Simon Archer likes to get the deal done. He helps trade unions negotiate agreements and settle disputes so that promises are kept – especially pension promises. Simon works to protect the wages, working conditions and retirement security of his clients and their families. To do this, he works with trade unions, retiree associations and boards of trustees across Canada, advising on negotiating pension and benefits, trust administration and fiduciary issues, public interest litigation, insolvencies, corporate accountability and governance.
Others have noticed. He is regularly consulted on regulatory and legislative change across Canada. In 2019, he was appointed to the Pension Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, and to the advisory committee on PBGF-eligible plans. In 2016, he was appointed by Ontario’s Minister of Finance to represent the interests of workers and unions in a review of the regulations that apply to Ontario pension funds. From 2006-2008, Simon served as lead researcher for the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions before joining another union-side labour firm where he represented trade unions and retiree groups in a wide variety of pension, benefits and trust law matters. In 2021, Simon was invited to participate as a member of the Unifor-Mexico Workers Rights Action Project International Advisory Committee, which supports worker rights awareness and trade union capacity building in critical, export-led industrial sectors in Mexico.
In 2021, Simon was appointed to the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities’ Industry Working Group on Environmental, Social and Governance investment policy guidance for Canadian pension funds. He is also a climate governance expert with the Canada Climate Law Initiative, which works to ensure Canadian directors and trustees understand their fiduciary obligations with respect to climate change.
All this means that Simon also does a lot of writing and public speaking, training with clients, and teaching at law schools. He covers subjects like pensions 101, human rights and transnational corporate accountability and labour law and reform. He recently co-edited a book of essays written in honour of Harry Arthurs, the father of Canadian labour law, and Simon’s mentor. He also recently edited a LERA research volume on the contradictions of pension fund capitalism. Simon is recognized by his peers as a leading practitioner in pension and employee benefits in Best Lawyers, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, and Chambers Canada.
When not at the shop, Simon’s often trying something new. He can be found playing footie (soccer, of course) at Polson Pier, cooking up a new vegan dish, or trying to complete a parsva bakansa pose without falling over. He also might be getting grease under his fingernails by restoring antique espresso machines on his workbench. His best work was a full restoration of a 1967 Olympia Cremina, now on display in his kitchen.
Simon attended Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario bar in 2002, but he can’t seem to stay away from school. He is a co-director of the Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy Forum at Osgoode Hall Law School and a Fellow at Kings College London. And if that were not enough, he is also a loyal member of the International Lawyers Assisting Workers network, the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers and the Association of Canadian Pension Management, and a former executive member of the Pension Benefits section of the Ontario Bar Association. He is also a current member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Pensions of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario.