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Construction is fraught with risk, but the successful management of that risk can lead to great returns. Whether you are an owner, a design professional, general contractor, subcontractor, material supplier, insurer or surety; involved in commercial or residential, industrial, institutional or oil and gas, the construction industry is complex, and Field Law’s experienced lawyers can assist you. 

We represent a variety of clients ranging in size from single-owner businesses to major institutions and international EPC contractors. Our clients include owners, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, insurers, and sureties. At Field Law, our team focuses on helping you manage risk from the inception of a project through to completion. We have the experience and practicality to assist you with your needs, whatever they may be.

We are detail-oriented and have an in-depth understanding of the construction process. We work across a variety of construction-related trades and industries, including excavation, mechanical, electrical, oil and gas pipelines, civil and road works, electricity transmission, and infrastructure.

At Field Law, construction law is about identifying, managing, and overcoming risk to get the job done. Design, workmanship, materials, schedule, cost, payment, delay, acceleration, weather, liens, labour, unforeseen conditions, extras, and cash flow -- all present risk for each of the participants in a construction project. We emphasize risk management from the beginning - tender and award, contractual risk allocation, and insurance/surety arrangements all furnish opportunities to allocate risk and protect the project and its participants from the unforeseen.

Of course, disputes and issues arise, and construction litigation is complex, document-intensive, and expensive. We recognize that every situation is different and what works for one client may not be the solution for another. We look to identify our client’s needs and tailor a strategy and solution that will obtain the most timely and cost-effective result. We are practical problem solvers who appreciate that every dollar spent subtracts directly from the bottom line and that the risk/reward level for construction litigation demands a hard-nosed, proactive response.

Field Law’s services relating to construction include:

  • Construction Liens
  • Public Works Act claims
  • Contract dispute resolution
  • Delay and productivity claims
  • Productivity impact litigation
  • Deficiency claim litigation
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Construction contract drafting
  • Construction contract litigation
  • Warranty claim litigation
  • Surety
  • Construction bonds
  • Labour and material payment bonds
  • Performance bonds
  • OHS Training and Defence

