Executive Summary

James MacLellan is a partner in the Construction, Engineering, Surety and Fidelity Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. James spends a majority of his time representing sureties on bonding issues across Canada. He has appeared in all levels of courts in Ontario and in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

James also advises a number of institutions, including hospitals, colleges and municipalities, in all aspects of their infrastructure and capital re-development programs. He provides project delivery, procurement, tendering, contract drafting and litigation advice as needed.

Prior to entering law school, James was employed from 1987 to 1990 by The Guarantee Company of North America as a claims adjuster and underwriter in the contract surety department. James is the author of several papers and a frequent speaker at legal conferences and seminars on topics related to construction law.

Representative Work

  • AXA Pacific Insurance Company v. Romcan Limited, [2009] – obligation to make documentary production in a Performance Bond case.
  • Shannex Inc. v. St. Paul Guarantee Insurance Company (Re Meridian Construction), [2006] NSJ No. 22 (Sup. Ct.) – court refused to grant to an owner an order to lift the automatic stay against the bankrupt contractor to enable an owner to prove a claim against a surety. Court also held the surety would not be bound by an arbitration award in which it did not participate.
  • Isobord v. Chubb, [2003] OJ No. 3527 (SCJ), aff’d [2004] OJ No. 2202 (CA): The rights of a secondary obligee under a Performance Bond Dual Obligee Rider are derivative of the rights of the primary obligee.
  • Kennedy Electric v. Rumble Automation (2004), 73 OR (3d) 530, [2004] OJ No. 5091 (SCJ) – the installation of an assembly line is not lienable under the Ontario Construction Lien Act.
  • Cooperatif Habitation Antigonish v. Laurentian General (2001) Carswell Ont. 3346 (SCJ) – dismissal of action under Performance Bond for failure of obligee to commence action within suit limitation period in Performance Bond.

Publications & Presentations

  • Speaker: “Hot Topics in Construction Law,” Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference in Savannah, GA, March 2012.
  • Speaker, “Surety Bonds,” University of Toronto School of Architecture, October 2012.
  • Speaker, Surety Association of Canada Annual General Meeting, September 2012.
  • Speaker, Surety Association of Canada Annual General Meeting, September 2011.
  • Speaker: ““Hot Topics in Construction Law,” Presented at Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference, Kona, Hawaii, March 2011.
  • Speaker, “Tendering Law” Ontario Bar Association, November 2010.
  • Speaker, “Surety Bonds,” University of Toronto School of Architecture, October 2010.
  • Speaker, Surety Association of Canada Annual General Meeting, September 2010.
  • Speaker, Brock University Convocation Address, Faculty of Business, June 2010.
  • Speaker, “6 Minute Business Lawyer,” Law Society of Upper Canada, June 2010.
  • Speaker, Canadian Construction Association Conference aboard the Regent Mariner Cruise, March 15-22, 2010.
  • Speaker, “Surety Bonds,” Presentation, Building Industry and Land Development Association, September 2009.
  • Speaker, “Liability Creep Under Lien Registration,” Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference, March 2009.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2014 edition (and since 2010) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Construction Law).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rating.
  • Brock University – Faculty of Business Distinguished Graduate, 2009.