Financial Services Commission of Ontario

Office Snapshot

  • Location: Toronto (North York)
  • Lawyers: 19
  • Articling Students: 4
  • Summer Law Students: 1
  • Types of Law: Access & Privacy, Administrative, Contract, Employment, Family, Insurance, Pensions, Provincial Offences Act, Trusts & Estates

Who we are

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) was established under the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997 (FSCO Act). The Superintendent of Financial Services (Superintendent) is the Chief Executive Officer of FSCO.

The Superintendent is responsible for regulating the Ontario insurance sector; pension plans; loan and trust companies; credit unions and caisses populaires; mortgage brokering sector; co-operative corporations and service providers who invoice auto insurers for statutory accident benefits claims.

The FSCO Legal Services Branch (LSB) provides legal advice and services to the Superintendent.

Please visit the FSCO Website for more information: www.fsco.gov.on.ca

What we do

FSCO LSB is comprised of two practice units:

  • Litigators’ Group
  • Solicitors’ Group

FSCO LSB lawyers:

  • Provide legal advice relating to FSCO’s regulated sectors to the Superintendent
  • Conduct litigation on behalf of the Superintendent before the Financial Services Tribunal, Ontario courts and other Ontario adjudicative tribunals
  • Prosecute offences under FSCO administered statutes
  • Work with Ministry of Finance policy and legal staff on legislative files relating to FSCO’s regulated sectors

Please visit FSCO’s websites for more information:

Our major cases

Some of our major cases include:

  • Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Superintendent of Financial Services), 2004 SCC 54, [2004] 3 SCR 152 - a landmark decision requiring that a surplus be distributed to members on the partial wind-up of a defined benefit pension plan
  • Nolan v. Kerry (Canada) Inc., 2009 SCC 39, [2009] 2 SCR 678 - an important decision that clarified that the standard of review on appeals involving the interpretation of pension plans from the Financial Services Tribunal is reasonableness, that plan expenses can be paid out of the pension fund, and that an employer could use a surplus accumulated in a defined benefit portion of its plan to meet its funding obligations for the defined contribution portion of its plan
  • Boucher v. Stelco Inc., 2005 SCC 64, [2005] 3 SCR 279 - non-Ontario members of an Ontario-based pension plan could not contest the Superintendent’s decision with respect to the partial wind-up of a pension plan by means of a challenge in a Quebec court. This matter came to the Supreme Court via the Pension Commission of Ontario, the Divisional Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal
  • Auto Insurance Prosecutions – Along with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, FSCO has worked closely with the various police services to prosecute offences under the Insurance Act involving various clinics and healthcare providers that were improperly invoicing insurance companies for services.

Please visit our website for additional cases: www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/about/Pages/legal-student-program.aspx

What students do

Our articling students:

  • Have the opportunity to work both independently and with experienced counsel on a range of legal matters
  • Can expect exposure to diverse areas of law that will help to refine their skills and focus their interests
  • Are an integral part of our office and are given significant responsibility from the start of their time with us, including the opportunity to participate with counsel in all aspects of litigation, opinion writing and legal drafting
  • Attend meetings with counsel to learn about client interactions and the development of a file and attend court and tribunal hearings to watch senior counsel in action, particularly on files they have assisted on
  • Are assigned a designated articling principal to provide support and assistance throughout the articling term, including fostering relationships with other counsel
  • Have the opportunity to attend relevant educational programs in addition to MAG-wide articling student educational seminars, including educational programs presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations, the Advocates’ Society, and ALOC (Association of Law Officers of the Crown)

Our summer students:

  • Are provided with a stimulating experience in a collegial work environment
  • Like our articling students, are involved in all stages of our files
  • Are assigned a mentor to provide support, guidance and feedback
  • May apply to return to our office for their articles

Please visit our website for more information on this topic: www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/about/Pages/legal-student-program.aspx

Why choose us

  1. Our office maintains a collegial atmosphere in which students have the opportunity to thrive personally and professionally.
  2. Students play an integral role in our busy office. We are committed to providing students with the opportunity to participate in exciting and important public sector legal work and to make meaningful contributions to the office by joining committees and participating in MAG and FSCO educational programs.
  3. As an arms-length regulatory agency, FSCO provides articling and summer law students with the opportunity to join a legal team practicing at the leading edge of public law. Students receive a well-rounded and high quality experience.
  4. Whether you are interested in honing your skills through solicitors work or litigation, there is ample opportunity to do so by providing thought-provoking analysis and attending and participating in court and tribunal proceedings with experienced FSCO counsel.
  5. FSCO LSB is a particularly strong choice for students who want to be exposed to a wide variety of legal issues within a relatively small and collegial legal branch. Our office is particularly suited to those looking for a regulatory practice centred on pensions and financial services.

Please visit FSCO’s websites for more information:

Contact us

Scott A. Lamb
Counsel, Financial Services Commision of Ontario
Scott.Lamb@fsco.gov.on.ca
(416) 590- 7024