Elizabeth M. Brown

Elizabeth Brown is a pension and benefits lawyer at BMKP Law. She advises public and private sector employers on a wide range of regulatory governance, compliance and administration matters relating to pension and employee benefits plans.

Elizabeth appears as counsel on pension litigation disputes and has extensive experience advising on large corporate transactions, including insolvencies, mergers and acquisitions, and reorganizations. She provides ongoing advice to provincially and federally regulated plan sponsors and administrators on jointly sponsored pension plans, defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and savings and profit sharing plans.

The Ontario Bar Association recently honoured Elizabeth with the 2017 Award of Excellence in Pensions and Benefits Law.

Representative Work

In 2018, represented a foreign parent corporation in defending two proposed Newfoundland and Labrador class actions seeking damages over $250 million in relation to pension and benefits claims related to insolvent Canadian subsidiaries.

In 2018, advised the employer sponsor of a public sector jointly sponsored pension plan on the creation of a new benefit option under the plan for the not-for-profit sector.

Acted as lead pension and benefits counsel to a large steel manufacturer in Companies Creditors’ Arrangement Act proceedings.

Successfully defended large defined benefit pension plan administrators in applications before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

Advised several employers in their ongoing negotiations for the conversion of their existing defined benefit and hybrid registered pension plans to a multi-employer jointly sponsored pension plan, involving multiple unions and other interested stakeholders.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Pension and Benefits Law (2017)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (2014-2019)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2007-2018)
  • Chambers Global (2009-2018)
  • Chambers Canada (2016-2019)
  • Legal 500 Canada (2015-2017)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada (2012-2018)
  • Lexpert Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada (2018)

Associations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association – CBA Liaison Member – Continuing Legal Education Division – Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (2016 – present)
  • Canadian Bar Association – National Pension and Benefits Law Section – Past Chair (2018 — present)
  • Canadian Bar Association – National Pension and Benefits Law Section – Chair (2017 — 2018), Vice-Chair (2016-2017), Treasurer (2015-2016), Secretary (2014-2015), Executive Member (2011-2014)
  • Marshall Stakeholder Reference Group – Employer Counsel Representative – Appointed by the Ontario Minister of Finance (2016-2017)
  • Ontario Bar Association – Member (Pension and Benefits Law Section)
  • Association of Canadian Pension Management – Member

Education

  • York University, LL.B.
  • Queen’s University, B.Mus.
  • University of Leicester, LL.M.

Publications & Presentations

  • Supplementary Pension Plans, CBA/ABA/IPEBLA Global Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Conference (June 10-12, 2018)
  • A Pensioners' Bill of Rights? Examining the role of plan members in pension governance, Lancaster House, Toronto Pensions Conference, Panelist (November 28, 2017)
  • “Hot Topics, Current Trends and Big Ideas”, panel at the CBA National Insolvency Conference (September 14-15, 2017)
  • “Women in the Workplace”, Queens Female Leadership in Politics Conference, Kingston, ON (January 14, 2017)
  • “Common Pension Plan Compliance Issues”, Ontario Bar Association’s Institute, Govern Yourself Accordingly: The Latest Developments in Pension Plan Governance (February 2, 2016)
  • “Discrimination Issues & Benefits”, 15th International IPEBLA Conference, Brussels (May 17-20, 2015)
  • “The Post-Indalex Era – What the Insolvency Practitioner Needs to Know”, Canadian Bar Association 10th Annual Pan-Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Law Conference, Quebec (October 23-24, 2014)
  • Benefits Without Borders, Global Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Conference, Global Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Conference, Chicago, Co-Chair (June 24, 2014)