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

The Traps And Perils Of Limitation Of Liability Clauses

In Swift v. Eleven Eleven Architecture Inc., the Alberta Court of Appeal recently considered the impact and scope of a limitation of liability clause in a consultant’s contract between an owner and the architects on a building project. The court arrived at three important conclusions. First, the clause did not apply to and did not […]

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When Does An Arbitration Clause Require Arbitration?

Whether an arbitration agreement requires, or only permits, arbitration is a continuing issue under arbitration law. In building contracts, this issue often arises when the agreement states that arbitration will follow mediation or the involvement of the consultant on the project. The questions that can arise is whether arbitration is mandatory if mediation or the […]

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May a Contractor Sue a Subcontractor When It Agreed With The Owner To Obtain Project Insurance?

One of the most difficult issues in Canadian construction law is the impact of insurance on claims between owners, contractors and subcontractors. There are two levels to the issue: What is the impact of a clause in the building contract by which one party agrees to obtain insurance? And what is the impact of the […]

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Does An Interim Lender To A Construction Project Owe A Duty of Care?

Construction projects don’t often proceed without a lender. And often there is an interim lender which provides financing pending the advancement of funds by the final lender. In this circumstance, two questions arise: First:  Does the interim lender owe a duty of care to the owner or purchaser of the project? Second:  If the interim […]

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Can An Agent Claim Damages As An Owner Under A Building Contract?

Agents of contractors and subcontractors often play a role and assert rights during construction projects. This is because contractors often use agents to perform the work, and construction lien legislation recognizes their right to assert a lien for the improvement of the land. But agents of owners do not often assert rights under a building […]

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Construction Law – Consultants: Beware of Overstepping your Authority

Courts do not often examine the authority of a Consultant on a construction project and the liability consequences if the Consultant oversteps its authority.  That issue was recently dealt with by the Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Online Constructors Ltd. v. Speers Construction Inc.  A golf club hired a contractor, Speers, to repair a dam […]

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Date of last supply of services and materials-Consultant

Construction Lien Act-Date of last supply of services and materials-Consultant:  The supplier returned to site to install materials due to error in instructions from owner.  The time for filing lien ran from the date of that attendance. Certificate of completion issued by the owner, instead of a consultant, was ineffective to cut off the date […]

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