Day 3: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Plenary: Brexit and impact on pension plans in the UK, the EU and the US
Coordinator and Discussion Leaders: Phillip Bennett, Sandeep Maudgil

SANDEEP MAUDGILL (Speaker) - Email: 

Sandeep advises on a variety of pensions and employment-related matters, both insofar as they affect mergers and acquisitions, and in the day-to-day ongoing context.

He has extensive experience advising employers and trustees of a wide range of occupational pension schemes on all matters, including:

  • Management of the issues arising from scheme funding deficits and recent changes in pensions legislation
  • Implementing the transition to more affordable benefit structures
  • Full or partial buy-outs of pension scheme liabilities

He has also been at the forefront of thinking in relation to collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes and the new options for retirement benefit provision opened up by the 2014 Pension Schemes Bill.

Workshop 25: "Trends in Pension litigation"
Coordinator and Discussion Leaders: Donnie Hall (U.S.A), Roel Veugelers (the Netherlands), Onno Blom (the Netherlands)
Summary Description

Pension litigation is often complex. Are the courts in your country sufficiently equipped to deal with complex pension litigation? Are specialized pension courts required? Are there alternatives? Arbitration, independent experts, mediation, the pension ombudsman, complaint committees. How is a pension case properly solved in your jurisdiction? 

DONNIE HALL (Speaker) - Email: DHall@kaplanfox.com
Donald Hall has been associated with Kaplan Fox since 1998, and became a partner of the firm in 2005. He practices in the areas of securities, antitrust and consumer protection litigation. Mr. Hall is actively involved in maintaining and establishing the Firm’s relationship with institutional investors and oversees the Portfolio Monitoring and Case Evaluation Program for the Firm’s numerous institutional investors.

Mr. Hall currently represents a number of the Firm’s institutional investor clients in securities litigation actions including,In re Bank of America Corp LitigationIn re Fannie Mae 2008 Securities LitigationIn re Ambac Financial Group, Inc. Securities LitigationIn Re Credit Suisse – AOL Securities Litigation. Recently Mr. Hall has successfully represented institutional clients in In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Securities, Derivative & ERISA Litigation, which was recently settled for $475 million; In re Majesco Securities Litigation; and In re Escala Securities Litigation. Additionally, he was a member of the litigation team in AOL Time Warner Cases I & II (Ca. Sup. Ct., L.A. Cty.), an opt-out action brought by institutional investors that settled just weeks before trial. This action, stemming from the 2001 merger of America Online and Time Warner, resulted in a recovery of multiples of what would have been obtained if those investors had remained members of the class action. 

Mr. Hall has played a key role in many of the Firm’s securities and antitrust class actions resulting in substantial recoveries for the Firm’s clients, including In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation(arising from analyst reports issued by Henry Blodget); In re Salomon Analyst Williams Litigation and In re Salomon Focal Litigation (both actions stemming from analyst reports issued by Jack Grubman); In re Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation; and In re Compact Disc Antitrust Litigation.

Mr. Hall graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1995 with a B.A. in Philosophy and obtained his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1998. During law school, Mr. Hall was a member of the Fordham Urban Law Journal and a member of the Fordham Moot Court Board. He also participated in the Criminal Defense Clinic, representing criminal defendants in federal and New York State courts on a pro-bono basis.

Mr. Hall is admitted to practice in the States of New York and Connecticut and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second and Eleventh Circuits. He serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Securities and Commercial Law Attorneys and is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America and American Association for Justice.

ONNO BLOM (Speaker) - Email: onno.blom@ofblomadvocaten.nl

Onno Blom (1957) is the founder and co-owner of Onno F. Blom Advocaten. He is considered as one of the leading pension lawyers in The Netherlands and is a ranked lawyer in Chambers Europe 2016.

In 2010, Blom was appointed Deputy Justice in the Court of Appeals in The Hague.

He graduated from Utrecht University in 1983 and started his career as a pension and insurance lawyer for Delta Lloyd Pensioenen (the pension department of Delta Lloyd, one of the major pension and life insurance companies in the Netherlands) where he became Head of the Legal staff and served as member of the Board of Directors of the company pension fund.  From 1989 through 1994 he worked as a senior consultant for a pension consultancy firm, providing legal and commercial services to clients including many law firms.

