Katie Rowen

Lawyer, she/her/hers



UPFH partner Katie Rowen is an insightful strategic advisor and tireless advocate for trade unions, associations and their members.

Katie practices labour law exclusively on behalf of trade unions and associations, with a particular emphasis on the policing, education and transit sectors. 

Katie advocates on behalf of her clients before boards of arbitration, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, human rights tribunals, inquests, professional disciplinary bodies and in the courts. In addition, Katie provides comprehensive and strategic advice to clients on a range of matters, including collective bargaining, benefits, governance and complex workplace harassment and discrimination matters.   

Katie’s focus on providing trusted and informed strategic advice—and on building long-term relationships with her clients—means that she is often able to negotiate advantageous resolutions to complex matters. However, when resolution is not possible, Katie is a vigorous, prepared and focussed litigator with an excellent record of results.  

Katie frequently provides training, including hands-on skill-building workshops, to union and association leadership, as well as professional development to lawyers. 

Katie joined the firm in 2007 after articling at another Toronto union-side labour firm, and is currently the Co-Chair of the firm’s Human Resources Committee, with a special focus on equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.   

Katie is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. She holds a JD, as well as a Certificate in Pension Law, from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Decisions of Interest

Weilgosh v. London District Catholic School Board, [2022] OHRTD No 336, 2022 HRTO 491

  • Katie served as counsel to an intervenor on an interim decision of the Human Rights Tribunal Ontario upholding Ontario’s concurrent jurisdiction model, post-Horrocks.

Peel Regional Police Assn v. Peel (Regional Municipality) Police (Termination Grievance), [2022] OLAA No 14

  • Representing the police association, Katie achieved a successful grievance arbitration in a complex workplace-harassment termination case in which the member was reinstated with full compensation.

Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 v. Toronto Transit Commission (Performing Work Grievance), [2021] OLAA No 230

  • Representing the union, Katie gained a grievance arbitration award successfully establishing the directory nature of collective agreement time limits and quashing the employer’s motion to dismiss.

Fisher v. Orangeville Police Assn, 2020 CanLII 28303 (ON LA)

  • Katie successfully represented the police association in a case before the Ontario Police Arbitration Commission that articulated the scope of a police association’s statutory duty of fair representation to its members.

University of Guelph v. Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (Retroactive Salaries Grievance), 2018 CanLII 96099 (ON LA)

  • Representing the federation, Katie gained a grievance  arbitration award successfully establishing the retroactivity of salary provisions under a first collective agreement.

Ontario Public Service Employees Union v. Ontario (Minister of Education), [2016] OJ No 2109, 2016 ONSC 2197, 354 CRR (2d) 158

  • Katie acted as counsel to a co-applicant on a successful Charter challenge to Bill 115 “Putting Students First Act.”

Anderson (Re), 2016 LNONCI 26

  • Katie acted as co-counsel to a party at the coroner’s inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations youths in Thunder Bay.