A UPFH partner and head of the firm’s research department, Kristen Allen is an insightful advocate and advisor, practice leader, and mentor who is deeply committed to building the collective power of working people. Kristen’s comprehensive knowledge of the law and her ability to use complex analytical frameworks enable her to skillfully represent the firm’s clients in constitutional matters, at labour arbitrations and before administrative tribunals, as well as in Civil Court.
Kristen provides strategic advice to a variety of clients in all areas of labour and employment law. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, written advocacy work and helping clients navigate new or difficult legal problems. She has experience working on cases involving a wide array of labour issues, human rights and Charter issues, wrongful dismissal, occupational health and safety and professional disciplinary matters. Kristen is practical, thoughtful and deeply committed to achieving excellence in her work.
Kristen runs UPFH’s in-house legal education program and is responsible for the firm’s knowledge management. She is the case editor for the Education and the Law Journal and regularly provides training and legal education for clients and broader community members.
Kristen’s recent accomplishments include working to overturn unconstitutional campaign finance rules applying to unions and fighting for the right to strike of transit workers.
Kristen is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. She is also a past board member of a not-for-profit housing corporation providing social support and housing for homeless and at-risk individuals.
Kristen received her JD from Queen’s University and clerked at the Divisional Court prior to joining UPFH.
Decisions of Interest
- This case challenged unfair third-party advertising rules that applied to unions as a violation of freedom of expression. Kristen played an instrumental role in compiling the evidentiary record before the Court. The Court found the legislation unconstitutional and struck it down in its entirety.
- This case, which Kristen took on pro bono as a junior lawyer, involved a woman of very modest means who was the victim of a sexual assault by a former friend. She had applied for compensation as a victim of a violent crime to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). The board adjudicator asked aggressive questions and relied on problematic rape-myth reasoning. On appeal, Kristen convinced the Divisional Court that the adjudicator’s conduct gave rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias. Upon re-hearing at the CICB, Kristen secured for her client one of the highest damage awards available under the legislation at the time.