“He was strategic in conquering goal after goal until the final victory.”
- SB and PP

José Bento Rodrigues

Partner / Family

José Bento Rodrigues is a Partner of Unified LLP and the head of the firm’s Family law group. He services clients from the firm’s Toronto and Waterloo Region offices.

As leader of the Family group, José specializes in family law litigation. His commitment to excellence, thoroughness, and to unlocking pragmatic solutions make him a leader in the court room, as well. The three building blocks of his litigation success are experience, attention to detail, and fearless oral advocacy.

José sees litigation as an option of last resort. He believes that clients generally come out ahead when they settle their affairs amicably, because court proceedings are expensive and lengthy. To that end, he pours his energy into finding bespoke solutions that are pragmatic and innovative. By taking this approach José ensures that when he goes to court he stands on a solid legal foundation that breathes an unshaken confidence.

Prior to the formation of Unified LLP, José was a Partner of Rodrigues Paiva LLP. He started his legal career at Justice Canada. While in law school he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Ottawa Law Review, completed internships at the Tax Court of Canada, Ontario Court of Justice, as well as the United Nations in New York City.

José loves to meditate and is the proud owner of his Akita, Saki.

Education

  • J.D., University of Ottawa

Associations

  • Royal Canadian Yacht Club
"Gil was both friendly and compassionate to my concerns. He was also able to communicate my intent and provide options; and the risk and potential outcome of each option. Overall just a great experience and I would not hesitate to obtain his services in the future."
- J.S.

Gil Fischler

Partner / Disability / Employment

Gil Fischler is a Partner of Unified LLP and head of the firm’s Employment Law and Disability Group. He services clients throughout Ontario.

Gil’s practice is exclusively devoted to helping employees with issues related to employment law disputes including wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, shareholder disputes, oppression actions, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, employment standards (including unpaid wages, commission, overtime, and vacation pay) and human rights (including the duty of an employer to accommodate).

Gil provides pragmatic and empathetic advice to his clients.  He is keenly aware of the inherent and unique vulnerability of employees to their employers, and the psychological and emotional issues that come from this relationship.  Gil draws upon his many years of experience and practice to successfully navigate and resolve difficult issues for his clients.

Gil has experience in various levels of court in Ontario including the Ontario Superior Court, Ontario Court of Appeal, Small Claims Court, Ontario Labour Relations Board and Human Rights Tribunal.

Prior to co-founding Unified LLP, Gil was a Partner of Shillers LLP, a boutique law firm in downtown Toronto.

Education

  • University of Western Ontario, B.A. (Statistics), 2001
  • Florida State University, Florence, Italy Campus (International Program, 1999-2000)
  • Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, Netherlands (2003-2004)
  • Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B., 2004

Kirsty Niglas-Collins

Partner / Labour / Professional Regulation

Kirsty Niglas-Collins is a Partner of Unified LLP and leader of the firm’s Labour group. Kirsty is an experienced and capable litigator who frequently appears at a range of professional regulatory colleges, labour arbitrations and human rights tribunals. She regularly provides advice on all aspects of the collective bargaining relationship and the professional regulation of Union members.

Kirsty brings a fearless advocacy to her work for Unions and their members who have been relying on her advice for the best part of a decade. Her analytical skills and attention to detail combined with big picture thinking allows her to navigate the ever-changing framework of labour law to the benefit of her clients. In addition to labour arbitrations, Kirsty has appeared at the Ontario Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Kirsty is a trailblazer – from her position as the first articling student at a large Ontario Union, to building her own practice and her talented team, to her role as the only female partner at Unified LLP – she breaks barriers wherever she goes.

Representative Work

  • Bluewater District School Board v Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, District 7, 2020 CanLII 77141
  • Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and Limestone District School Board, 2019 CarswellOnt 677, 138 C.L.A.S. 233
  • Thames Valley District School Board and OSSTF, District 11, Re 2018 CarswellOnt 16635; 137 C.L.A.S. 204
  • Tsui v. Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, 2016 CanLII 33619
  • Ontario College of Teachers v Shaikh, 2016 ONOCT 101
  • College of Teachers v. Worthy, 2015 ONOCT 90

Education

  • J.D., University of Toronto
  • M.A., University of St. Andrews

Professional Associations

  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
  • Ontario Bar Association – Member of the Labour and Employment Group

Michael Paiva

Partner / Property and Commerce

Michael Paiva is a partner of Unified LLP and leader of the firm’s Property and Commerce group. He services clients from the firm’s Toronto and Waterloo Region offices.

As leader of the Property and Commerce group, Michael maintains a hybrid practice handling both disputes and transactions in real property matters (including planning and land development, expropriation, real estate, and construction law) and corporate / commercial matters, including business litigation and asset and share transactions.

Michael delivers responsive, decisive, and thorough service, and leaves no stone unturned.  He tactfully navigates the complexities of each matter with an eye focused on resolution. Michael employs a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to every file and always considers his clients’ business operations.  As an advocate, he has successfully appeared before the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly LPAT, OMB), and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Prior to the formation of Unified LLP, Michael was a Partner of Rodrigues Paiva LLP. He started his legal career as an associate lawyer, articling student and summer student at Gowlings. Prior to law school, Michael successfully defended his Master’s thesis on Canada-US trade in the Mulroney-Reagan era. His research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Representative Work

Please click here for a sampling of Michael’s representative work.

Education

  • J.D., University of Ottawa
  • M.A., University of Waterloo
  • B.Ed., University of Western Ontario
  • B.A. (Hons.), University of Waterloo

Professional Associations

  • Ontario Expropriation Association
  • Urban Land Institute