Lexpert-ranked Lawyer

Melanie Reist

Partner, Employment Law


Melanie Reist has practiced employment law for more than 30 years. She began her legal career working for a well-known Toronto management employment and labour law firm where she discovered a deep interest in – and passion for – employment law.

In 1990, Melanie moved to Kitchener-Waterloo where she began to deepen her experience on both sides of employment issues. Together with partner Charles Morrison, Melanie founded Morrison Reist in 1992, and welcomed partner Pamela Krauss in 2017.

Legal Practice

Melanie is an experienced, no-nonsense lawyer who gets to the heart of the matter, develops solutions, and tirelessly advocates for her employer and employee clients. She has an insatiable curiosity to understand her clients’ case and effectively advocate for them.

“I have found over the years” Melanie says “that by acting for both parties, I have been able to develop unique insight into the issues that are of concern to both employees and employers”.

Melanie is an experienced and effective advocate in court, and has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, and Court of Appeal. She has also been involved in matters before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, and the Ontario Labour Board.

Investigation and Mediation Services

Melanie is also an effective mediator.  There is no one-size-fits-all in mediation.  Melanie’s  strong understanding of employment law and experience acting for employees and employers allows her to provide helpful insight in identifying the barriers to reaching an agreement and how to move beyond them to a resolution.

Awards & Recognition

Melanie has been an invited speaker at the Law Society of Ontario, Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Human Resources Professional Association, and the Waterloo Region Law Association on a variety of important employment law issues. Over the past several years she has co-chaired the Law Society’s Annotated Employment Contract continuing professional development program.

She was also a contributing author to the Lexis Nexis 2019 Publication New Perspectives on Canadian Employment Law. In 2017 she was awarded the Ontario Bar Association Randall Echlin Mentorship Award in recognition of her longstanding contributions to the practice of labour and employment law, her high standards of professionalism and her dedication to mentorship of junior counsel presented by the Labour and Employment Law section of the Ontario Bar Association. In 2019, she was recognized with FEMPOWR’s Pillar of the Community Award for demonstrated leadership through dedication to the legal profession, mentorship – specifically the development of other female lawyers in Waterloo Region.