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Suppose a contractor or subcontractor is involved in a major renovation or expansion project such as work on a hospital, academic institution, or a large industrial or retail facility.  Due to unfortunate circumstances while construction is underway and ongoing, through a fire, a water leak or other catastrophic event, damage to the newly renovated property occurs as well ...

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Can a public owner contract out of any liability for a failure to follow its own directives, policies and, indeed, its own terms and conditions of a procurement process, including a duty of fairness? Although that issue was largely resolved in the Supreme Court of Canada case of Tercon Contractors Ltd. v. British Columbia (Transportation and Highways), 2010 SCC 4, a ...

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On September 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC) released its decision in Ledcor Construction Ltd. v Northbridge Indemnity Insurance (2016 SCC 37). In its decision, the Court considered the appropriate standard of review for standard form contracts, as well as the proper interpretation of an insurance policy exclusion clause.

Writing for all but Justice ...

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On September 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its reasons in Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel, 2015 SCC 43.  Although the judgment concerned the interpretation of the Manitoba Builders’ Lien Act, it has implications for owners, contractors and others in the construction industry across Canada, including remedies available to ...

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On March 7, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an important decision regarding the obligation of public authorities to compensate private landowners in circumstances where public infrastructure construction has interfered with the private use and enjoyment of land.  In doing so, the Court ruled that a court must weigh the overriding public good occasioned by the ...

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In June 2012, my colleague, Craig Ferris wrote about the B.C. Court of Appeal decision in 229 Burrard Residential Limited Partnership v. Essolat where the Court endorsed a strict application of the terms of the B.C. Real Estate Development Marketing Act (“REDMA”).  There, the Court set aside a pre-construction sales contract and ordered the return of the purchase ...

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Based on a recent B.C. Court of Appeal decision, Greater Vancouver Water District v. North American Pipe & Steel Ltd., the answer is yes. This case serves as a clear direction to the construction community that the courts will hold contractors to the specifications and warranties they give about the services and products they intend to supply to purchasers. This is good news ...

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I previously wrote on the legal issues faced by developers of residential condominium projects in British Columbia relating to the Real Estate Marketing Development Act (“REDMA”). The focus on REDMA compliance must not, however, distract a developer from focusing on more basic contractual compliance which can also create enforceability issues.  A case in point is ...

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Posted in Construction

Ever since the BC Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) decision in Shimco, practitioners and others have cried out for legislative amendments to the B.C. Builders Lien Act (the “Act”) which would see the elimination of a lien against holdback monies retained by owners and others down the contractual chain.  Prior to Shimco, such a lien was not generally thought to exist.  ...

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This blog is authored by members of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. We follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. The wide range of experience among the members of our litigation group will provide a diverse and insightful examination of current legal trends and topics. Our goal is to provide a source of valuable information and insight on a wide variety of matters for our readers.

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