Stikeman Elliott
Pension & Benefits

National and international enterprises have a growing demand for innovative legal advisors to assist in the increasingly sophisticated and complex environment in which pension and employee benefit programmes operate today. Our National Pension and Benefits Practice Group is widely recognized for its ability to assist clients in this area, which will continue to grow in importance as the Canadian population ages.

The group is centred in the firm's Employment, Labour & Pension Group, but also draws upon expertise from the Corporate, Litigation and Taxation Groups of the firm. This approach provides flexible and multi-disciplinary solutions tailored to the client's specific needs. As the first law firm in Canada with practitioners in both Montréal and Toronto devoted exclusively to pension matters, we offer a unique capacity to advise on matters governed by Quebec, Ontario, and federal pension law. Our practice has been endorsed as a Canadian leader by Chambers Global's Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for Business.


Pension and benefit programmes are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the regulatory and legal framework in which they exist increasingly complex. Our pension and benefits expertise includes the full range of legal matters in this area, including:

  • Drafting registered and supplementary pension plan rules, trust agreements, investment management agreements and investment policies

  • Advice on pension plan governance, pension plan conversions, mergers and other restructurings and pension fund investment issues  

  • Negotiation of pension funding relief and pension surplus-sharing agreements

  • Advice on the impact of transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, insolvencies, outsourcings, and privatizations

  • Design and administration of employee share ownership plans and phantom stock plans

  • Negotiation of and structuring executive compensation arrangements and advice on the taxation thereof

  • Assisting financial institutions in the development and administration of pension and retirement products

  • Advice on creditor protection of retirement income arrangements

  • Representation of plan sponsors before pension regulatory tribunals and the courts and counsel employers on benefits-related issues in unionized environments

Professional Activities

Members of Stikeman Elliott's National Pension and Benefits Group are involved in many professional development activities, including:

  • Constituting the editorial board of Canadian Cases on Pensions and Benefits, a monthly law report published by Thomson Carswell;

  • Sitting on the Quebec Pension Board, Financial Services Commission of Ontario and Financial Services Tribunal Legal Advisory Committees, Ontario Bar Association Pension and Benefits Section Executive, Association of Canadian Pension Management and Canadian Pensions and Benefits Institute;

  • Publishing articles in various newspapers, law reviews, and pension industry publications;

  • Contributing the Canada chapter to Employee Share Plans: International Legal and Tax Issues;

  • Speaking at meetings and conferences of numerous organizations both in Canada and abroad; and

  • Advising foreign governments on pension reform.

Related Practices
Key Contacts

Michel Legendre 

Andrea Boctor
Related Publications