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About Jeffrey

Jeff has practised exclusively in the area of pensions, benefits and executive compensation for over 20 years. His practice involves the investment, taxation, funding and administration of pension and benefit plans. He frequently advises on pension and benefit issues arising in the context of corporate transactions, loan agreements, insolvencies and compliance disputes. His practice also focuses on pension investment, governance and fiduciary matters.

Jeff has extensive experience assisting clients with pension plan mergers, including mergers with jointly sponsored pension plans. He has advised plan sponsors and insurers on de-risking strategies, including buy-in and buy-out annuities and longevity insurance arrangements. His clients include both public and private sector plan sponsors and administrators and a wide range of financial institutions and service providers.

Select Experience

Recent representative matters include:

  • Counsel to Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, Inc. in relation to the pension and employee benefits aspects of the merger of Brand Energy and Safway Group Holding LLC to form Brand Industrial Services, Inc., a leading global industrial service business with nearly US$5-billion in revenue

  • Counsel to Linamar Corporation in relation to the pension and employee benefits aspects of its $1.2-billion acquisition of the MacDon Group of Companies, a global market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialized agricultural harvesting equipment

  • Counsel to a Canadian insurance company in relation to its buy-in and buy-out annuity products for registered pension plans

  • Counsel on pension issues to the administrative agent for the lenders in the exit credit facilities to Resolute Forest Products Inc. (formerly, Abitibibowater Inc.) and certain of its subsidiaries

Awards & Recognition

Jeff has been recognized as a leading pension and employee benefits practitioner in the following publications:

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2024: Most Frequently Recommended – Pensions & Employee Benefits – Employer; 2023: Consistently Recommended – Pensions & Employee Benefits)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Employee Benefits Law)

  • The Legal 500 Canada – 2023–2024 (Pensions)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2023–2024 (Pensions & Benefits)

  • Best Lawyers: "Lawyer of the Year" 2023 (Employee Benefits Law, Toronto)

  • Benefits and Pensions Monitor’s Hot List 2023

  • Who's Who Legal: Global 2023 (Pensions & Benefits)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – 2022–2023 (Labour, Employment and Benefits)

Professional Activities

Jeff is a past chair of the Canadian Bar Association's Pension and Benefits Law Section Executive. He serves on the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) Technical Advisory Committee for Asset Transfers and the FSRA Public Sector Pension Plans Advisory Committee. Jeff is chair of the Ontario Bar Association's Investment Committee and a co-chair and instructor for the Osgoode Certificate in Pensions Law Program. He is also a member of the Association of Canadian Pension Management, the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute and the International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association.

Jeff has contributed articles to Pension Planning, a Federated Press publication, the Canadian Tax Journal, the Taxation of Executive Compensation Journal, Employment and Labour Law Reporter and the Canadian Compensation & Benefits Reporter. He has also participated in professional development programs sponsored by the Law Society of Ontario and Osgoode Hall Law School, The Canadian Institute, Federated Press and the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Professional Appearances
  • Speaker : The Top Risks Facing DC Plans
    The 2024 DC Plan Experience Forum, The Canadian Leadership Congress, Toronto, Ontario, April 18, 2024.
Media Activities
  • Quoted : More work to be done on feds’ plan to encourage domestic pension investments: lawyers
    Article by Julius Melnitzer, Benefits Canada, May 23, 2024.
  • Quoted : How will crypto disclosure rules impact federally regulated pension plans?
    Article by Julius Melnitzer, Benefits Canada, April 20, 2023.
  • Quoted : Law protecting DB plans in insolvency could have undesired results: lawyers
    Article by Zena Olijnyk, HRD Canada, April 10, 2023.
  • Quoted : Law protecting defined benefit pensions in insolvency could have undesired results: Blakes lawyers
    Article by Zena Olijnyk, Canadian Lawyer, April 6, 2023.
  • Quoted : A closer look at the feds' proposed borrowing flexibility rule for DB pensions
    Article by Julius Melnitzer, Benefits Canada, April 14, 2022.

Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1997
LLB, University of Western Ontario – 1995
BBA, Wilfrid Laurier University – 1992

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