Day 1: Monday, May 29, 2017

Keynote Address: "Employee benefits in the Czech Republic"
Coordinator and Discussion Leader:An Van Damme, Radeck Spicar 

Workshop 1: "Executive Remuneration and Shareholder ‘Say on Pay’"
Coordinator and Discussion Leader:Susan Serota (U.S.A), Peter Wehner (Germany), Jan Van Gysegem (Belgium)

Session Description

The new EU Shareholders’ Rights Directive will increase regulation of executive remuneration in EU listed companies. Among other things, it will give shareholders a right to vote on a remuneration policy for directors and it will require publication of an annual remuneration report with details on individual directors’ remuneration.

In the workshop, we will examine what changes the Directive will bring about in Belgium and [the Netherlands] and compare this with the evolution of this topic in the [US] and the [UK].

SUSAN SEROTA  (Speaker) - Email: susan.serota@pillsburylaw.com

Susan Serota leads the firm's Executive Compensation & Benefits practice and is located the New York office. Ms. Serota has experience in all areas of pensions, employee benefits, executive compensation, stock options and tax deferred compensation plans. She has significant experience in the compensation of senior executives, fiduciary matters relating to ERISA and other plans, international benefits, employee benefit aspects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, ERISA fiduciary litigation and securities law matters. She is also an advisor to both foreign and domestic governmental entities, regarding pensions and deferred compensation.

From August 2006-2007, Ms. Serota was the Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, the nation’s largest organization of tax lawyers. She is the past Chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Employee Benefits Committee. Ms. Serota was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to serve on the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Ms. Serota is also a director and the treasurer of the American Tax Policy Institute.

PETER WEHNER (Speaker) - Peter.Wehner@hengeler.com
Peter Wehner advises national and international companies on all aspects of employment law (individual and collective labor law), especially in the field of labor law support for company acquisitions and restructuring. His work also focuses on the structuring and modification of company pension, remuneration and supplementary benefit systems, as well as the design and termination of executive contracts (managing directors and members of the management board). He also represents clients in labor disputes.

JAN VAN GYSEGEM (Coordinator) Email: jan.vangysegem@claeysengels.be

Jan advises on occupational pension matters and on corporate law issues arising in the HR context. He focuses on questions of corporate and pension fund governance. He regularly advises on executive compensation (option, share and other LTI plans).  He assists clients in outsourcing and sales transactions. He also argues litigation and arbitration cases in these areas.

Jan is the Chairman of BePLA, the Belgian Pension Lawyers Association. He is also a member of IPEBLA, the International Pensions and Employee Benefit Lawyers Association. He regularly participates as a speaker at seminars on pension and corporate topics.  He has published extensively on pension law issues and on the "Belgian Corporate Governance Act" of 6 April 2010.

Jan graduated from the Law School of the University of Ghent in 1989, after studying at the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix in Namur (Belgium). He received a Master of Laws degree from the New York University School of Law in 1990. Prior to joining Claeys & Engels as a partner in July 2004, he was counsel at international law firm Cleary Gottlieb, where he had developed a wide-ranging expertise in Belgian and European corporate and labour law, in particular in the context of mergers and acquisitions. 

He is a member of the Bars of Brussels, Ghent and New York. 

Workshop 2: "What’s the Alternative? Legal Approaches and Risks with “Alternative” Investments; ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) Factors Revisited
Coordinator and Discussion Leader: Jonathan Mort (South Africa), Carolyn Trenda (U.S.A), Michael Wolpert (Canada),

Session Description

Comments from ‘What’s the Alternative’?’

  • Hedge funds and liquidation risk
  • Political risks
  • “Socially responsible investment”: What does it mean and is it legally permissible?
  • Comments from ‘ESG’
Has anything changed since Cowan v. Scargill? [increased pressure globally for governments and private investors to take action against climate change seems to be changing the nature of the discussion about ESG factors in pension plan investing.  Together with government policy/regulation that requires disclosure of such factors as part of an investment policy, this would be a discussion about whether there is any evolution in the law commensurate with the evolution in the landscape.

JONATHAN MORT (Speaker) Email: jmort@mortlaw.net

Previously a director of Head of the Retirement Fund Specialised Services Department at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc (ENS). He left ENS on 28 February 2009 to establish Jonathan Mort Inc, a firm of attorneys specialising in pension fund work on 2 March 2009. Jonathan’s practice covers all aspects of the law relating to retirement funds and includes benefit design, opinion work, the management of disputes, litigation, compliance and regulatory work, and acting as an independent trustee of pension funds and as a director of a life company, unit trust company and various nominee companies. He consults to many of the largest pension funds in South Africa and has given advice to pension funds in Zambia, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. He is a past President of the SA Pension Lawyers Association, has served four terms of the Ipebla steering committee, was the conference chair of the Ipebla biennial conference held at Seville, won the Tony Thurnham prize in 2015 and in 2016 was given the award of Attorney of the Year by the Cape Law Society for his defining contribution to pensions law. 

