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Construction Law

EXPERIENCED CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS IN TORONTO

Construction law is a very specialized practice area requiring immense technical knowledge and specific targeted skill in this space. The construction lawyers at Rousseau Mazzuca LLP have extensive experience in all areas of construction law. We represent and assist clients in reviewing, drafting, and negotiating various types of construction contracts (including various CCDC contracts, EPC contracts, joint venture, design service, and supply contracts). We advise clients in matters relating to procurement and tendering of contracts, project development, bonding, and dispute resolution. We represent individual and corporate clients on charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

CONSTRUCTION
CONTRACTS

Construction projects come with an inherent set of risks. These include financial risk, but also include delay, and health and safety risks. The best way to decrease the chances of your project running into problems is to have properly drafted documentation in place, protecting your rights and interests and complying with regulatory requirements. It is important to consult an experienced construction lawyer before you enter into any legal agreement or sign any construction contract.

At Rousseau Mazzuca LLP our construction lawyers have years of assisting clients with their various construction contract needs. We can walk you through the process of how to minimize your risks, can identify any red flags, and help keep the project on track. We have extensive experience assisting clients with the entire life-cycle of a construction project, from planning to execution, and can help you address any litigation or legal issues that may arise along the way.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
IN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS

If you are either a general contractor or a sub-contractor, there are a large and varied number of contracts and other documents that can help you manage your project and stay on target.
In addition to drafting construction contracts, and revising and negotiating the terms of existing contracts, we regularly assist clients with a wide range of construction documents, including:

  • Collective agreements;
  • Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) contracts;
  • Land leases;
  • Sub-contract agreements;
  • Documents involved in the tendering or bidding process;
  • Construction term sheets;
  • Financing and security documents;
  • Performance or labour guarantees or bonds.
CONSTRUCTION
DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Many construction contracts and collective agreements contain arbitration provisions spelling out how disputes between the parties must be addressed. This can range from protecting wages for workers to protecting financing by investors. These specialized processes require legal counsel with extensive experience in and knowledge of the construction industry.

Our construction lawyers regularly assist clients with their projects from “cradle to grave”, helping them draft or negotiate construction contracts, assisting with project financing, protecting their financial and security interests, including through liens, as well as addressing any other issues that can develop throughout the evolution of a project. This in-depth experience gives us an understanding of issues that may come up at the beginning of a project, and allows us to anticipate and react to them in advance, rather than limiting us to dealing with problems after they become apparent or once a claim is filed. We are committed to helping our clients resolve any issues in the most efficient way possible.

PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS DURING CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES

Many construction contracts and collective agreements contain arbitration provisions spelling out how disputes between the parties must be addressed. This can range from protecting wages for workers to protecting financing by investors. These specialized processes require legal counsel with extensive experience in and knowledge of the construction industry.

Our construction lawyers regularly assist clients with their projects from “cradle to grave”, helping them draft or negotiate construction contracts, assisting with project financing, protecting their financial and security interests, including through liens, as well as addressing any other issues that can develop throughout the evolution of a project. This in-depth experience gives us an understanding of issues that may come up at the beginning of a project, and allows us to anticipate and react to them in advance, rather than limiting us to dealing with problems after they become apparent or once a claim is filed. We are committed to helping our clients resolve any issues in the most efficient way possible.

STRATEGIC, ASSERTIVE LAWYERS WITH A FOCUS ON
CONSTRUCTION DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Though you may take all necessary steps to eliminate risk in your project, construction is a high stakes industry where disputes often arise. Once problems come up, they can bring a project to a grinding halt. For this reason, it is important to obtain advice from experienced legal counsel who can guide you through this often frustrating process, allowing the project to recommence.

The construction industry has some unique and very specific methods of dispute resolution, best handled by lawyers with focused experience in this practice area. The construction lawyers at Rousseau Mazzuca LLP in Toronto have extensive experience guiding clients through all of the most common disagreements that can come up during the lifespan of a project, and can represent you in:

  • Mediations;
  • Arbitrations;
  • Settlement Meetings.

We understand that eliminating delays caused by disagreements is crucial. Our goal is always the quick, inexpensive, and effective resolution of any issues that may arise during the life of a project, allowing everyone to move forward and get the job done.

DELAY AND
DEFICIENCY CLAIMS

Delay claims or deficiency claims are two commonly occurring disputes that can arise during the course of a construction project and can be a costly risk to those involved on the job. These are sometimes unavoidable and can occur despite carefully drafted construction contracts, seriously impacting the timeline of a project and causing massive losses.

At Rousseau Mazzuca LLP, we have extensive experience representing clients in delay and deficiency claims and have successfully both filed and defended these actions. We understand that it is imperative for work to recommence as soon as possible or to continue despite any claims made, and our goal is to help our clients through any challenges that may arise. We have many years of experience with these claims, and approach them strategically and with an in-depth understanding of their complexities and unique characteristics.

DEFICIENCY CLAIMS

There are often disputes about the quality of work being done on a project. These can range from the wrong materials being used to serious structural or engineering issues.
A deficiency claim can be filed against a contractor or subcontractor where a party involved in a construction project is unsatisfied with the work being done. These claims can have significant financial implications and must be taken seriously. If a deficiency claim has been filed against you, or if you want to file a claim yourself, it is best to consult with a lawyer with in-depth knowledge of construction law.

