Kenneth E. Burns

Kenneth E. Burns

Partner

Expertise

  • Administrative Law
  • Employee Benefits
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Pension & Benefit Plans

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Lawson Lundell LLP
British Columbia, Canada

Profile
Ken practices exclusively in the firm's pensions and employee benefits law practice group. He advises pension and benefit plan sponsors on a range of legal and regulatory issues affecting their plans. He advises on pension plan governance and compliance monitoring projects, regulatory applications and the handling of pension disputes. He works with managers in the drafting and maintenance of pension documents, including plan texts, trust declarations, statements of investment policies, as well as investment manager and other service provider contracts. Ken is frequently involved in assisting parties in mergers and acquisitions on the pension and benefits issues arising in the course of planning and executing their transactions.

Bar Admissions

British Columbia (1998)
Northwest Territories (2000)
Alberta (2006)

Education

University of Western Ontario (B.A., 1990)
McGill University (M.B.A., 1994)
University of Western Ontario (LL.B., 1997)
Areas of Practice

Administrative Law | Employee Benefits | Mergers & Acquisitions | Pension & Benefit Plans

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Acting for the board of a public sector multi-employer pension plan in negotiations with government over changes to legislation governing the plan

Acting for a mining company in the design and set up of new pension and benefit plans prior to the opening of operations in northern Canada

Structuring and advising on a client company's pension committee, and providing professional oversight for several of the company's pension plans

Setting up pension governance and legislative compliance monitoring systems for various clients

Representing a multi-employer pension board in litigation to recover withdrawal liability obligations of a former participating employer

Assisting a forest products company in negotiating the pension and benefits disclosure requirements in a complex lending agreement

Negotiating pension and benefit terms in corporate mergers and acquisitions on behalf of numerous large and small clients

Drafting submissions to pension regulators on behalf of numerous clients

Advising on and setting up letters of credit to secure supplemental pension plans for various employers

Setting up retirement compensation arrangements for employers in the forest, mining and retail industries

Advising a US airline and a US mining company on ways to best mirror 401(k) plans for employees in Canada

Drafting an opinion to a forestry company on best practices in winding down a pension plan

Helping a Canadian multi-national company establish a savings plan for expatriate employees

Drafting template custodial documents for a trust company

Negotiating funding relief for a plan sponsor with the federal pension regulator

Assisting an energy company in selecting and moving its pension fund to a new pension fund holder

Assisting a consortium of pension funds on joint investments in private equity funds

Drafting statements of investment policies and procedures for an insurance company's defined contribution plan

Advising a US head office on the oversight of its Canadian subsidiary's pension obligations

Drafting and amending pension trust agreements for various employers and multi-employer plan boards of trustees

Advising a mining company on the implementation of phased retirement provisions in its pension plan


Professional Associations

*Canadian Bar Association, Pension and Benefits Section, Past National Executive Member (3 terms) and Past British Columbia Section Chair (3 terms)
*Association of Canadian Pension Management, Immediate British Columbia Regional Council Past Chair and National Policy Committee Member; Chair of the 2013 National Conference and National Conference Planning Committee, Member of the 2012, 2014 and 2015 National Conference Planning Committees
*International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Current Canadian Legal/Legislative and Public Sector Committee Member
*International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association, Program Chair of the 2014 Conference; Member of the 2013 and 2015 Conference Planning Committees
*Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, Past British Columbia Council Member
*Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, Member

Recognition and Ranking
*Best Lawyers in Canada 2015: recognized for employee benefits law
*Best Lawyers in Canada 2014: Employee Benefits Law Lawyer of the Year 2014 for Vancouver
*Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015: most frequently recommended as a Leading Practitioner for Pensions & Employee Benefits (Employer)
*Chambers Global 2014: recognized in the Pensions & Benefits (Canada) category
*Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: AV Peer Review rated


