Wade Poziomka named one of 2022’s Leading Lawyers Under 40

Wade Poziomka, a partner in our Human Rights, Labour, and Employment Practice Group has been selected as one of 2022’s Leading Lawyers Under 40 by Lexpert Rising Stars.

“This award recognizes lawyers at the top of their professional game who are dedicated to giving back and embody progressive, out-of-the-box thinking,” explained Anandi Naipaul, partner and Chair at Ross & McBride. “On behalf of the firm, we’re incredibly proud to see Wade’s accomplishments celebrated at this level.”

The Leading Lawyers Under 40 Awards honour exceptional lawyers under 40 from law firms, in-house departments, and other practices. Recipients are determined through a comprehensive process where legal professionals from across Canada are invited to nominate lawyers who have made outstanding contributions in their careers. A shortlist of nominees is reviewed by an advisory panel of esteemed leaders within the legal profession, who vote for winners based on set criteria.

Wade has dedicated his legal career to ensuring the voices of marginalized members of our communities are heard. He believes the law is an instrument of social change and when the law does not protect those who need it the most, the law needs to change.

“Wade is essential to Ross & McBride’s success and is a primary reason for our growth in the area of human rights,” said Jennifer Zdriluk, a partner in the firm’s Human Rights Group, and Wade’s nominator. “He’s deeply committed to ensuring individuals have access to the law, and he does an impressive amount of pro bono work for community groups and organizations.”

In fact, Wade dedicates roughly twenty percent of his practice to pro bono cases for equity seeking groups and individuals. In 2020, he successfully argued for an interim injunction against the City of Hamilton on behalf of a group of front-line doctors advocating for unhoused people living in encampments. For several months, the City was prevented from dismantling encampments for those with no other housing options in the community, resulting in a negotiated protocol to protect the most vulnerable.
Wade is also lead counsel for Pride Hamilton in a pro bono case arguing that the police response to a violent attack was discriminatory in nature. Through the efforts of Wade and others, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has intervened.

“Through his work in labour and employment law, Wade has also successfully argued in favour of legal reform, bringing about meaningful changes that provide better protections for employees across Ontario,” Zdriluk added.

Wade was lead counsel on one of last year’s most influential decisions in employment law. In this case, the Court found that severance provisions apply to an employer’s total payroll, which means that large multi national organizations who only have smaller Ontario operations are required to pay severance pay to workers in Ontario. The result is higher statutory minimums for many workers across the province. This case changed the law after nearly twenty years of decisions to the contrary.

Speaking about the award, Wade said, “I’m grateful to my colleagues, not just for the nomination, but for the work they put in every day to advocate for our clients and help the people who need it most. To be able to do this type of work takes a strong team, and I’m fortunate to have one at Ross & McBride.”

Outside of his practice, Wade is a sought-after speaker at human rights conferences. He was appointed for several years to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s Practice Advisory Committee and is the former Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section Executive.

His commitment to the legal and broader community have earned him an Ontario Volunteer Service Award, the Top 40 under Forty Achievement Award, and two nominations for Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers. He has earned Reader’s Choice Awards through the Hamilton Spectator for seven consecutive years and has been recognized by Best Lawyers Canada for the last three years.

Please join us in congratulating Wade on this well-deserved accomplishment.
Wade Poziomka
Wade Poziomka
P: 905.572.5824