Pensions in Canada

Brown Mills Klinck Prezioso LLP

Boutique firm Brown Mills Klinck Prezioso LLP‘s pensions and benefits offering encompasses plan restructuring, and advising vendors and purchasers on pension, benefits and executive compensation matters relating to corporate M&A transactions and loan agreements. The group’s partners – Elizabeth BrownLisa MillsTerra Klinck, John Prezioso, and Jennifer Agnew – lead on an equal partnership basis. Lindsay McLeod, who specializes in investment pension matters, arrived in May 2023 from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, joining the leadership team. Cary Wong brings expertise to pension regulatory compliance work. Pamela Odina is the key name to note at the associate level, while associate Ikho Shin left the firm in March 2023. Sean Maxwell and associate Maggie Carmichael joined from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in May 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Elizabeth Brown; Lisa Mills; Terra L. Klinck; John Prezioso; Jennifer Agnew; Lindsay McLeod

Autres avocats clés:

Sean Maxwell; Cary Wong; Pamela Odina; Maggie Carmichael

Les références

‘Elizabeth Brown and her team are phenomenal. They have great experience and approach difficult and complicated files strategically to contribute to success. A great strength is understanding different and complicated personalities and staying focused on the goal.’

‘Elizabeth Brown is extremely smart and talented and I highly recommend her. Her great strengths are distilling complicated concepts to a wide audience and keeping emotions in check and focused on the end goal.’

‘Strong lawyers with good business sense.’

Principaux clients

Toronto Dominion Bank

Hydro One

The Province of Nova Scotia

The Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada

Ontario Medical Association Insurance

The United Church of Canada

Vale Canada

University of Guelph

Queen’s University

University of Toronto

McMaster University

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented Crosby Canada in its successful appeal of the Ontario pension regulator’s decision that Crosby was not entitled to pension surplus upon the wind-up of its defined benefit pension plan.
  • Acted as counsel to the Employer Sponsor of the University Pension Plan Ontario (University of Toronto, University of Guelph, and Queen’s University) in the management of pension plans.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

The team at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is well-equipped to handle the gamut of pensions matters, and is routinely instructed by Canadian government bodies, as well as corporations in the oil and gas and manufacturing segments. The group advises on jointly sponsored pension plans, pensions and employee benefit schemes, de-risking and plan consolidation and executive compensation issues. Toronto-based partners Kathryn Bush and Jeffrey Sommers lead the department; Bush focuses on advising on the structuring of pension, benefit and executive compensation arrangements and investments, while Sommers advises clients on the taxation, funding, administration and wind-up of pension and group benefit plans. Additional key partners in Toronto include Jeremy Forgie and Adam Ngan, while Natalie Bussière at the Montreal office is noted for her expertise in both employment and pensions work. Counsel Philipp Knoll joined the team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in March 2022. Partner Lindsay McLeod left the firm in May 2023. Sean Maxwell departed in May 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Kathryn Bush; Jeffrey Sommers

Autres avocats clés:

Jeremy Forgie; Adam Ngan; Natalie Bussière

Principaux clients


Royal Bank of Canada

Siemens Canada

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

Pembina Pipeline

Suncor Energy


BC Financial Services Authority

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised LifeWorks in its capacity as plan administrator of the Sears Canada Pension Plan.
  • Advised Siemens Canada on a wide variety of Canadian pension and employee benefit plan matters relating to the worldwide spin-out of Siemens AG’s healthcare business into Siemens Healthineers AG.
  • Advised the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board on its acquisition of HomeQ Corporation from Birch Hill Equity Partners Management and the other minority shareholders of HomeQ.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP houses a strong pensions practice that handles plan design, governance, de-risking, investment structuring, compliance and litigation matters. The group is frequently instructed by public and private pension plan sponsors and administrators located across Canada. Toronto-based practice head Andrea Boctor specializes in pension administration, fiduciary duty and governance, as well as bankruptcy and insolvency matters. Additional key partners at the Toronto office include Paul Litner, who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, and Jonathan Marin, who takes care of the administration of shared risk plans. In Montreal, Julien Ranger majors on de-risking strategies, plan mergers, the use of surplus assets and retiree benefits. Olivia Suppa and Omar Sunderji are the key names to note at the associate level.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrea Boctor

Autres avocats clés:

Paul Litner; Jonathan Marin; Julien Ranger; Olivia Suppa; Omar Sunderji

Principaux clients

Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board

Rio Tinto Alcan

IBM Canada

Suncor Energy

Goldman Sachs & Co

Canadian National Railways

Board of Trustees for Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Employees’ Pension Plan

Provincial Judges Pension Board

Public sector plans in New Brunswick (Shared Risk Plans)

Imperial Oil

Greater Toronto Airports Authority

Special Forces Pension Plan

The Board of Trustees of the University Pension Plan of Ontario

Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan


The group at Fasken supports plan administrators, financial institutions, governments, pension regulators, and benefits consultants with both contentious and non-contentious pensions and benefits matters. Areas of expertise include counsel on pension and benefit plan structuring and investment, governance and funding, in addition to pensions litigation. Toronto-based Ross Gascho steers the practice and advises clients on the wind-up of pension, group benefit and profit-sharing plans. Partner Michael Wolpert assists with the drafting of plan and trust documentation, in addition to representing clients in pension and benefit litigation. Key associate Allyson Marta supports the partners on advisory and regulatory pensions matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ross Gascho

Autres avocats clés:

Michael Wolpert; Allyson Marta

Les références

‘Solid performance, delivering on timelines, with quality work. Strong awareness of different approaches by plan sponsors. Willing to discuss pros and cons of different approaches.’

