Michael J. Canan Attorney At Law

Michael J. Canan - Attorney at Law

Of Counsel

T 407.843.8880
F 407.244.5690
D 407.244.5665
Orlando 301 East Pine Street Suite 1400 Orlando, Florida 32801

Mike's experience and practice includes all phases of qualified retirement plan work, with special emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of ESOPs; ERISA compliance, plan design; 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. 

  • Background

    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. 

  • Education
    • Stanford University, B.A., economics
    • University of California Law School, J.D. (Boalt Hall)
    • New York University, LL.M., taxation
  • Admissions
    • Florida
    • California
  • Professional Associations and 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 and Compliance and Journal of Deferred Compensation
    • American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, Department of Labor Governmental Affairs Committee, former Chair
    • The ESOP Association (National Association and New South Chapter)
    • National Center for Employee Ownership 
  • Awards and Recognitions
    • AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
    • Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2023
      • Lawyer of the Year, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2016, 2019
    • Chambers USA
      • Tax: Employee Benefits, 2007-2020
      • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2021-2022
    • Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2010, 2012-2014
    • Orlando Magazine, Best Lawyers, 2007-2010, 2014, 2019-2021
    • Orlando Magazine, Lawyer of the Year
      • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2019
  • 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 and 8B Retirement Plans, West Publishing Company, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2010 editions (with annual pocket parts) 
    • Understanding Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, 2013
  • Presentations and Seminars
    • Co-Presenter, "Health Care Reform: Employer Obligations Seminar," Health First Health Plans, February 24, 2015
    • Panel Speaker, "Introduction to Self-Funding: What Employers Need to Know," Marsh and McLennan Agency, August 19, 2014
    • "Is ACA the Answer?" Health Care Policy and Reform conference, the "Grand Rounds Series," Carolina Medical System, Charlotte, North Carolina, May 7, 2014
    • 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