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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 at Field Law are familiar with the risks that you face. 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 to 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:

  • Builders’ liens
  • 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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Gradziel v Town of Coalhurst, 2020 ABQB
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
LaPrairie Works Inc v Ledcor Alberta Limited, 2019 ABQB 189
Park Avenue Flooring Inc v EllisDon Construction Services Inc, 2019 ABQB 73
RPC Limited Partnership v SNC-Lavalin ATP Inc, 2018 ABQB 656
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
HVC Canada Ltd v. EllisDon Construction Services Inc., 2016 ABQB 602
HVC Canada Ltd. v. EllisDon Construction Services Inc., 2016 ABQB 105
Cranbrook (City) v. Gabriel Construction (Alberta) Ltd., 2014 BCSC 2280
Keyland Development Corporation v Cochrane (Town), 2014 ABQB 458
Online Constructors Ltd. v. Speers Construction Inc., 2011 ABQB 43
Stonetile  (Canada) Ltd. v. Castcon Ltd., 2010 ABQB 392
Chuck Corothers Building Ltd. v. Royal North Industries Ltd., [1998] NWTR 114 (NWTSC), Northwest Territories Supreme Court
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...
June 9, 2020
Canadian Construction Projects and COVID-19: Future Forecasts
Presentations
Canadian Bar Association
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
Contractors and COVID-19: How Far Must We (and Can We) Go to Meet OHS Obligations?
Much has been published in the last few weeks about the obligations of employers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, SA 2017, c O-2.1 [OHSA] to ensure that work sites are safe and healthy (and we’ll have more to come about the obligatio...
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...
March 10-11, 2020
12th Annual Managing Risk in Construction Contracts and Projects
Conferences
Speaker
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, ...
November 2018
Carbon Tax in the Northwest Territories: What You Need to Know
A carbon tax is coming to the Northwest Territories (the "NWT"). The Government of the Northwest Territories (the "GNWT") recently announced their plan to implement a made in the north NWT Carbon Tax designed and administered in the...
November 2018
Buildex Calgary Seminar Talks Cannabis in the Workplace
Journal of Commerce
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...
March 2018
Contentious Construction Contract Clauses: Traps and Pitfalls to be Aware Of
Presentations
BUILDEX Edmonton Conference
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...
December 2017
Termination Problems: When Can You Walk Away From a Contract?
Construction projects don’t always go as planned. Delays, add-ons, and changes to plans are common. Parties can sue when losses occur. When this happens, the contract itself is the key guide to the parties’ obligations.However, sometimes th...
August 2017
Case Summary: Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corp. v. Able Eavestroughing Ltd.
Defence + Indemnity Newsletter
Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench finds CRA entitled to priority to “earned but unpaid” contract funds held by obligee (over the surety who had paid out labour and material payment bond claims after principal’s default)  &nbs...
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...
July 2017
Things Left Unsaid – Determining Price Adjustment resulting from Scope Changes
It’s common for the parties to a construction contract to focus on the price of the work to be performed. Less attention is often given to the method of calculating changes to the price for alterations to the scope of work. Uncertainty ...
  • 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