Donna Spagnolo

Donna Spagnolo  


Executive Summary

Donna is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Donna practices corporate law mainly in the securities and insurance industries. She is a member of the Securities and Capital Markets Group, the Investment Management Group and the Insurance Corporate Regulatory Group.

Donna advises the insurance and securities industries in connection with their day-to-day and their extraordinary activities and focuses on the regulatory compliance, market conduct and governance issues they face as well as transactional matters.

Representative Work

  • Advises insurance and securities industry participants on regulatory, compliance, licensing/registration and commercial issues and drafts related agreements.
  • Engages with OSFI and provincial securities and insurance regulators.
  • Advises with respect to the incorporation, organization and licensing of insurance brokers and agents, as well as securities advisors and dealers.
  • Advises in connection with investment products, including segregated funds.
  • Advises foreign and domestic insurers with respect to regulatory requirements.
  • Advises buyers and sellers in corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and reorganizations, particularly in the highly regulated insurance and investment management and insurance 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 as a 2019 Acritas Star.
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2019 edition (and since 2011) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Mutual Funds Law).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and previous editions) of Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Investment Funds & Asset Management).
  • Honoured with a 2014 Lexpert® Zenith Award (Corporate Finance and Securities).