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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
  • Contracting
  • Energy, Environment and Regulatory
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • Labour & Employment
    • Human Rights
    • Workers' Compensation Board
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Tax
Corbin Devlin  
Jim Lebo, Q.C., FCIArb  


Tara Argent   780.482.9313
Dan Bokenfohr   780.482.9118
Doug Boyer   780.482.9282
Jennifer Davis   780.482.9138
Doug Evanchuk   780.482.9106
Dani Fialkov   780.482.9286
Ken Fitz   780.482.9231
Kathleen Garbutt   780.482.9131
Vicki Giles   780.482.9123
Graham Henderson   780.482.9140
Ray Hupfer, CA   780.482.9249
Will Johnston   780.482.9155
Samantha Kernahan   780.482.9144
Ron Kruhlak, Q.C.   780.482.9226
Bryan Kwan   780.482.9147 or 403.303.1652
Chris Lane   780.482.9238
Steve Livingstone   780.482.9242
Graham McLennan, Q.C., ICD.D   780.482.9221
Rod McLennan, Q.C.   780.482.9201
Hugh McPhail, Q.C.   780.482.9212
Rob Muller   780.482.9317
Denise Prokopiuk   780.482.9205
David Ross, Q.C.   780.482.9202
Allison Rudzitis   780.482.9139
Gerhard Seifner   780.482.9230
Brad Smith   780.482.9134
Peter Taschuk, Q.C.   780.482.9203
Gary Zimmermann   780.482.9208


Don Dear, Q.C.   403.303.9107
Jamie Flanagan   403.303.9102
Colin Flynn   403.303.1691
Blake Hafso   403.303.0159
Jim Lebo, Q.C., FCIArb   403.303.9111
Tom Ross   403.303.9124
Jody Sutherland   403.303.9118
Jeff Weidman   403.303.1681


Ed Gullberg   867.766.7680

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.

Builders’ Liens

  • 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.

Oil Sands

  • 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

Representative Experience

For examples of our experience handling builders’ liens please view our Transactions & Cases.

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Feb 09, 2017
Fair Warning to Contractors – The Fair Trading Act’s Requirements Apply to Construction Contracts

Jan 03, 2017
Lien Pitfall – Transfers of Land

Oct 17, 2016
Five Reasons to Read the Dispute Resolution Clause in Your Construction Contract

Sep 15, 2016
Significant SCC Decision Increases All Risk Insurance Coverage

Sep 14, 2016
Lien Pitfall – Liening the Wrong Interest

Jun 14, 2016
Compromising on Consequential Damages

May 24, 2016
General Contractor vs. Construction Manager - What's In A Name

Jan 22, 2016
Indemnity Clause "Red Flags"

Nov 25, 2015
Federal Exemption from Liens is No Simple Matter

Nov 18, 2015
Interpreting a "Withholding of Payments" Clause

Oct 16, 2015
Towards a More Relaxed Interpretation of the Builders' Lien Act

Jul 17, 2015
Arbitration Clauses and Lien Rights

Jun 22, 2015
More Frequently Asked Lien Questions

May 25, 2015
Mischievous Liens

Apr 16, 2015
Arbitration – Quicker, Yes. Cheaper, No

Mar 30, 2015
Court Denies Coverage for Property Damage “Connected” to Faulty Workmanship

Mar 09, 2015
"Incorporation by Reference" – More Dangerous Than it Sounds

Nov 17, 2014
Keeping Construction and Tendering Contracts Separate

Nov 04, 2014
Top 3 Ways Project Documentation Fails

Sep 16, 2014
The Top Ten Things That Go Wrong With Lien Registration

Sep 10, 2014
Liening the Landlord for Tenant Improvements

Sep 10, 2014
Liening the Landlord for Tenant Improvements

Jul 28, 2014
Problems with Posting Security to Discharge Liens

Jul 11, 2014
The Importance of Keeping a Diary

Jul 07, 2014
No Setoffs Allowed Against the Statutory Lien Holdback? Think Again

May 26, 2014
Can a Lien Include Damages Due to Delay?

Apr 14, 2014
The Problem with Unit Prices and Stipulated Price Forms

Apr 14, 2014
Termination for Convenience Clauses Often Inadequate

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