Filomena Frisina Partner

Speaks:  English, French, Italian

Year of Call: 1984 - Ontario

Primary office:  Toronto

Filomena Frisina

Filomena Frisina is a Toronto-based Gowling WLG partner.

A senior corporate and mergers & acquisitions practitioner, Filomena utilizes her extensive experience to lead transactions related to private M&A, as well as to advise on insurance regulation and general business matters. She works closely with numerous domestic and multinational clients representing a wide range of industry sectors, including financial services, food distribution, real estate and healthcare.

Filomena has led a number of multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional Gowling WLG client teams, pairing her leadership skills and strategic business acumen to achieve successful outcomes on complex project work. She sets a co-operative but rigorous tone in bringing together the required capabilities from other practice areas to complete a transaction.

In recognition of her dedication to client success, Filomena is ranked by Chambers Canada for her knowledge and experience in M&A transactions and insurance regulatory work. Legal 500 Canada 2022 recommends her as a Leading Lawyer for Insurance. In the 2021 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, she is listed as Repeatedly Recommended in the area of Corporate Mid-Market.

As the past leader of the firm's Italy Desk for Canada, Filomena has helped Canadian clients pursue commercial opportunities in Italy by leveraging her in-depth local connections to connect clients with the right Italian legal advisers. Similarly, she has collaborated with Italy-based clients who were looking to do business in Canada. Filomena also has worked to promote strong relationships between Italian and Canadian professionals, organizations and students.

Filomena seeks excellence in every aspect of her work, as well as outside of her professional life. She enjoys working in the arts, where she can apply her creative abilities, and she has leveraged her legal background in advising art collectors in their acquisitions of valued pieces.

She has served throughout her career as a member of numerous boards for public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations. Until recently, these have included Travelers Insurance Company of Canada and the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH).

Filomena is a former member of the Columbus Centre and while on the board, she served as a member of the committee of the Italian Canadians as Enemy Aliens: Memories of World War II project. She is the current Chair of the AGH Council of Governors and a member of Women Get On Board.

Within Gowling WLG and outside of the firm, Filomena continues to be an avid mentor to students and young professionals in their career development.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:


  • International Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association

Representative Work

Insurance Regulatory (Financial Law) and related Mergers and Acquisitions (Corporate Law)

  • Acted for Economical Mutual Insurance Company in its acquisition of Western Financial Insurance Company, a P&C company operating in each province of Canada.
  • Acted for Economical Mutual Insurance Company in connection with an assumption reinsurance transaction involving one of its subsidiaries.
  • Acted for The Travelers Companies, Inc. in its $1.25 billion acquisition of the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company
  • Acted for State Farm in its $1.6 billion sale of its Canadian insurance and financial services business to Desjardins Group and related $450 million investment in preferred shares of Desjardins Group's post-closing property and casualty insurance business
  • Acquisition of individual and group policies of insurance book of business by a Canadian mutual life insurance company on an assumption/reinsurance basis
  • Provided opinions to life insurance companies regarding ability to terminate re-insurance treaties, increase policy premiums on long term care policies under insurer's risk classification system, ability to change information folders in connection with the sale of variable insurance policies (segregated funds), compliance with dividend obligations on participating policies, and similar matters
  • Acquisition of Canadian branch of an American fraternal benefit society by a Canadian fraternal benefit society including licensing of insurer in relevant provinces.
  • Review of numerous third party administration agreements on behalf of insurers and licensed insurance agents.
  • Advised in connection with the establishment of a branch insurance business for foreign insurer across Canada.