OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

"Commands widespread respect for its pensions and benefits practice, with leading practitioners.... The firm maintains a leading national reputation, acting for clients such as government agencies, investment managers, trust companies, banks and health and welfare funds. The respected team often advises on major domestic and cross-border transactions as well as pension fund structuring, governance and compliance, executive compensation arrangements and de-risking."

Clients say: "[G]reat technical lawyers with great business acumen."…"they provide in-depth, insightful analysis."  "They are top experts who provide excellent support and guidance."

Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2018

 

Combine the largest generation of workers ever to approach retirement with a worldwide epidemic of austerity measures across both public and private sectors. The result is unprecedented pressure on pension, employee compensation and benefit plans, as well as those who sponsor and administer them. Ready to meet these challenges are the lawyers of the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group, renowned internationally as among the very best in the business.

Pension plan administrators across Canada are grappling with new laws and regulations governing tax and minimum standards. We frequently review, interpret, draft and negotiate language for pension and benefit plans, executive compensation arrangements, retirement compensation arrangements, employee share ownership plans, deferred income arrangements, profit-sharing plans and many other types of agreements to ensure compliance with current and emerging governance standards.

Our clients also ask us to help develop pension plan governance protocols that meet legislative and regulatory requirements within their corporate structures. They engage us to design compensation arrangements in ways that balance their business objectives with tax, trust and securities law compliance. They also consult us for legal opinions on an extraordinary range of issues, including surplus entitlement, “contribution holidays,” plan mergers, governance issues and fiduciary responsibilities.

We are proud to count among our clients many of the largest Canadian pension and benefit plans and funds, both public and private. In addition, we have been pleased to advise investment managers, trust companies, banks and insurance companies regarding investment products and services for pension, health and welfare funds. Even foreign businesses and their lawyers rely on us for our unsurpassed Canadian expertise.

Our group’s partners have served as both past and present chairs and members of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Financial Services Tribunal. We constantly strive to further improve our enviable reputation in the benefits industry in Canada.


 

Representative Matters: 

  • Agrium Inc. on its US$36-billion proposed merger of equals with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.
  • Kinder Morgan Canada Limited on its C$1.75-billion initial public offering of restricted voting shares
    • Suncor Energy Inc. on the sale of its Petro-Canada lubricants division to HollyFrontier Corporation for C$1.13-billion.
  • RR Donnelley on the restructuring of its Canadian business in preparation for the spin-offs of its publishing and retail-centric print services, office products business and its financial communications and data service business.
  • CIT Group Inc. on the sale C$1-billion sale of its Canadian operations to Laurentian Bank.
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of the business and assets of Roynat Lease Finance, a division of its subsidiary Roynat Inc., to Meridian Credit Union Limited.
  • Fremont Private Holdings in its investment in the Flynn Group.
  • Baring Private Equity Asia in connection with its acquisition of a 35-per cent equity stake in TELUS International (Cda) Inc.

Representative Cases: 

  • Schmidt v. Air Products – Supreme Court of Canada
  • Nolan v. Kerry Canada Inc. – Supreme Court of Canada
  • Sutherland v. Hudson’s Bay Company – Ontario Court of Appeal
 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 

​Members of the Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation team are recognized as leaders in the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business Ranked in Band 1
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – Ranked in Band 1
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – Blakes is "most frequently recommended" in Pensions & Employee Benefits
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • The Legal 500 Canada – Labour and Employment

Blakes lawyers also serve as leaders in their field as part of the following groups:

  • Financial Services Commission of Ontario and Financial Services Tribunal – A Blakes pension partner is a member of the legal advisory committee. One pension partner is a past chair of both the commission and tribunal, while another partner previously served as vice-chair of both the commission and tribunal.
  • Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions – A Blakes pension partner served as one of four advisors to this government commission, which recently made recommendations on the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario).
  • Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM) – A Blakes pension partner has been appointed to ACPM’s National Policy Committee.
  • C.D. Howe Institute – A Blakes pension partner has been appointed to the C.D. Howe Pension Policy Council.
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4172
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Pension Funds Investment, Executive Compensation, Tax
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2633
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Pension Litigation, Tax, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4080
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Pension Litigation, Employment & Labour, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Health & Safety, Labour Law, Human Rights & Accommodation, Defence
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2585
Areas of Expertise: Health & Safety, Human Rights & Accommodation, Executive Compensation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Employment Litigation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3888
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Tax, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3859
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Competition Litigation, Pension Litigation, Constitutional & Charter of Rights
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3296
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Capital Markets, Pensions & Benefits, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9736
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Debt Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets, Energy, Pensions & Benefits
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2655
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2968
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Retirement & Savings Products, Executive Compensation, Tax, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3327
Areas of Expertise: Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Health & Safety, Human Rights & Accommodation, Labour Law, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy, Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Freedom of Information, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4159
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Product Liability, Pension Litigation, Class Actions, Equity Capital Markets, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9798
Areas of Expertise: Employment Litigation, Labour Law, Privacy, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Executive Compensation, Pensions & Benefits, Privacy, Cybersecurity
Office Managing Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3336
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Transfer Pricing, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Forestry, Infrastructure, Middle East, Aboriginal, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9793
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Pension Funds Investment, Retirement & Savings Products, Tax, Defence
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3881
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Litigation, Retirement & Savings Products
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5284
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2955
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Pension Litigation, Corporate & Commercial
Senior Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2550
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2534
Areas of Expertise: Pensions & Benefits, Pension Funds Investment, Retirement & Savings Products, Executive Compensation, Tax
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5263
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Privacy, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Human Rights & Accommodation, Executive Compensation
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3363
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Mining, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Public-Private Partnerships, Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
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