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Manager, Litigation Services - Edmonton
Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction Ltd v Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Ltd, 2023 ABKB 736
Canadian Pressure Testing Technologies Ltd v EllisDon Industrial Inc, 2022 ABKB 649
Factors Western Inc v DCR Inc, 2021 ABCA 433
PME Inc v Enerkem Alberta Biofuels LP (Enerkem Alberta Biofuels GP Inc), 2021 ABQB 889
Bear Creek Contracting Ltd. v. Pretium Exploration Inc., 2020 BCSC 1523
Gradziel v Town of Coalhurst, 2020 ABQB
Ross v. Bragg, 2020 BCSC 337
Western Potash Corporation v. Amarillo Gold Corporation, 2020 BCSC 17
LaPrairie Works Inc v Ledcor Alberta Limited, 2019 ABQB 701
Amble Ventures (Alberta) Ltd v D.B.K. Engineering Ltd, 2019 ABQB 287
Golden Triangle Construction Management Inc v Nuwest Interior Systems Inc, 2019 ABQB 292
Park Avenue Flooring Inc v EllisDon Construction Services Inc, 2019 ABQB 73
MGN Constructors Inc v AXA Pacific Insurance Company, 2018 ABQB 631
Tamaya Wynd Estates Inc. et al v. Condominium Corporation No 0727774, 2018 ABQB 466
Stephen v MacLean, 2018 ABQB 53
Direct Horizontal Drilling Inc v North American Pipeline Inc, 2017 ABQB 653
Condominium Plan No 7920829 v. Academy Contractors Inc., 2017 ABQB 583
Owners: Condominium Plan No. 0625385 v Oxford Grande Ltd., 2017 ABQB 316
Keyland Development Corporation v Rocky View (Municipal District No 44), 2016 ABQB 735
Keyland Development Corporation v Cochrane (Town), 2014 ABQB 458
April 2024 - 5 min read
Mastering Compliance: Understanding Safety Codes Council Orders and Appeals in Construction
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
The Court of King’s Bench reaffirmed the decision by the Safety Codes Council of Alberta Appeals Panel, which found that portable storage racks in a warehouse do not fall under the National Building Code's jurisdiction. This ...
April 2024
Spoiler Alert: Don’t Destroy Evidence
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Ontario improperly destroyed documents related to Trillium's halted wind farm project. Though Trillium's original claims were dismissed and costly, the appeal revealed Ontario's failur...
April 2024 - 5 min read
When Is a Lien For Design Work Valid?
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
When determining whether a party has performed or provided work "in relation to an improvement", BC courts will not stray from the rule that, without any physical demolition or construction work having begun, pre-construction...
March 2024 - 7 min read
The Owner Strikes Back: Subcontractor Unjust Enrichment Claims
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
When striking pleadings, the moving party must show that it is "plain, obvious, and beyond doubt" that the plaintiff's claim could not succeed – it must have no reasonable prospect of success. This is typically a hi...
February 2024 - 3 min read
The Fine Line in Construction Lien Errors
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
When registering a lien, ensuring the information included is accurate is crucial to lien validity. Getting the date work was completed, or the legal land location, wrong, is often fatal. But where does the court draw the line between ...
January 2024 - 4 min read
Construction Liens: Resolving Costs in Default Actions
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
In a construction lien dispute, Alfa Mechanical filed a motion for default judgment against the Changs over a Toronto property lien. The parties set aside the default noting but disagreed on costs. The court awarded Alfa expenses for t...
December 2023 - 5 min read
How Much is Too Much: Extraordinary Remedies for Excessive Liens
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
Determining the proper amount of a builders’ lien routinely arises in construction law proceedings. In certain circumstances, there may be no basis to support an excessive lien amount, which could ultimately bring the matter befo...
November 2023
Construction Lien Dilemma: Landlord Liability in Tenant-Driven Renovations
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
A contractor may register a construction lien on a property to obtain payment for their unpaid services or materials. While registering liens is generally straightforward, complexities arise when the property's fee simple registere...
November 2023 - 6 min read
Third-Party Beneficiary of a Contract Bound by Mandatory Arbitration Clause
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
The Court had to determine whether an owner, as third-party beneficiary of a subcontract, could litigate contractual warranty claims against a subcontractor, when the subcontract required “all disputes” under the subcontrac...
October 2023 - 4 min read
Lien on Me: Consequences of Excessive Liens
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
Courts have the discretion to determine the security amount required to vacate a lien, which can be less than the claimed lien amount. In a recent BC case, a lien was allowed to be vacated by posting security for half of the disputed a...
October 2023 - 7 min read
Liability in Construction Contracts: Negligence + The Corporate Veil
A majority shareholder faced potential personal liability due to negligence during project oversight; however, the Alberta Court of Appeal clarified that such liability isn't easily established, emphasizing that the corporate veil ...
September 2023
Legal Notes: Correct names on Both Contracts and Liens can Save Headaches
Daily Commercial News
September 2023
Legal Notes: Indemnity Awards are Based on Proportionality and Court Conduct
Daily Commercial News by ConstructConnect
