Catriona Otto-Johnston
Catriona Otto-Johnston
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Catriona Otto-Johnston is a litigator who focuses her practice primarily on resolving complex construction disputes. She represents clients from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and the U.S. in a broad range of litigation matters before courts and arbitration panels, including builders’ liens, delay and impact claims, scope of work disputes, wrongful termination, real estate disputes, commercial property damage and debt recovery. Catriona also defends lawyers and other professionals in litigation involving allegations of professional negligence, malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.

Catriona has earned a strong reputation as a go-to lawyer for property owners, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in construction disputes, particularly in matters involving builders’ liens. She goes above and beyond to preserve her clients’ rights and maximize the chances of securing payment, including closely monitoring the construction economy’s impact on project funding, tracking strict lien filing deadlines and ensuring each technical requirement is satisfied. While Catriona has vast experience protecting her clients’ rights in the courtroom, she also excels at identifying alternative, cost-effective ways to resolve disputes without the time and risk of prolonged litigation.

Catriona has extensive experience working with technical experts to assist her clients in reaching a resolution. She has represented her clients before all levels of Court in Alberta and has vast arbitration experience.

Value to Clients

"I am invested in helping my clients grow and protect their businesses and always willing to go the extra mile to learn what makes them tick and what they value most. This helps clients open up to me, particularly when a dispute becomes highly emotional and stressful. I also dig deep into the background of every case. When the underlying subject matter is new to me, I learn everything about it. Whenever possible, I visit my clients’ work sites to get a hands-on feel for what they’re going through, as opposed to presenting technical abstractions that other lawyers in the room have never seen in real life. This practical approach is what sets me apart.”

Outside the Office

Catriona sings in a five-piece band, performing at coffee shops, legal conferences and other small venues. Catriona also sings in various iterations of the Field Law Band, whether it be during Stampede, at the client holiday event or in local legal band competitions. When she's not performing, Catriona enjoys yoga, good food and travel.

Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Construction Law Section (South)
Member of the Executive
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Civil Litigation Section (South)
Calgary Bar Association
"Future Star"
Benchmark Canada
Justice Morrow Bursary in Law
Grant McKibben Award
Faculty of Law Award
Piikani Nation v. Kostic, 2017 ABCA 399
Bumstead v Dufresne, 2017 ABCA 122, Alberta Court of Appeal
Sprague Rosser Contracting Co Ltd. v. EOS Pipeline & Facilities Inc., 2016 ABQB 231, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Hammoud v. Chadi, 2014 ABQB 789, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Leishman v. Virostek, 2011 ABQB 488, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
  • Secured a favourable settlement on behalf of a construction company by pursuing a delay and impact claim in a strategically fast-paced arbitration in which we alleged that the client’s inability to perform its work as originally bid was caused by failures and delays by other parties 
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a pipeline project contractor that was forced to register builders’ liens against the owner despite clear evidence that the work was performed per the contract’s terms; judgment affirmed on appeal
  • Secured an early, favourable settlement for a subcontractor who registered a builders’ lien on a large project involving multiple other lien claimants with claims totaling more than $12M, thereby avoiding the cost and time that would have been involved had our client participated in the overall litigation
  • Secured a settlement for a subcontractor who registered a builders’ lien for non-payment of its invoices, thereby avoiding involvement in what would have been a protracted litigation with uncertain ability to collect on any judgment we would have received
  • Obtained an emergency pre-judgment attachment order for a subcontractor client who performed work on and supplied materials to a project, but had not received any payment, and the prime contractor had been terminated
  • Obtained a discontinuance of action on the first day of trial, part-way through the Plaintiff giving evidence, based on objections regarding admissibility of evidence
  • Secured judgment arising from a successful multi-day arbitration of a complex dispute involving commercial and construction aspects
  • Secured a favourable settlement for a client on a complex delay claim involving wrongful termination and a counterclaim for damages against our client
University of Calgary, 2008, Juris Doctor
University of Calgary, 2005, Bachelor of Arts