Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Canada > Pensions > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Pensions clients in Canada using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The ‘top-tier pensions practice’ at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is regarded by some as ‘the best choice for particularly complex or innovative work’. The national group excels in all areas of pensions-related law, with plan administration, litigation and transactional matters all notable strong suits. In Toronto, department co-lead Kathryn Bush is widely lauded as a ‘star in the Canadian pensions area’; she, alongside Caroline Helbronner, advised Morneau Shepell in its capacity as plan administrator of the Sears Canada Pension Plan. On the transactional front, Bush advised DP World on its C$5bn joint venture with pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Toronto-based Jeremy Forgie is also regarded as a market leader and advised The Washington Companies on the pensions aspects of its C$1.5bn acquisition of Dominion Diamond. Other recommended partners include Montreal-based Natalie Bussière, who recently advised the board of trustees of two multi-employer target benefit plans on the merger of both plans, and Calgary-based future star Sean Maxwell.

Koskie Minsky LLP ranks top in the country for employee-side work and the Toronto boutique is routinely engaged by unions, employees, retirees and pension administrators on the full spectrum of pension and benefit matters. Among the names to note, former managing partner Murray Gold is considered a ‘dean of the pensions bar’ and is well known for his prominent record in restructuring-related cases. Mark Zigler, who leads the firm’s class actions unit, is another leading light and is highly regarded for pensions litigation and complex restructurings; he represented the former employees and long-term disability beneficiaries of Nortel Networks in Nortel’s high-profile cross-border insolvency proceedings. Michael Mazzuca, who handles both contentious and non-contentious pensions matters, is also a key contact.

A ‘clear leader in the pensions field’, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP impresses with its deep national practice, which sources highlight as ‘strong in both Toronto and Montreal’. A specialist in fund administration matters, the team is also a strong performer in investment matters, restructurings, litigation and corporate support work. Toronto-based department chair Paul Litner is a leading light who can turn his hand to all aspects of pension law; he advised Intercontinental Exchange on the pensions elements of its C$931m sale of Trayport Holdings to TMX Group. In one of the year’s most high-profile restructuring-related mandates, Litner also advised Sears Canada on its CCAA proceedings. Jana Steele (‘a superb lawyer, with a great practice’) is another senior figure in the Toronto team. In Montreal, Julien Ranger is ‘one to watch’, with more than one source commenting ‘if I could hire him, I would’. Other key clients include Ontario Pension Board, General Motors of Canada and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

New pensions boutique Brown Mills Klinck Prezioso LLP, which was formed in 2017 through a breakaway of a four-partner group from Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP, earns strong praise for its ‘great expertise’ and ‘strong commitment to the pensions and benefits area’. Elizabeth Brown remains a leading figure in the market and represented a foreign parent corporation in defending two proposed class actions concerning pension and benefits claims related to insolvent Canadian subsidiaries.

Lawson Lundell LLP’s group ‘owns the Western Canadian pensions market’, according to sources. The Vancouver-headquartered firm fields a nationally prominent practice in this space, with specialist expertise in all types of pension plans, retirement plans, health and welfare trusts, and employee benefit plans. In Vancouver, sector specialist and department head Murray Campbell is highly regarded for his deep experience in the area; notably, he advises over 30 boards of trustees of multi-employer pension or benefit plans. Kenneth Burns and Michael Wolpert are also recommended in Vancouver and Calgary respectively.

McCarthy Tétrault’s team, which is spread between its Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver offices, is well versed in administration, corporate support and litigation. In Toronto, experienced group head Randy Bauslaugh advised the Canadian Bar Insurance Association on the development of a multi-employer target collective defined contribution pension scheme for law firms and accounting firms in Canada. The group also draws upon the senior expertise of counsel Gregory Winfield, who has recently undertaken work for OMERS and Glencore, and new arrival Deron Waldock, who was formerly in-house at Aon Hewitt — both are in Toronto.

Torys LLP’s ‘responsive and solution-oriented’ pensions practice sets itself apart through its ‘deep industry knowledge’ and its ‘strong experience in the pensions investment space’. Indeed, the consensus is that few teams come close in the investment area, with the Toronto-based group best known for its close relationships with major Canadian funds. Department chair Mitch Frazer has a strong market profile and advised Navistar Canada in partial wind-up proceedings. In another highlight, Susan Nickerson advised Scotiabank on the compensation aspects of its acquisition of Jarislowsky Fraser. Counsel Scott Bell is also recommended.

