Pensions & Benefits Litigation

Overview

Osler’s pension litigation experience is extensive, particularly on the plan sponsor and administrator side. Our litigators have been involved in many of the leading pension cases before the courts and tribunals across the country. Our representation of sponsors of multi-jurisdictional plans has led to appearances in major pension litigation in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Alberta and British Columbia and frequent interaction with regulators in all of the other provinces.

We have successfully combined the skills of solicitors in our Pension & Benefits Department with those of our litigators who specialize in pension cases and class actions to provide clients with unparalleled expertise in this area.

Ask Osler’s pension and benefits litigators about:

  • Member /retiree class actions;
  • Funding disputes;
  • Validity of plan amendments;
  • Fiduciary duties of plan administrators;
  • Obligations under pensions legislation;
  • Plan wind-up;
  • Life/medical post-retirement benefits;
  • Plan/statutory interpretations issues;
  • Insolvency and restructuring;
  • Liability of actuaries;
  • Investment issues;
  • Family property and valuation issues;
  • Surplus entitlement;
  • Contribution holidays.

 

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Related Expertise

David Stamp

Partner, Litigation
Toronto

Julien Ranger

Partner, Pensions & Benefits
Montréal
  • Canadian Bankers Association (CBA)

    Represented the CBA as intervener in Sun Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers, in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that had created commercial uncertainty. This long-awaited decision had significant repercussions for credit agreements, resulting in the re-drafting of the previous standard provisions related to pensions, as well as considerable implications for pension governance and insolvency proceedings.

  • OPSEU Pension Trust

    Class action litigation relating to transfers under a reciprocal transfer agreement.

  • Hydro-Québec

    Various litigation, including cases relating to plan interpretation issues and alleged misuse of the Hydro-Québec pension fund surplus.

  • Vivendi Canada

    Class action litigation and grievance relating to reductions in post-retirement medical benefits.

  • École polytechnique de Montréal

    Retiree class action relating to an amendment to the indexation benefits under the University’s pension plan.

  • Imperial Oil Limited

    Litigation in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta relating to partial plan wind-up and fiduciary duty issues; Ontario/Quebec surplus litigation, including jurisdictional challenges; litigation before the Financial Services Tribunal relating to partial windup and sale of business issues.

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

    Class action litigation relating to an enhanced benefit program, partial termination and conflict of interest issues under the Pension Benefits Standards Act.

  • Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

    Various litigation, including cases relating to disability benefits and reciprocal transfer agreements.

  • Hudson’s Bay Company

    Successfully represented the Hudson’s Bay Company before the Supreme Court of Canada in representative proceedings arising out of the sale of a division. The court considered issues of surplus entitlement, fiduciary duties, as well as alleged representations arising out of benefit and pension brochures.

  • General Motors Canada

    Class action litigation relating to post-retirement benefits, various other litigation, including cases relating to solvency valuation and class action relating to pension rights on a sale of business.

  • Towers Watson Canada

    Professional negligence action relating to preparation of actuarial valuation reports.

  • CAAT Pension Plan

    Various litigation, including defending a lawsuit relating to a Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan.

  • University of Montréal

    Class action relating to fiduciary duty issues arising in connection with the investment of the pension fund.

  • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board (OMERS)

    A variety of litigation dealing with transfers under a reciprocal transfer agreement, surplus arising under supplementary benefit agreements, OMERS’ statutory decision-making and appeal procedures, and issues relating to same sex pension benefits, as well as regulatory proceedings.

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Chambers

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Business Lawyers, 2012-2019: Band 1, Pensions and Benefits.
    • "...with one of the largest and most experienced pensions and benefits law groups of any Canadian law firm, Osler combines wide-ranging expertise with specialised skills to provide clients with creative, solutions-driven results to meet their needs on both sides of the border."
    • "They are phenomenal in all aspects of pensions and benefits."
    • "If we have an urgent issue the lawyers there are unbelievably responsive and accessible."
  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2018: Band 1, Pensions and Benefits.  
    • "They make an excellent team - providing timely and helpful legal advice."
    • "They are technically strong, ensure excellent, timely service delivery, are extremely knowledgeable and maintain excellent communication throughout the job."
    • "They have extremely deep knowledge of the substantive law in this area which is complemented by an equally deep understanding of the taxation of pension plans."

Lexpert

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2010-2018: Most Frequently Recommended, Osler’s Pensions & Employee Benefits Group Toronto, Ontario.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2010-2018: Consistently Recommended, Osler’s Pensions & Employee Benefits Group Montréal, Québec.
  • Lexpert Magazine, the country’s leading legal journal, calls Osler one of two market leaders in pension plan administration matters, where “the pure pension law expertise largely resides.”
  • Lexpert also noted that Osler is “found as counsel on pension-related deals more frequently than any other firm in the country”

Legal 500

  • The Legal 500, 2018: Osler ranked in Tier 1, Pensions.

Best Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2018: Osler Lawyers recognized in the area of Employee Benefits.
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2014: “Top-Listed” Osler in Ontario and Québec in Employee Benefits Law, with several of our legal practitioners recognized in the directory for their expertise in this field.