In 1995 he became advocaat, a member of the Dutch Bar and joined the international law firm of Stibbe Simont Monahan Duhot (presently Stibbe) based in Amsterdam, where he became the firm’s pension law specialist.

In 2000, Blom established his own private practice in Nieuwegein (a suburb of Utrecht), The Netherlands, specializing in pensions and labour law issues. His field of practice includes pension law and labour law, industrial relations, (life) insurance and arbitration related to these matters.

Over the years, Blom published many articles in his field of practice and teaches (post graduate) pension law at the Grotius Academy. He speaks at pension law conferences and seminars and is an active member and former Secretary of the Dutch Association for Pension Law.

ROEL VEUGELERS  (Coordinator/Speaker) - Email: roel.veugelers@veugelersadvocatuur.nl

In 1991 Roel graduated at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. He completed European law studies at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium). In 1992 he was admitted to the bar. Roel has a mergers & acquisition/corporate background and developed from there into a pension specialist. He was a partner at Simmons & Simmons until the end of 2007. There he developed his own Pension Law practice group. In 2009 he set up his own law firm “Veugelers Advocatuur”. He has provided advice and litigation for many years on matters relating to pension law and has been pension lawyer for several renowned international companies.

Roel is regularly requested to mediate in pension cases. He is editor of the “Pension Magazine” and frequently publishes articles on pension subjects. In addition he is a member of the Dutch Association of Pension Law and IPEBLA ( International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association). Roel has been lecturing on pension law for several years and is appointed as a deputy judge at the court of The Hague. In this function he is regularly requested to judge various cases

Workshop 26: "Getting There from Here"
Coordinator and Discussion Leaders: Vincenzo Ferrante (Italy), Juan José Hita Fernández (Spain), Susan Philpott (Canada), Elizabeth Brown (Canada)

Summary Description

The road to convert a pension scheme from a pure defined benefit design to some kind of shared risk model  (ranging from target benefit to jointly sponsored to defined contribution) is often a long and winding one.  While some jurisdictions have created comprehensive regulatory regimes solely dealing with the process of converting pension assets/liabilities from DB to shared risk, others rely more on general legislative principles and the courts.  What is clear is that, regardless of the jurisdiction and approach,  there are many common issues that arise, including the role of unions and collective bargaining in the conversion/change process;  member disclosure and representations;  how “consent” factors into the process, including the principle of informed consent;   the rights, entitlements, and perceptions of different stakeholders (active members, unionized versus non unionized, and retirees),specifically, how accrued benefits are treated; and best practices for identifying and mitigating litigation risk. In this session, each panelist will provide a unique perspective on the getting there from here, bearing in mind these common questions. 

VINCENZO FERRANTE (Speaker) - Email: vincenzo.ferrante@daverioflorio.com

Vincent Ferrante, professor of "Labor Law" at the Catholic University of Milan, also teaches in the same university "Social Security Law" and "Trade Union Law." Since 2003 he is the coordinator of the "Master in Consulting of work and personnel management" (MUCL) of the Faculty of Law of the University. Since November 1994 a lawyer by profession and was admitted to practice before the higher courts.

He is the author of over eighty essays, articles and notes published in the most important scientific journals. For his monograph "Power and self-protection in the employment contract" (Turin, 2004) he received the 2005 dall'AIDLASS (Italian Association of Labour and Social Security Law) the "Massimo D'Antona" award, for the best first work in the field of labor law. Recently published: "Timetables and working time", Naples, 2014 and "Management and Hierarchy in the enterprise (and in the public sector)", Milano, 2013. Thanks to the contribution of the law firm Daverio & Florio has also created the " European code of work "(Milan, 2009).