Responsive and client-oriented’, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Toronto-based pensions team impresses with its ‘excellent and high-quality service’. Among its key names, ‘very knowledgeable’ group head Andrew Harrison maintains a broad financial services practice with a focus on pensions, investments, funding and financial institutions. Clients also single out the ‘very good’ Sonia Mak.

At Dentons, Toronto-based pensions expert Mary Picard is highly regarded for her advice on plan administration, regulatory issues and transactional support matters. In Vancouver, Scott Sweatman is also recommended for his focus on pensions, benefits, executive compensation and related tax law.

Over the past year, FASKEN has advised on several significant pensions-related disputes. Most notably, Montreal-based Dominique Monet represented the City of Montreal in litigation relating to the consolidation of pension plans. Peggy McCallum, who leads the national group, and Ross Gascho are also recommended — both are in Toronto.

Labour and employment heavyweight Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP houses a solid pensions and employee benefits practice, which is steered by the ‘very strong’ Stephanie Kalinowski. Highlights included representing a plan administrator before the Court of Appeal in a claim for a survivor pension.

Stikeman Elliott LLP had a strong year, which saw it act on a string of headline transactional matters. Most notably, Toronto-based group head Andrea Boctor (‘a really excellent specialist’) advised Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on its joint venture with Glencore Canada. On the administrative front, Boctor advises Canadian National Railway on its 35,000-member federally regulated pension plans. Toronto’s Natasha vandenHoven is also recommended.

The ‘top-notch team’ at Bennett Jones LLP stands out for its ‘highly professional and grounded lawyers’. Most notably, Toronto-based employment services co-lead Susan Seller is ‘very knowledgeable, personable and level headed’; she advised Schlumberger Production Management on the employment and pensions aspects of its C$1.3bn acquisition, together with Torxen Energy, of the Palliser Block assets in Alberta.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP has a comprehensive pensions practice, which has recently kept busy advising on day-to-day administration issues, investment matters and corporate governance. David Stratton QC, who splits his time between Edmonton and Calgary, and newly promoted partner Veronica Monteiro, based in Edmonton, are the key contacts.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding Is Officially Published

    By way of background, in January 2019, the Capital Markets Board (“ CMB ”) had issued an announcement on its website on the Draft Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding [1] . The CMB has now officially published the Communiqué on Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“ Communiqué ”), on October 3, 2019. The Communiqué entered into force as of October 3, 2019.
  • Beneficial Ownership Concept new interpretation from the Russian federal tax service

    The recent interpretative letter issued by the Russian Federal Tax Services (“FTS”) on 08th August 2019, has provided further guidance as to the application of the Beneficial Ownership Concept, further to the letter initially provided on the 12th of April 2018 which adopted a strict approach of the concept. 
  • Cyprus and Netherlands Double Tax Treaty Update

    Cyprus has concluded the negotiations for the avoidance of double taxation with the Netherlands. The double tax treaty was agreed at technocratic level in Hague. It is expected to be signed by the end of 2019 or early in 2020.
  • Vacancy - Senior Corporate Lawyer

    The Senior Corporate Lawyer, who will be reporting to Partners, will be working with both the firm’s legal team as well as the financial services team. The successful candidate will be requested to show initiative, take on certain responsibilities within the firm, work in a multinational environment and will immediately be given the opportunity to further advance their career within the law firm.
  • CJEU RULED ON THE APPLICATION OF THE BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP CONCEPT

    The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on February 26, 2019, in the “Danish Beneficial Ownership Cases”, can be perceived as a landmark on the interpretation of the Beneficial Ownership concept under the Interest and Royalties Directive (IRD) and the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD).
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.
  • ITALIAN RULES ON JOINT VENTURES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND CONCESSIONS

    Italian rules on jointventures concerning public procurement and concession contracts are set out inlight of the European legal framework provided for in Directive 2014/23/EU and 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The European rules aim to ensurethe best use of public money so that EU citizens benefit from strategicinvestments and services at fair prices. In this context, public procurementand concessions represent key instruments that need to be regulated and standardisedin order to ensure free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedomto provide services.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a  sole representative visa  is not “a  majority shareholder in the overseas business”.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to