Anthony Burden
Anthony Burden
(He/Him)
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Based in Field Law’s Calgary office, Anthony Burden is a partner focusing in the areas of construction, general litigation and insurance. Anthony’s clients are diverse and represent multiple industry sectors, and range in size from individuals to multinational organizations.

Anthony’s practice focuses on construction claims, in particular builders' liens, Public Works Act claims, and surety claims with respect to performance bonds and labour and material payment bonds. He regularly acts for all levels of parties within the contractual chain: owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and consultants. He also has extensive experience in the drafting and reviewing of construction contracts, including custom contracts, subcontracts and supplemental conditions to standard form contracts tailored to particular clients and projects. Although he is based in Calgary, Anthony’s clients are located throughout Alberta, and often have operations throughout Canada and beyond.

Anthony also has extensive experience defending Alberta municipalities in a range of litigation including injury claims, construction and building code issues, and development claims.

Anthony has appeared on behalf of clients at all levels of court in Alberta. His approach to providing legal services sees him delivering efficient counsel while also maintaining a focus on avoiding unnecessary, costly litigation. With this approach, he is able to come to a resolution quickly and fairly, while still preserving amicable relations with all sides. Anthony is the sole author of The Canadian Treatment of Construction and Builders’ Liens on Crown Lands, the only text which provides an overview of every Canadian province and territory’s approach to construction liens on land owned by the Crown.

Value to Clients

“My goal is to provide my clients with the best possible outcome as quickly and efficiently as reasonably possible. Sometimes this requires litigation or arbitration, but often effective negotiations and frank correspondence is the best way to achieve resolution. I believe that being up front with both clients and opposing counsel is the quickest route to an amicable resolution for all sides. By being approachable, knowledgeable and dependable, I deliver business-focused solutions.”

Outside the Office

When Anthony is not at the office, he can be found spending time with his two young children and large Inuit husky. An avid athlete, Anthony is also a competitive powerlifter and has taken his passion for the sport to a number of world championships and other national and international competitions. He has continued competing throughout his legal career despite a number of injuries. Anthony also uses his free time to give back to the community and to the legal profession with a number of volunteer roles.  

Society of Construction Lawyers - North America
2019 - Present
Surety Association of Canada
2019 - Present
Advocates Society
2019 - Present
Canadian Bar Association
2013 - Present
Law Society of Alberta
2013 - Present
Society of Construction Law North America
Regional Director
2022 - Present
Calgary Construction Association
Member of Board of Directors
2019 - Present
Court of Queen's Bench Amicus Program
Volunteer
2015 - Present
Alberta Powerlifting Union
Referee
2012 - Present
University of Alberta Powerlifting Association
Vice President
2010 - 2013

Construction Litigation

Factors Western Inc v DCR Inc , 2021 ABCA 433

  • Setting the major lien fund, whether a factored account forms part of the major lien fund

Amble Ventures (Alberta) Ltd v D.B.K. Engineering Ltd, 2019 ABQB 287

  • Limitation period for a third party claim against a mechanical contractor

Golden Triangle Construction Management Inc v Nuwest Interior Systems Inc, 2019 ABQB 292

  • Whether municipal reserve lands in Alberta are subject to the Builders’ Lien Act

Park Avenue Flooring Inc v EllisDon Construction Services Inc, 2019 ABQB 73

  • Proper scope of questioning on Affidavit

General/Commercial Litigation

Malmberg v Boyd , 2020 ABQB 80

  • Whether an assignment of rents runs with the lands to bind subsequent landowners

Malmberg v Boyd , 2020 ABQB 326

  • Costs payable to a substantially successful party in litigation

Steer v. Chicago Title Insurance Company, 2019 ABQB 670

  • Whether litigation is “public interest” litigation for costs purposes

Steer v Chicago Title Insurance Company, 2019 ABQB 318

  • Coverage under a title insurance policy

Carvalho v Associated Chinook Cab Ltd., 2019 ABPC

  • Res Judicata of a claim for property damage

Steer v Chicago Title Insurance Company, 2018 ABQB 28

  • Coverage under a title insurance policy

Meghji v Ippolito, 2017 ABPC 7

  • Enforcement of a settlement agreement

Municipality Defence  

Gradziel v Town of Coalhurst, 2020 ABQB

  • Summary dismissal of a claim against a municipality for development and building permits

