Sarah is a Senior Associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group at Watson Goepel LLP. Sarah enjoys a hybrid practice of both defence work and plaintiff work; she represents and advises employers across Canada with regards to all aspects of Workplace Law and also represents and advises individuals with respect to long-term disability benefits and life insurance claims.
Sarah has had cases before the Employment Standards Tribunal of BC, the BC Human Rights Tribunal, the Industrial Relations Board, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Social Security Tribunal, and the Supreme and Provincial Courts of British Columbia.
Workplace Law – For Businesses
- Transferring employees between businesses during purchase or sale of business
- Drafting, assessing, or applying workplace policies
- Advising employers regarding terminations, employee complaints, and workplace accommodations
- Drafting employment contracts for businesses
- Defending wrongful dismissal actions, Employment Standards Tribunal complaints, and Human Rights Tribunal complaints
- Providing advice and strategy regarding breaches of contract including non-solicitation clauses, privacy, and non-competition clauses
- Strategic advice for businesses regarding WorkSafe BC matters
- Assisting individuals with appeals during the appeals process
- Bringing actions in court against insurance companies who wrongfully deny benefits
- Assisting unions and/or union members with their long term disability benefits appeals processes
- How to handle the employment relationship while on long-term disability or waiting for long-term disability benefits
Sarah’s Top Five Tips for Disability Claims
- Seek professional advice right away.
- Don’t assume because an insurance company tells you “your claim is denied” or “your file is closed” or “you are no longer entitled to benefits after two years”, that that is the final word on your entitlement. It rarely is.
- You have obligations to your employer while off work, even if you are on an approved long term disability claim. Find out what they are so you can maintain a good employer relationship and maintain other benefits.
- Do everything in writing. Even when they insist on a phone call or a “phone interview.” You can request that they put their questions in writing.
- If you are settling a car accident or personal injury claim while you are receiving long term disability benefits, there are important questions your personal injury/motor vehicle claim lawyer should be asking the disability insurer BEFORE you settle your personal injury claim.
- LLB, University of British Columbia, 2002
- BAH, Queens University, 1995
- British Columbia, 2003
Over the course of two years, I worked closely with Sarah to update our employment infrastructure for our small but growing university college in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sarah was responsive, diligent, and creative. She took the time to work with and listen to us, bringing her vast and current legal understanding of employment law that would serve the needs of our particular institution. By any standard of performance, and professionalism, I consider Sarah to be an exemplary legal practitioner who carries my strongest unreserved recommendation. Dr. Peter Meehan, President, Corpus Christi College, Principal, St. Mark’s College
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Canadian Bar Association, Member of Pension and Benefits Section
- British Columbia Bar Association, Member of Employment Section and Women Lawyers Forum