Drew Demerse

March 2015

Drew is a partner* at Roper Greyell where he provides strategic and practical advice to employers on labour, employment, and human rights issues in the workplace. Drew’s advice is rooted in his thorough understanding of his clients’ business objectives – an understanding that he reaches through collaboration, by asking the right questions, and with a keen awareness of his clients’ company culture and guiding principles.

Drew has a passion for learning about his clients’ businesses and uses this knowledge and his solutions-oriented style to help clients navigate complex workplace legal issues. His proactive approach has made him a trusted partner and advisor to the management teams of a broad spectrum of businesses in Canada. Drew works collaboratively with his clients to resolve performance management issues and workplace conflict. He is also frequently engaged for workplace policy development, and has particular expertise drafting and implementing drug and alcohol policies.

Drew is known for his ability to relate to his clients while providing exceptional advice

Drew is a seasoned and resourceful litigator. He frequently acts as counsel to employers in arbitration proceedings and before the Labour Relations Board, the courts, and a wide variety of tribunals and administrative bodies including the Human Rights Tribunal, Employment Standards Branch, and Workers Compensation Board. He also represents senior executives in wrongful dismissal actions.

Drew was drawn to labour relations and collective bargaining early in his career as a result of his father’s work in human resources. Drew is equally skilled in negotiation and litigation and has developed a robust set of legal tools that allow him to pursue the right course of action for his clients.

Drew is an avid sports and outdoor enthusiast. He particularly enjoys the camaraderie of his hockey team and exploring remote corners of BC under the pretense of trying to catch fish.

*Law corporation

Jennifer Devins

March 2015

Jennifer is a partner at Roper Greyell where she advises employers in all areas of labour and employment law, including human rights law.

Jennifer provides strategic advice regarding the management of workplace legal issues in both unionized and non-unionized environments. Jennifer’s clients include school boards, post-secondary institutions, municipalities, technology companies and retailers.

Solutions oriented and skilled at navigating tough issues, Jennifer is committed to working with her clients to determine the best strategy for their challenging workplace issues

Clients can draw from Jennifer’s depth of experience. She has managed cases involving constitutional, novel and sensitive issues, particularly those related to harassment, human rights, school law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Responsive, efficient and knowledgeable, Jennifer has represented her clients before the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of court in British Columbia, the Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal, the Employment Standards Tribunal, and labour arbitrators. Jennifer is also frequently retained as an independent investigator on complex complaints of misconduct, bullying, harassment or assault.

Jennifer is a frequent speaker and writer on a variety of labour and employment law topics, particularly in the areas of human rights, duty to accommodate, and employee medical information.

Outside of the office, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her two children. She is also passionate about expressing her creativity through cooking and writing.

Melissa Dhillon

July 2018

Melissa practises in all areas of employment, labour and human rights law delivering practical and relevant solutions to clients in both the unionized and non-unionized context.

Melissa is passionate about human rights issues and puts her passion into action through a long list of volunteer activities.  She is currently lending her expertise to Access Pro Bono Vancouver.

Perceptive and articulate, Melissa understands that her clients expect practical advice that will help them achieve measurable results

For her, local connections run deep.  Through JJ Bean — the family business —  she knows a thing or two about the local commercial scene and is particularly pleased to bring the business acumen she has been acquiring since childhood to her clients’ employment and human rights challenges.  Coming from a business family, she is keenly aware that her clients expect practical advice that helps them achieve measurable results.  Her goal is to be a respected labour, employment and human rights lawyer whose clients consider her a go-to advisor who will find efficient and cost effective solutions when legal issues arise.

Outside office hours, Melissa is an avid reader of fiction.  As a proud Vancouverite, she enjoys yoga and hiking, and she is a great fan of stand-up comedy.  But her most important non-legal pursuit, in keeping with the family business, is the exploration of great coffee, with a view to finding the best cappuccino in Canada (beyond the ones served at JJ Bean, of course.)

Katelin Dueck

June 2021

Katelin Dueck is an Associate at Roper Greyell, practicing in all areas of workplace law, including human rights law, administrative law, litigation, and arbitrations. Katelin joined Roper Greyell as a summer student and completed her articles with the firm.

