OBA Award for Excellence in Pensions & Benefits Law

About the Award

The OBA Award of Excellence in Pensions and Benefits Law (the Award) was established in 2007 to recognize exceptional contributions in the field of pensions and benefits law. The inaugural Award was presented to the Honourable Eileen Gillese in 2009, and has since been bestowed annually on a deserving recipient who has had a distinguished career in the pensions and benefits bar.

The OBA Pensions and Benefits Section Award Nomination Committee (the Committee) welcomes nominations for the 2023 Award in accordance with the process described below.

Please note that Award nominations will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 10, 2023.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the OBA Award of Excellence in Pensions and Benefits Law, an individual must have practiced pensions and benefits law in Ontario, and made a significant contribution in one or more of the following areas:

  • Enhancement of the practice of pensions and benefits law;
  • Development of pensions and benefits law, including teaching, writing and advocacy;
  • Leadership through participation in governmental/regulatory bodies and professional associations, including the OBA;
  • Mentoring and teaching through the sharing of knowledge and experience;
  • Advocacy and/or adjudication.
  • Length of distinguished service

Nominees are required to be members in good standing of the Canadian Bar Association/Ontario Bar Association, currently in practice or retired. Current members of the OBA Pensions and Benefits Section Executive are not eligible to be nominated. Nominations of both practicing and retired members of the Association are encouraged. Note: Retired members must still be members in good standing of the CBA/OBA.

Current members of the OBA Pensions and Benefits Section Executive are not eligible to be nominated.

Nomination Procedure

Send in a completed Nomination letter to the Chair of the Award Nomination Committee describing how your nominee meets the Award criteria shown above and gives an overview of the nature and scope of your nominee’s achievements including:

  • Professional and academic qualifications
  • Participation in professional legal organizations
  • Recognized leadership in the Pensions and Benefits bar
  • Recognized contributions to the development of pensions and benefits law and policy
  • Recognized skill in advocacy or adjudication related to pensions and benefits policy

Please attach a copy of your nominee’s CV to provide the Committee. 

While it is not a requirement to notify your nominee that you are putting their name forward, it would be desirable.

Deadline for Nominations

Please send your nomination by Friday, Feb 10, 2023 5:00 pm. 


Submit a nomination online, or mail or email your completed nomination package by Friday, February 10, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST to:

Faryal Mehboob
CPD Coordinator, OBA Pensions and Benefits Section
Ontario Bar Association
300-20 Toronto Street
Toronto ON M5C 2B8
Fax: (416) 869.1390
E-mail: fmehboob@oba.org

Selection process

The selection of the Award will be made by the Award Nomination Committee.

The Selection Committee shall consider OBA policies, rules and guidelines on Diversity and Inclusion when selecting the winner of the Award.


The 2023 Award will be presented in June 2023 at an event marking the end of the OBA Pension and Benefits Section’s 2022-2023 operational year.

Past Recipients

  • 2022 - Randy Bauslaugh
  • 2021 - Murray Gold
  • 2020 - Kathryn Bush
  • 2019 - Mitch Frazer
  • 2018 - Deborah McPhail
  • 2017 - Elizabeth M. Brown
  • 2016 - Ian McSweeney
  • 2015 - Mark Zigler
  • 2014 - John G. Goodwin Q.C.
  • 2013 - Susan Rowland
  • 2012 - Gary Naschen (PH)
  • 2011 - Raymond Koskie
  • 2010 - John Solursh
  • 2009 - The Honourable Eileen E. Gillese