About David Hager

  • Call to Bar, Ontario, 1976
  • J.D. University of Toronto Law School, 1974
  • B.A. (Hon. Economics), University of Toronto, 1971

Special Recognition

For a number of years I have been the proud recipient of the Martindale-Hubbell BV Peer Review Rating.  I have received the BV Distinguished rating in each year from 1999 through 2021 signifying that I have a lawyer rating of excellent for ethical standards and professional ability, based upon peer review surveys of lawyers conducted by Martindale-Hubbell.

Professional Activities:

From 1981 through 2013 I was a partner in the Employment & Labour Law Group and the Advocacy and Litigation Group in the Toronto office of McMillan LLP and its predecessor firms, including Lang Michener LLP.  From 1999 through 2008 I served as the Chair of Lang Michener’s Employment & Labour Law Group.

I have appeared as counsel at all levels of courts in Ontario, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Superior Court of Justice, the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada.  I have also appeared as counsel at hearings before Employment Standards Referees and Human Rights Tribunals as well as hearings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and arbitrators.  Many of the cases in which I have acted as counsel have been reported in the Ontario Reports, the Dominion Law Reports, Canadian Cases on Employment Law, the Ontario Appeal Cases, the Supreme Court Reports and the Tax Court of Canada.

My first few years of practice were spent learning the art of litigation and negotiation through exposure to a broad range of cases in the areas of family law, wills and estates disputes, commercial disputes, employment law, professional malpractice, criminal law and negligence.  It was only after this process of learning that I focused on employment law, including, wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, severance packages, the negotiation of employment contracts, employment restructuring, non-solicitation and non-competition agreements, misrepresentation claims, employee fraud, shareholder disputes, injunctions, independent contractor vs. employee issues, and Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act complaints.

Over the course of the last 20 years I have been retained as counsel by other lawyers in large document cases and have led corporations and individuals alike through complex commercial litigation spanning shareholder and partnership disputes, fraud, professional liability and departing employee issues regarding confidential information and solicitation of customers. 

In one case I successfully challenged the Federal Government’s assertion in the Tax Court of Canada that over 300 independent contractors should be classified as employees.  I have successfully defended corporations and departing employees faced with injunctions over misuse of confidential information and have tried cases dealing with issues of constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal, employment contract interpretation, racial and sexual discrimination and employee fraud.

I have been privileged to provide volunteer services to Pro Bono Law Ontario, an organization whose purpose is to provide free legal services in the area of civil litigation to individuals that cannot afford the services of a lawyer.


I have presented papers on such topics as the Ontario Human Rights Code, Employment Standards Act, discrimination in the workplace, non-competition covenants, disability in the workplace, the use of reference letters, termination of employment, issue estoppel, independent contractors, employee dishonesty, bad faith conduct, disability insurance benefits, structuring employee settlements and common law employee obligations on the sale of a business.

I have been quoted in the Canadian news media and have been featured in The Financial Post, The Lawyers Weekly, Law Times Canadian Living and The Globe & Mail.

I have chaired or participated in seminars for the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, The Board of Trade, Federated Press, Lorman Education Services, employment agencies, human resource administrators, and industry executives.


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Metropolitan Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Toronto Lawyers Club
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