CAROLYN TRENDA (Speaker) - Email: ctrenda@mcguirewoods.com

Carolyn regularly advises public, private and non-profit employers on a range of employee benefits topics. She designs and assists clients with the ongoing administration of tax-qualified retirement plans including defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457 deferred compensation plans, profit sharing plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). She routinely helps clients with health and welfare plan matters including plan design and COBRA and HIPAA related questions. She also works with employers to establish and maintain non-qualified, stock option and fringe benefit plans.

Specifically, Carolyn has assisted clients with restructuring retiree medical programs, merging and terminating employee benefit plans, evaluating executive compensation arrangements and negotiating vendor agreements and trust agreements. She often advises employers on employee benefits matters during mergers and acquisitions, including issues related to the compensation and benefits of transferred and terminated employees. She routinely obtains rulings and determinations from the IRS, the U.S. Department of Labor and other government agencies and guides clients through agency audits and the use of government sponsored compliance and correction programs.

Carolyn also counsels employers and employee benefit plan committees on ERISA fiduciary obligations. She frequently publishes articles and speaks on a variety of employee benefits subjects.

In 2001, Carolyn completed the University of Notre Dame Law School's Concannon Program of International Law. While earning her undergraduate degree, Carolyn was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society

MICHAEL WOLPERT (Coordinator/Speaker) - Email: mwolpert@lawsonlundell.com

Michael practices exclusively in the areas of Pensions and Employee Benefits. He provides clients with insight and practical counsel about legal and regulatory issues, both provincial and federal, surrounding retirement plans, employment benefits and other related human resource issues. In business transactions Michael advises clients on the pension and benefit implications. In addition to providing support on pension and benefit litigation, he assists clients with service provider agreements and the drafting of plan and trust documents. Michael is also highly experienced in the legal aspects of governing, administering and documenting group benefit plans, including non-pension post-retirement benefit plans.

For many years, Michael has been active in the area of legislative reform for pensions through a variety of forums. He served on the Advisory Committee for the Joint Alberta-British Columbia Drafting of Pension Legislation, which was formed by those two governments to provide input and advice into the development of a new joint pension standards act and regulation for the two provinces.

Prior to joining Lawson Lundell, Michael was a founding member of a Calgary-based boutique firm focused on providing integrated HR legal solutions and a partner with a national law firm.

Workshop 3: "Developments and Issues in Decumulation for DC Plans"
Coordinators and Discussion Leaders: Michael Beatty (Australia), Hans Gidhagen (Sweden), Paul Williams (U.K), Michael Wolfe (Ireland)

Session Description 

We examine decumulation of defined contribution plans during the retirement phase.

How are jurisdictions dealing with increasing longevity and global trends towards defined contribution plans?

In various jurisdictions, what legislation, policy, and taxation incentives are utlised to seek an adequate retirement income?

MICHAEL BEATTY  (Coordinator/Speaker) - Email: venturegrp@hotmail.com

Michael is senior legal counsel at the Financial Services Council.

Michael has worked in the pensions and employee benefits field within banking, consulting, regulatory and other wealth management position within four jurisdictions. 

Michael has written pension focused articles in various publications, including the Bermuda Chapter in the IPEBLA "Comparative Survey of Pension Law Issues". 

HANS GIDHAGEN (Speaker) - Email: hans.gidhagen@swedishenterprise.se

Hans Gidhagen is Senior Advisor in Pensions at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm. This employers´ organisation represents some 60.000 member compa­nies. He works as a negotiator and senior/legal ad­visor in pensions and he is responsible for the two main pension schemes in the private sector in Sweden. Hans is also a mem­ber of the social protection working group at Businesseurope since more than 20 years and since 2007 one of the representatives (chairman since 2016) for the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) in the OECD Working Party on Private Pensions. Former member of the Steering Com­mittee (1993-1997) of IPEBLA.  Member of the European Pensions Cir­cle – a network for benefit and pension fund managers - since more than 20 years. 

PAUL WILLIAMS (Speaker) - Email: vos@mortlaw.net 

Paul joined boutique pensions law firm, Jonathan Mort Inc, in 2010 having previously worked as a pensions lawyer at Clifford Chance, Eversheds and Baker & McKenzie in London.  

Paul advises on all legal issues arising in relation to retirement benefit arrangements and his work consists, in particular, of advisory and opinion work, transactional and project-based work (such as the outsourcing of pensioners’ benefits and the conversion of funds from DB to DC), drafting and contract review.  Paul is heavily involved in the retirement fund industry in South Africa: he is currently President of the Pension Lawyers Association, has assisted the Regulator and National Treasury with regulatory reform in the pension fund space and has spoken at numerous conferences.  He also drafted the chapter on Namibia in the forthcoming 4th edition of the IPEBLA Comparative Survey.

MICHAEL WOLFE (Speaker) - Email: michael.wolfe@williamfry.com

Michael Wolfe is head of the Pensions Group at William Fry and is a very experienced figure in the Irish pensions sector, with wide ranging knowledge across all aspects of pension related issues.  He advises many leading employers, scheme trustees and individuals.  His practice ranges from drafting and amending scheme documentation, restructuring pension schemes, the application of pensions regulatory legislation, trusteeship and scheme governance, the pensions aspects of corporate M&As and outsourcings to advising on pensions disputes and pensions litigation.  In the past he also advised the Irish Government on two occasions in relation to the pensions aspects of Aer Lingus.