JUAN JOSÉ HITA FERNÁNDEZ (Speaker) - Email: jj.hita@fornesaabogados.com

Juan José Hita Fernández has a Degree in Law from the University of Barcelona (1995) and a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management at Centro de Estudios Financieros. He began his professional career as a labor adviser at the UGT Union in February 1994. He joined Gide & Loeff as an attorney in the Labor Department in November 1995, an office with which he collaborated until joining Clifford Chance in June 1999, where he assumes the responsibility of the LABORAL department in Barcelona as a counsel Until September 2010. Juan began his professional career as a labor adviser at the UGT Union in February 1994. He joined Gide & Loeff as an attorney in the Labor Department in November 1995, an office with which he collaborated until joining Clifford Chance in June 1999, where he assumes the responsibility of the LABORAL department in Barcelona as a counsel until September 2010.

SUSAN PHILPOTT (Speaker) - Email: sphilpott@kmlaw.ca

Susan has been with Koskie Minsky LLP since her articles and call to the bar. She is a member of the FSCO Legal Advisory Committee, the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council, and the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association Pension Section. She speaks regularly at client and professional seminars and delivers pension education across the country.

ELIZABETH BROWN (Coordinator) - 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.

Workshop 27: "Is there a third way between DB and DC?  Can target benefit or defined ambition pension plans provide a viable alternative to DB/DC"
Coordinator and Discussion Leaders:  Jana Steele (Canada), 

Angela Mazerolle (Canada), Kees-Pieter Dekker (the Netherlands), Judith Donnelly (U.K)

Summary Description

This session will look at:

  • What are the characteristics of a target benefit plan or defined ambition plan in each of these jurisdictions
  • How prevalent are TBPs in each jurisdiction
Lessons from each jurisdiction regarding pension innovation

ANGELA MAZEROLLE (Speaker) - Email: angela.mazerollestephens@gnb.ca

JUDITH DONNELLY (Speaker) - Email: judith.donnelly@clydeco.com

Judith regularly advises institutional investors on the legal aspects of investing in hedge funds, private equity funds and infrastructure funds, employer-linked investments and asset-backed funding structures. She also has experience advising on the establishment of collaborative platforms for pension funds and other investors.

Judith sits on the board of the International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association and the investment sub-committee of the Society of Pensions Professionals.

KEES-PIETER DEKKER (Speaker) - Email: 

Kees-Pieter Dekker is a senior-associate pensions law at Clifford Chance LLP, Amsterdam. He holds a degree in law from Maastricht University School of law and was called to the bar in 2001. He has over 15 years of experience in pensions law and specializes in all aspects of pensions law, with a focus on the pensions aspects of mergers and acquisition, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy. He has written articles on pensions related subjects and has spoken frequently on (inter) national conferences on aspects of (Dutch) pensions law. Since May 2009 he is working on a doctorate on the prudential supervision of pension funds.

JANA STEELE (Coordinator) - Email: jsteele@osler.com

Jana Steele is a partner in Osler’s Pensions & Benefits Group. Jana has provided advice on the conversion and implementation of the “Shared Risk Plan” pension model for several plans in the province of New Brunswick.  She has significant expertise and experience regarding plan design, including innovative plan designs, such as shared risk and target benefit plans – and has written extensively on such plans. Jana also has extensive experience dealing with pensions and benefits in the context of corporate transactions. She is involved in providing advice with respect to both the establishment and the ongoing administration of pension plans. Jana advises on issues such as plan structure, governance, administration, compliance, trustee obligations, surplus matters, plan conversions, plan mergers, transfers and plan wind-ups.  Jana also has experience dealing with pensions and benefits issues arising in insolvencies and corporate restructurings.

Jana’s clients have included universities, non-profit entities, governments, multinational corporations and multi-employer pension plans. In addition, she has significant transaction experience involving numerous publicly traded entities. Such transactions routinely involve pension plans with employees in numerous Canadian jurisdictions.

Jana is a past chair of the pensions and benefits executive of the Ontario Bar Association. She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Osgoode Hall Law school.  Jana recently chaired an international pension lawyer conference in Brussels with the International Pensions and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA).  Jana is a deputy chair of the IPEBLA Steering Committee.  Jana has also been a member of the FSCO Legal Advisory Committee since her appointment in 2009.


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