E. Murphy Fries


Background & Experience

E. Murphy Fries has represented unions and their members since her articles, and has advocated on behalf of workers since law school.  As a Partner with Koskie Glavin Gordon, she represents trade unions and their members in a wide range of workplace issues, including collective agreement disputes, labour relations, human rights, privacy rights, workers’ compensation and other disability benefits.  She enjoys working with her union clients to determine the appropriate strategy to secure the best outcomes for their members – whether through negotiation and mediation, or full arbitration.  When litigation is necessary to resolve a dispute, she frequently advocates for unions before labour arbitrators and the B.C. Labour Relations Board, and has appeared before the B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court.  Murphy has particular interest and expertise in the areas of disability and health benefits, employee privacy, and discrimination and the duty to accommodate.

Murphy was called to the bars of Ontario and British Columbia in 2007.  She joined the predecessor firm that year after completing a joint articling program with a national trade union and a union-side law firm in Toronto.  She holds a B.A. from Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson at the time), an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law and International Labour Rights from Lund University (Sweden).

Murphy is a current and long-serving volunteer with Access Pro Bono, providing summary advice services.  She also currently acts as a mentor to law students through a formal mentorship program with the Canadian Bar Association, and in the past has served as a mentor through UBC’s Centre for Feminist Legal Studies.  She has served on the CBABC’s Access to Justice Committee.  Murphy enjoys providing legal education to our clients, the broader labour community, and other lawyers, and frequently presents at conferences and workshops held by the Canadian Bar Association, the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Lancaster House, and the Canadian Labour Congress.

Representative Matters

  • Labatt Brewing Company Limited v. Interior Brewery Workers’ Union Local 308, 2018 BCCA 108 – successfully represented the Union in the Court of Appeal, where the Employer’s appeal was quashed on the basis that the Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to entertain the appeal under Section 100 of the Labour Relations Code.
  • Labatt Breweries of Canada LP (Columbia Brewery) and Interior Brewery Workers’ Union, Local 308 (Maintenance Medications Reimbursement Grievance)[2017] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 30 (Saunders).  Successfully represented the Union at arbitration to have the Employer’s policy, which required use of an online and telephone pharmacy in order to access negotiated drug benefits, struck down.
  • Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia and Compensation Employees’ Union (Job Evaluation Media Producer) (2 Sept. 2015), unreported (Larson).  Successfully argued for a higher points rating for the Media Producer positions.
  • Dawson Creek Daily News -and- Unifor Local 2000 (Re: Monique Lofvendahl Vacation Grievance) (17 June 2014), unreported (Glass). Successfully represented Local 2000 in persuading the arbitrator that the number of paid vacation days should not be pro-rated for an employee who was on short-term disability leave for part of a calendar year. 
  • Bjordal v. Labour Relations Board of British Columbia et al, [2014] B.C.J. No. 1414. Worked with Anthony Glavin to successfully represent UFCW Local 247 in having a judicial review petition dismissed.
  • Engen and U.S.W., Loc. No. 1-423BCLRB No. B67/2008. Successfully represented Local 1-423 in having a Section 12 complaint dismissed both on the merits and because the complaint was untimely.
  • Successfully assisted union members in overturning denials of their short-term disability benefit claims.


  • Lund University, LL.M., International Human Rights Law and International Labour Rights (2012)
  • Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B. (2006)
  • Ryerson University, B.A. (2003)


  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Canadian Bar Association, Labour Law Subsection, Human Rights Law Subsection
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers

Awards & Rankings

  • Law Foundation of B.C. Graduate Fellowship – (2010 – 2011)
  • Legal Aid Ontario prize for outstanding and continuous contribution to legal aid, clinical practice and public interest law – (2006)
  • McMillan Binch Award for academic excellence – (2004-2005)
  • Joel Organek Entrance Scholarship for academic excellence in an undergraduate program – (2003-2004)


  • Limits on Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace: A Union Counsel’s Perspective” –  The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia – (2013)
  •  “Seeking the Land of Milk and Honey: The International Labour and Human Rights of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada” – Master of Laws Thesis – Read full thesis
  •  Case Comment: Moore v. British Columbia (Ministry of Education) and School District No. 44, 2005 BCHRT 580” –  17  Educ. & L.J. 147-159 – (2007)