Michael is a past secretary of the Association of Pension Lawyers in Ireland and is the Irish representative for IPEBLA’s quarterly journal “International Pension Lawyer”.  He has written and spoken on various aspects of his practice and is the author of the Irish chapter in "Tolley's Pensions Law".

Workshop 4: "Legal Issues in Plan Administration (or, have you ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?)"
Coordinators and Discussion Leaders: Neil Bowden (U.K), Steven McCormick (Canada), Carol Weisman (U.S.A), Bethune Whiston (Canada),

Session Description 

What do you do, when:

A beneficiary absolutely refuses to accept a pension payment

  • A plan member asks an HR employee for advice on how to invest her plan assets
  • You want to close down your plan but you have members who’ve been missing for decades.  How far does the administrator have to go to locate them?
  • You discover that you have been consistently overpaying some retirees and underpaying others
  • An amendment to the plan 5 years ago left out a key phrase that entirely changes its meaning…
The list of possible tricky situations is endless.  Join us in exploring a typical bad day in the administration of pension plans and the legal solutions available.

NEIL BOWDEN (Speaker) - Email: neil.bowden@allenovery.com

Neil advises a mixture of trustees and employers on their pension arrangements. Recently, Neil has assisted clients with key strategic changes such as benefit reviews, contingent funding arrangements and closure of schemes to future accrual, as well as guiding them through the changing regulatory environment (particularly the impact of auto-enrolment). He also has a great deal of experience in day to day pensions issues, as the lead legal adviser for some of the largest pension schemes in the UK.

Neil sits on the Legislative and Parliamentary Subcommittee of the Association of Pensions Lawyers and also served on the committee of the Society of Pension Consultants. He regularly speaks at industry conferences and training events.

"Very personable and extremely knowledgeable" Neil Bowden's ability to "think on his feet and process data very quickly in order to come to a conclusion." Chambers UK 2016 (Pensions)

"Neil Bowden is ‘easy to work with’". Legal 500 UK 2015 (Pensions)

Neil Bowden acts for both employers and trustees, and is noted as being "exceptionally knowledgeable in his field" and "a class act". Chambers UK 2014 and 2015 (Pensions)

"Standout individuals include the 'outstanding' Neil Bowden". Legal 500 UK 2013 (Pensions)

STEVEN McCORMICK  (Speaker) - Email: smccormick@hoopp.com 

CAROL WEISER (Speaker) - Email: Carol.Weiser@treasury.gov

BETHUNE WHISTON (Coordinator/Speaker) - Email: bwhiston@morneaushepell.com

Bethune is a Partner in the Ontario Retirement Solutions and International Practice of Morneau Shepell in Canada and consults, speaks and writes internationally on pensions issues. With over 25 years of experience, Bethune manages Morneau’s Toronto Pension & Benefits Legal Consulting Team and is responsible for advising the firm’s professionals and clients on a broad range of pension & benefit plan issues, including governance, wind-ups for solvent and insolvent employers, due diligence, legal settlement administration, tax, surplus, and drafting legislation, policies and other documentation. Bethune has been leading or coaching Morneau’s National Specialty in pension governance since 2000.  She is a faculty member of the Osgoode Certificate in Pension Law, and has held leadership positions on a number of committees in the industry.  She is Executive Editor of the Morneau Shepell Summary of Pension Legislation in Canada, and coordinates publication of the Morneau Shepell Handbook of Canadian Pension and Benefit Plans, a Globe & Mail 2012 Top Business Book bestseller.

Workshop 5: "Issues in International Stock Compensation"
Coordinators and Discussion Leaders: Jessica Bullock (Canada), Amanda Flint, Jim Klein (U.S.A), Jeff Sommers (Canada),

Session Description 
This workshop will provide an overview of the principal income tax issues in the design and operation of stock-based incentive plans for employees (including officers and directors) in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  We will discuss the main types of stock-based incentive plans and the more significant tax issues which often arise in the design and operation of such plans.  We will also discuss the tax treaties in place among the three jurisdictions relevant for companies that sponsor stock-based incentive plans and the recipients of stock-based awards

JESSICA BULLOCK  (Coordinator) - Email: jbullock@dwpv.com

Jessica Bullock is a partner in the Pension & Benefits, Labour & Employment, Mergers & Acquisitions and  Capital Markets practices. Jessica advises clients on pension, executive compensation, benefits and employment aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other private and public business combinations. Jessica acts for employers and pension plan trustees on complex issues relating to pension plan investment and administration. She works with private and public companies to address sensitive employment issues in the deal and non-deal context, and has designed and implemented executive compensation arrangements for public and private companies and real estate investment trusts. Jessica frequently advises on tax rules, securities laws and corporate governance standards relating to executive compensation. She provides guidance to public sector pension plans on structuring of private investment funds and regulatory compliance for investments in alternative asset classes.