Nelson v Grande Prairie (City), 2019 ABQB 897

  • Summary dismissal of a slip and fall claim against a municipality

Nelson v. City of Grande Prairie, 2018 ABQB 537

  • Summary dismissal of a slip and fall claim against a municipality
April 2022 - 3 min read
Priority of Lien Claims in a Post-Redwater World
The Supreme Court of Canada's Redwater decision concluded that provincial end-of-life abandonment and reclamation obligations, which are not claims provable in bankruptcy, must still be satisfied by a bankrupt estate, regardless of a...
March 2022 - 4 min read
Prompt Payment + Consultants: What You Need to Know
The upcoming changes to Alberta's construction law regime should be top of mind for all parties in the construction industry, with both the Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act (the "PPCLA") and the Prompt Payment and A...
February 2022  - 3 min read
Which Parties Must Be Sued to Enforce a Builders’ Lien?
Builders’ liens are a common tool for unpaid parties on a construction project to try to secure payment for their work. But simply registering a lien is not enough to perfect a lien claim.In Alberta, a Statement of Claim and Certificate of Lis Pe...
January 2022 - 4 min read
Discharging a Builders' Lien: Is Cash King?
Posting either a lien bond or cash as security to discharge a builders' lien is standard practice in Alberta. Seemingly, this is because the lien claimant is not prejudiced by the posting of one form of security over the other.  But is a ...
January 2022 - 4 min read
Factoring Arrangements and Builders’ Liens: How to Take Them Into Account
Payment disputes on construction projects are extremely common. With margins being low to begin with, contractors often find themselves financially strained and unable to cash flow their business operations to complete projects. One common form of re...
November 2021
Court Clarifies Test for Core Policy Immunity of Municipalities 
The concept of government liability in negligence for policy vs. operational decisions has existed for some time. Core policy decisions are exempt from liability, whereas operational decisions are subject to the usual common law liability consideration...
October 2021 - 4 min read
Untangling a Web of Lien Claims
Builders’ liens on condominium projects are commonplace. The large scope of work required and the lack of surety bonding often leaves unpaid subcontractors or suppliers with little recourse in the event of non-payment. In Avli BRC Developments In...
September 27, 2021
Prompt Payment Legislation: The Impact on the Alberta Construction Industry
Webinar
While the Alberta Builders’ Lien Act has been in force and essentially unchanged for several decades, it will soon evolve with the enactment of the Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act. This new legislation will introduce significant changes ...
September 2021 - 3 min read
Registering Builders’ Liens: When Does the Clock Start Ticking?
The Builders’ Lien Act (“BLA”) sets out deadlines for registering builders’ liens. However, determining if a lien has been registered out of time can be tricky. Whether the work performed by a contractor or subcontract...
May 2021 - 3 min read
Builders’ Liens: Where does the Lien Line Lie?
The line between what work gives rise to a valid builders’ lien, and that which doesn’t, can be blurry. The recent decision of YoungEnergyServe Inc. v LR Ltd, LR Processing Partnership, 2021 ABQB 101, has set out a framework for determining...
May 2021 - 4 min read
Constructing the Right Adjudication System for Alberta
How construction adjudication is developing across other Canadian provinces and what Alberta can expect.Later in 2021, Alberta will be implementing changes to the Builders’ Lien Act, including renaming it as the Prompt Payment and Constructi...
April 2021
Canadian Treatment of Construction and Builders Liens On Crown Lands
Author: Anthony Burden
January 2021
Field Law Announces Five New Partners
The Firm welcomes Anthony Burden, Jason Kully, Lisa Statt Foy, Britt Tetz, and Matthew Turzansky to its partnership.Field Law is pleased to welcome Anthony Burden, Jason Kully, Lisa Statt Foy, Britt Tetz, and Matthew Turzansky as partners of the Firm. ...
October 2020 - 3 min read
Prompt Payment in Alberta: One Big Step Closer
On October 21, 2020, Bill 37: Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2020 passed First Reading in the Alberta Legislature. Bill 37 would introduce significant changes to the Alberta Builders’ Lien Act, particularly by introducing st...
May 2020
Expiration of Limitation Period not a Defence for Surety Under Bond Claim
The Lawyer's Daily
April 2020
Uncertain Surety: Expiration of a Limitation Against a Principal is not a Defence to a Bond Claim
Sometimes failing to arbitrate a dispute with a binding arbitration provision can be fatal to a claim under a construction contract, particularly if the limitation period to commence the arbitration has expired.  But, in the ca...
March 2020
Construction Claims and COVID-19: What is Still Available?
The status of what businesses can remain open, in what capacity, and with access to whom, is ever-changing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. For ongoing construction projects, or those for which a party has recently performed work, ...
January 2020 - 3 min read
Who You Gonna Call (As a Witness)?
Construction disputes (as with any matters in litigation) rarely make it to trial. Matters typically settle or are resolved on a summary basis through written evidence alone. But if a matter proceeds to trial, where evidence via live wit...
October 2019 - 2 min read
Think Leaving Equipment On Site Extends Your Lien Period? Think Again.
Builders’ liens provide unpaid contractors and subcontractors on a construction project the ability to secure a debt claim against a piece of land. While courts have acknowledged that the purpose of builders’ liens is to prov...
September 2019
Doing Work on a Provincial Project? Protect Yourself with a Public Works Act Claim
The Public Works Act (“PWA”) is a helpful, rarely litigated piece of legislation for unpaid subcontractors. By submitting a PWA claim to the Provincial Government, a subcontractor has the ability to seek compensation outside ...
July 2019
Fairness is in the Eye of the Beholder in the Tender Process
The tender process has long been a staple of the construction industry. Variations of that process, via requests for proposals (“RFPs”), requests for quotations (“RFQs”) or other similar processes have also been d...
May 2019
What’s Old is New Again – Municipal Reserve Lands in Alberta Cannot be Liened
Builders’ liens are a useful tool for unpaid contractors and subcontractors on a construction project. They provide a right to make a claim and register an instrument against title to a parcel of land, with the ultimate remedy being a sale of tho...
July 2017
Mistakes and Builders’ Liens: Fixable or Fatal?
Builders’ liens are a great tool for the unpaid contractor, subcontractor and supplier. It gives you leverage over a project, even if you’re only owed a small amount. But the simple one-page form is much more complicated than it appears, an...

