De Grandpré Chait is a recognized leader in construction law, featuring a team of construction lawyers whose reputation and proactive involvement in Quebec's construction industry are well known. We can guide you through every step of a construction project, whether it involves designing strategies, drafting contracts, financing, calls for tenders, bids, construction hypothecs, construction bonds, protecting your claims or handling litigation.
Our experts in construction law act for clients operating in the industrial, commercial, residential and institutional sectors. Our vast experience in construction matters is a valuable asset for owners, developers, general and specialized contractors, suppliers of materials, architects and engineers, as well as lenders and bonding companies.
In construction, action is not enough: you also have to be aware of the business context, the risks and the legal issues. Our lawyers monitor evolving construction industry trends and know the key players. They continuously keep abreast of their clients' needs and concerns. In order to effectively represent your interests, our team is also active within the construction industry, particularly with the Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ), the Association des constructeurs de routes et grands travaux du Québec (ACRGTQ), the Association Québécoise des Entrepreneurs en Infrastructure (AQEI) and the Association des maîtres couvreurs du Québec (AMCQ).
We care about the success of your construction project. You can rely on our know-how and our understanding of construction-related challenges to provide you with advice and recommendations regarding the proper measures to be taken in project planning and execution. Our lawyers are also experienced in dealing with various administrative authorities to obtain construction licences and construction permits (Régie du bâtiment du Québec, municipal authorities, etc.).
In addition, you can benefit from the advice and solutions provided by our lawyers practising in complementary legal fields, such as the following: business law (incorporations, project financing, business acquisitions, shareholder agreements, shareholder dispute resolution, business succession, labour relations, protecting your inventions), municipal issues (zoning, taxation and expropriation), environment, taxation (tax planning, trusts, tax litigation), as well as bankruptcy and insolvency.
- Represented a developer through all stages of construction of several residential condominium development projects, including a 300-unit multipurpose building in downtown Montréal with six parking levels
- Represented various parties involved in the rebuilding of a highway, examining the legal risks and liabilities in respect of the procedures set out in the contract and providing legal opinions relating to the application of performance clauses with respect to a lump-sum contract performed over a specific period of time proposed by the MTQ
- Represented a Montréal university in connection with the extension of several buildings with respect to acquisitions and financing worth over $750M, which was financed with public and private funds
- Represented real estate developers with respect to the preparation of the corporate structure, indivision agreement, management agreement, acquisition of land and the construction framework agreement regarding the construction of a $58M real estate complex
Calls for tenders as well as requests for proposals are a source of concern that could have a major impact on risk management, and they are often a mandatory step in the implementation of a construction project. We can advise you both before and after the closing of a call for tenders in order to identify the potential pitfalls. Whether the issue is about bid eligibility, compliance, or enforceability, our construction lawyers will have the answer to your questions. You can also take advantage of our extensive litigation experience to handle cases relating to the Bureau des soumissions déposées du Québec (BSDQ - Bid Depository) code.
- Represented several contractors following the awarding of construction contracts not in compliance with BSDQ rules
- Obtained a favourable judgment confirmed by the Court of Appeal of Quebec granting an amount of more than $100,000 to a contractor following the award of a contract to another and higher bidder due to a minor non-compliance
- Sued principals for damages on behalf of contractors who suffered prejudice as a consequence of faults committed in calls for tenders.
- Les clauses de non-recours insérées dans les documents d'appels d'offres sont-elles valides? (available in French)
- Les non-conformités occultes des soumissions : ACQ contre Blenda, Dommage collatéral de Double N Earthmovers (available in French)
- Tenderers, should you change your strategy?
- Décision récente en matière d'appel d'offres (available in French)
- The Double N Earthmovers case: A minor bombshell in the tendering process
- Errors in tenders: Preventing them to avoid the very worst
- The decision to accept a tender must be made in good faith
A contract is the cornerstone of goodwill between parties. In order to meet the specific needs of all stakeholders involved in a construction project and reduce the risk of claims, we can help you draft and negotiate your contract documents. Renowned for their in-depth knowledge of the main standard form contracts used in the construction industry (CCDC, ACC, MTQ, Hydro-Québec, FIDIC), our lawyers will guide you in determining the model and clauses which best apply to each of your construction projects. They have also developed extensive experience in the drafting of contracts for major works, including projects undertaken as public-private partnerships.