Seminars

"Multi-National Mega-Pension Funds: Who's in Charge? Rise of Pension Funds as a form of Global Financial Institution", IPEBLA's 15th International Brussels Conference, Brussels, Belgium (May 18, 2015), Speaker

"Update on Pension Legislation in British Columbia and Alberta", British Columbia Regional Council Event, Association of Canadian Pension Management, Vancouver (October 2014), Moderator

"International Transfers - Pension Benefits and Executive Compensation Issues", International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Certification in Canadian Benefit Plans Conference, Vancouver (October 2014), Speaker

"Economic Benefits Retirement Savings Bring to the Economy", Association of Canadian Pension Management National Conference, La Malbaie, QC (September 2014), Moderator

"The New Employment Pension Plans Act & Regulations", Lawson Lundell LLP Pension & Employee Benefits Law Group Client Seminar, Calgary & Edmonton, AB (September 2014), Co-Speaker

"DB Pension Plan Funding - Sustainability Requires a New Model", Association of Canadian Pension Management, Vancouver (December 2013), Moderator

"Securities Market Activism for Canadian Plan Trustees: Using Class Action Litigation Wisely", International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 46th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference, San Francisco (November 2013), Co-speaker

"Legal/Legislative Update - Western Canada", International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 46th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference, San Francisco (November 2013), Speaker

"Legal/Legislative Developments Across Canada - Target Benefit Pension Plans - What's the Latest?" International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 46th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference, San Francisco (November 2013), Co-Speaker

"Pension Hotstove", Association of Canadian Pension Management National Conference, Ottawa (September 2013), Conference Chair and Host/Co-Speaker

"Target Benefit Plans and other Hybrid Arrangements", International Pension and Employee Benefit Lawyers Association (IPEBLA) Conference, Rome (May 2013), Speaker

"Legal/Legislative Developments Across Canada", International Foundation (IF) Conference, Charlottetown (May 2013), Speaker

"The Indalex Supreme Court Decision and Implications for Actuaries", Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) (May 2013), Webinar

"British Columbia's bcIMC:Its Important Role in Markets and the Broader Society", British Columbia Regional Council Event, Association of Canadian Pension Management, Vancouver (February 2013), Moderator

"Latest Developments in Pensions " PRPPs, Regulatory Initiatives, Pension Design Innovations and other Trends", 2012 ACPM National Conference, Association of Canadian Pension Management, Victoria (September 2012), Moderator

"Pension Hotstove", Association of Canadian Pension Management National Conference, Victoria (September 2012), Host/Co-Speaker

"Pension Reform: Western Canada Update", PD Program, Canadian Bar Association National Pensions and Benefits Law Section (October 2011), Webinar

"Understanding Your Investment Management Contract", 44th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Vancouver (September 2011), Speaker

"Unfinished Business - The Slow Moving Trend from DB to DC in Canada", Association of Canadian Pension Management National Conference, Calgary (June 2011), Co-Speaker

"Employment Benefits Generally", Pensions & Benefits: Critical Issues and What's Often Overlooked, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Vancouver (May 2011), Speaker

"Recent Developments in Pension Plan Law and ACPM Advocacy Initiatives", Association of Canadian Pension Management BC Council Spring Session, Vancouver (April 2011), Moderator

"Are MEPPs in Your Future? " Developing the multi-employer plan model for use in non-union situations", at 2010 ACPM National Conference, Whistler (September 2010), Moderator

"BC's Pension System Review Consultation: What Action Should the Government take to Increase Pension Coverage", Association of Canadian Pension Management Spring Session, Vancouver (April 2010), Moderator

"Background Legal and Legislative Context (Relating to Pension Plan Investments)"; and "Legal and Legislative Context Workshop on Investment Management Contracts", International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans' Canadian Investment Institute Conference, Quebec City (August 2009), Speaker

"Legal Developments of the Past Year", Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute Western Regional Conference, Kelowna (October 2008), Speaker

"Cross Canada Review of Pension Legislation and Regulatory Changes", International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Conference, Ottawa (May 2008), Speaker

