Paul  Litner - Pensions & Benefits Lawyer in Toronto

Paul Litner

Partner, Pensions and Benefits

Key Contact: Pensions and Benefits

Contact Information

tel: 416.862.4730



Paul Litner is a partner in Osler's Pensions and Benefits Group. His practice relates exclusively to pensions, benefits and compensation plans and their related investment arrangements. He advises both private and public sector clients on the legal and regulatory aspects of pension and employee benefits plans including: governance, fiduciary responsibilities, plan administration and compliance, pension fund investment, pension committees, plan wind up, surplus strategies, and the negotiation and drafting of plan and trust documents.

Paul deals extensively with pension and benefits issues arising in corporate mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations, and has advised on many large Canadian and international transactions. Paul regularly advises on pension litigation matters, and has appeared before and made submissions to federal and provincial regulators on various pension compliance and surplus matters. He has also assisted several clients in successfully implementing pension plan mergers and conversions.

Paul has been recognized as a leading lawyer in his field by numerous independent publications. In 2020 and 2021, he was named Pensions & Benefits Lawyer of the Year by Who’s Who Legal.

    • MoonPay in its acquisition of Nightshift
    • Angus Systems in its acquisition by MRI Software
    • Canadian counsel to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the sale of its physical commodities business to Mercuria Energy Group Limited, a global energy and commodities trading company, for $3.5 billion
    • Aviva Canada Inc. on its successful surplus sharing agreements with members in four separate partial wind ups
    • Canwest Global Communications Inc. in its successful restructuring and sale of The National Post Company, Canwest Media Inc. and Canwest Limited Partnership
    • NOVA Chemicals Corporation’s acquisition by an Abu Dhabi based International Petroleum Investment Company
    • South Coast Partners Limited Partnership on pension and benefit matters related to its $165 million acquisition of Oceanex Inc.
    • Vivendi on its successful $60 million surplus sharing agreement with plan members
    • Several large Canadian employers in successfully transitioning from defined benefit pension plans to defined contribution pension plans
    • A leading actuarial consulting firm in an action for rectification of plan terms
    • A major insurance company in obtaining regulatory approval to pension plan mergers

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Pensions & Benefits (Band 1) 
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Pensions & Benefits (Band 1)
    • "...[Paul] is acclaimed for his experience in this area, with a strong focus on pension fund investment and the pensions aspects of large international corporate transactions."
  • Lexpert Zenith Award: Recognized for Celebrating Mid-Career Excellence
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Pensions & Employee Benefits - Employer
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Employee Benefits Law; “Lawyer of the Year”, Employee Benefits Law
  • Legal 500: Recognized as Leading Lawyer, Pensions & Benefits; Leading Lawyer, Labour & Employment and Pensions
  • Who’s Who Legal: Pensions & Benefits Lawyer of the Year (2020 & 2021); Thought Leaders - Global Elite: Recognized in Pensions & Benefits; Leading Practitioner in Labour, Employment and Benefit
  • Ontario Bar Association: Award of Excellence in Pensions & Benefits (2023)

  • Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM)
  • International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), Pension Section
  • Ontario Financial Services Tribunal, Member from 2002-2010

Paul was a Consulting Editor, providing commentary on case law developments, for Lancaster House’s Pension E-Bulletin from its inception in 2004 until 2010.  He has co-authored several submissions to government agencies on behalf of the ACPM and various other industry associations/task forces, including: the Ontario Expert Commission on Pension Reform; Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities; and the Joint Forum of Financial Market Regulators.

Paul also regularly writes for Benefits Canada on emerging legal issues. Recent articles include:

  • Sheer Prudence, A Recent Ontario Case Reminds Plan Sponsors of their Duty to Invest Pension Assets by Establishing an Effective Process for Selecting and Monitoring Investments, Benefits Canada, February 2010.
  • Seeing Change, Pension Reform has been a Long Time in Coming.  Will it be Worth the Wait?, Benefits Canada, June, 2010.
  • In Excess, The Latest Word from Canada’s Supreme Court on the Control and Use of Surplus in an Ongoing Pension Plan, Benefits Canada, December 2010.

Other recent publications and events include:

  • Plan Member Communications:  Legal Risks and Challenges, 2010 CPBI Ontario Regional Conference, Niagara-on-the-Lake, October 5, 2010 (with David Stamp).
  • Canadian Pension Reform, IPEBLA Journal, July, 2010.
  • Avoiding Liability for Pension Plan Investments, OBA 8th Annual Pension Benefits Hot Spots, May 10, 2010.
  • Canadian Pension Reform, IPEBLA Journal on Canadian Pension Reform, April 30, 2010 (with Stephanie Kaufman).
  • Legal Duties in Pension Investments, The School of Pension Investment Management, Mercer, April 26, 2010.
  • Is Meaningful Pension Reform at Hand, 2010 Pension Summit, Conference Board of Canada, April 13, 2010.