Double security for lien claimants?: The Stuart Olson decision

On September 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada issued reasons for judgment in Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel, 2015 SCC 43. While in many respects the decision simply confirmed the remedies available to …

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Posting security to discharge a lien…plus costs?

Most contractors and owners know that once a lien is filed against title, the only way that it can be removed from title (in the absence of an agreement between the parties) is for the owner or general contractor to …

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When a lien won’t help you

Contractors, trades, and workers commonly use the BC Builders Lien Act to protect and secure payment of their work. However, there are certain circumstances when filing a lien won’t help secure payment.  It is important to know when to file …

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Bankruptcy issues in construction

The construction industry has one of the highest rates of bankruptcies and insolvencies of any industry in Canada.  According to statistics tabulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, in 2013 in British Columbia alone, there was a shortfall …

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The misunderstood Builders Lien

The subject of Builders Liens is much discussed, but little understood. Industry participants with considerable experience often still misunderstand many of the central rights and remedies provided by the legislation.

The following is intended as a primer (or …

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Incorporation by reference

Most trade contracts incorporate “by reference” the terms and conditions of the prime contract.

Are these clauses effective? Short answer: not really.

The general rule of interpretation is that a trade contractor is only bound by the terms of the …

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Release of holdbacks

An awful lot of cash sits every day in holdback accounts. That cash waits there, ever so patiently, until such time as somebody says or does the right things to have it released.

If you are an owner, this situation …

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Canada: Legal basics of competitive bidding and procurement in Canada

The following represents a quick review of certain legal principles and case law associated with competitive bidding and procurement in Canada.

Firstly, any tendering process will create two contracts that bind the bidder and the owner. In an invitation to …

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The first line of defence? Course of construction insurance and tort immunity

On most construction projects involving multiple contractors and sub-contractors, it is common for the owner or general contractor to obtain course of construction insurance (also known as “builder’s risk” insurance) to provide repair or replacement coverage for damage to the …

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Understanding risks in warranties is crucial before signing any contract

Warranties form part of nearly every construction contract yet they remain poorly understood by many stakeholders in the construction industry. Despite this lack of knowledge, courts have had little hesitation in enforcing warranties. As a result, understanding the risk inherent …

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