Dr. Kenneth Wm. Thornicroft

Dr. Kenneth Wm. Thornicroft


JD/LLB, UBC Law School; PhD, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Office: BEC 206


  • Arbitration and dispute resolution
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Employment contracts
  • Labour and employment law
  • Labour relations
  • Organizational restructuring (employment and labour law issues)

Kenneth Wm. Thornicroft is a Professor of Law & Employment Relations with the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. Dr. Thornicroft holds a law degree (LL.B./J.D. 1979) from the University of British Columbia and a doctorate (Ph.D. 1996) in Labour and Human Resource Policy/Employment Law from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Thornicroft spent ten years as a trial lawyer in Vancouver, B.C. Since becoming an academic, has received numerous teaching awards including six separate “Professor of the Year” awards as well as several other research and scholarship awards. Dr. Thornicroft is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals, the British Columbia Industrial Relations Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, the Canadian Labour Law Association and the Society of Labor Economists.

Dr. Thornicroft is a former member of the B.C. Arbitration Review Panel, the B.C. Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal, the B.C. Parole Board and the Delta Police Board. He is a current member of the B.C. Property Assessment Appeal Board, the B.C. Employment Standards Tribunal and is an adjudicator with the B.C. Ministry of Education Student Appeals Branch. Dr. Thornicroft’s professional practice is restricted to arbitration and alternative dispute resolution and he has acted as a third-party neutral (both as an arbitrator and a mediator) in a wide variety of contexts including employment disputes (in both the union and nonunion sectors), shareholder and partnership disputes, commercial and residential tenancy disputes, property valuation disputes, major personal injury claims and franchise disputes. During the past two decades Dr. Thornicroft has served as a third-party neutral in several thousand disputes.

Dr. Thornicroft is the author of over 140 journal articles, conference papers, book reviews and book chapters; his writing has been published in, among other outlets, The Advocate, Alberta Law Review, Business & the Contemporary World, Canadian Bar Review, Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal, Education & Law Journal, Employee Relations, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector, Journal of Individual Employment Rights, Journal of Labor Research, Journal of Workplace Rights, Labor Law Journal, Labor Studies Journal, Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations and Women in Management Review. He is a co-author of Employment Obligations and Confidential Information (2nd edition, 2009; 3rd ed., 2015) and Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (4th edition, 2009; 5th ed., 2013; 6th ed., 2017) both published by LexisNexis Canada Inc. Dr. Thornicroft’s current research focuses on employee/er rights issues, employment law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the interpretation and enforcement of employment contracts.

Journal Publications

Thornicroft, K. W. (2019). Paid to Play? - The Canadian Hockey League Players Class Action Litigation. Sports and Entertainment Law Journal (University of Denver, Sturm College of Law), 22, 213–251. https://www.cbapd.org/details_en.aspx?id=bc_bc19hum02m&_ga=2.174277153.20839597.1561406147-62209156.1561406146

Thornicroft, K. W. (2019). Contracting out of the Bhadauria Exclusive Jurisdiction Doctrine: Lewis v. WestJet Airlines Ltd. The Advocate, Volume 77 (Part 3), 371–377. https://heinonline-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/HOL/Page?lname=&handle=hein.barjournals/advvba0077&collection=&page=371&collection=journals

Thornicroft, K. W. (2018). When Rights Collide - Religious Freedom, Equality Rights and the Regulation of the Professions. Education & Law Journal, 28(1), 101–121. https://search-proquestcom.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/docview/2171135337/fulltextPDF/EC1EAD3AFFC74D95PQ/6?accountid=14846

Thornicroft, K. W. (2017). Case Dismissed for Illegal Procedure - Bruce v. Cohen, 2017 BCCA 186. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. https://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/46693

Thornicroft, K. W. (2017). Not a Day Late…Perhaps a Dollar Short? - Government Intervention, Teacher Bargaining & the Charter. Education & Law Journal, Issue No. 2 (June 2017)(Volume No. 26), 207–228.

Thornicroft, K. W. (2016). The Uncertain State of Mandatory Retirement in Canada. Labor Law Journal, 2(67), 397–414.

Thornicroft, K. W. (2016). "Overlapping" Unpaid Wage Claims - Administrative Adjudicative Processes v. The Civil Courts. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. http://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/41831

Thornicroft, K. W. (2016). Judicial Review and Grievance Arbitration – Undue Delay for No Good Reason. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. http://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/41263


Thornicroft, K. (2015). Employment Obligations & Confidential Information (3rd edition). LexisNexus Canada; this book has been frequently reference by Canadian courts and tribunals, see, e.g., Survival Systems Training Ltd. v. Survival Systems Ltd., 2012 NSSC 202 and Simard Westlink Inc. v. Wallace, 2013 BCSC 2218.


Thornicroft, K. W. (2017). Evidentiary Issues in Arbitration (Chapter Six). In Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (Sixth Edition) (pp. 263–332). Toronto, Ontario: LexisNexis Canada, Inc.

Thornicroft, K. W. (2017). The Arbitration Process (Chapter Five). In Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (Sixth Edition) (pp. 133–262). Toronto, Ontario: LexisNexis Canada, Inc.


Thornicroft, K. W. (2019, May). Law & the Gig Economy. Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch. Vancouver, British Columbia: Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch. https://www.cbapd.org/details_en.aspx?id=BC_BC19EML01W

Thornicroft, K. W. (2018, July). Adjudicating Appeals under the Employment Standards Act: Law, Practice & Some (hopefully) Practical Advice. Employment Standards Tribunal Policy Conference. Vancouver, British Columbia: Employment Standards Tribunal.

Thornicroft, K. W. (2018, March). Accuracy versus Equity in Property Assessments (or..., My assessment is right but it’s still wrong!"). Property Assessment Appeal Board of British Columbia Annual Board Meeting. Richmond, British Columbia CANADA: Property Assessment Appeal Board of British Columbia.

Recognition & Awards

2006 Faculty of Business Outstanding Educator Award, University of Victoria
2000 MBA Outstanding Professor Award, Royal Roads University
1997 Commerce Students Assn. Professor of the Year Award, University of Victoria
1993 Board of Advisors Teaching Excellence Award, University of Victoria
1992 Dean's Research Award, Memorial University of Newfoundland
1990 Richard D. Irwin Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
1987 T/A & R/A Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University
1975 T. Eaton Company Commerce Scholarship, Simon Fraser University
1973 Open Scholarship, Simon Fraser University
1973 Entrance Scholarship, University of British Columbia


  • Western Business & Management International, Funded by University of Victoria, The Office of Research Services (April 25, 2014 - April 26, 2014), awarded February 21, 2014 ($1,250.00), Completed, Spring 2014, PI Kenneth Thornicroft

  • Canadian Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference, Funded by University of Victoria, Office of Research Services (May 29, 2012 - May 31, 2012), awarded April 2, 2012 ($900.00), Completed, Spring 2012, PI Kenneth Thornicroft

Current & Upcoming Courses

  • Managing Legal Risks (MBA)
  • North American Business Context (MGB)
  • Business Law (BCom)
  • Legal Issues Management (BCom)
  • Employment Law (BCom)
  • Managing Unionized Environment (BCom)
  • Selected Topics in Management: Workplace Law (BCom)
  • Selected Topics in Management : The Law of the Workplace (BCom)
  • Selected Topics in Management: Labour Relations in Professional Sports (BCom)