Counsel, Commercial Law - Temporary

  • Air Canada
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Feb 07, 2023
Contract Lawyer (In House Counsel)

Job Description


Being part of Air Canada is to become part of an iconic Canadian symbol, recently ranked the best Airline in North America. Let your career take flight by joining our diverse and vibrant team at the leading edge of passenger aviation.

About Air Canada and the Law Branch:

Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 88 internationally. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada's Aeroplan program is Canada's premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.

We have an innovative legal and compliance team that continues to earn the respect and confidence of its internal clients, participating as true business partners to support Air Canada's strategic objectives. When you join Air Canada and its Law Branch, you'll become a vital part of a team of driven professionals that are truly making a difference, connecting Canada and the world.

The Law Branch is comprised of about 80 dedicated professionals (including lawyers, paralegals, and assistants), with expertise tailored to deliver best in class integrated legal solutions to our business units and corporate functions. We are committed to delivering the highest level of expertise, service, responsiveness and flexibility to our clients by:

  • Becoming world class in everything we do to support a top ten global airline;

  • Flying every mile in our clients' shoes, taking the time to know them, caring and listening;

  • Partnering, with care and class, and a customer mindset;

  • Anticipating and effectively supporting our clients' needs;

  • Leading and innovating, initiating, facilitating and devising creative and sustainable solutions.

The Position:

Air Canada is looking for a commercial counsel to join our team of professionals in Montreal. While the position is temporary, there may be an opportunity for permanence at the end of the term. As a member of the Corporate & Commercial team, the successful candidate will:

  • Work on a variety of commercial transactions and initiatives supporting all aspects of our business and operations.

  • Be responsible for providing advice on contractual matters and other legal issues and drafting, reviewing and commenting on contractual and other documentation.

  • Play an important role in negotiating and supporting the "client" in all phases of a project, from conception through the letter of intent to completion of the final transaction documentation.


  • A minimum of three (3) to five (5) years of relevant experience in a leading law firm or an established in-house legal department.

  • Demonstrable commercial law background and experience in the drafting and negotiation of a variety of commercial agreements is key.

  • Particular experience in contracts relating to at least one of the following areas is an asset: procurement of "mission critical" goods and services or information technology (IT).

  • A passion for learning and gaining a deep understanding of the business to more effectively support strategies and objectives.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills, possess good business judgment and be strategic, pragmatic and thorough with a solid ability to assess legal and business risk.

  • Strong drafting, negotiating and analytical skills, be a leader, self-motivated and someone who thrives on challenges and having responsibility and who enjoys working in a dynamic and constantly evolving environment alongside a very cohesive team of professionals.

The successful candidate will have a track record demonstrating the following qualities or characteristics:

  • Drive for results and urgency and motivation towards achievement of goals.

  • Ability to understand, anticipate and meet "client" needs, effectively communicating and always remaining cognizant of related risks.

  • Strong desire to participate as part of a team, with an ability to contribute to a shared sense of direction.

  • Strategic, creative and analytical ability to consider, refine and merge different approaches to achieve workable solutions through strong analytical skills and resourcefulness.

  • Inclination to take initiative and be proactive and resourceful.

  • Be supportive of innovation, and adaptable and flexible to work effectively in a context of rapid change and to grasp opportunities to learn and build knowledge.

  • Facility in managing shifting priorities.

  • Capacity to work autonomously and under pressure, displaying composure in difficult situations, demonstrating thoroughness, tenacity and resilience to persevere.

  • Have a practical and business-oriented approach, recognizing the operational and commercial implications of any commercial arrangement.

The successful candidate will be willing to go beyond a defined role, to tackle issues oneself as a means to increase overall effectiveness and who looks at the broad context to decide what action is called for to achieve the desired result. The successful candidate will be prepared to pursue the tough option if it means doing the right thing for the business. The successful candidate will consider the financial, operational or strategic impact of all actions and decisions and ensure that these factors are appropriately considered.

The ability to convey messages and thoughts clearly, concisely, persuasively and in a focused manner; to listen and question appropriately to gain full understanding; to tailor the message appropriately to the listeners; and to share information, ideas and feedback in a timely manner are essential. Integrity (including a strong work ethic, high personal standards, discretion in handling sensitive and confidential information, dedication to follow through on commitments, and openness and honesty in communications as well as a respectful demeanor) is assumed. The successful candidate will be one who takes pride in the role as a representative of Canada's flag carrier.

Solid academic credentials and a proven track record must be demonstrated. Membership in the Bar of a Canadian Province or U.S. State is essential and common and civil law training is an asset.

Intangible Benefits:

The successful candidate will often be required to work autonomously but will have the benefit of working closely and exchanging with other counsel and internal clients who have acquired a broad and deep understanding of all commercial aspects of the business. While demands are often as high as in private practice, workflow tends to be more predictable. The work is diverse and challenging and exciting. There are regular opportunities for exposure to new mandates; the range of available work is wide, and quality is high.
An international dimension is also present for one for whom an international practice, based in Montreal, is attractive.

Conditions of Employment:

  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the country of interest, at the time any offer of employment is made and seeking any required work permits/visas or other authorizations which may be required is the sole responsibility of the candidates applying for this position.

Linguistic Requirements

Based on equal qualifications, preference will be given to bilingual candidates.

Diversity and Inclusion

Air Canada is strongly committed to Diversity and Inclusion and aims to create a healthy, accessible and rewarding work environment which highlights employees' unique contributions to our company's success.

As an equal opportunity employer, we welcome applications from all to help us build a diverse workforce which reflects the diversity of our customers, and communities, in which we live and serve.

Air Canada thanks all candidates for their interest; however only those selected to continue in the process will be contacted.