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McLennan Ross is widely recognized for its history, depth and expertise in the construction industry. We have an experienced team of lawyers, across all relevant fields of law, with a reputation for successfully handling complex legal issues. We represent a broad spectrum of successful construction owners, contractors and suppliers in Alberta and the North.
Our lawyers provide you with responsive, cost-effective service, bringing industry knowledge and practicality to your legal and business challenges in areas including:
- Claims, Litigation, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Contract Preparation and Negotiation
- Builders’ Liens
- Delays, Extras and Other Project Disputes
- Collections and Debt Recovery
- Commercial Transactions
- Energy, Environment and Regulatory
- Insurance and Risk Management
- Labour & Employment
- Human Rights
- Workers' Compensation Board
- Occupational Health & Safety
Representative examples of McLennan Ross construction matters include:
- Acted for an international oil company in the preparation of complex RFP documents, which included comprehensive FEED contracts and EPCM/EPC contracts.
- Represented a major contractor in negotiation of PPP agreements for the construction of a portion of the Anthony Henday Highway in Edmonton.
- Represented owners in a public private partnership for the development of electric generation and transmission projects in the Northwest Territories.
- Acted for owners in the preparation of EPCM/EPC contracts for the construction of a coal gasification facility in Alberta and a hydroelectric facility in the Northwest Territories.
- Negotiated and drafted custom trade subcontracts on behalf of the owner and construction manager, for a multi-billion dollar commercial development.
- Acted for a major road-builder in a case that established the contractor's right to lien all of the parcels of land making up a major mineral extraction project in relation to the contractor's work on only one parcel.
- Represented a number of lien claimants on three related commercial projects. This case established a precedent for obtaining payment for the lien claimants even though the dispute over the value of the work prevented the lien fund from being established.
- Represented a number of lien claimants on projects stalled because of the economic downturn.
Materials and Equipment
- Acted for a construction equipment company in a contract dispute with a coal mine operator. The mining company entered into a contract to lease construction equipment from our client and subsequently cancelled the contract. The construction equipment company sued and recovered full amount of the minimum lease payments plus interest and costs.
- Acted as Canadian counsel for a large supplier of construction materials that was involved in class action products liability litigation in the State of California.
Contract Negotiation, Preparation and Interpretation
- Represented a project owner in successfully re-negotiating trade contracts midway through a multi-billion dollar project. We worked closely with the owner to convert unit price contracts to fixed prices, and to re-negotiate other terms, thereby permitting the owner to resolve a financing crisis and complete the project.
- Acted for a joint venture owner with respect to the negotiation and preparation of purchase and sale agreements with respect to its interest in a major oil sands project.
- Negotiated and prepared contract documents for numerous contractors, trades and owners in respect of all types of construction work, from oil sands facilities to infrastructure projects to residential developments.
- Provide ongoing advice and assistance to a constructor of grain handling, feed processing and intensive livestock systems - including advice in respect of the contractual delineation and discharge of Prime Contractor duties and responsibilities.
- Represented a mining contractor in a contract dispute with the owner and operator of a mining project in the Athabasca oil sands. The result was a judgment in excess of $23 million in favour of the mining contractor which was upheld on appeal.
- Represented the owner of an oil sands plant in one of the largest lawsuits in Alberta and Canadian history. The claim arose from a fire at the plant, which resulted in consequential damage to the site, delay claims and economic loss.
- Provide ongoing advice to the owner on contract interpretation, negotiating terms of hold backs, enforcing lien rights and resolving payment issues, regarding the construction of a major industrial facility in northern Alberta.
- Acted for a joint venture owner in the negotiation and preparation of oil sands project agreements including: ownership and management venture agreement, Alberta crown royalty agreement, Alberta oil sands pipeline agreement, AEC utility plant agreements, gas pipeline agreements and other project related agreements.
- Acted on behalf of an oil sands co-generation facility with respect to an insurance claim for engineering errors and omissions; a contractor supplying materials to the oil sands facility with respect to a claim by the owner; and contractors with respect to claims for delay and breach of contract against the owners; and others.
- Acted for parties involved in a multi-party, multi-faceted dispute with respect to the upstream and downstream components of a large oil sands project. The numerous lawsuits were resolved through mediation to the satisfaction of our clients.
- Nominated by the Province of Alberta as arbitrator in an arbitration with respect to an oil sands royalty issue.
- Acted for the owner of an oil sands co-generation facility in arbitration proceedings with respect to a claim by a contractor for extras.
- Acted for a contractor in a significant claim with respect to a sewer project. After consulting with experts and discussions between clients, the lawsuit was resolved by cost sharing among all parties to the construction.
- Represented a general contractor in a claim against the federal government over incorrect geotechnical information on contract documents. The lawsuit was settled after examination for discovery.