Jessica routinely advocates client interests before regulators, including the Canada Revenue Agency, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. She works with employers (including Board Compensation Committees) in entering and exiting CEO and other senior-level employment relationships. Jessica frequently advises companies on cross-border issues relating to pension, executive compensation, benefits and employment matters. She possesses extensive experience advising boards, purchasers, secured creditors, unsecured creditors, private and court-appointed receivers, interim receivers, monitors and trustees on pension issues that arise in the context of lending arrangements and commercial insolvencies.

AMANDA FLINT  (Speaker) - Email: 

JIM KLEIN (Speaker) - Email: james.klein@pillsburylaw.com
Jim Klein is a senior counsel in the law firm's Executive Compensation & Benefits and Tax practices. He has broad experience servicing clients in the areas of employee benefits, retirement plans, insurance and in the international taxation of compensation and benefits, from the employee and employer perspective. Mr. Klein has represented companies on U.S. and non-U.S. tax and labor issues and has worked with corporations in ensuring that their employee benefit plans comply with ERISA.

JEFF SOMMERS (Speaker) - Email: jeff.sommers@blakes.com 

Workshop 6: "Liability Issues in Relation to Member Investment Choice"
Coordinator and Discussion Leaders: Lisa Butler Beatty (Australia), Sanya Goffe (Jamaica), Ian Pendleton (Australia), Jessica Spence (Canada)

Session Description 
  • What are the duties and responsibilities of trustees, and in what circumstances can trustees be held liable for losses suffered by members in relation to investment choices made by the members?
  • How do trustees manage and protect against such liability?
  • Are indemnities and disclaimers sufficient?

LISA BUTLER BEATTY (Coordinator) - Email: lisa.butler.beatty@cba.com.au

SANYA GOFFE (Speaker) - Email: smgoffe@hmf.com.jm

Sanya was called to the Jamaican Bar in 2003 after studying at the Norman Manley Law School and the University of the West Indies (Hons). Sanya’s main areas of practice include Corporate, Commercial, Pensions and Intellectual Property law.

In the area of pensions, Sanya provides advice to companies and trustees on all aspects of pensions law, including managing pension risk, pension plan restructuring, governance, and general pensions issues arising from on-going activity. Sanya also handles pension regulator applications and intervention, pension disputes and negotiating fund investment management, custody and other third party agreements. She writes frequently on pension issues and is a regular speaker at pension industry conferences, both local and abroad. In the area of corporate and commercial law, Sanya handles capital market transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, receiverships, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures. In the area of intellectual property, Sanya handles trade mark and patent registrations, clearances, oppositions and prosecutions; and negotiating, drafting, and advising on all types of IP related agreements including licenses, assignments, consents and coexistence agreements.

An active member of the Jamaican Bar Association, Sanya is a former member of the Bar Council, and a member of its Publications, Intellectual Property and Commercial Law Sub-Committees. She is also an Associate Tutor at the Norman Manley Law School and serves as a Director of National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited and Jamaica Producers Group Limited. Sanya is also a Director of the Pension Funds Association of Jamaica and Chair of its legislative committee.

JESSICA SPENCE (Speaker) - Email: Jessica.Spence@fsco.gov.on.ca

IAN PENDLETON (Speaker) - Email: 

Ian joined First State Super in 2012 having previously held a number of senior management roles at Perpetual Limited.

Prior to his time with Perpetual Ian worked with the Australian Government’s Insurance and Superannuation Commission.

Workshop 7: “Liability of Pension Fund Decision Makers”

Coordinator and Discussion Leader: Ken Burns (Canada), Elise Laermans (Belgium), Dominique Monet (Canada), Victoria Zerjav (U.S.A), 

Session Description 
  • In what instances can trustees or pension committee members, plan administrators or participating employers be found liable for decisions made and actions taken in relation to fund matters?
  • Are there different legal standards that apply to different categories of pension fund decision makers?
  • In instances where a pension plan is governed by a board or committee, are there different legal standards that apply to different categories of board members (e.g. independent trustees vs employer nominated trustees vs member elected trustees)?
  • Does the liability applicable to pension fund decision makers vary depending on whether the plan is structured as defined benefit or defined contribution?  Multi-employer or single employer? Public sector or private sector?               
KEN BURNS (Coordinator) - Email: kburns@lawsonlundell.com

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.

ELISE LAEREMANS (Speaker) - Email: elise.laeremans@younity.be

Elise Laeremans has been a lawyer at the Brussels Bar since 2002.

Since 2004, she advises companies, pension funds and insurance companies both in the private and the public sector.

She is specialized in the social, tax and prudential regulations applying to employers, companies, insurance companies, pension funds and in corporate governance. She is author of several articles and books regarding occupational pensions. Elise is a member of IPEBLA (International Pension & Employee Benefit Lawyers Association) and a founding member of BePLA (Belgian Pension Lawyers Association).

She holds a licentiate in law from the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL, 2001) and an additional licentiate in notary law (K.U.Leuven, 2002). She also finished in 2007 the Leergang Pensioenrecht (Catholic University of Leuven).

