Dec 15, 2010
Reminiscing on a decade in Horticulture Review
Our law firm first became members of Landscape Ontario in 1998, and I first wrote a column for Horticulture Review in March of 1999.
Nov 15, 2010
Standards needed in winter maintenance contracts
Last year we revisited risk management under the winter maintenance contract. In doing so, we cautioned that an insurance crisis would soon be upon us.
Oct 15, 2010
Is our dispute really settled?
If you don’t have a dispute with the client every now and then, you don’t have enough clients.
Sep 15, 2010
A case study: When simple problems become significant
Consider the following hypothetical situation: A contractor is retained to erect a box-shaped building for an owner on lands that are now part of a subdivision.
Aug 15, 2010
A tale of two subcontractors
Years ago, we acted for a subcontractor who found himself on the receiving end of charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Jul 15, 2010
The Ontario New Home Warranty Program
Most of us have heard of the new home warranty, however, we may not understand how that program works.
Jun 15, 2010
Dealing with the problem owner
If you have been working long enough as a construction contractor, you have had an odd client that, if you had to do it all over again, you would have never taken the job in the first place.
May 15, 2010
Keeping track of who’s who in construction
It is not unusual for even large companies to drop the ball and fail to keep up with registrations.
Apr 15, 2010
Due diligence and the Occupational Health and Safety Act
It is worth revisiting, and focusing in more detail on the “due diligence defence.”
Mar 15, 2010
Protect against workplace violence and harassment
The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009, comes into effect on June 15, 2010.
Feb 15, 2010
When you and your client are on different pages
A costly dispute between a client and contractor.
Jan 15, 2010
Beware the trust provisions of the Construction Lien Act
As a landscape contractor, you no doubt have business loans that require regular payments. You probably also pay rent.
Dec 15, 2009
Manage risk by properly planning for growth
My father, Jack Kennaley, was an accountant. He was a good accountant and a good man. When I started my own construction business, many years ago, he had some advice for me. He told me that good small companies didn’t go under because of bad debts, or because their work was substandard.
Nov 15, 2009
Do you have an employment contract?
Many employers, especially small and new businesses, are content to conduct the hiring process with a handshake and brief letter offering employment. Indeed, many employers in construction-related industries don’t even have that.
Oct 15, 2009
Winter maintenance contracts: Managing slip and fall claims
The best contract in the world may not, of course, protect the contractor from being sued for a slip and fall.
Sep 15, 2009
The snow maintenance contract: Managing the risk of slip and fall
Eight to ten years ago, winter maintenance contractors faced a crisis: the number of insurance companies that would insure contractors was decreasing, while premiums were rapidly escalating.
Aug 15, 2009
A recent case deals with breach of trust
As we have discussed in previous articles, the trust provisions of the Construction Lien Act impose obligations on anyone who receives monies for the supply of services or materials to an “improvement” and who in turn owes monies to someone else, further down the construction pyramid, for their supply.
Jul 15, 2009
Rates of interest and contract
You have completed your contract and sent your invoice, but no payment appears to be forthcoming.
Jun 15, 2009
Adding your client to your insurance policy
Contractors will often find that their clients (property owners) wish to be added as an additional insured under the contractor’s liability insurance policy, for protection in the event that a claim arises in relation to the contractor’s duties.
May 15, 2009
The role of the consultant
In construction projects, the consultant undertakes an important, albeit sometimes confusing, role. The role of the consultant, in any construction project, varies depending on the terms of the contract and the parties to the contract.
Apr 15, 2009
Risk management during an economic downturn: Part Two
This month, we will discuss how contractors, subcontractors and suppliers can better manage the risk of non-payment when problems begin to arise on a project.
Mar 15, 2009
Risk management during an economic downturn: Part One
As we move into uncertain economic times, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers should reassess how they manage the risk that someone above them in the construction chain may not be able to pay his bills.
Feb 15, 2009
Changes in 2010 for Small Claims Court
Changes are coming to the Rules of Civil Procedure in Ontario, effective January 1, 2010.
Jan 15, 2009
Offers to settle: The costs and consequences
Litigation can be time-consuming and expensive.
Dec 15, 2008
Preserving the claim for lien
As discussed in previous articles, contractors and subcontractors have a lien for the value of the services or materials they supply to an “improvement,” as those terms are defined under the Construction Lien Act.
Nov 15, 2008
The cons of one-sided contracts
In the seminars and tutorials we give in relation to contracts, contractors will often tell us that their clients agree to clauses which substantially assign most of the risk associated with the work to the owner.
Oct 15, 2008
Tendering and the contractor/subcontractor relationship
One aspect of the law of tendering, which is particularly misunderstood, is how the law applies to the relationship between a contractor and a subcontractor.
Sep 15, 2008
Documentation is important for Consumer Protection Act
Recently, an appeals decision was published concerning a dispute between a contractor and homeowner in the context of the Consumer Protection Act.
Aug 15, 2008
Your business and the privacy act, Part 2
In January 2007, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released findings in a complaint filed under The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) by residential clients over a building supplier’s disclosure of their personal information to one of their former contractors.
Jul 15, 2008
Your business and the privacy act
The Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA, is a relatively new private sector privacy law in Canada.
Jun 15, 2008
Managing the risks of rising fuel costs and scarce materials
Recent events in relation to fuel prices and materials availability lead us to revisit ways in which contractors can better manage the risks associated with these concerns.
May 15, 2008
WSIB and contractors: Do you know where you stand?
The following article is a scenario in regards to WSIB.
Apr 15, 2008
The new Master Format for construction specifications
Last month, in the first part of an article on changes in commonly used construction documents, I wrote about the new CCDC 2-2008 Stipulated Price Contract.
Mar 15, 2008
Recent changes to standard form construction documents
Those of you who have bid to perform work in the industrial, commercial or institutional sectors, or in relation to subdivisions or custom-built homes, will be familiar with “CCDC” contracts and with the standard (or “master”) format for specifications.
Feb 15, 2008
Walford v. Jacuzzi Canada: the duty to warn
As lawyers, we often caution about the risks you run if you are not careful about what you say to clients.