Colin Fetter was drawn to the legal profession by his love of advocacy. Since as early as grade four, Colin has loved to take up a cause or an argument and advocate for his side. Constantly looking for the ideal way of approaching an argument or a problem to guarantee, or at least maximize, the end result. Now as a Partner at Brownlee, and the Leader of the firm’s Employment and Labour Practice Group, Colin relishes and takes pride in tackling employers’ often complex and highly inflammatory employee problems, usually providing solutions and practical advice during the first phone call.
One of Colin’s favorite quotes is from British legal consultant, Richard Susskind, who stated, “Clients want a fence at the top of the cliff, not an ambulance at the bottom.” As much as Colin loves and excels at advocating his clients’ interests in the heat of battle, Colin learned early in his years of advising employers that many of his clients’ disputes or problems could have been prevented or minimized with proactive steps at the time of hire, policy development or a more effective human resource management system.
Colin chose many years ago to proactively speak to his clients and to employer groups across Western Canada, about key proactive steps that every employer should be taking to reduce employee disputes and the cost of resolving the ones that do arise. Colin continues this practice to date and has become an indispensable part of many employers’ human resource management teams.
Colin regularly advises and represents a wide variety of employers in all industries, ranging from large national companies through to small business and charitable community organizations. In particular, Colin has extensive experience and specialization in the representation of Municipal and School Division clients, and in these areas, his practice and experience also extends to a wide array of issues affecting these unique institutional clients such as governance, risk management, and other issues arising from legislation such as the School Act and Municipal Government Act.
While Colin’s practical focus is on assisting clients with proactive employee management, he is also a fierce litigation advocate when needed. He has an overwhelming record of successful outcomes at every employment and labour tribunal, forum and court in the Province of Alberta, including multiple successful appearances at the Court of Appeal, and a successful appearance at the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Her Majesty the Queen v. Public Service Alliance of Canada, where he represented the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association as an intervenor.
As a married father of two and avid cyclist, Colin can also be regularly found at sporting venues throughout Edmonton where he has and continues to be a regular volunteer and past minor club football coach.
- Focuses on a proactive approach to workplace management to support employers in achieving their business objectives, managing risk and reducing exposure to liability;
- Provides advice on all aspects of managing a non-unionized work environment, including guidance in respect of hiring, discipline, and termination; policy and contract development; and responding to Employment Standards Code, Canada Labour Code, and Human Rights complaints; and
- Provides advice on all aspects on managing unionized work environments, including collective bargaining, grievances, arbitrations, and classification issues.
- Member, Canadian Bar Association, Labour and Employment Law Subsection
- Member, Canadian Bar Association, Education Law Subsection
- Member, Edmonton Bar Association
- CBA Community Involvement
- Past Vice President of the Friends of Scona Football Society
- Past Minor Club Football Coach
- Regular Community and Club sports volunteer