- Reviewed various financing contracts, which included providing opinions on the rights of parties in connection with the financing and the consortium that handled the construction of the Confederation Bridge
- Represented a contractor specialized in the construction of box girder bridges with respect to the negotiation, preparation and review of a preliminary agreement with a bidder who was not chosen
- Represented the Algerian government through the Agence Nationale des Autoroutes Algériennes with respect to the preparation of the agreement between the government and various contractors in this $1.7B construction project. The agreement included risk sharing with respect to the design (design-build with unit price controlled through minimum and maximum price ranges), the performance and maintenance guarantee mechanism, as well as a dispute resolution mechanism ("evolving" mediation and arbitration).
- Represented the original partners in the construction of the Fredericton-Moncton Highway, including the verification of all contracts with the government and its Crown Corporation and advising both parties with respect to negotiations, strategies and the analysis of agreements entered into regarding the non-use of the highway
- Actively participated in the preparation of a suite of contract forms for the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Canada and involved, as joint legal counsel to ACEC, with the evolution of CCDC (Canadian Construction Documents Committee) contract forms
A construction legal hypothec is often the best way to protect the claims of contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and professionals. In 2015, the publication of a major work reasserted our leadership role in this field. Written by a prominent lawyer of the firm, David H. Kauffman, The Construction Hypothec: Insights Into Quebec Lien and Construction Law, is an authoritative reference work which contains a comprehensive examination of the construction hypothec and discusses related construction law matters in Quebec. You can count on our cutting-edge expertise with respect to all aspects of construction legal hypothecs, from its denunciation, publication, prior notice and execution to the hypothecary recourse, substitution of security, contestation and its removal. Equally skilled in the area of construction bonding, our lawyers will advise you and make the appropriate interventions to defend your rights regarding these issues.
- Registered several millions of dollars worth of construction hypothecs on behalf of contractors and suppliers of materials
- Represented a group of contractors, who held legal hypothecs, in their dispute with a bank regarding the price sharing in the judicial sale of a building under construction
- Represented the contractors who published construction legal hypothecs with regards to the Gaspésia project
- La renonciation au droit à l'hypothèque légale (available in French)
- Abandon des travaux : Vigilance aux créanciers détenteurs d'hypothèque légale! (available in French)
- Les cautionnements de contrats de construction (available in French)
- The scope of performance bonds: clarification or status quo?
- State agencies in Québec – Exemption from liens
- Legal hypothecs: The case of materials that have been prepared but not incorporated into an immovable
Regardless of the type of construction dispute you would like to settle, we will help you define the issues realistically and suggest possible solutions rapidly. If necessary, our construction lawyers will represent your interests before any court or administrative tribunal, government board, arbitrator or mediator. Our extensive experience before the courts, together with our involvement in the construction industry, allows us to present efficient solutions for the settlement of disputes stemming from calls for tenders, additional and unanticipated work, deficiencies and faulty work, unpaid claims, as well as offences under statutory provisions related to construction (CCQ and RBQ). Furthermore, we can counsel you with respect to claims involving insurance and professional liability regarding construction matters.
- Instituted recourses, representing a total of $47M, against a large public agency involving a hospital in connection with a public-private partnership - one for a consortium of architects and the other for a consortium of engineers
- Represented a contractor in a long-term arbitration involving the construction of a pipeline over 200 kilometres long
- Acted in an arbitration against the City of Montréal following the termination of a contract worth several hundred million dollars
- Acted for a client in a $1.4M claim following the breakdown of the sanitary system in a food-related business
- Represented a contractor in a $3M+ claim for the construction of a tunnel under the St. Lawrence River
- Represented a real estate developer in a procedure leading to the eviction of tenants to allow the construction of a residential development project worth several million dollars