Michael J. Canan: Lawyer with GrayRobinson, P.A.

Michael J. Canan

Orlando,  FL  U.S.A.

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AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • ERISA & Employee Benefits
  • ESOPs
  • Taxation
  • Technology Business Law
University Stanford University, B.A., Economics
Law SchoolUniversity of California Law School, Boalt Hall, J.D.; New York University, LL.M., Taxation
Admitted1969, California; 1973, Florida

Mike's experience and practice includes all phases of qualified retirement plan work, with special emphasis on the establishment and continued maintenance of ESOPs; plan design, including cross-testing, defined benefit plans, and 401(k) and (m) features; controlled group and affiliated service group issues; IRS and DOL administrative problem resolution; and nonqualified deferred compensation. Since Mike joined GrayRobinson in 1998, over half of his work has been in connection with the establishment and continued maintenance of ESOPs.

Mike has done considerable work with employers with regard to health plans under ObamaCare, and has written a book on this subject.

Mike has also been involved in numerous IRS audits regarding retirement plans and other employee benefits, including tax promoter audits regarding employee benefit matters.


Mike was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Southern California and attended Stanford University undergraduate and law school at the University of California, Berkeley. He was in the Peace Corps in Venezuela and then served in the Air Force, attaining the rank of captain. Mike left the Air Force to get a master's in taxation at New York University. From there he moved to Florida and practiced with several firms, including his own, before joining GrayRobinson.

Professional Associations & Memberships

· The Florida Bar
- Board Certified Tax Attorney
- Tax Section, Member

· State Bar of California

· American Bar Association
- Employee Benefits Committee, Member

· American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 2004-present

· Who's Who in America, 1991-present

· Gulf Coast Practitioner/IRS Council for Exempt Plans, Member, 2001-2007

· Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Pension Planning & Compliance and Journal of Deferred Compensation

· American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, Department of Labor Governmental Affairs Committee, former Chairman

· The ESOP Association (National Association and New South Chapter)

· National Center for Employee Ownership

Awards & Recognitions

· Best Lawyers in America, 1990-2014

· Chambers USA, Tax: Employee Benefits, 2007-2013

· Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2010, 2012-2013

· Orlando Magazine's Best Lawyers, 2007-2010

Published Books

· Qualified Retirement Plans, West Publishing Company, 1977 and annual editions from 1987-present (used by practitioners and in courses on retirement plans)

· Co-Author, Employee Fringe and Welfare Benefit Plans, West Publishing Company, 1990 and annual editions from 1991 to present

· West's Legal Forms, Vols. 8, 8A & 8B Retirement Plans, West Publishing Company, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2010 editions (with annual pocket parts)

· Answers to Your Questions about Health Coverage and ObamaCare, 2013. Amazon.com

Presentations & Seminars

· Southwest Benefits Council, The Florida Bar, American Bar Association, Lorman Education Services, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and numerous other speeches and presentations

Employee Benefits Software

· West's Model Benefit Plans, Qualified Retirement Plans, 1991,1992

· TechSoft Pension Plans, 1997-present


Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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What the Play or Pay Delay Means For Today
Michael J. Canan,Lowell "The ERISA Dude"™ Walters, July 23, 2013
This e-lert concerns employers with 50 or more employees or employee equivalents averaging 30 hours of service per week. On Tuesday, July 9, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued formal guidance confirming what news outlets reported the prior week - a delay in enforcing the...

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Office Information

Michael J. Canan

301 East Pine Street, Suite 1400
OrlandoFL 32802-3068


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