- Acted for a general contractor in a claim against an owner and the owner’s consultant for extras, delay and acceleration in the construction of water diversion and storage facilities. The arbitration resulted in an award in favour of our client with respect to the numerous extras claimed on the project.
- Acted for an industrial operator in a claim for repair costs against a group of design professionals who provided services in the design and construction of a large cooling pond. The claim for repair costs was settled.
- Represented a geotechnical engineering firm in a claim brought by the owners of a luxury condominium project. The owners alleged improper investigation of site soils and design advice respecting the installation of below grade piping.
- Settled a major lawsuit between an engineering procurement and construction contractor and a mechanical/electrical subcontractor. The lawsuit arose from damages incurred during the construction of a nitric acid plant in southern Alberta.
- Acted for a number of horizontal directional drilling companies in claims arising from failed or delayed drilling projects. The projects in question range from relatively small water line road crossings to oil and gas pipeline crossings over major bodies of water.
- Acted for an international supplier of concrete and cement who provided no-slump concrete to a piling contractor. It was alleged that the pilings that were poured did not meet strength tests.
- Acted on behalf of a mechanical contractor who was sued by a general contractor for negligent performance as a result of overruns and delays in the construction of a chemical facility. A settlement was negotiated and resulted in dismissal of the claim.
Commercial and Residential
- Acted on behalf of an insurance company in a multi-party litigation action against a contractor who had installed the exterior curtain of a 27-storey, exclusive, residential apartment building. The action was resolved through alternate dispute resolution.
- Acted for the developer of a high-rise luxury condominium project in a dispute with its mechanical contractor over adherence to schedule, coordination of work and claims to extras. The action was settled during trial.
- Acting for the owners of a condominium project affected by sewer settlement. Case ongoing.
Insurance & Risk Management
- Acted on behalf of an owner in a claim against an insurer for engineering errors and omissions in relation to the design and construction of a co-generation facility.
- Acted on behalf of a supplier and their insurer, to seek a declaration as to the existence and scope of a project owner's course of construction policy of insurance. The action arose in response to a claim against several contractors and suppliers stemming from a multi-million dollar construction loss. The project owner's insurer had denied that the loss was an insured loss.
Occupational Health & Safety
- For representative examples of our Occupational Health & Safety work, please see OH&S Experience.
Practical, personal legal counsel
We have extensive experience with builders' liens and associated issues, including lien registration, enforcement, and removal. We can help you by cost-effectively determining the lien fund and sorting out priorities among competing creditors.
Depending on your perspective – and the circumstances – builders’ liens may be a complication to be avoided or a valuable form of contract security. But in any event lien requirements must be respected and managed. We assist contractors, suppliers and others with using lien mechanisms to obtain payment. We also assist owners, developers, lenders and construction managers with resolving lien claims to keep the construction project on track. Click here to view our Builders' Lien Procedural Guide
- Entitlement to a Lien
- Time to Register a Lien
- What Lands Can Be Liened
- Registration Process
- Mineral Liens
- Preserving a Lien
- Enforcing a Lien
- The Holdback and the Lien Fund
- Certificate of Substansial Performance
- Lien Removal
- Common Pitfalls
- Summary of Deadlines
For examples of our experience handling builders’ liens please view our Transactions & Cases.
Feb 12, 2018
Introduction to the Builders’ Lien Holdback
Jan 25, 2017
Construction Holdback Requirements – Not for Dummies
Sep 15, 2016
Significant SCC Decision Increases All Risk Insurance Coverage
Dec 25, 2015
Relaxed Interpretation of Act Restores Expired Lien
Nov 30, 2015
Pollution Exclusions in Commercial General Liability Policies
Nov 04, 2015
A Guide to Arbitration Clauses
Jul 08, 2013
Arbitrating Essential Terms of a Construction Contract
May 08, 2012
The Effect of "Pay When Paid" Clauses
Jan 20, 2012
Environmental Concerns an Issue for Construction Managers
Oct 18, 2011
Lien Claims and Private Project Financing
Jun 03, 2011
Construction Looking Forward 2011-2019
Apr 13, 2011
Signing Contract With Non-Existent Party Proves Costly
Mar 21, 2011
Prevenient Arrangements - Builders' Liens on Oilsands Worksites
Jan 18, 2011
When Owners are "Owners": A Clarification of Lien Liability
Jan 17, 2011
When Owners are not Owners: An Update
Oct 26, 2010
Registering Builders' Liens on Oil Sands Worksites
Jul 01, 2010
When Owners are not "Owners"
Jun 01, 2010
Warning to Contractors - Collective RFP Responses May Violate Competition Law
May 10, 2010
Builders Lien Limits and Construction
Apr 20, 2010
Another Surprising Lien Decision
Feb 12, 2010
Supreme Court of Canada Decision in Tercon
Feb 03, 2010
Contractors May Not Necessarily Rely on a Change Clause to Reclaim Work
Feb 03, 2010
Labour and Material Bond Claimants May Gain Further Rights