"Managing Pension Risks in Corporate Transactions", Mergers and Acquisitions Insight Conference, Vancouver (December 2007), Speaker

"Legal Developments of the Past Year", International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Ottawa Legislative Update Conference, Ottawa (May 2007), Speaker

"Mergers and Acquisitions: A Pension Lawyer's Perspective", Canadian Bar Association Pension and Benefits Section, Vancouver (March 2007), Speaker

"Liability and the Plan Administrator", Federated Press Essential Skills for Pension Committees Conference, Vancouver (January 2007), Speaker

"Plan Management and Disclosure", Federated Press Essential Skills for Pension Committees Conference, Vancouver (January 2007), Speaker

"Legal Developments of the Past Year", Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute Western Regional Conference, Whistler (October 2006), Speaker

"Managing Pension Risks in Corporate Transactions", Canadian Institute Conference, Calgary (May 2006), Speaker

"Mergers & Acquisitions " Identifying & Addressing Pension and Benefit Legal Risks", Insight Conference, St. John's (May 2005), Speaker

"Communicating Pensions & Benefits " Legal Issues", Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute Conference, Vancouver (April 2005), Speaker
Blogs

Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

Lawson Lundell's Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Blog follows new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. Our goal is to provide a source of valuable information and insight on a wide variety of matters for our readers.

Labour & Employment Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

Lawson Lundell's Labour and Employment Law Blog provides updates on the most recent legal developments impacting the Canadian workplace and offers practical tips for employers. We cover a range of topics, including labour relations, employment law, collective bargaining, human rights, employment...

Privacy & Data Management Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

This blog is authored by members of the Privacy & Data Management Department. We follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. We follow emerging issues, legal developments, and new technology as they impact privacy and data management. We will focus on how...

Project Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

The Lawson Lundell Project Law Blog focuses on updating proponents on new and interesting issues emerging in the law and policy that applies to the development of major projects in Canada. The focus of the blog is on matters relating to environmental assessment and compliance, regulatory matters...

The Business Law Blog
Lawson Lundell LLP 

This blog is authored by members of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. We intend to follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. The wide range of experience among the members of our litigation group will provide a diverse and insightful...

Articles

Lawson Lundell Recognized in Chambers Global 2013 (March 22, 2013)

Team of Lawson Lundell lawyers recognized in Lexpert Magazine's Big Deals for their role in the Catalyst Paper CCAA Restructuring (March 20, 2013)

"Securities Portfolio Monitoring And Class Action Recovery For Canadian Institutional Investors", Benefits and Pensions Monitor, Volume 23, Number 1 (February 2013), Co-author

"Confronting a Perfect Pension Storm”, CA Magazine, October 2012, Interview

"British Columbia's New Pension Benefits Standards Act - Key Changes", Taxation of Executive Compensation and Retirement, Federated Press, Volume 23, No. 7 (October 12, 2012), Co-author

Ken Burns quoted in The Vancouver Sun, "Pension law changes add flexibility, consumer protection" (June 8, 2012), Interview

Lawson Lundell Recognized in Chambers Global 2012 (March 19, 2012)

Ken Burns quoted in Business in Vancouver (November 29, 2011), Interview

Ken Burns interviewed on CKNW (August 5, 2011), Interview

Ken Burns quoted in The Globe and Mail (July 19, 2011), Interview

"The hidden costs of switching to a cheaper pension plan", The Globe and Mail (July 18, 2011), Interview

"To Fund or Not to Fund for Solvency - Who Gets the Breaks?" (May 12, 2011), Co-Author

"Rogers Communications Inc. v. Buschau- the Final Episode?" Pension Planning, Volume XV No.2, Federated Press (2009), Co-author with Megan Kaneen

"Managing Pension Risks in Corporate Transactions" (December 2007)

Significant Changes to Alberta Employment Pensions Legislation, Pension Planning, Federated Press (August 2006)