Bio

Philip Abbink, Hons BA, MA, JD, practices in the areas of professional regulation and labour law, primarily providing advocacy for health care professionals in grievance arbitrations and at professional Colleges. He also represents employees in investigations, quasi-criminal regulatory proceedings and at Coroners' Inquests. Philip is also the Co-managing Partner at Cavalluzzo.

After earning a JD and a MA in International Relations from the University of Toronto, Phil articled at Cavalluzzo. During his articles, he represented the Ontario Nurses Association along with Kate Hughes in a Coroner’s Inquest arising from a death in a long-term care home. The recommendations from this inquest led to significant changes specifically related to the assessment of, and care for, residents with behavioural challenges, which remain in practice to this day.  He then returned to primarily practice in the area of criminal defence, and related labour arbitration and professional regulator proceedings.  He represented clients at Provincial and Superior Court, at the Court of Appeal, and before professional regulatory Colleges.  His criminal defence practice principally related to professionals, including teachers and nurses.   

As an associate, he worked with David Bloom in a very lengthy, and hotly contested, professional misconduct hearing at the College of Teachers, successfully defending the teacher against scores of allegations and obtaining a penalty of a mere reprimand.  

After living in Ireland for several years, Phil returned to Cavalluzzo as an Associate, and became a partner in 2017. During this time, his practice has focussed on representing nurses in labour arbitration and professional regulatory proceedings. He has continued to advocate for individuals and institutions in Coroners’ Inquests, including representing the surviving siblings of Jeffrey Baldwin in the Inquest into his death over several months. Recommendations from this Inquest also led to significant changes in the child protection system in Ontario. 

At the Labour Relations Board, Phil acts for institutional clients in relation to appeals under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other matters. He has experience in appeals to the Information and Privacy Commissioner, both as applicant and defendant. 

On a pro bono basis, Phil and a team of Cavalluzzo lawyers represented complainants at the disciplinary hearing of Supt. Mark Fenton, which arose from the kettling of protesters during the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010. Supt. Fenton was found guilty of professional misconduct based on the strong advocacy and cross-examinations conducted by Phil and the Cavalluzzo team during this lengthy and complex hearing. 

In cases that changed health care policy throughout the province, Phil, Kate Hughes and Tyler Boggs represented the Ontario Nurses’ Association in two arbitration proceedings successfully overturning Hospital policies requiring nurses who had not received the seasonal influenza vaccine to wear a surgical mask during influenza season. This required extensive understanding of the relevant science, as well as preparing and cross-examining the expert witnesses. Another notable victory required a Hospital to apply the short-term disability provisions of HOODIP consistently with the Human Rights Code, by counting modified hours and graduated return to work hours towards reinstatement of benefits (Ontario Nurses Association v. Southlake Regional Health Centre, Jan 8, 2020, B. Keller, unreported). 

Most recently, Phil and the Cavalluzzo team obtained an injunction requiring five long-term care facilities to comply with Provincial Directives relating to the pandemic (Ontario Nurses Association v. Eatonville/Henley Place, 2020 ONSC 2467 (CanLII)), and also obtained an award requiring over 200 Long-term Care Homes represented by ONA to comply with the collective agreement, and OHSA, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect both residents and staff (Participating Nursing Homes v Ontario Nurses’ Association, 2020 CanLII 36663 (ON LA))

Notable Cases

Education

  • Call to the Ontario Bar, 2005
  • University of Toronto, J.D. and M.A. in International Relations, 2004

Related Events

Event/Jun 25, 2020

Phil Abbink Speaks at Osgoode's "LTC and Retirement Homes in the Midst of a Pandemic"

Phil Abbink speaks at Osgoode's" LTC and Retirement Homes in the Midst of a Pandemic".  He will discuss  the many challenges faced by LTC an...
Event/Mar 1, 2019

Phil Abbink Speaks at Labour Arbitration Advocacy: Focus on Evidence Conference

Phil Abbink speaks at the Advocates' Society Conference, "Labour Arbitration Advocacy:  Focus on Evidence." This conference will drill down into ...
Event/Mar 26, 2017

Phil Abbink Speaks at "Harassment in the Workplace: Understanding the New Obligations" LSUC Conference

Phil Abbink speaks at the Law Society of Upper Canada's conference on "Harassment in the Workplace: Understanding The New Obligations". He will b...

Related Publications

Publication/1 December 2006

Reporting Obligations: When Professionals Need to Make Reports

Under a number of different statutes, professionals are faced with the difficult duty of having to report certain kinds of misconduct by their colleag...
Publication/1 March 2006

The Constitutional Guarantee Against Unreasonable Search & Seizure

The statutory regimes that govern regulated health professionals and teachers are created by legislation. The Regulated Health Professions Act (&ldquo...
Publication/1 November 2005

Professionals and Multiple Proceedings: A Summary of the “Sclater” Decision

In the recent case of The Simcoe County Board of Education and Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (Sclater Grievance) (2005), 140 L.A.C....

Related Blogs

Blog/1 April 2021

Complaints and Discipline Process at the OCT: An Overview

From Complaint to Decision: How does the Ontario College of Teachers investigate complaints about members' conduct?

Lauren Sheffield provides an overview of how the Ontario College of Teachers investigates complaints about members' conduct through their Complaints a...

Cases

Case/24 April 2020

Superior Court Judgment - ONA v Eatonville and Henley

A team of Cavalluzzo lawyers obtained an interlocutory injunction on behalf of ONA requiring four long-term care facilities to comply with government...
Case/6 September 2018

St. Michael's Hospital v. Ontario Nurses' Association, CANLII 82519

Kate Hughes, Philip Abbink  and Tyler Boggs act for the Ontario Nurses' Association in  St. Michael's Hospital v. Ontario Nurses' Associatio...
Case/18 December 2017

Mount Sinai Hospital v Ontario Nurses’ Association

Philip Abbink acted for  the Ontario Nurses' Association in  Mount Sinai Hospital v Ontario Nurses’ Association.
Case/7 November 2017

Inquest Into the Death of Nokolaos Mpelos

Counsel to ONA in Coroner's Inquest into the Death of Nokolaos Mpelos