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

Should The Interpretation Of A Standard Form Contract Be Reviewed According To A Standard Of Legal Correctness?

In its decision in Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp., 2014 SCC 53, [2014] 2 S.C.R. 633, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the interpretation of a contract should have regard to the facts surrounding the making of the contract. For this reason, the review by a court of an arbitrator‘s decision interpreting […]

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Unlicensed Architect Cannot File A Legal Hypothec: Quebec Court of Appeal

In Urbacon Architecture inc. c. Urbacon Buildings Group Corp., the Quebec Court of Appeal has recently held that an architectural firm that was unlicensed in the Province of Quebec is not entitled to file a legal hypothec, the Quebec law equivalent of a construction or builders lien. The court so found notwithstanding the cross-Canada reciprocal […]

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Ontario Court Of Appeal Upholds Decision In Popack v. Lipszyc Re: UNICTRAL Model Law

In my article on April 24, 2016, I commented upon the important decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Popack v. Lipszyc, 2015 CarswellOnt 8001, 2015 ONSC 3460. That decision has been recently upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal did not address the various legal issues dealt with in my article […]

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General Lien Provision Inapplicable If Main Contract So Provides: Ontario Court Of Appeal

A construction and builders lien claimant may, in some circumstances, file a general lien. The general lien allows the claimant to claim a lien over a number of properties to which it has supplied services or materials. Section 20(2) of the Ontario Construction Lien Act (the Act), unlike the lien statutes in other provinces, enables […]

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Sattva Limits The Court’s Power To Review Arbitral Award Relating To The Exercise Of An Option; B.C. Court of Appeal

The courts of British Columbia have recently wrestled with the question whether they can review the award of an arbitrator dealing with the exercise of an option. In Urban Communications Inc. v. BCNET Networking Society, the arbitrator and a single judge of the B.C. Supreme Court arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions as to whether the […]

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Can The Parties Contract Out Of The UNCITRAL Model Law?

The Model Law of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) applies to international commercial arbitration agreements and awards. The Model Law has been adopted in all the provinces and territories of Canada, For instance, the Model Law has been adopted in the Ontario International Commercial Arbitration Act (ICCA). Under article 34 of […]

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When Does The Limitation Period Start When A Party Repudiates A Contract?

You might think that there is one answer to this question. But in Pickering Square Inc. v. Trillium College Inc., the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently reminded us that there are two answers, depending on whether the innocent party accepts the repudiation or not. If the repudiation is accepted, then the contract comes to […]

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Is The Commencement Of An Arbitration Claim Also The Commencement Of An Arbitration Counterclaim?

In a recent English decision, the court held that the commencement of an arbitration by the claimant could also amounted to the commencement of the arbitration of any counterclaim. In Glencore International AG v (1) PT Tera Logistic Indonesia (2) PT Arpeni Pra, the English court held that if the notice given by the claimant, […]

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Can An Arbitral Tribunal Summons The Decision-Makers Of A Public Authority?

When a contract dispute between a public authority and a private party proceeds to arbitration, can the private party inquire into the process or reasoning that led to public authority’s decision in question? For instance, if the public authority decides to terminate a construction contract, or to award a tender to one bidder, can an […]

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