Photo of Kenneth E. Burns

Kenneth E. Burns

  • Lisa Trim
  • Legal Assistant
  • P: 604.408.5419



Best Lawyers Award Badge


Best Lawyers Award Badge

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.

Recognition and Ranking

    • Chambers Canada 2017: recognized in the Pensions & Benefits (Canada) category
    • Best Lawyers: Employee Benefits Law Lawyer of the Year in Vancouver for 2017
    • 2017 Best Lawyers in Canada: recognized for Employee Benefits law
    • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016: most frequently recommended as a Leading Practitioner for Pensions & Employee Benefits (Employer)
    • 2016 Premier Awards: Premier Award for Collaboration
    • Chambers Global 2016: recognized in the Pensions & Benefits (Canada) category
    • Best Lawyers in Canada: Employee Benefits Law Lawyer of the Year 2014 for Vancouver
    • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory: AV Peer Review rated

    Professional Activities

    • Association of Canadian Pension Management, Board of Directors - Member
    • Canadian Bar Association, Pension and Benefits Section, Past National Executive Member (3 terms) and Past British Columbia Section Chair (3 terms)
    • Association of Canadian Pension Management, Immediate British Columbia Regional Council Past Chair and National Policy Committee Member; Chair of the 2013 National Conference and National Conference Planning Committee, Member of the 2012, 2014 and 2015 National Conference Planning Committees
    • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Current Canadian Legal/Legislative and Public Sector Committee Member
    • International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers’ Association, Program Chair of the 2014 Conference; Member of the 2013 and 2015 Conference Planning Committees
    • Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, Past British Columbia Council Member

    Bar Admissions

    • British Columbia (1998)
    • Northwest Territories (2000)
    • Alberta (2006)


    • University of Western Ontario (B.A., 1990)
    • McGill University (M.B.A., 1994)
    • University of Western Ontario (LL.B., 1997)
    • Acting for the board of a public sector multi-employer pension plan in negotiations with government over changes to legislation governing the plan
    • Acting for a mining company in the design and set up of new pension and benefit plans prior to the opening of operations in northern Canada
    • Structuring and advising on a client company's pension committee, and providing professional oversight for several of the company's pension plans
    • Setting up pension governance and legislative compliance monitoring systems for various clients
    • Representing a multi-employer pension board in litigation to recover withdrawal liability obligations of a former participating employer
    • Assisting a forest products company in negotiating the pension and benefits disclosure requirements in a complex lending agreement
    • Negotiating pension and benefit terms in corporate mergers and acquisitions on behalf of numerous large and small clients
    • Drafting submissions to pension regulators on behalf of numerous clients
    • Advising on and setting up letters of credit to secure supplemental pension plans for various employers
    • Setting up retirement compensation arrangements for employers in the forest, mining and retail industries
    • Advising a US airline and a US mining company on ways to best mirror 401(k) plans for employees in Canada
    • Drafting an opinion to a forestry company on best practices in winding down a pension plan
    • Helping a Canadian multi-national company establish a savings plan for expatriate employees
    • Drafting template custodial documents for a trust company
    • Negotiating funding relief for a plan sponsor with the federal pension regulator
    • Assisting an energy company in selecting and moving its pension fund to a new pension fund holder
    • Assisting a consortium of pension funds on joint investments in private equity funds
    • Drafting statements of investment policies and procedures for an insurance company's defined contribution plan
    • Advising a US head office on the oversight of its Canadian subsidiary's pension obligations
    • Drafting and amending pension trust agreements for various employers and multi-employer plan boards of trustees
    • Advising a mining company on the implementation of phased retirement provisions in its pension plan