Filomena Frisina Partner Co-Leader, Financial Services Regulatory Group

Speaks:  English, French, Italian

Year of Call: 1984 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-862-5754

Fax: +1 416-863-3554


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Primary office:  Toronto

Filomena Frisina

Filomena Frisina is a leading lawyer practising in the area of corporate law, advising domestic and multinational businesses. She is a Toronto-based Gowling WLG partner with more than 25 years' experience. She can provide you with advice on corporate and private M&A matters, with a particular focus on the insurance sector. Her other sector clients originate from healthcare, food distribution, real estate and advertising.

Filomena is the co-leader of the firm's Financial Services Regulatory Group and co-leader of the InsurTech Group. Passionate about helping her clients achieve their business objectives, Filomena demonstrates strategic acumen, and sets a co-operative but rigorous tone in bringing together the required expertise of other disciplines and practice areas to a transaction.

Filomena is highly regarded for her leadership skills in managing large and small complex projects and transactions. She leads a number of multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional Gowling WLG client teams, and applies these skills to project work.

Filomena has been ranked by Chambers Canada for her expertise in insurance regulatory and M&A transactional work.

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.

Throughout her career, she has served as a member on numerous boards for both public and private companies, including not-for-profits. Until recently, these have included Travelers Insurance Company of Canada and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Within Gowling WLG and outside of the firm, she enjoys helping to guide younger lawyers in their career development and aspirations.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2020

  • 2019

  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

  • 2015

    • Rankings & Awards
      December 2015
      Chambers Canada
    • Rankings & Awards
      November 2015
      Chambers Canada 2016
  • 2009

    • Community
      Member of Organizing Committee for creation of A.M.I.C.I. Museum and Interpretive Centre
  • 2008

    • Community
      Former Member, Advisory Committee for Italian Canadians as Enemy Aliens: Memories of WWII Project, Columbus Centre of Toronto
  • 2006

    • Community
      Former Director, Columbus Centre (Villa Charities), Former Member, Villa Charities Corporate Governance Task Force
  • 1994

    • Community
      Past Director (Past Member, Audit Committee and Conduct Review Committee), Travelers Insurance Company of Canada and formerly with its predecessor, Northern Indemnity, Inc.
  • 1986

    • Career
      August 1986
      Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP (and predecessor firms)
  • 1984

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 1982

    • Education
      July 1982
      University of Ottawa, LLB


  • 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.