DOMINIQUE MONET (Speaker) - Email: dmonet@fasken.com

Dominique practices labour and employment law and has acquired particular expertise in the area of pensions and benefits. He represents a wide array of clients from various economic sectors such as high technology, consulting engineering, print media, financial services, food and beverages, heavy equipment and restaurants. He is well experienced in both the conciliatory and contentious aspects of legal work.

Mr. Monet has broad experience before practically all labour law decision-making bodies: adjudicators, administrative tribunals, labour relations boards, and the Superior Courts. He has been the spokesperson for the employer during the negotiation of several collective agreements. He also drafts employment agreements and advises his clients in cases of dismissal and lay-off.

In the area of pension plans, Dominique regularly advises his clients on pension fund management, corporate governance, plan content and amendment, issues related to surpluses, deficits and contribution waivers and, in general, all legal issues related to pension funds and other group retirement savings plans. He handles many inter-provincial cases and represents employers in this sector before arbitrators and courts, mainly in class actions and extraordinary remedies.


VICTORIA ZERJAV: (Speaker) - Email: victoria.zerjav@hklaw.com

Victoria Zerjav is a Connecticut and New York executive compensation and employee benefits attorney who focuses on employee benefits, executive compensation, employee relations, and the benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Zerjav has substantive experience in identifying and resolving issues in advance of a transaction's next steps and integrating employees and benefits post-transaction. She counsels management and boards in corporate governance and designing effective compensation arrangements, and counsels individual executives on compensation-related concerns that arise before, during and after employment relationships.

Ms. Zerjav advises clients on deferred compensation, supplemental executive retirement plans, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) law, incentive plans and equity-based compensation, including securities laws issues as well as employment and severance agreements. She also provides business solutions to entities and advises companies on privacy compliance under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

In addition, Ms. Zerjav presents on topics such as Code Section 409A, HIPAA, executive compensation, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compensation disclosure rules, and ERISA fiduciary concerns.


Workshop 8: "Plan Fees and Charges"
Coordinators and Discussion Leaders: Dan Brandenburg (U.S.A), Albert van Marwijk Kooy (the Netherlands)Stephan Neetens, David Powell (U.S.A), 

Session Description 

From the Perspective of the EU, and selected European countries, and the US, the Workshop plans to cover:

  • Audits of Plan Expenses
  • Government Regulations and Rules Requiring Disclosure of Service Provider
  • Direct and Indirect Compensation
  • Discussion of the Status of the new US DOL Fiduciary Investment Advisor
  • Definition and Conflict of Interest Regulations – Impact on Plan Practices
  • EU Fee Trends and Initiatives – IORP II (e.g. Remuneration and Information to Members), Developments and Trends in Selected Jurisdictions
  • US Fee Litigation – Review of Major Class Action Lawsuits Against Employers, Plan Fiduciaries and Service Providers (Including Offering of Proprietary or Affiliated Products Sponsored by Financial Services Companies) and Possible Influence on Other Jurisdictions.
  • Discussion of Common Trends in Fees among Jurisdictions – How Fees are Charges, Monitored and Disclosures, and Pressure to Reduce

    DAN BRANDENBURG (Coordinator) - Email: DBrandenburg@wagnerlawgroup.com

    Dan Brandenburg has extensive experience advising clients nationally and internationally and is a recognized expert in the areas of pension, 401(k) and welfare plans, executive compensation (including plans for tax-exempt organizations) and executive employment. He also has substantial experience with association-sponsored member service programs. Mr. Brandenburg represents U.S. and international clients regularly before the IRS, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and counsels clients with respect to the IRS and DOL voluntary compliance programs and audits and investigations initiated by the IRS, DOL and PBGC.  He is currently a partner in the Washington D.C. office of The Wagner Law Group, one of the largest ERISA law boutiques in the U.S., providing sophisticated legal solutions in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits law.  Mr. Brandenburg received an LL.M. in taxation and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, a B.A. and B.S. from Rutgers University, and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.  Mr. Brandenburg is a is Charter Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers with 20 or more years of experience, has an AV peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, has been named to The Best Lawyers in America list for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law since 2001 and has also been selected as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present.

    STEPHAN NEETENS (Speaker) - Email: stephan.neetens@aeip.net
    Stephan Neetens has been active as an expert in higher education policy at Flemish and European level since 2004. Stephan Neetens has master degrees in ancient history and law from the Catholic University Leuven. He spent the academic year 1996-97 as an Erasmus exchange student at the Università degli Studi di Bologna, Italy. From 1997 until 2004 he was active as student representative at the Catholic University Leuven and at the Flemish level, amongst others as a member of the Executive Committee of the Flemish Union of Students (VVS). From 2001 until 2004 he was a member of the Bologna Process Committee of ESIB – The National Union of Students (currently ESU – European Union of Students), representing the European students amongst others in the Bologna Process Follow-up Group. From 2004 until 2010 he was active as expert in higher education policy at Flemish and European level. During this period he was chair of the Committee on Internationalization of Higher Education of the Flemish Education Council. He was speaker at numerous conferences and participated in various projects. He was a member of several quality review teams, amongst others in the review of the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Agency (NVAO). From 2000 until 2006 he was employed as collaborator at the International Office of the Catholic University Leuven. From 2007 until 2008 he was employed as aide to the director at the Hercules Foundation, the Flemish funding agency for medium size and heavy research equipment at universities, non-university higher education institutions and research institutes. From 2008 until 2010 he was employed as associate in the Employment, Pensions and Benefits Department of the Brussels’ branch of the Anglo-American law firm DLA Piper. Since 2010 he has been employed as civil servant in the Belgian Federal Ministry of Social Security, posted from January 2012 onwards to the “Cabinet” of the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions as pensions expert, dealing mainly with systemic pension reform, international and European issues and second pillar pensions.

