On June 14, 2019, BLG Construction Partner Kevin Barr and Associate Theron Davis presented at the Canadian Energy Law Foundation's (CELF) Jasper Research Seminar.
Kevin and Theron's paper is entitled "Under Construction: A Close Examination of Recent Construction Law Developments and Their Impact on the Oil and Gas Industry".
Canadian courts have recently delivered a number of construction related decisions that impact tendering, arbitration, liens, and bonding in the oil and gas industry. These recent decisions demonstrate a tension between the prototypical freedom to contract and the judiciary's proclivity towards correcting perceived failings of the construction industry. Disputes arising from construction projects in the oil and gas industry have taken centre stage in bringing about incremental change in the law. In order to mitigate against the resultant uncertainty, owners and contractors should mind the nuances in how the fundamental rules of construction law are applied. This paper explores the application of first principles to identify themes commonly adopted by the bench and makes recommendations for where the case law may be going in the future.