Career highlights for Katelin at Roper Greyell include winning arbitrations and working on human rights cases, witness preparation and submissions; as well as the mentorship from senior members of the firm. Katelin enjoys practicing workplace law with a firm that aligns with the human side of workplace law.

While at TRU Law, Katelin worked as a Teaching Assistant in Fundamental Legal Skills and a Supplemental Learning Leader for both Torts and Constitutional Law classes. She also participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2019.

When not in the office, Katelin enjoys musical theatre (Hamilton and Les Misèrables are her favourites) and cheering on the Canucks and the Delta Special Olympics Team.

Jacqueline D. Gant

August 2017

Jacqueline practises in all areas of employment and labour law.

Jacqueline provides tactical and strategic advice that is in alignment with her clients’ business objectives

Jacqueline provides strategic advice to employers concerning the management of workplace issues in both union and non-union environments, including discipline and discharge cases, collective agreement interpretation, accommodation issues and policy grievances. Jacqueline also assists employers to prepare, implement, and monitor workplace policies, and she frequently writes and presents to clients on these topics.

Away from the office, you can find her hiking in the summer, snow-shoeing in the winter and running around a soccer field throughout the year.

Bruce M. Greyell Q.C.

May 2018

The Honourable Bruce M. Greyell* Q.C., a founding partner of Roper Greyell, has rejoined the firm after eight years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and holds a mentor role at the firm. As a member of the judiciary, Bruce sat on the Supreme Court from May, 2009 until his retirement in November, 2017.

For 40 years, Bruce earned a respected reputation as one of Canada’s leading employment lawyers and arbitrators. He has acted as legal counsel to many of this country’s major private corporations and Crown Corporations.

Over the course of his career, Bruce has represented clients at every level of British Columbia’s courts, as well as at the federal level, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He served as one of two Commissioners appointed by the federal government to investigate labour relations at West Coast ports in 1996 and has acted for the B.C. and Canada Labour Relations Boards on judicial review applications.  During his time on the bench, he presided over complex civil, criminal, and family legal cases.

A resident of Bowen Island, Bruce is an enthusiastic booster of his community’s beauty and potential. He chaired the Bowen Island Parks and Recreation Commission from 1996 to 2000 and is a co-founder and Past Chair of the Bowen Island Community Foundation (2000-2008). Bruce is also a Past Chair and supporter of the BC Centre for Ability.

*Retired

Sandra Guarascio

March 2015

Sandra is a partner* at Roper Greyell where she practises in all areas of employment and labour law, with a focus in human rights and respectful workplace issues.

Sandra is focused on the needs of her clients and works with public and private sector employers providing proactive and practical advice for unionized and non-unionized environments. Her particular interests include management-side representation, respectful workplace issues, investigations, hiring and termination issues, accommodation and disability management, collective agreement administration and disputes, workplace policy development and training.

As a trusted and skilled advisor and advocate, Sandra works with clients to develop strategic solutions

A strong advocate for her clients, Sandra offers a balanced approach to their workplace issues through creative problem solving and strategic intervention. Her methodology to client challenges enables her to find strong and thoughtful solutions. She provides strategic advice to employers in handling complaints and addressing respectful workplace issues including workplace and employment discrimination, harassment, bullying and workplace conflict. She is a skilled investigator who has conducted numerous workplace investigations including those in highly sensitive circumstances and in complex environments. She also designs and conducts workplace audits for employers and handles formal complaints provincially and federally.

Sandra is an experienced facilitator and speaker, an instructor with the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Services, and a guest lecturer at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is also a volunteer with the BC Law Society and Continuing Legal Education, serving as co-chair of the award winning annual CLE Human Rights Conference.

