The Sims Group

Collectively, the Sims group has extensive experience in communications, dispute resolution, labour relations and administrative law. In creating the right team for each assignment, we also draw on a network of other professionals and technical people whose skills complement our own.

Andrew C.L. Sims Q.C.
Laurel Halkier and Mark Dutton
Elizabeth Krywolt

Andrew C.L. Sims Q.C.

Andrew C.L. Sims Q.C. is in private practice. He acts as a neutral in mediation and arbitration, and other forms of labour relations problem-solving. In administrative law, he acts as an advocate on behalf of litigants and tribunals.

For his role in the group's consulting practice, Andy draws on his experience at the Alberta Labour Relations Board, which he chaired from 1985 to 1994. His tenure at the Board included the introduction of new legislation, a number of important procedural and policy changes, and the expansion of the Board's mandate to include public service employee relations.

He supervised the introduction of a fully computerized case management system operating on a wide area network. In 1994, the Board moved to a second generation Windows version of that system incorporating automatic document production techniques.

Andy has a long-standing interest in effective communications. During his term, the Board became one of the first government bodies to produce forms and correspondence in plain language as a matter of policy. He is frequently asked to speak or to present papers on employment law, labour relations, arbitration, Charter law, plain language, decision writing, tribunal management and other topics.

Since leaving the Board, Andy has completed a major review of the organization of the Alberta Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission and has provided training and consulting services for a number of administrative tribunals across Canada.

Andy was selected to chair the 1995 federal task force reviewing and recommending reform to the industrial relations section of the Canada Labour Code. He is a member of the board of the Alberta Law Reform Institute and chair of the plain language section of the Canadian Bar Association (Northern Alberta). Andy is also the treasurer of the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals and served for three years as the administrative tribunal chair of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice.

Laurel Halkier and Mark Dutton

Laurel Halkier and Mark Dutton are a team of creative and highly skilled design professionals. Their firm, Halkier + Dutton Design, is known for inspired design that is grounded in thought. More than just visually appealing, a Halkier + Dutton project is always appropriate to the job and accountable to the needs of both reader and client.

Working with a broad range of organizations and individuals on both major campaigns and small projects, Halkier + Dutton Design creates corporate identities, World Wide Web sites, annual reports, promotional and informational brochures, posters, programs and more.

Halkier + Dutton Design has received recognition with awards of excellence in regional, national and international competitions. The studio's client list includes the governments of Alberta and Canada, City of Edmonton, CBC Radio, Dow Chemical, Esso Chemical, Sherrit Gordon, the Edmonton Opera Association, the University of Alberta, and the Alberta Sports Medicine Council.

Laurel has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta, as well as interpretive exhibit design training from the Alberta Culture/University of Calgary Historical Resources Internship Program. Mark has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta.

Elizabeth Krywolt

Elizabeth Krywolt brings strengths in conflict resolution, the public consultation process and strategic planning to the Sims group, drawing on the 19 years she has worked in labour relations and human resource management.

As a labour mediator between 1981 and 1991, she helped many Alberta employers and unions reach their new collective agreements. In 1988, she did public consultation work that helped the legal and labour relations community make the transition to a new Labour Relations Code.

As a facilitator for Alberta Labour, Elizabeth worked with major client groups, helping them re-examine their working relationships and the rules by which they operate. One project, Education Bargaining Consultation: Change through Consensus, was a public consultation involving 1500 Albertans that led to changes in the way Alberta Labour, Alberta Education, the Alberta Teachers Association, and school boards work together.

Elizabeth has grievance mediation experience, and in the area of preventive mediation, she has provided training in communications and labour relations law, especially for newly unionized workplaces. For the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, she has taught a certificate course in labour relations.

After leaving the Alberta government in 1993, Elizabeth formed her own company, Vintner, Wolff, which specializes in professional conflict management. This company offers communications training and mediation to organizations, companies, condominiums and co-operatives.

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