After receiving a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1994, Robert began his legal career in 1995 as in-house counsel for a major union. Robert also worked as a human resources/industrial relations executive in private industry, as an associate at law firm Schiller Coutts Weiler & Gibson in Vancouver, and as an associate and partner at Pushor Mitchell in Kelowna, before opening Smithson Employment Law Corporation in January 2011. His varied background provides valuable insight into the challenges employers and employees face.
Robert applies pro-active strategies aimed at keeping his clients out of court. His proven approach to workplace disputes seeks to minimize the disruption and costs of litigation and administrative complaints, and to reduce stress for everyone involved.
Robert advises clients in private industry as well as in the municipal, academic, and non-profit environments, both unionized and non-unionized. In 2019, he became a part-time Professor at Okanagan College, teaching employment and labour law courses within the Business Faculty.
Robert has represented clients on complex matters before the B.C. courts as well as statutory tribunals (such as the Employment Standards Branch, the Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal, the Canada Industrial Relations Board) and in various arbitration settings.