‘Excellent knowledge of laws. Also very involved in the industry associations and committees, which adds profile and depth of knowledge. Well-aware of industry trends and viewpoints of plan sponsors.’

Principaux clients

Avon Canada

Sobeys Canada

TC Energy

Leggett & Platt

Principaux dossiers

  • Defended Avon in an $85m class action in respect of post-employment benefits.
  • Advised TC Energy on its $3bn pension plans.
  • Advised Leggett & Platt on pensions and benefits matters relating to its cross-border acquisition of Edmonton-based Nilex and its wholly owned subsidiary Nilex USA.

Lawson Lundell LLP

Lawson Lundell LLP‘s Vancouver-based practice specializes in providing guidance on complex pension and benefit matters to both private and public-sector clients. The group is well-versed in establishing, governing, managing and terminating pension and employee benefits plans, routinely servicing clients located in British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Murray Campbell steers the practice and has focused his practice on the reorganization and modernization of pension and benefit plans, as well as providing strategic direction on pension and benefit litigation matters. Partner Meghan Popp advises on both single employer plans and multi-employer plans across a range of sectors.

Responsables de la pratique:

Murray Campbell

Autres avocats clés:

Meghan Popp

McCarthy Tétrault

The pensions group at McCarthy Tétrault is well-versed in the establishment and management of pension, benefit and executive compensation plans, as well as advising on pension plan mergers and spin-offs, the designation of beneficiaries and fiduciary responsibilities. The team is regularly instructed by employers, administrators, sponsors, governments, regulators and service providers. Key partners Deron Waldock and Kelleher Lynch are active on advisory and transactional matters. Ex-practice co-head Randy Bauslaugh departed in January 2023 into private practice. The department was bolstered by the April 2023 arrival of new practice leader Susan Nickerson from Torys. Nickerson has focused her practice on the implementation of pension plans, fiduciary duties and risk management.

Responsables de la pratique:

Susan Nickerson

Autres avocats clés:

Deron Waldock; Kelleher Lynch

Principaux clients

Rayonier Advanced Materials

CCMP Capital Advisors

Jamieson Laboratories

Paper Excellence Group


University of Windsor



Credit Suisse

Brewers Retail

Climate Change Law Initiative

Christian Schools Pension and Benefit Plans Boards of Trustees

Wells Fargo



Torys‘ practice provides clients with pension plan governance and pension law counsel. Its expertise also spans plan drafting, wind-ups, administration and tax issues, regulatory and governance matters and transactional support. The practice is jointly led by two Toronto-based partners: Tom Stevenson handles pension governance matters in relation to corporate and commercial transactions, and Lisa Talbot specializes in contentious employment and pensions matters. Counsel Raegan Kennedy is also of note. Ex-practice head Mitch Frazer left the firm in March 2023, along with partner Susan Nickerson, who departed in April 2023. Partner Stephanie Kalinowski, previously at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP, joined the group in June 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Tom Stevenson; Lisa Talbot

Autres avocats clés:

Raegan Kennedy

Principaux clients


University of Waterloo

Yellow Pages Group

Federal Express Canada Corporation

Sienna Senior Living


Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

Triple Flag Precious Metals

Alterna Bank

Rogers Communications

Procter & Gamble

ACCO Brands Canada LP

Fairstone Financial

Sun Life Financial

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

CPP Investments

Cadillac Fairview

Principaux dossiers

  • Assisted LifeWorks with the administration of U.S. Steel Canada pension plans following U.S. Steel’s insolvency and restructuring.
  • Advised the University of Waterloo on the implementation of an ESG investment strategy for its pension plan.
  • Assisted Yellow Pages with strategic advice on the long-term administration of its defined benefit pension plan, including its ongoing deficit reduction plan.

Bennett Jones LLP

The pension and benefits group at Bennett Jones LLP works under the umbrella of the firm’s broader employment practice. The team regularly assists clients with M&A and financing transactions and provides pension governance counsel to companies and their boards of directors on plan administration and pension fund investment. The practice is led from Toronto by Susan Seller, knowledgeable on executive compensation matters, pension asset transfers and surplus payments. Former team head Jordan Fremont departed in July 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Susan Seller

Principaux clients

EQT Partners

CF Acquisition VI

Lineage Logistics Holding LLC

Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation IV

RedeCan Pharm

ATCO Power/Canadian Utilities Limited/ATCO Group

Canadian Medical Association


Equitable Bank

Dayco Products LLC/Dayco Canada