Vancouver Construction Litigation Lawyers
Construction disputes are as technically complex as the projects involved. They affect several stakeholders, including owners, designers, engineers, architects, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and labourers. Unresolved issues threaten the success of a construction project, impact business relationships, and damage industry reputations.
Meridian Law Group has over three decades of experience in this technical area of the law and represents a variety of stakeholders at all stages of the construction pyramid. The firm’s skilled construction litigators aggressively advocate for clients’ interests and deliver results in all types of construction disputes, including deficiency and delay litigation, tendering processes, and builder’s liens.
The procurement of designs, supplies, and labour for construction projects is often done through calls for tenders or requests for proposals. Tendering may be required at several stages of a construction project.
The tendering process creates legal duties on the part of both the owner and the bidders. For example, an owner has a duty of fairness that requires it to only accept bids that comply with the terms of the call for tenders or request for proposals. Owners must also ensure they don’t give an unfair advantage to a bidder by giving them access to confidential information about the project. On the other side of the process, bidders must be accurate and transparent in their proposals and have an obligation to follow through with the contract upon the owner’s acceptance of their bid.
When a dispute arises during the tendering process, Meridian Law Group takes swift action to secure a client’s rights. Some cases may be resolved through a breach of contract claim for damages to compensate a party for their financial losses. Other matters may require an application to the court for a declaration on a disputed issue, for example:
- A bid’s non-compliance with the tendering requirements;
- A violation of the tendering process or lack of fairness on the part of the owner;
- An innocent party’s right to back out of the contract as a result of the other party’s breach; or
- The existence of an enforceable agreement between the owner and bidder.
Builder’s liens are filed against the title to land or buildings involved in a construction project and secure a party’s right to payment for materials or labour. British Columbia’s Builders Lien Act requires most builder’s liens to be filed within 45 days after a certificate of completion is issued for the contract in question.
The party that is “primarily liable” on each contract (the owner, contractor, or subcontractor, depending on the circumstances) is required to hold back 10% of each payment owed to a party. This holdback requirement ensures at least some funds remain available throughout the duration of the project to pay potential claims. Under the Builders Lien Act, the holdbacks are considered a trust held by the “primarily liable” party for the benefit of the party that is owed payment.
Claims for a debt secured by a builder’s lien are limited to the amount of the holdback or the amount owed to the contractor or subcontractor, whichever is greater. Under the Builders Lien Act claims for payment under the lien must be brought within one year after the “head contract” – the contract under which substantially all of the work is done – is completed, abandoned, or terminated.
Meridian Law Group ensures clients’ rights are protected through strict compliance with the timelines and procedural requirements of the Builders Lien Act. The firm helps parties avoid unnecessary costs and project delays through the quick and decisive resolution of builder’s liens claims.
Construction contracts provide timelines for the completion of each stage of a project. Delays can have severe financial consequences relating to additional labour, increased material prices, and postponed business operations. Projects plagued by delays threaten a business’s long-term viability and can damage the reputation of all parties involved.
The seasoned construction litigation team at Meridian Law Group assists clients on any side of a delay-related dispute. The firm determines the best strategy for curing the delay by reviewing the circumstances of the delay and the requirements under the construction contract. Whenever possible, Meridian Law Group negotiates on behalf of clients to quickly resolve the issues causing the delay.
The firm also provides forceful advocacy and aggressive legal action when early resolution is not possible. Meridian Law Group initiates claims in court for the recovery of lost revenue caused by project delays. In some cases, a client’s interests are best preserved by also pursuing the termination of the contract or project in question to avoid ongoing financial losses.
Contact Meridian Law Group in Vancouver for Skilled Assistance with Construction Disputes
The dynamic team at Meridian Law Group has developed an extensive knowledge of construction law in British Columbia for over three decades. The firm develops out-of-the-box legal strategies and provides robust legal advice for clients facing a dispute at any stage of a construction project. Meridian Law Group helps clients avoid contractual breaches, maintain their business reputation, and preserve a project’s continued viability through decisive action and talented advocacy.
Meridian Law Group is a cornerstone of the British Columbia legal community and has a reputation for consistently exceeding client expectations. The firm is located in downtown Vancouver and represents clients in West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Penticton, Kelowna, Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, and White Rock. To arrange a confidential consultation on your construction or business dispute, please call (604) 687-2277 or reach out online.