Kirby Smith


Background & Experience

Kirby is a compassionate advocate dedicated to advancing the interests of unions and workers. She works primarily in the areas of labour, human rights, class action and administrative law. Kirby has appeared before labour arbitrators, labour relations boards, other workplace administrative tribunals, the BC Court of Appeal, as well as provincial and superior courts in BC and Alberta. Kirby acts on behalf of a wide range of clients, and has significant experience advising on issues related to contract interpretation, labour board applications, and workers compensation and disability benefits claims.

Following graduation from McGill University’s Faculty of Law in 2013, Kirby completed her articles at a large BC union and worked as a Crown Prosecutor in Alberta. She also mediated and adjudicated employment standards disputes as an Industrial Relations Officer with the BC Employment Standards Branch, before returning to her litigation practice.

Kirby sits as a board member of Strathcona Health Society and volunteers with Access Pro Bono BC’s Mental Health Program and Francophone Telephone Clinics.

She is fluent in French.

Representative Matters

  • Westbin Waste (2017) Ltd. and United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Local No. 1-2017, 2023 BCLRB 88 –  obtained reinstatement of employee dismissed as a result of a union organizing drive and obtained remedial certification for union through unfair labour practice complaint – decision
  • UT Quality Inc. -and- Quality Control Council of Canada (Mainline and Poor Boy Crew Grievance), [2023] BCCAAA No 118– won arbitration involving a contract interpretation dispute about wage rate applicable to technicians working on sections of pipeline
  • Barker v. Molson Coors Breweries and another (No 3), 2019 BCHRT 192 – successfully defended the union against an age discrimination complaint on the merits at BC Human Right Tribunal
  • Viterra Inc. v Grain Workers’ Union, Local 333, 2018 BCSC 787  – with Charles Gordon, KC, successfully represented the union at superior court to have judicial review dismissed (decision upheld by Court of Appeal)
  • Girard v International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 258, BCLRB No B60/2018 – defended union against a duty of unfair representation charge relating to the union’s decision not to challenge discipline issued to complainant and succeeded in having complaint dismissed


  • McGill University (B.C.L./LL.B.)
  • University of British Columbia [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]


  • Law Society of BC, Member
  • Law Society of Alberta, non-practicing Member
  • Canadian Bar Association, Member
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers, Member
  • Association des juristes d’expression française de la Colombie-Britannique, Member


Awards & Rankings

  • Access Pro Bono Allan Parker QC Award for Representation Services (2016)
  • Law Students’ Association Award (2013) for contributions to the life of the Faculty
  • Richard Golick Extracurricular Achievement Prize (2012)