RENEWABLE ENERGY
AGREEMENTS

The Canadian government has officially announced its commitment to fighting climate change, creating new opportunities for economic growth in emerging renewable energy industries. As the focus on environmental sustainability increases, these projects continue to grow in Ontario. Rapid development in this area brings specific legal challenges requiring advice from construction lawyers with proficiency in this emerging sector and knowledge of the complex and changing regulations that govern this area.

At Rousseau Mazzuca LLP, our construction lawyers have extensive experience guiding clients in the renewable energy sector through the lifespan of their project including:

  • Financing and Development
  • Construction
  • Delay and Deficiency Claims
  • Litigation, including construction lien litigation

We represent clients in several high growth areas, including solar energy, battery storage, wind energy, and more. Our lawyers have gained a reputation for their specialized knowledge and their forward-thinking approach. We understand the ins and outs of these emerging industries, know how to secure financing, and can ensure that all parties comply with their obligations. We understand the importance of keeping projects on track and proactively addressing all risks.

MANAGING RISK IN YOUR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT

Every renewable energy project comes with risks, which can arise at any stage of the project. However, with proper identification and management of these liabilities, you can ensure that your project remains within expected timelines.
Our lawyers have been ahead of the curve on renewable energy, and have been involved in various renewable projects since their early days. Our goal is to help see each client’s project through to success by identifying and managing liabilities in this unique subgroup of construction projects.

LABOUR AND MATERIAL
PAYMENT BONDS

Financial and other risks are inherent to construction projects of all sizes. Labour and material payment bonds guarantee that subcontractors and suppliers receive payment for work and materials. These bonds are best addressed by construction lawyers with specific experience with these documents and an understanding on how to make a claim, when to make a claim, and how much you can claim. The team at Rousseau Mazzuca LLP in Toronto is well-versed in all of the nuances of labour and material payment bonds and has extensive experience acting for project owners, general contractors, and subcontractors.

We can assist our clients with:

  • The process of obtaining a labour and material payment bond;
  • The dispute resolution process under these bonds;
  • Enforcing payment under these bonds.

THE BENEFITS OF OBTAINING A LABOUR AND MATERIAL PAYMENT BOND

More and more frequently, owners require general contractors to obtain labour and material payment bonds to protect those who supply labour and materials, project owners, and contractors by guaranteeing that suppliers and subcontractors are compensated.

  • Protection for project owners and general contractors
    • The bond can ensure that work on a project keeps going and a project is completed on time.
  • Protection for contractors and subcontractors
    • The bonds can assist contractors and subcontractors and help them obtain payment for their work.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
AND SAFETY ACT CHARGES

Owners, constructors, directors, officers, supervisors, and workers can all be prosecuted under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act for any violations under the Act. The Ministry of Labour can bring charges for workplace injuries or the failure to have certain policies or safety protocols in place. These charges are very serious and can include significant monetary penalties or even jail time.

At Rousseau Mazzuca LLP, we understand the complex ins and outs of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and can defend clients against charges, including the most serious ones. We know that a charge under the Act carries a substantial reputational risk, and we will assertively represent you in fighting these claims.

We also assist clients with general compliance with the Act and can provide advice on:

  • Preparing for Ministry of Labour construction blitzes;
  • Preparing for Ministry of Labour field visits including inspections, investigations, or consultations;
  • Cooperating with the Ministry of Labour in investigations of a work site or workplace following a death or serious injury, complaint, or other health and safety related issue;
  • Cooperating with the Ministry of Labour in inspections and consultations;
  • Complying with various notices and warnings received from the Ministry of Labour;
  • Dealing with a stop work order;
  • Complying with your general responsibilities and obligations under the Act;
  • Mitigating personal liability.

CHARGES UNDER THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

In Ontario, owners, constructors, directors, officers, supervisors and workers can all be charged under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charges can include significant financial penalties, and even jail time. Individuals can be fined up to a maximum of $25,000, and imprisoned for up to 12 months; corporations can be fined up to $500,000. More than one charge can be laid relating to a single incident.

ENFORCEMENT
AND CONSTRUCTION LIENS

A lien can be a powerful tool for protecting your rights and can be a way to guarantee payment for services. The Ontario Construction Act provides a specialized framework for construction liens in the province. This is a complex and technical area of the law that requires particular knowledge and focus in this space. There are many special rules for liens that differ from the rule applicable to other claims.

The legal team at Rousseau Mazzuca LLP in Toronto has many years of experience in assisting clients with lien related matters. We can guide you through the entire lien process, from registering a lien all the way to taking a lien claim to court. We have both prosecuted and defended lien claims and have gained a reputation for excellence in this area.

COMBINING COMMERCIAL LAW AND CONSTRUCTION LAW KNOWLEDGE

We regularly take on the most complex lien matters, including those that intersect with bankruptcy or credit protection issues, and have represented clients in a number of forums including Commercial Court. This experience gives us an unparalleled understanding of both the commercial aspects of a lien dispute as well as the impact this has on a construction project, providing our clients with more effective representation.

CONTACT
US

65 Queen St W, Suite 600
M5H 2M5, Toronto, Ontario
(416) 304-9899
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