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

Incorporation By Reference In Building Contracts

Incorporation by reference in building contracts By Thomas G. Heintzman and Julie Parla1 A common clause in a building contract is one which incorporates the terms of another contract or document into the building contract in issue. The effect of such a clause is referred to as “Incorporation by Reference”. These clauses are common in […]

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Can An Arbitration Survive Fraud?

When material evidence tendered to an arbitral tribunal is fraudulent, we expect the court having jurisdiction to be very inclined to set the award aside.  But as the recent decision of the English High Court in Chantiers de l’Atlantique S.A. v. Gaztransport & Technigaz S.A.S. demonstrates, “it ain’t necessarily so.”  In that case the award […]

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When Is A Mediation Agreement Enforceable?

One of the most difficult issues in the law of alternative dispute resolution is whether a mediation clause creates an enforceable obligation.  That issue has an impact on related issues and rights.  If a party gets the issue wrong, it may miss a limitation period or affect its right to rely upon an arbitration or […]

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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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Condominium Unit Owners Can Claim Common Elements Relief

Construction projects involve many participants and each of those participants may have a claim against other participants.  Developers, immediate and subsequent purchasers, contractor and subcontractors, consultants: they are all potential plaintiffs.  So one of the main issues in construction law is:  who can be a plaintiff against what defendant and for what relief?  This issue […]

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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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How Many Times Can A Contractor Sue The Owner Under The Same Construction Contract?

Can a contractor bring several claims against the owner arising from the same building contract?  Multiple proceedings arising from the same contract certainly seem like a waste of time and money.  And even if the contractor can do so, can those claims be asserted first in arbitration and then in court litigation?  Once again, different […]

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What Are The Limits Of Competence-Competence For Arbitral Tribunals?

Competence-competence is now a foundational principle of the modern law of arbitration.  According to that principle, an arbitral tribunal is competent to decide its own competence.  In other words, the tribunal has jurisdiction to decide its own jurisdiction.  That principle demands, in turn, that the arbitral tribunal, and not the court, should in the first […]

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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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