    ALBERT VAN MARWIJK KOOY (Speaker) - Email: Marwijkkooy@vandoorne.com
    Chair of Van Doorne's pensions team, Albert van Marwijk Kooy principally advises funds. Advising on both transactional and contentious matters, he acted for WPG and WPG Pension Fund on conflicts with each other and with Zwitserleven concerning the termination of a EUR150 million reinsurance contract and the ensuing liquidation of WPG Pension Fund. Clients describe him as an "excellent expert and seasoned lawyer who  truly understands business and is therefore able to bridge the gap between law and business in a pragmatic manner."

    DAVID POWELL (Speaker) - Email: dpowell@groom.com
    David W. Powell has worked on tax and ERISA issues relating to all types of employee pension and welfare benefit plans for over 26 years.  He specializes in qualified plans of public companies including 401(k), profit sharing, pension and cash balance plans, and international benefits tax issues.  Mr. Powell is a leading expert on the subject of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) for public companies, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, including SERPs and other types of top hat and executive compensation arrangements and Code section 409A, plans for tax exempt organizations, including churches, and plans for governmental employers.  Mr. Powell speaks and writes frequently on these subjects from the perspective of both employers and financial service providers.

    Workshop 9: "M&A - Employee Benefit Plan Liabilities and Transfer Issues; advanced M&A: explaining “boilerplate” in purchase and sale agreements"
    Coordinator and Discussion Leader: Greg Brown (U.S.A), Anne Corbett (Canada) , Jane Marshall (U.K), Anne Corbett (Canada) 

    Session Description 

    Non-Americans are probably familiar with the deluge of “ERISA”-related language that permeates international purchase agreements, but they likely do not know quite what it means. This module would provide a U.S. lawyer with an opportunity to go through some of the most common “boilerplate” and explain what this language means and why a buyer/seller would want/not want it. A second speaker could likely do the same from a U.K. perspective.

    GREG BROWN (Coordinator/Speaker) - Email: gregory.brown@hklaw.com 

    Greg Brown is a partner in Holland & Knight's Chicago office. He focuses his practice on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary matters, tax-qualified retirement plans, executive compensation and ERISA litigation. In addition, he handles matters involving employer securities as a plan investment, fiduciary status, and duties and remedies under ERISA.

    Mr. Brown represents both closely held companies as well as national Fortune 500 publicly traded companies on employee benefits matters as well as organizations throughout the food and beverage, healthcare, banking and financial services industries. He also advises clients on ways to minimize litigation risk through benefit plan design, governance and administration.

    Beyond his law practice, Mr. Brown is a regular writer and speaker on a range of employee benefits law topics nationwide.

    ANNE CORBETT (Speaker) - Email: ACorbett@blg.com

    Anne Corbett is a partner in the Toronto office of Border Ladner Gervais LLP. She practises in the areas of corporate commercial, health law and pensions law, focusing on:

    • Advising profit and non-profit corporations in connection with a variety of corporate and commercial law issues, including corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance issues (director and officer liability issues, bylaws), contracts, joint venture and partnership agreements, confidentiality agreements, and government relations.
    • Advising on governance issues (director and officer liability issues, bylaws), contracts, confidentiality agreements, and fiduciary liability.
    • Acting as counsel for various hospitals and hospital foundations in connection with corporate matters, including amalgamations, integrations, corporate restructuring, outsourcing, banking and borrowing, contract review and bylaw revisions.
    • Advising profit and non-profit corporations in connection with a variety of pension, benefits and related investment arrangements and corporate and commercial law issues.
    JANE MARSHALL (Speaker) - Email: jane.marshall@macfarlanes.com
    Jane Marshall is a partner in Jane Marshall Consulting LLP, a practice specialising in special projects and governance, which she established following her retirement from full time practice . She has over 30 years’ experience in pensions law and has advised employers,trustee boards and investors on advisory, transactional and contentious matters.She has appeared in cases involving novel areas of law and practice (such as the return of surplus funds to a sponsor from a continuing plan) or major structural change (such as devising and establishing industry wide pension arrangements for the nuclear decommissioning industry) or which were the subject of public and regulatory interest (such as acting for EMI in proceedings before the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator.)  Jane has given evidence on pensions issues to a House of Commons Select Committee, and is the author of a number of books on pensions law and practice.  She is particularly interested in the impact of the IORP Directive on European business.