Outside the office, Sandra recharges by connecting with nature. She can usually be found meandering on beaches and trails with her family and their two much loved Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

*Law corporation

Mike Hamata

March 2017

Mike is a partner* at Roper Greyell and practises in all areas of employment and labour law, including disputes with unions, workplace safety, human rights and employment litigation

Working primarily as a litigation lawyer, Mike assists federally and provincially regulated employers with discipline and policy grievances, picketing injunctions, strike planning, collective bargaining, wrongful dismissals, human rights, workers compensation, and employment standards complaints. Mike regularly appears at all levels of court in British Columbia and before administrative tribunals, including the B.C. Labour Relations Board, Canada Industrial Relations Board and federal and provincial human rights tribunals.

Delivering practical, relevant and cost-effective solutions, Mike works alongside employers as a versatile litigator

Mike tackles workplace issues with precision, passion and enthusiasm. His diverse experience in litigation has made him an expert in cross examinations, oral arguments and witness preparation. When avoiding litigation is the aim, Mike’s strong understanding of the process allows him to make the best recommendations for businesses that he works with.

Before joining Roper Greyell, Mike was a judicial law clerk to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and practiced as an employment and labour associate at an international law firm in Vancouver. In former lives, Mike has worked in the construction industry, e-commerce and education. Today, he utilizes his diverse experiences to connect with clients and deeply understand their needs and issues.

Mike enjoys volunteering, including pro bono refugee work. Away from work, he is an avid backcountry skier and mountain biker. Mike also plays guitar in a band, although he’d prefer to be the singer.

*Law corporation

Gregory J. Heywood

March 2015

Greg is a founding partner* at Roper Greyell where he provides strategic and practical advice to employers on labour and employment issues in the workplace.

Greg has over 30 years of experience as a labour litigator with a respected reputation as a formidable opponent. Known for his resilient advocacy for his clients and aggressive cross-examination skills , clients can rely on Greg to fight for them. He has had experience as a client himself, so he knows what to expect in representation and how to best provide for his clients.

“The most important thing a lawyer can do is avoid surprises, in the invoice and the result”

Greg represents management and employees in wrongful dismissal lawsuits, labour arbitrations, labour board hearings, human rights tribunal hearings and wrongful dismissal proceedings. Greg has also represented unionized employers in grievance arbitrations and workplace discrimination cases based on age, sex, religion and ethnicity.

Committed to client success and long-term positive outcomes, Greg also delivers focused seminars to clients on a wide variety of employment, labour law and workplace human rights issues.

Greg is an active volunteer with many organizations including Access Pro-Bono, and North Shore Rescue. He is also the firm’s representative in the Employment Law Alliance and sits on the board of directors. With his connections with the ELA, Greg can draw upon thousands of lawyers in over 130 countries to assist with any client needs.

Outside of work, Greg is a Vancouver Canucks fan who loves to ski and travel. He is very thankful for his life partner and their three wonderful daughters, now young women. He especially loves Whistler and the interior mountains of BC. Greg is passionate about exploring both Canada and the world.  He enjoys exploring new places for the priceless learnings that come from understanding different cultures and seeing different perspectives.

*Law corporation

Brandon Hillis

June 2015

Brandon is a partner at Roper Greyell where he practises in all areas of labour, employment and human rights law in the workplace.

Brandon uses his technical knowledge of workplace law and general labour law to find the best strategies for his clients. Clients enjoy working with Brandon for his ability to present all the options and evaluate them with a reasoned approach. He has represented employers in workplace arbitrations, collective agreement disputes and human rights grievances.

Brandon excels in quickly evaluating different perspectives and delivering creative solutions

Brandon’s unique past job experiences allow him to think holistically about the challenges that many employers and employees face. The combination of Brandon’s past experience as a labourer in a lumber mill and his years as a workplace lawyer, means Brandon excels in quickly evaluating different perspectives and delivering creative solutions. This broad outlook serves him well when drafting employment agreements and workplace policies and during grievance arbitrations.

Often sharing his expertise, Brandon also writes for publications such as Canadian HR Reporter, Business in Vancouver and The Lawyers’ Daily on topics related to labour, employment and human rights law.

Brandon spends the hockey and baseball seasons cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays. In between games, he (semi-successfully) runs marathons and works on improving his limited snowboarding and golfing skills.