Andrew Harrison  

Partner

Executive Summary

Andrew Harrison is the National Leader of the Firm's Pension and Benefits Group. Andrew has a broad financial services and commercial practice, with a focus on pension and benefits law, investments and funding and financial institutions law. Andrew has advised many different participants in pension and benefit arrangements, including plan administrators, employers, boards of directors, trustees, insurance companies, investment managers and plan beneficiaries. He also advises financial institutions on regulatory matters, and businesses on corporate and commercial matters affecting them.

Andrew is experienced in leading teams of lawyers in executing complex transactions.

Representative Work

Plan Design and Administration

  • Advising on issues of pension plan governance, including fiduciary duties, proper delegation and statutory requirements.
  • Providing strategic advice and advocacy regarding legislative and regulatory reform.
  • Structuring, reviewing and drafting pension and benefit plans and amendments and employee communications.
  • Conducting legal compliance audits of pension plans and pension funds.
  • Providing legal opinions concerning pension legislation, plan terms and rights of plan members.
  • Advising on compliance and establishment of compliance procedures.

Investments and Funding

  • Advising regarding the regulation of the investment of pension fund assets and pension-eligible investment products, including innovative investments such as derivatives and hedge funds.
  • Reviewing and drafting funding agreements, including master trust agreements, pension trust agreements, pooled fund arrangements, segregated funds and insurance contracts.
  • Preparing investment agreements and statements of investment policies.
  • Advising on pension fund investments, including structuring and compliance.
  • Designing and advising on the administration of "locked-in" investment vehicles, such as life income funds (LIFs) and locked-in retirement accounts (LIRAs).

Transactions

  • Structuring and advising on amendments, mergers, demergers, conversions and terminations of pension and benefit plans.
  • Structuring and advising on corporate purchases, sales, financings, mergers and demergers and other transactions involving pension and benefit plans.
  • Advising regarding entitlement to pension fund surplus, and the recovery of surplus, including surplus sharing agreements and contribution holidays.

Financial Institutions

  • Advising domestic and foreign banks, trust companies, insurance companies and securities dealers in all aspects of financial services regulation in Canada, including ownership restrictions, operating requirements, permissible corporate structures and product development.
  • Advising Canadian banks, both domestic and foreign-owned, in all aspects of bank and financial services regulation in Canada.
  • Advising financial services corporations, such as banks, insurance companies and investment dealers, regarding asset sales and corporate restructurings.

Other

  • Negotiating and completing complex business arrangements, such as investments, divestitures, commercial contracts, shareholder and partnership agreements, and lending and other financing arrangements.
  • Providing general corporate and commercial advice to businesses.
  • Coordinating teams of lawyers in complex projects and transactions.
  • Advising corporations regarding acquisitions and sales of businesses.

Publications & Presentations

  • Speaker; Panel on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) - Trends and Future Direction, PMAC Annual Conference, November 2015.  
  • Moderator and Speaker; Workshop on environmental, social and governance factors for pension fund investment, IPEBLA Biennial Conference, May 2015.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of Chambers Canada - Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Pensions & Benefits).
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2016 edition (and since 2009) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Employee Benefits Law).
  • Recognized in the 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 editions of Chambers Global - The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Pensions & Benefits).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.
  • Recognized in the 2015 and 2014 editions of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Pensions and Employee Benefits).