract language, memoranda, settlement documents, reports and proposals
  • Skilled in public speaking and in preparing/delivering presentations
  • Possess computer literacy in MS Office Suite and the ability to utilize specialized software and internet resources for legal research
  • Able to maintain and secure detailed documentation, records and files