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David Sworn

David Sworn



David Sworn became a lawyer to advance workers’ interests and help create a more equitable society.

As part of the firm’s pension and benefits team, he helps unions build better workplaces for their members by ensuring retirement security and access to good benefits. David supports unions in negotiating better pension and benefit plans and fights to enforce the rights of individual employees and retirees.

David has worked with unions to negotiate better pension benefits in collective bargaining. Through grievance arbitration, he has helped unions resist employer efforts to alter pension arrangements and modify health and welfare plans in ways that undermine members’ benefits. David also assists in matters before the pension regulator, including challenges to unfair pension plan amendments and complaints regarding the mismanagement of pension plans by employer sponsors. David’s practice also includes supporting boards of trustees in the governance and administration of union-sponsored and jointly-sponsored pension and benefit plans. David has also assisted unions in protecting members’ pension rights and benefits during bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.

David also provides consultation on policy changes by pension regulatory bodies in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. He is a member of the Executive of the Pension and Benefits Section of the Ontario Bar Association and holds a certificate in Pension Law from Osgoode Hall Law School.

David earned his law degree at Osgoode, where he completed the curricular stream in Labour and Employment Law. As a student, David was a caseworker in the Workers’ Rights section at Parkdale Community Legal Services, where he fought for the rights of workers before the Human Rights Tribunal, the Labour Relations Board, and the Small Claims and Divisional Courts. He is the recipient of the 2018-19 Frederick H. Zemans Prize in Poverty Law and the 2018-19 Prize in Climate Change and Environment Law.

Before law school, David studied history in Montreal and Toronto. He worked on projects that collected the personal histories of workers, migrants recently settled in Canada, and members of communities being displaced by gentrification. As a graduate student, David’s research focused on the history of the US life insurance industry and, as a law student, he provided research assistance on the first comprehensive history of the law in Canada.

When David isn’t working hard for working people, he enjoys long bike rides, road trips and hikes – as long as they include a good picnic and there’s a bottle of wine involved.