Builder's Lien Precedent

Our client was the general contractor for two school construction projects in Alberta. Several builders’ liens were registered by various sub-contractors, creating additional expense for our client. The schools in question were designated as “municipal reserve” lands, which impacts what use can be made of the lands on sale.

Previous case law indicated that such lands could not be subject to forced sale and therefore builders’ liens on those lands were unenforceable.

Anthony advised his client not to make the payments on these liens. Instead, he recommended arguing that all builders’ liens registered on both projects were invalid - setting a precedent for future work. Several liens were withdrawn by consent as a result of our approach.

During this process, three lienholders disputed our interpretation, and a contested Court application was held to determine if these liens were valid. The Court accepted our interpretation of the law and held that the builders’ liens, in this case, were invalid.

The Court decision provided certainty to our client for this project and in the future that any lands designated as “municipal reserve” cannot be validly liened.

Slip and Fall Defence

The insurer for a local municipality approached Field lawyer, Anthony Burden to aggressively defend a negligence claim and contest liability.

Within two weeks of having the file Anthony successfully opposed a previously scheduled Application, and took steps to apply for summary dismissal of the claim. By applying for summary dismissal as soon as possible and questioning the Plaintiff on undertakings, Anthony was able to obtain helpful evidence on quantum moving forward. The co-plaintiff abandoned its claim prior to the Application. The Application for summary dismissal was initially dismissed, with leave granted to re-apply with fuller evidence. On the second Application, the claim was summarily dismissed in its entirety.

Anthony helped his client gain a better idea of the strength of both parties’ evidence, providing the knowledge needed to confidently defend the claim.

Education
Osgoode Hall Law School, 2016, Certificate in Construction Law
University of Alberta, 2013, Juris Doctor
University of Alberta, 2010, Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics, With Distinction
Admissions
Alberta,2014