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Douglas  Rienzo

Douglas Rienzo

Partner, Pensions & Benefits

Contact Information

tel: 416.862.5683



Areas of Expertise
Bar Admission

Ontario, 1994

  • University of Toronto, LL.B.
  • University of Toronto, B.Sc.

Douglas practises exclusively in the area of pensions and employee benefits, with a particular focus on pension surplus issues and family law issues related to pensions. He has done work for corporate sponsors of pension plans, boards of trustees, and large institutional pension funds, as well as for individual pension plan members. Douglas was a member of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Legal Advisory Committee (Pensions), which provides confidential advice to the Superintendent of Financial Services for Ontario on the Superintendent’s responsibilities under Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act and Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997. His article “Trust Law and Access to Pension Surplus” was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in Buschau v. Rogers Communications.

Douglas has been the Chair of Osler’s Diversity Committee since its inception in 2010.  Under his leadership, Osler has completed four bi-annual demographic surveys since 2012 and laid the groundwork for the establishment of three employee resource groups, for women lawyers, LGBTQ lawyers and their allies (for which he is the partner liaison), and lawyers with ties to the Asia-Pacific region.  In addition, the Diversity Committee has spearheaded several initiatives including the expansion of parental leave benefits for associate lawyers, the creation of a comprehensive policy to support transgender firm members who wish to transition from one gender to another and, most recently, the establishment of the Osler Diversity Scholarship which recognizes Canadian law students who are diversity champions within their law school, the legal profession, or the broader community.

  • Brookfield Infrastructure’s acquisition of Enbridge’s Western Canadian Midstream Business

    The syndicate of lenders and the underwriters in connection with Brookfield Infrastructure’s $4.31 billion acquisition of Enbridge Inc.’s Western Canadian Midstream Business

  • HPS Investment Partners, LLC

    HPS Investment Partners, LLC in its financing to Madison Dearborn Partners for a management led buyout of its minority capital partner

  • Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)

    Investment Management Corporation of Ontario in its co-majority share acquisition with EagleTree Capital, in Corsair from Francisco Partners valued at US$525 million

    • BCE Inc. in its ground breaking pension de-risking strategy.
    • Pension surplus withdrawals:Eaton’s, Control Data, United Dominion, Montreal Trust, National Trust, Superior Propane.
    • Established a defined contribution supplemental pension plan for a Toronto-based entertainment company.
    • Provided legal advice regarding the establishment of new retirement savings plans for a major retailer upon its entry into the Canadian market.
    • Drafted change-of-control and retiring allowance agreements for the President and CEO of a major Canadian financial institution.
    • Advised several clients in relation to their ability to cancel or amend post-retirement benefits.
    • Advised a major Canadian corporation regarding their pension fund, and issues related to replacing the individual trustees holding the fund’s assets with an institutional trustee.
    • Provided legal opinions to clients on pension plan governance and related conflict-of-interest issues.
    • Provided legal advice to a pension plan administrator regarding the first longevity insurance transaction in North America.
    • Assisted two individuals in obtaining death benefits from a pension plan following the death of their father, where there were competing claims to the benefits.
    • Ongoing advice to clients on pension plan administration issues, including trust law and surplus issues, pension plan termination issues, family law issues and non-pension benefits.
  • Find More

  • Chambers: Ranked in Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Pensions & Benefits; Ranked in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Business Lawyers: Pensions & Benefits
    • "...[Douglas] is very strong, and takes the time to understand our needs, giving us advice that is very much business-oriented"
  • Lexpert: Ranked in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Pensions & Employee Benefits – Employer
  • Best Lawyers: Ranked in Best Lawyers in Canada: Employee Benefits Law
  • Who’s Who Legal: Ranked in Who’s Who Legal: Canada - Labour, Pensions & Benefits

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM)
  • International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA)
  • Canadian American Bar Association
  • Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals
  • Member of the Retail Council of Canada


  • New Ontario Requirements re SIPPs and Former Member / Retiree Pension Statements: Are You Ready?, Osler Pension and Benefits Blog, December 2014
  • Ontario Employers Must Insure Long-Term Disability Benefits, Osler Pension and Benefits Blog, August 2014
  • PBA Amendments in Response to Carrigan Case Become Law, Osler Pension and Benefits Blog, July 2014
  • Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate – Common-Law Spouses Lose Entitlement, Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal, February 2013
  • Contractual Rectification in the Pension Context, Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal, December 2011
  • The Great Divide: Ontario’s New Rules on the Division of Pensions Upon Marriage Breakdown, Benefits Canada, December 2011
  • The Variation of a Pension Trust, Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal, December 2010
  • Trust Law and Pension Plans, Benefits Canada Online, June 2008
  • Trust Law and Access to Pension Surplus, Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal, December 2005


  • Speaker, “Document Retention / Privacy / Disclosure Rules,” Benefits Without Borders, Global Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Conference, Chicago, June 24th, 2014
  • 2012 Case Law Roundup (Speaker), Ontario Bar Association’s Institute 2013, February 7, 2013
  • The Osgoode Certificate in Pension Law – Pensions in Corporate Transactions and Restructuring, February 2011, February 2012, February 2013, March 2014, April 2015
  • Pension and Benefit Entitlements Upon Marriage Breakdown: The Legal Guide, Osgoode Professional Development, March 2009, March 2011, January 2012, January 2013, January 2014, January 2015 (Conference Chair)
  • New Rules Regarding Pension Division on Marriage Breakdown – Practical Implications for Plan Administrators, November 2011 (webinar)
  • What You Need to Know about the New Law of Pension Division on Marriage Breakdown, Ontario Bar Association, October 2011
  • Interview Workshop, “Out on Bay Street” annual conference, September 2011, September 2014
  • Pension Plan Mergers and Conversions – Recent Canadian Developments, International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA) conference, May 2011, Berlin, Germany
  • Private Pensions, Public Responsibilities: The Law and Regulation of the Canadian Pension System, University of Toronto LL.B., March 2011, January 2013 (Guest Lecture)
  • Uses of Trusts in Pension and Employee Benefit Arrangements, Osgoode Hall Law School LL.M., June 2009 (Guest Lecture)
  • Osler submission to the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions, October 2007