The Canadian Construction Contracts Guidebook

Apr 26, 2019 2 MIN READ
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Elliot A. Smith

Partner, Construction & Infrastructure, Toronto

Negotiating a construction contract for a project in Canada poses unique challenges for anyone involved in the project, including lawyers, owners, contractors, architects and engineers. From the simplest home renovation to the largest infrastructure project, it is very common that something unexpected and beyond the control of the parties involved in the contract will be encountered on the project — whether natural or differences in the built environment. When a contract is unclear or ambiguous about which party is responsible in the wake of an unanticipated event, it can often result in a dispute that ends up costing both parties valuable time and resources. Establishing an appropriately detailed and balanced contract between the various parties to a construction project can help reduce the risk of negative consequences arising from these instances.

This comprehensive resource, The Canadian Construction Contracts Guidebook, is a guide to support lawyers and anyone else in the construction industry who negotiates construction contracts. It is written by Elliot Smith, a partner in Osler’s Construction and Infrastructure Group, who is also a professional engineer and has over a decade of experience negotiating construction contracts. This easy-to-use guide addresses construction contract issues from the perspective of how best to establish the contractual arrangement, as opposed to addressing contract administration issues after-the-fact or trying to resolve a dispute once it has arisen on a construction project.

Lawyers, owners, contractors, consultants, subcontractors, material suppliers, or insurance and surety advisors can leverage this resource for guidance on virtually all types of construction contracts. The Guidebook starts by addressing the different forms of contract that may be appropriate for a project, and then covers all the major sections of a typical construction contract including:

  • Performance of the Work
    • General obligation to perform the work, notice to proceed, construction safety, subcontractors and suppliers, changes to the work, owner-supplied equipment, construction delay and more
  • Payment Structures and Payment for the Work
    • Fixed-price contracts, cost-reimbursable contracts, guaranteed maximum price contracts, lien legislation and more
  • Completing the Work and Warranties
    • Substantial completion, punchlists, final completion, warranties, latent defects and more
  • Liability
    • Title and risk of loss, indemnities, insurance, delay damages (including liquidated damages), limits of liability, performance security and more
  • Defaults, termination, and dispute resolution
    • Events of defaults, remedies for default, termination for convenience, dispute resolution and more

The Canadian Construction Contracts Guidebook

The Canadian Construction Contracts Guidebook is available in paper format:

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