    Workshop 10: "Removing Obstacles to Global Mobility – The EU Portability Directive and Similar Initiatives"
    Coordinators and Discussion Leaders: Thomas Bader (Germany), Elizabeth Brown (Canada), Elke Duden (Belgium), Dr. Dirk Kruip (Germany)

    Session Description 

    The workshop will look at the legal framework of vesting, portability and other pension issues on termination of employment as well as well as initiatives to promote employee mobility by enhancing the portability of pension rights such as the EU Portability Directive and its implementation in national law and similar initiatives outside the EU, e.g.

    • What is the legal framework of vesting (conditions, indexation, locking-in etc.) and its impact on employee mobility?
    • What are the key points of the EU Portability Directive and its impact on national pension law?
    • Are there similar developments around pensions on termination of employment/mobility outside the EU?
    THOMAS BADER (Coordinator) - Email: bader@maat-rechtsanwaelte.de

    Thomas is an employment lawyer with a particular focus on pension matters. Thomas advises on all aspects of pension law including on litigation matters. He has also advised on pension issues on a large number of German and international corporate transactions.

    Thomas was admitted to the bar in 2004. Before joining the Munich based employment and pension law boutique maat Rechtsanwälte in 2014 he worked for the leading global law firm Linklaters LLP for more than ten years."

    ELIZABETH BROWN (Speaker) - Email: elizabeth-brown@hicksmorley.com
    Elizabeth advises employers on a wide range of regulatory governance, compliance and administration matters relating to pension and employee benefits plans. She appears as counsel on pension litigation disputes and has extensive experience advising on large corporate transactions, including insolvencies, mergers and acquisitions, and reorganizations. Elizabeth advises 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. She chairs the firm's Pension, Benefits & Executive Compensation practice group and also sits on the firm’s Executive Committee.

    ELKE DUDEN (Speaker) - Email: 
    She has over 15 years experience in employment law in general. Over the past 5 years she focused more on pension law. Her practice covers among others: transactional work, (international) business restructurings, policies, consultancy agreements, employment law and incentives advices (LTIP/bonus schemes/pension plans). She advises pension funds and (UK/Irish) Trusts on different aspects of occupational pensions, such as drafting/amending pension plans, harmonising after a merger, structuring and corporate governance of pension funds, advising on pan-European pension funds, handling relations with the Belgian regulator, etc.

    DR. DIRK KRUIP (Speaker) – Email: dirk.kruip@willistowerswatson.com

    Dirk is Head of Legal of the Wiesbaden (Germany) office of Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company. He advises on all legal aspects of company pensions (focus on labour and supervisory law).

    Dirk was admitted to the bar in 1999 after completing his law degree at the Universities of Münster and Freiburg and a legal clerkship in Hamburg. Before joining WTW in 2004, he worked for an international law firm (including a secondment to London). Dirk frequently publishes and gives lectures."

    Workshop 11: "Dealing with Claims Involving a Defined Benefit Pension Fund when a Financially Stressed Employer Group Seeks to Refinance/Establish a Turnaround Plan."
    Coordinator and Discussion Leader: Harold Ashner (U.S.A), Jane Dale (U.K), Rene Doering (Germany), Harold Ashner (U.S.A), Izzy Goldowitz (U.S.A)

    Session Description 

    This session will address the following issues (in Germany, the UK, and the US):

    • Whether the employer can transfer pension obligations to a pension guarantee scheme or arrange for members to agree to reduced benefits.
    • When it may be in members’ financial interests to agree to a reduction in benefits.
    • Other legal and practical constraints (including involvement of any pension regulator or guarantee scheme
    HAROLD ASHNER (Speaker) - Email: haroldashner@keightleyashner.com

    Harold J. Ashner is a partner in the law firm of Keightley & Ashner LLP, a nationally recognized boutique law firm practicing in a broad range of employee benefits areas, including all matters relating to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.. He previously served as Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulations at the PBGC, where he drafted or supervised virtually all regulations and policies issued by the PBGC from 1988 until he left the agency in early 2005, along with the PBGC’s General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel, to form Keightley & Ashner LLP.

    Harold is the author of several publications on PBGC-related matters, is a frequent speaker on such matters at professional conferences, is a Fellow and former Officer and Member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, serves in various leadership roles in the American Bar Association, and is often quoted in the media. He is routinely retained by major law firms, actuarial consulting firms, investment banking firms, and employers of all sizes, including many Fortune 100 companies, to deal with PBGC-related issues. 

    JANE DALE (Speaker) - Email: Jane.Dale@SlaughterandMay.com
    Pensions lawyer based in the City of London, UK, qualified in September 1997. A member of IPEBLA (International Pensions and Employee Benefit Lawyers Association) and APL (Association of Pension Lawyers). Currently at Slaughter and May, previously at Allen & Overy LLP and prior to that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.
    Was a member of the IPEBLA Steering Committee from 2007-2009, and contributed the UK chapter to IPEBLA's Comparative Survey, published in May 2011. Wide experience of public speaking on pensions-related issues, including at the APL Annual Conference in Amsterdam, and the US ABA (Tax Section) Conference in Washington DC.
    Prior to becoming a lawyer, Jane pursued post-graduate research in Old Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland, and also worked as a journalist and translator for the Icelandic publishing company, Iceland Review.
    Specialties: Jane advises on all aspects of pensions law, including benefit changes, auto-enrolment, funding, contingent assets, tax and investment issues, liability management, and pensions aspects of transactions (both UK and multi-national).

