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This is a photo of Susan Nickerson


Head, Pensions, Benefits, & Executive Compensation


Contact by email at [email protected]

t. 416-601-7690


Law School

University of Windsor

Bar Admission

Ontario, 1998
Nova Scotia, 2018

As a seasoned pensions and benefits practitioner, Susan has the experience and foresight to help clients navigate the sector’s complex trends and emerging issues.

Susan is a partner and Head of McCarthy Tétrault’s Pensions, Benefits, & Executive Compensation Group based in the Toronto office. With deep expertise in the transactional and advisory aspects of pensions and benefits, and its complementary areas of law, Susan is a versatile practitioner who can help clients capitalize on unique opportunities and avoid pitfalls in this dynamic sector.

Susan is well known for her strong relationships in the Canadian pensions and benefits sector and proven track record of success. Clients balancing their obligations to stakeholders with the complex interplay of macroeconomic conditions and regulations can rely on Susan’s unique insights to both plan ahead for change and quickly respond to evolving day-to-day issues. Her advice covers fiduciary duties and risk management, plan conversion and funding, and the implementation of new designs, as well as the pensions and benefits aspects of corporate transactions, restructurings, and insolvencies. Boards of directors can further draw on Susan’s expertise in all aspects of governance structures and systems, including both their development and implementation.

As one of the sector’s preeminent thought leaders and past Chair of the Board of the Association of Canadian Pension Management, Susan continues to shape the policy environment of pensions and benefits across Canada. She has spoken at countless conferences and participated in the drafting of many key industry policy white papers, covering, among others areas, tax reform, target benefit plan design and implementation, funding reform, and enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan. Clients working with Susan will have access to both practical advice and future-oriented insights to position them at the forefront of changes and innovations in the sector.

Recent Transactions

Susan’s recent representative work includes advising:

  • Glencore plc in its US$6.93 billion agreement with Teck Resources Limited to acquire a 77% effective interest in the entirety of Teck’s steelmaking coal business, known as Elk Valley Resources
  • BNP Paribas, as Canadian counsel, in its US$16.3 billion sale of Bank of the West, Inc. and its subsidiaries to BMO Harris Bank N.A., a subsidiary of BMO Financial Group
  • Extendicare in its innovative long-term care agreements with Revera Inc., including the proposed acquisition of a 15% managed interest in 24 long-term care homes currently co-owned with Axium Infrastructure Inc. and operational management agreements and redevelopment arrangements in respect of 32 additional long-term care homes in Ontario and Manitoba, as well as the establishment of a redevelopment joint venture with Axium to redevelop certain long-term care properties owned by Extendicare in Ontario
  • Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company in its agreement to acquire the sponsored markets business of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and IFM Investors in their C$2.8 billion acquisition of the Canadian district energy operations of Enwave Energy Corporation from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P.
  • Comtech Telecommunications in its US$38 million acquisition of UHP Networks Inc., a leading provider of innovative and disruptive satellite ground station technology solutions
  • Norbord in its C$4 billion sale to West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., to create a diversified wood products leader
  • Aon in its acquisition of Cytelligence Inc, a leading international cyber security firm with deep expertise in cyber incident response and digital forensic investigations

Susan obtained her LLB from the University of Windsor in 1996 and LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003. She was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1998 and the Nova Scotia Bar in 2018.