OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

"Commands widespread respect for its pensions and benefits practice, with leading practitioners...Maintains a leading national reputation..."

Clients say: "My impression is that this firm is an industry leader. All staff I have dealt with have been knowledgeable, professional and very responsive. We trust the answers we receive."

"This firm provides an excellent legal service. They can be counted on for support in any number of pension-related issues. They are particularly strong in pension design and understanding our business."

Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2020

 

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: 

  • Government of Alberta on the establishment of a joint governance model for Alberta’s three major public sector pension plans.
  • Kinder Morgan on the C$4.5-billion sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the Government of Canada.
  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank on its acquisition of artificial intelligence firm Layer 6 Inc.
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on its equity partnership with IFM Investors and British Columbia Investment Management in GCT Global Container Terminals.
  • WestJet Airlines Ltd. on its acquisition by Onex Corporation for approximately C$5-billion.
  • Digital Colony Partners and EQT Infrastructure IV Fund in connection with their consortium’s US$14.3-billion agreement to acquire, recapitalize and take private Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.
  • Morneau Sheppell Ltd., in its capacity as plan administrator of the Sears Canada Pension Plan.
  • DP World on its joint venture with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to create an investment platform focused on investing in ports and terminals globally.
  • Washington Companies in connection with its C$1.5-billion acquisition of Dominion Diamond Corporation.
  • CCCC International Holding Limited in connection with its proposed C$1.51-billion acquisition of Aecon Group Inc.
  • CI Financial Corp. on its acquisition of Sentry Investments Inc. for C$780-million in cash and common shares of CI Financial Corp.
  • Suncor Energy Inc. on the sale of its Petro-Canada lubricants division to HollyFrontier Corporation for C$1.13-billion.
  • SCOR Global Life in relation to the C$5-billion Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada/Bell Canada (BCE Inc.) pension de-risking insurance contract.
  • Agrium Inc. on its US$36-billion 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. 

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
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory Blakes is "most frequently recommended" in Pensions & Employee Benefits
  • The Legal 500 Canada – Ranked in Tier 1

  • Who’s Who Legal – Pensions & Benefits

  •  Who’s Who Legal: Canada Labour, Employment & Benefits

  • Best Lawyers in Canada – Employee Benefits Law

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: 416-863-5280
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Public & Political Law, Investment Treaty Arbitration, Corporate Litigation, Pension Litigation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4172
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Pension Funds, Executive Compensation, Tax, Retirement & Savings Products
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2633
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation, Pension Litigation, Tax, Pension Funds, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Public & Political Law, Retirement & Savings Products
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4080
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Pension Litigation, Employment & Labour, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Health & Safety, Labour Law, Human Rights & Accommodation, Defence, Executive Compensation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2585
Areas of Expertise: Health & Safety, Human Rights & Accommodation, Executive Compensation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Cannabis, Labour Law
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3888
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation, Tax, Pension Funds, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Public & Political Law, Sports, Retirement & Savings Products
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4085
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3859
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Competition Litigation, Pension Litigation, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Sports, Pension Litigation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3296
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Capital Markets, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2655
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2968
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Retirement & Savings Products, Executive Compensation, Tax, Pension Funds, 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 & Data Protection, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation, Freedom of Information, Public & Political Law, Corporate Litigation, Cybersecurity, Employment & Labour, Anti-Spam
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, Consumer Protection, Competition & Antitrust, Insurance Litigation
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4149
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Employment Litigation, Human Rights & Accommodation, Health & Safety
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9798
Areas of Expertise: Employment Litigation, Labour Law, Privacy & Data Protection, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Executive Compensation, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Privacy & Data Protection, Cybersecurity
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3336
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Transfer Pricing, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation, Forestry, Infrastructure, Middle East, Aboriginal, Public & Political Law, Retirement & Savings Products
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9793
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation, Pension Funds, Retirement & Savings Products, Tax, Defence
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3881
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Executive Compensation, Pension Funds, Pension Litigation, Retirement & Savings Products
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3328
Areas of Expertise: Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Shareholder Activism, REITs, Executive Compensation
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5284
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2955
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Pension Litigation, Corporate & Commercial
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2534
Areas of Expertise: Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Pension Funds, Retirement & Savings Products, Executive Compensation, Tax, Sports
Senior Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2918
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Lobbying, Corporate & Commercial, Technology & Innovation, Automotive, Manufacturing, Banking, Gaming, Equity Capital Markets, Public & Political Law, Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation, Financial Services Regulatory
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5263
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Privacy & Data Protection, 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, Executive Compensation, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
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