Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb

Interpretation Saves Contract From Penalty Doctrine

Contract law contains a fundamental rule: penalty clauses are prohibited and liquidated damage clauses are permitted. But in its recent decision in Ottawa Community Housing Corp. V. Foustanellas, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that there is another way to look at this rule. The clause is valid if, properly interpreted, the clause delays, but […]

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Is A Deposit Forfeited In Absence Of Proven Damages?

The forfeiture of a deposit is one of the major tools for ensuring that contracts are performed.  But there is a debate about whether a deposit can be forfeited if the party forfeiting it has suffered no damages, or damages less than the amount of the deposit.  Until recently in British Columbia, there were decisions […]

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Ontario Court of Appeal Affirms Legal Principles For Agent’s Authority And Liquidated Damage

Two recurring issues in construction law are the authority of agents and liquidated damages. The agency issue is this:  if the principal is to be made liable on a contract made by the agent, must the principal, and not the agent, be the one that promotes the agent’s authority? The damage issue is this:  can […]

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