J. Geoffrey Howard

Principal and Founder

“My longtime clients stay for my responsiveness, high level of communication, and practical, cost-sensitive advice.”

Geoffrey Howard is the founder and principal of Howard Employment Law* where he provides strategic and practical advice on employment and labour law matters and represents clients in employment-related litigation.

Geoffrey has extensive experience representing both employers and employees in all aspects of the employment relationship, including employment agreements, termination of employment, and human rights issues such as discrimination and the duty to accommodate. Geoffrey also has considerable experience advising employers on benefit plans, including pension, disability and group insurance coverage and related legal issues. He advises companies and owners on shareholder disputes arising out of termination of employment.

A senior advisor to multi-national and regional employers in respect of their Canadian workforce, Geoffrey Howard helps clients solve workplace issues in a practical and cost-effective way.

Geoffrey’s clients come from industries ranging from high-tech, health care, biotech, and mining, to travel, retail and professional services. They stay for his expertise in managing relations between employers and their employees. He frequently advises on stock options, restricted stock units (RSU), pensions, bonuses, shareholder agreements and constructive dismissals. He also advises and represents clients in disputes over post-employment competition arising from breach of confidentiality, non-compete agreements and restrictive covenants.

When working with his clients, Geoffrey Howard combines regular client communication and follow-up, with a cost-effective and creative approach to resolve employment problems and litigation. He is responsive, practical and aims to ensure that there are no surprises for his clients.

Geoffrey also speaks and writes on a wide range of employment law topics, including authoring articles for a variety of publications and delivering training seminars to clients, managers and professionals on workplace law issues.

Outside of work, Geoff enjoys biking, hiking, tennis and recovering from it all with yoga. He advises a variety of local charities which support disadvantaged children and youth as well as acting as long time pro bono counsel to the Alliance Francaise Vancouver.

Geoff speaks and write fluently in French and is able to provide basic advice to clients dealing with Quebec legal matters and documents in French which working closely with a Quebec firm.

* doing business through Howard Employment Law Corporation

Education & Credentials

  • University of British Columbia (LL.B. 1987)
  • Call to the Bar: British Columbia 1994, Ontario 1989
  • Lexpert-Ranked Lawyer, multiple years
  • International Who’s Who Labour and Employment recognized lawyer, multiple years


  • Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR), former Director and founding Chair of the Public Policy Committee
  • Canadian Bar Association, Employment, Labour and Privacy Section member
  • Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE), active member of Advocacy Committee


See also Geoff’s Employer Alerts


  • Bullying and Harassment: What Every Employer Needs to Know
  • Employment Agreements 101
  • Employment Standards Overview
  • Managing Disability in the Workplace
  • Taking the Next Step: Primer on the Differences/Similarities Between Canadian and US Employment Laws
  • Up In Smoke: The New Era of Workplace Drug Management
  • Employee Management: From Counselling Through Termination
  • Understanding and Managing Risks Associated with Workplace Privacy
  • Top Employment Risks Affecting Your Bottom Line and How to Manage Them

Recent Cases

  • Spalti v MDA Systems (2018 BCSC 2296) – B.C. Supreme Court, 2018: Obtained a significant severance award for a long-term, specialized sales executive who had been laid off as part of a restructuring.
  • Gescan v Robertson Electric BC – B.C. Supreme Court, 2017: Successfully settled major breach of confidentiality claim after obtaining a court-ordered forensic review that disclosed the true scope of misuse of the plaintiff’s confidential information.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Geoff Howard for the past 5 years. His quality of work is always consistent. Any other law firm I have dealt with acts as a vendor and normally treats us as a client, whereas what makes Howard Law stand out is that he becomes your strategic partner. He has helped our company navigate through many difficult situations.”