Legal Student Program

 

 

 
The Ministry of the Attorney General Civil Law Division, Financial Services Commission of Ontario Branch (FSCO Branch) hires Second Year Summer Law Students and Articling Students in accordance with the Law Society of Upper Canada’s (LSUC) recruitment processes which set out specific timelines for applications. 

Please refer to the LSUC Recruitment Procedures [New Window] for more information.
 

Message from the Director

 
The Legal Services Branch of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is a centre of legal excellence. We are responsible for delivering high-quality legal advice and services to the Superintendent of Financial Services on a broad range of regulatory and administrative law issues pertaining to the financial services sectors that the Superintendent regulates. Our branch is at the forefront of innovative legal policy development and regulatory enforcement in Ontario.
 
Our team includes over 30 staff consisting of lawyers, law students, law clerks, and administrative support employed by the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. We pride ourselves on promoting a collegial and supportive workplace culture that is collaborative, respectful and professional. Our work environment is dynamic and features many interesting challenges given the ever-increasing complexity of our work, and the many demands that we face. We strive to deliver effective and thoughtful work products that offer practical and timely solutions.
 
We share the privilege and responsibility of working on very important legal issues that directly affect the regulated sectors and the public. As a branch, we are committed to serving the Superintendent in keeping with the best traditions of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
 
Michael Doi
Legal Director
 
 

What Our Students Do


Students will have the opportunity to gain experience with legal research and analysis, statutory interpretation, reviewing and drafting legal materials (i.e., opinions, agreements, pension plans, pleadings and other court documents, prosecution briefs, written submissions, etc.), litigation before courts and tribunals (e.g., Provincial Offences Act prosecutions, insurance defence litigation for the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund, hearings before the Financial Services Tribunal, judicial reviews and other applications, appeals, etc.), assisting legal counsel in advising clients, and supporting various policy development initiatives.

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
 

Why Choose Us


  1. As the legal branch supporting an arm's length agency, FSCO Branch provides articling and summer law students with the opportunity to join a legal team practicing at the leading edge of public law. FSCO Branch is particularly suited for students looking for a practice focused on the regulation of financial services, including pension plans, insurance, health service providers for auto insurance, loan and trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, mortgage brokering and cooperative corporations.
  2. 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 participating in court and enforcement-related tribunal proceedings with experienced FSCO counsel.
  3. 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.
  4. Our office maintains a collegial atmosphere in which students have the opportunity to thrive personally and professionally. Students receive a well-rounded and highly valued experience.
 
 
 

About Us

Litigators' Group

 
The Litigation Group consists of lawyers that specialize in financial sector enforcement and civil litigation.  Collectively, litigation counsel practicing with the Litigation Group have extensive experience dealing with complex financial litigation on a broad range of matters before various administrative tribunals and all levels of court. 
 
Enforcement litigation counsel regularly appear before the Financial Services Tribunal on enforcement and discipline matters, and regularly prosecute provincial offences cases before the Ontario Court of Justice.  They also deal with complex applications for judicial review and/or appeals that arise in enforcement matters, as well as applications for judicial review of FSCO motor vehicle accident benefit decisions.
 
Civil litigation counsel from the Litigation Group provide legal advice and insurance defence litigation services to the Superintendent of Financial Services and Minister of Finance in respect of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund, which provides compensation to persons injured in automobile accidents where there is no recourse to private automobile insurance.  These lawyers regularly argue cases before arbitrators and the courts, and have expertise defending complex insurance litigation matters. 
 
Pension litigation counsel appear on behalf of the Superintendent to address pension related issues before the Financial Services Tribunal and before the courts.  They also litigate complex insolvency matters before the Commercial List of the Superior Court of Justice under the Companies Creditors’ Arrangement Act (Canada) to address pension funding issues.

Solicitors' Group

 
The Solicitors’ Group is composed of lawyers who specialize in financial services and pension law and have a broad range of public and private sector legal experience.  The primary role of the Solicitors’ Group is to provide regulatory advice and legal services to the Superintendent and FSCO staff.  
 
FSCO solicitors work closely with FSCO staff to deliver a full range of legal services that includes: performing legal research; giving advice and drafting legal opinions; preparing agreements and legal documents such as contracts, MOUs, notices of intended decisions (pensions) and orders in council; reviewing/approving offering statements prepared by co-ops; preparing drafts of new and amending regulations and legislation; drafting appeal submissions in freedom of information matters; assisting in the policy development process; and delivering staff training. 
 
In addition to working with FSCO clients, FSCO solicitors also work on projects with lawyers and staff from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Attorney General, and with other provincial and federal financial services regulators.  FSCO solicitors play a key role in legislative and regulatory development and projects (e.g. pensions, mortgage broker and automobile insurance reform reviews).
 

Our Major Cases

 
In addition to regulatory proceedings and provincial prosecutions against parties such as insurance agents, mortgage brokers and health care providers, some of our major cases include:
 
  • Navistar Canada Inc.: FSCO counsel represented the Superintendent of Financial Services at a Financial Services Tribunal hearing, then a Divisional Court appeal of the Tribunal’s decision, and finally on a leave to appeal motion to the Court of Appeal.  The issues were the scope of a partial wind up pursuant to the Pension Benefits Act of Navistar’s pension plan following the plant closure in Chatham, Ontario, as well as certain special retirement benefits, credited service benefits, and the standard of review.  The Union Unifor was a party and supported the Superintendent’s position, which prevailed at the Tribunal, the Divisional Court, and in the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of the leave motion.
  • De los Santos: After a two day trial regarding a charge of assuming to act as an insurance agent without a licence, the defendant was convicted under the Insurance Act and sentenced to a fine of $4,000 plus restitution of $2,000 to the victim.  The defendant had sold an insurance policy that belonged to someone else to the victim.  The defendant raised a number of novel defences, including alleged domestic abuse and medical issues.
  • General Motors of Canada Limited v. Ontario (Superintendent Financial Services), 2014 ONFST 11 – clarified that an indexation benefit is a "pension benefit" within the meaning of the Pension Benefits Act
  • Sun Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers, 2013 SCC 6 - a significant decision clarifying the scope of a deemed trust, that a debtor-in-possession financing charge made under the CCAA can trump a provincial law deemed trust, and that an employer-administrator has a fiduciary duty to address conflict of interests once it is aware of one
  • Gordyukova v. Certas Direct Insurance Company et al., 2012 ONCA 563 – the Court of Appeal affirmed that while an insured is free to choose his/her preferred forum for resolution of any particular accident benefits claim pursuant to section 281.1(1) of the Insurance Act, he/she is prohibited from re-electing a new mode of proceeding after the expiration of the two year limitation period
  • 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
  • Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada v. Bridlewood Co-operative Inc., 2012 ONSC 5936 – whether a receiver has conducted a fair and transparent sale of a federal non-profit housing co-operative
  • 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 also visit the following FSCO Webpages for more information:
 

 

Contact Us


All applications submitted to FSCO Branch should be directed to:

LegalRecruitment@fsco.gov.on.ca

For general articling and summer law student program questions, please contact:

 
Scott Lamb
Counsel
Scott.Lamb@fsco.gov.on.ca
(416) 590-7024