    RENE DOERING (Speaker) - Email: rene.doering@freshfields.com

    Rene is an expert in occupational pension schemes and has a background in employment and tax law, as well as economics. He acts for corporations and pension funds and has a successful track record advising on the virtual or actual outsourcing of pension liabilities. His clients also come to him for his expertise in the restructuring of pension scheme rules, and for his litigation skills.

    He has worked on many M&A transactions and advises on all employment and pension aspects, including the transfer of employees, pension liabilities and plan assets, as well as post-transactional restructurings. He is a business-focused lawyer and clients appreciate his commercial and hands-on approach.

    René is one of the authors of the second volume of the handbook on outsourcing of pension liabilities published by Kolvenbach/Sartoris.

    IZZY GOLDOWITZ (Coordinator) - Email: goldowitz.israel@pbgc.gov
    Izzy Goldowitz is Chief Counsel of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, where his work focuses on ERISA Title IV and bankruptcy practice. He also served as Deputy General Counsel of the United Mine Workers of America Health of Retirement Funds.
    He has been on the brief in several Supreme Court cases, including Beck v. PACE Int’l Union, U.S. 2007 (termination and closeout of single-employer plan); Raleigh v. Illinois Dept. of Revenue, U.S. 2000 (choice of law in bankruptcy), and Concrete Pipe v. Construction Laborers Pension Trust, U.S. 1993 (constitutionality of MPPAA), and has argued several cases in the courts of appeals. 
    His publications include chapters on withdrawal liability and preemption/removal in J. Zanglein, S. Stabile & L. Frolik, ERISA Litigation; a chapter on employee benefits in Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice; articles on choice of law in bankruptcy in the Norton Bankruptcy Adviser and American Bankruptcy Institute Journal; an article on PBGC's work in bankruptcy in the Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review; and a forthcoming article on funding rules for public plans in the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal. 
    He has spoken at meetings of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference; American Law Institute; ABA Taxation, Labor and Employment, and Business Law Sections, and Joint Committee on Employee Benefits; Canadian Bar Association; Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service;International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans; International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association; Norton Bankruptcy Institutes; American Bankruptcy Institute; Turnaround Management Association; Conference Board; and regional bankruptcy/insolvency organizations, metropolitan bar associations, labor organizations, and academic colloquia/symposia. 
    He is an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches employee benefits and previously taught international bankruptcy. 
    He is a recipient of PBGC’s Distinguished Career Service Award and Georgetown University's Vicennial Medal. 
    He earned his B. A. from Boston University, and his J.D. from George Washington University.


    Workshop 12: "Regulatory Developments"

    Coordinator and Discussion Leaders: Louis Kuypers (the Netherlands), Paul Owens (Canada)

    Session Description 

    A panel of regulators/supervisors will share with the audience the developments in pensions supervision from a regulatory point of view.

    Topics may include:

    Increasing interest of the regulator in investment policies and the role of pension trustees (or directors of pension funds), asset managers, fiduciary advisors and other key players (generally speaking parties involved with outsourced activities of pension funds).

    The general tendency to individual pension funding (de-collectivization) and all regulatory and supervision problems attached thereto (in particular transfer legislation).

    The operation of the DC pension market with large numbers of small plans being serviced by a small group of big (insurance) providers.

    LOUIS KUYPERS  (Coordinator/Speaker) - Email: a.c.m.kuypers@dnb.nl

    Louis Kuypers is a long term member of IPEBLA, past chair and many years treasurer. After being a pension lawyer in private practice for over 25 years he transferred to the Dutch pension regulator DNB as per January 1, 2012. Louis is part of a team of supervisors that have to coordinate and execute the intervention and enforcement strategy of the Dutch supervisor for all financial institutions in the Netherlands. 

    PAUL OWENS (Speaker) - Email: paul.owens@gov.ab.ca

    In his role as the Alberta Deputy Superintendent of Pensions, Paul is responsible for the regulation of 600+ private sector pension plans registered in Alberta under the Employment Pension Plans Act. He brings over 30 years of private sector experience to the role. He has served as the Director, Pensions, for the Bank of Nova Scotia’s global pension operations, and then as the founding CEO of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Plan, a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan with 24 employers and 30,000 active and retired members. In that position, Paul led the start-up of the CAAT plan as stand-alone entity and was responsible for $5 billion in assets and liabilities, board and plan governance systems as well as all in house administrative processes. He joined the government of Alberta in January 2012.

    Paul is a member of several boards and has been a regular speaker at pension and investment conferences across North America and contributor to pension and investment publications and newsletters.

    He has a B.B.A from the University of New Brunswick and an M.B.A. from Queen’s University and certifications in total rewards and investments from WorldatWork and Humber College. He has recently completed the Principles of Administrative Justice course offered by the Foundation and has also completed the Canadian Securities Course.




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