September 2023 - 5 min read
Get Me Out: Interpleader Orders + Ongoing Contractor Litigation
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
The Court found that where the amount owed to the general contractor exceeded the principal debts owed to subcontractors, it was appropriate to pay the full amount owed to the general contractor into court to fully secure subcontractor...
August 2023
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2024
43 Lawyers Recognized
Field Law is pleased to announce that 44 of our lawyers are recognized in their respective practice areas in the 18th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Recognition in Best Lawyers™ is based on peer reviews of ...
August 2023 - 4 min read
Substantial Indemnity Costs in the Context of Liens
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
Parties to construction contracts should be attentive to the potential for substantial indemnity costs in lien proceedings, recognizing the significance of recoverable litigation costs. The courts have the authority to award costs on...
July 2023 - 6 min read
Lien Bonds Are as Good as Cash
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
The Manitoba Court of Appeal reversed a chambers Justice's decision which held that a lien bond was not as good as cash for vacating liens on a Crown project. In doing so, the Court of Appeal noted that in situations where neither ...
July 2023 - 4 min read
Who is Responsible for Defective Design?
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
The Court in Seagate Construction v Halifax Regional Municipality held that when a contractor is hired to carry out a design created by others, it is not responsible for faulty aspects of the intended design if its workmanship is sound...
July 2023 - 4 min read
Determining Validity of Contractor Claim of Lien
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
Understanding engagement relationships and responsibilities regarding subcontractors is crucial for construction company owners. A recent decision ruled that a lien was valid, even though the property owners were unaware of the subco...
June 2023 - 5 min read
How Should a Court Settle the Terms of a Release in Contentious Settlements?
Constructive Thoughts Newsletter
Haider v Rizvi highlights the Court's role in resolving disagreements when parties fail to agree on the terms of a release following a settlement. In this case, the Court determined the contents of a full and final mutual release...
May 24, 2023 - 4 min read
Surety Liability Under a Performance Bond
The Court faced a situation where it had to determine whether a surety had any liability under a performance bond. The Court found that even where it could not conclusively determine whether certain damages were due to the principal...
April 2023 - 3 min read
Legal Notes: Tough Love in the Tender Process
Journal of Commerce
April 2023 - 3 min read
Immovable Security: Lien Eligibility for Mobile Structures
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirmed that portable classrooms are characterized as "improvements" and are therefore eligible for a lien under the Ontario Construction Act. The same conclusion would like...
March 2023 - 4 min read
Priority Between Builders' Liens + Trustee Fees in a Bankrupt Estate
Usually, secured claims against a bankrupt estate (such as builders' liens) are paid out before any other claims, including a bankruptcy trustee's fees. But fairness is the most important consideration when administering a ba...
March 2023
Costs + Damages Entitlement for Wrongfully Registered Liens
If a person wrongfully registers a lien, the property owner is entitled to costs and damages incurred resulting from the wrongfully registered lien. The specific award will depend on the circumstances of the case, but may include rea...
February 2023 - 3 min read
Unfinished Business: The Importance of a Flawless Bid in the Tender Process
If a submitted tender does not strictly comply with all the mandatory requirements of the tender package, the owner can and should reject that tender. This ensures that all bidders are treated fairly – the overarching...
December 2022 - 3 min read
When Worlds Collide: The Interplay Between Liens and Adjudication Orders
Alberta’s prompt payment and adjudication provisions are based heavily on Ontario’s Construction Act, but a major difference is the extent of trust provisions. In Alberta, a trust only arises when a certificate of sub...
November 2022
Complete or Not Complete: When is Substantial Performance Attained?
In Alberta, issuing a certificate of substantial performance allows the major lien fund to be released once the requisite time has elapsed. In British Columbia, issuing a certificate of completion allows the holdback to be released once the requisite t...
September 2022 - 4 min read
Can Surety Bonds be Rescinded Due to a Contractor's Fraudulent Conduct?
Surety bonds are commonplace on construction projects across Canada. They provide assurance that if the principal under the bond (usually a general contractor or major subcontractor) defaults, funds will be available to complete the work and/or pay unp...
September 2022 - 4 min read
Exposure for Developers: Potential Liability for Dangerous Defects
In construction law, it is common for anyone actively participating in construction projects to have duties imposed upon them to ensure the work is completed safely and is free from dangerous defects. If there is no evidence of the developer's r...
August 2022 - 4 min read
Final Countdown: Top 5 Things to Keep in Mind for Prompt Payment
The Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act (“PPCLA”) comes into force on August 29, 2022, nearly two years after Bill 37 was first tabled. With only five days left, here are the top five things for all construction companies and...
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 - 10 min read
In Good Faith: Seven Cases Impacting Your Contracts
In 2020 and 2021, two significant Supreme Court of Canada cases, Callow Inc. v. Zollinger and Wastech Services Ltd. v Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, clarified and confirmed the duty of good faith and honest contra...
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 reli...
January 2022
Meet Our Newest Partners
Field Law welcomes Jill Bishop and Richard Stobbe to its partnership.Field Law is pleased to welcome Jill Bishop and Richard Stobbe as firm partners, starting January 1, 2022.“Both Richard and Jill have demonstrated leadership and commitment to e...
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
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
Prompt Payment Legislation in Alberta: Is Your Invoicing "Proper"?
Prompt payment legislation has been in force in the United Kingdom for almost 30 years. Notwithstanding its reported effectiveness overseas, it has been slow to gain traction in Canada. In July 2018, Ontario enacted the "modernization" of its...
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...
July 2021 - 5 min read
Contract Drafting Secures Millions in Pre-Judgement Interest
Bidell Equipment LP v Caliber Midstream GP LLC, 2020 ABCA 478 (“Bidell”) is a recent appeal decision showcasing the importance of a properly drafted contract and its significance during contractual disputes. Additionally, this decision high...
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
February 2021 - 5 min read
Discretionary Powers in Contracts: The Duty to Act in Good Faith
Since 2014, Canadian courts and tribunals have struggled with the application of the duty to act honestly in the performance in contractual obligations, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC") in Bhasin v Hrynew. In attempts to...
January 2021 - 6 min read
Deception + the Honest Performance of Contracts
In 2014 the Supreme Court pronounced that good faith contractual performance is a general principle in the common law of contracts and that there is a common law duty applicable to all contracts to act honestly in the performance of obligations; B...
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...
August 2020
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2021
38 Fielders Recognized
Field Law is pleased to announce that 38 of our lawyers are recognized in their respective practice areas in the 15th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Recognition in Best Lawyers™ is based on peer reviews of ...
July 2020 - 4 min read
Upcoming Clarifications to Contractual Good Faith
Last December, the Supreme Court of Canada heard two appeals concerning contractual good faith issues. The first involved an appeal of the British Columbia decision Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District v. Wastech Services Ltd., 2019 BC...
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, ...
March 2020
COVID-19 and Construction Contract Performance: Frustration When you Don't Have a Force Majeure Clause
The ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have many parties looking at their ongoing and future contractual obligations. In the construction context, many contracts will include a force majeure provision outlining what happens when contr...
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...
January 2019
Tick-Tock Goes the Lien Clock
Builders’ liens are an important tool, providing contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers security for unpaid work. The template s.48 Order requires a lien claimant to file a Statement of Claim within 180 days of registering the lien; however, ...
July 2018
Consequential Consequences: Contractually Excluding Damages for Lost Profits
Clauses that exclude or limit the recovery of consequential or indirect damages are common in construction, services and other commercial contracts. These clauses can play an important role in risk allocation.  This is particularly so in situation...
January 2018
Contractor Know Thyself: If You Don’t, You May Lose Your Lien
Builders' liens are "creatures of statute". A builders' lien is a new right created by lien legislation that would not otherwise exist at common law.  As such, a lien claimant must bring itself strictly within the statutory frame...
January 2018
Fatal Errors: The Small Mistakes That Can Have a Big Impact On Your Lien Claim
The scenario is a fairly common one: a contractor doesn’t get paid, and then proceeds to register a lien on a project, only to later discover a mistake in the Statement of Lien. It could be a typo in the name of the Owner; or it could be a failur...
  • 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 totalling 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
  • Secured a favourable settlement for a client on a complex delay claim involving wrongful termination and a counterclaim for damages against our client
  • Provided legal advice as part of a team to an owner involved in a multi-million dollar procurement matter
  • Represented a major international EPC contractor involved in disputes with oil sands producers and other EPC contractors over payment, delays, costs, and changes for various turnaround, construction and fabrication contracts
  • Represented a US engineering, fabrication, construction and maintenance contractor involved in a dispute with an oil sands producer over payment and delays