I am an experienced, professional negotiator. I have acted as principal negotiator in the public, private, non-profit and agricultural sectors on a wide variety of matters. I have negotiated many collective labour agreements, for employers as well as on the union side, and I have also successfully negotiated a number of complex, long-term, high-value commercial contracts outside the labour field. I have specialized training in collective bargaining and collective agreement administration from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Labour Canada).
My approach at the table in any negotiations is friendly, always respectful and to the point. I am there to help my client get the best deal possible and I realize that there will still be a working relationship between the parties long after the deal is signed. I work closely with my clients before, during and after negotiations to ensure that their position is properly understood at the table and that the final document truly expresses the agreements reached at the table before it is signed.
Some lawyers, frankly, do not have great negotiating skills, although they often appear to believe otherwise. That may be because lawyers are trained as advocates, not as negotiators, and they often seem to believe that negotiating at the bargaining table and advocating in the courtroom are the same thing. That is certainly not the case, of course, but it may explain why some people think the best strategy is to keep “the lawyers” as far away as possible from any actual negotiations. In many cases they are right. Of course, just because some lawyers are terrible negotiators that does not mean that there are not excellent, professional negotiators who also happen to be lawyers.
If your enterprise is facing serious contract negotiations with long-term consequences, you may wish to consider retaining a professional negotiator to assist you to achieve a fair result.
My contract negotiation services (labour and non-labour) are available throughout Atlantic Canada. Please contact me for more information.