Chris D. Drinovz is the head of KSW’s Employment and Labour Law Group. He was born and raised in Surrey and has practiced law exclusively in the Fraser Valley for over ten years. A recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal, Chris studied Mathematics, English Literature, and Spanish at the University of British Columbia as an Undergraduate Scholar. In 2007, Chris graduated on the Dean’s Honour List with a Bachelor of Science, having also been recognized by the Golden Key International Honour Society for being in the top 15% of all students. Chris continued his education at UBC Law School where his honours included the Law Foundation Award. He earned his Juris Doctor in 2010. While attending UBC Law, Chris was active in the Law Students Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) and the Union Gospel Mission. Chris was called to the bar of British Columbia in May, 2011. He articled at a large Fraser Valley Firm where he practiced employment law, commercial litigation, and criminal law. He was named the third best lawyer in the criminal law category of the 2014 Georgia Strait Best of Vancouver Awards. He then practiced at a boutique employment and disability law firm in Langley before joining KSW in 2016. He is currently on the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association, Employment Law Subsection. Chris was recently rated as one of the Top 3 Best Employment Lawyers in Abbotsford by ThreeBestRated, under Best Business of 2019!
Chris’ expertise covers all facets of the workplace including wrongful dismissal, severance opinions, human rights, discrimination/ harassment, employment standards, employment contracts and workplace policies, dismissal planning, employee investigations, pension & benefits, disability and other insurance claims, employment insurance and CPP disability, WorkSafeBC injury claims, discriminatory action, and health/safety fines and assessments, partnership and shareholder disputes, arbitration, collective agreement advice, unfair representation complaints, non-compete/solicit disputes, and injunctions. Chris also practices in other complex commercial litigation, regulatory, and criminal matters.
Chris acts as general employment counsel for many local small and mid-sized Fraser Valley businesses. He takes a practical and pragmatic approach to planning and/or dispute resolution tailored to the need of each client. He also represents wrongfully dismissed employees which experience includes being co-counsel in a class action lawsuit against a large national employer.
Chris has appeared in Provincial, Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court of Canada. His litigation experience includes mediations, arbitrations, injunctions, judicial reviews, trials, and appeals. He also regularly appears in provincial and federal administrative tribunals such as the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal, Social Security Tribunal, Human Rights Tribunal, and Employment Standards Tribunal.
Chris has a passion for music. He is an avid jazz fan and a member of the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society. He also plays drums for “Lost & Loaded” a rock cover band recently invited to compete in the Battle of the Insurance Bands.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Labour & Employment
- Human Rights
- WorkSafe BC
- Commercial Litigation
- Administrative Law
- British Columbia, 2011
- University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Juris Doctor – 2010
- Honours: Law Foundation Award
- University of British Columbia
- B.Sc., Bachelor of Science
- Honours: Undergraduate Scholar Program Award
- Honours: Dean’s Honour List
- Major: Mathematics
- Minor: English Literature
- Minor: Spanish
HONOURS AND AWARDS
- Top 3 Best Employment Lawyer in Abbotsford by ThreeBestRated, under Best Business of 2019!
- Georgia Strait Best of Vancouver Awards, Best criminal lawyer in Vancouver, 2014 – Present
- “Art of Hiring”: Surrey Civic Hotel, January 10, 2020
- “Employment Standards Act amendments”: Surrey Civic Hotel, November 28, 2019
- “Risky Business: Modern-day Tactics to Protect Your Business, People & Tech”: The Dragon Lounge, October 22, 2019
- “Mental Distress & Punitive Damages”, Employment Law Continuing Legal Education Conference, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, May 2019
- “A Summary of Recent Employment Law Trends Developing in Ontario and How Those Trends Are Being Applied in BC” (co-author), Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, May 2019
- “Optimizing Your Organization’s Group Retirement Plan” (co-author), January 2016
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- Canadian Bar Association Executive for Employment Law Section
- Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
- Law Society of British Columbia
- Langley Trusted Advisors Group for TEC Canada
- Langley Chamber of Commerce, representative for KSW Lawyers
- Surrey Cares Foundation, Director
- Friendly Drifter Society, Board of Directors
- Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association
- Coastal Jazz & Blues Society
PRO BONO ACTIVITIES
- Director on Board of Directors, Surrey Cares Community Foundation
- Law Students Legal Advice Program, Peter Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
- Strata Council Member on RDG Corporate Center, Langley, BC