Donna Spagnolo

Donna Spagnolo  


Executive Summary

Donna is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Donna practices corporate law with an emphasis on investment management, particularly in connection with the securities and insurance investment management industries.

Donna advises industry participants in their day-to-day and their extraordinary activities and focuses on the regulatory compliance and governance issues facing participants in the insurance and securities industries. Donna has advised in connection with the creation of new investment products, including providing advice regarding regulatory obstacles and other legal matters required to be resolved for product launch. Donna has also advised in connection with mergers and acquisitions and divestitures in the highly regulated insurance and investment management industries.

Representative Work

  • Advises in connection with public offerings and private placements.
  • Advises in connection with investment products.
  • Advises on securities regulatory, governance and compliance matters, particularly for investment fund managers.
  • Advises insurance brokers and insurance companies on regulatory, compliance, licensing and commercial issues.
  • Advises buyers and sellers in corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and reorganization particularly in the highly regulated insurance and investment management industries.

Publications & Presentations

  • Co-Author, "New Risk Classification Methodology for Mutual Funds and ETFs – September 1, 2017 with Phased-in Disclosure," BLG's Investment Management Bulletin, January 2017
  • Author, "OSC Staff Guidance on Portfolio Liquidity for Investment Funds - Eight Key Compliance Considerations," BLG Investment Management Bulletin, July 2015.
  • Speaker, "Show me the money: Regulatory Changes and Embedded Compensation," November 2014.
  • Speaker, "Mutual Fund Fees and Dealer Compensation," November 2014.
  • Speaker, "Fund Regulation," November 6, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Investment Guideline Review: Mutual Funds and Segregated Funds," November 2013.
  • Author, “Exempt Market Changes,” Canadian EM Watch, July 2012.
  • Speaker, “Top Compliance Issues for Investment Fund Managers,”June 2012.
  • Speaker, “Electronic commerce in insurance products and other CCIR initiatives,”May 2012.
  • Speaker, “Insurance Regulatory Developments: Insurance regulators looking at the MGA distribution model in the life insurance industry,”May 2011.
  • Speaker, “How to apply the ongoing review process to your specific firm needs – Social Media,” 4th Advanced Investment Funds Compliance and Other Legal Issues, October 2011.
  • Panelist, “Inside Scoop: What it’s really like to be a Woman in Law,” Osgoode Women’s Network – Career Path, October 2011.
  • Speaker, “Deploying a Compliance Program to Deal with Conflicts of Interest,” 3rd Advanced Investment Funds Compliance & Other Legal Issues, October 2010.
  • Speaker, “Understanding the Changing World of Canadian Insurance Sales,” Infonex: Financial Institution Regulation, May 2010.
  • Speaker, “Limitation of Liability and Effectiveness of Exclusion Clauses in Engagement Letters,” January 2010.
  • Speaker, “Revising the Point of Sale Proposal: Compliance for Mutual Funds,” January 2009.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2017 edition The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Investment Funds & Asset Management).
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2016 edition (and since 2011) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Mutual Funds Law).
  • Honoured with a 2014 Lexpert® Zenith Award (Corporate Finance and Securities).