Miller Thomson 2020 Montréal Construction Law Conference

March 11, 2020 | Fadi Amine, Gerry Argento, Marie-Pier Barabé, Louis-Philippe Borduas, Yann-Julien Chouinard, Louis Clément, Yannick Forget, Antoine Gamache, Adina Georgescu, Guy Gilain, Chantal Joubert, Jasmin Lefebvre, Anik Pierre-Louis, Julien Morier, Tania L. Pinheiro, Louis-Michel Tremblay, Stephan H. Trihey | Montréal

Featuring: directed tenders, amendments to a contract, specific agreements on risk allocation, the main steps of the acquisition process, transfer taxes and much more!

Join us on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 for a daylong conference intended for all construction and real estate sector stakeholders in Quebec and keep appraised of the most recent developments in your industry.

Please note that all speeches will be delivered in French.


7:30 a.m.: Breakfast and Registration
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Presentations, including a networking lunch

8 a.m.
Provisions for amending contracts: Scope and limitations
Guy Gilain and Tania L. Pinheiro
Nowadays in most construction contracts, the owner’s right to unilaterally modify the scope of the work is recognized. However, this power to make unilateral changes is not absolute. It must comply with the parameters established by statute and case law. For  instance, any change must not have the effect of altering the substance of the contract nor change its purpose or legal nature.

Directed tenders: Where do we stand since the establishment of the Autorité des marchés publics?
Anik Pierre-Louis and Yann-Julien Chouinard
The awarding of public contracts is now overseen by the Autorité des marchés publics and the courts to ensure transparency and a healthy competition. In this presentation, we will discuss recent court cases and the laws which address the limits imposed to public owners when they state and justify their requests regarding the goods, services and works that they need. We will also touch upon the notions of “directed tenders” and “equivalence”. Furthermore, we will discuss the impact of the complaints processing procedure which came into force in 2019.

The main steps of the acquisition process
Louis Clément, Julien Morier and Louis-Philippe Borduas
Legal, practical and financial matters to keep in mind during the negotiations leading up to a business acquisition, a company division or corporate assets.

Networking coffee break

The scope of exemption clauses in construction contracts: Recent developments
Stephan H. Trihey and Gerry Argento
The speakers will discuss the scope of exemption clauses in construction contracts, particularly in the light of the owner’s obligation to inform and the contractor’s obligation to inform himself.

Special agreements on risk sharing related to soil conditions in construction contracts
Jasmin Lefebvre and Antoine Gamache
Quotes generally include a contract change order for “different conditions”. However, this provision is often insufficient to avoid litigation centered around the circumstances required to invoke such a provision. Faced with this challenging situation, the Geotechnical baseline report (GBR) represents a very useful complementary tool which is designed to truly limit the impact of litigation focused on soil conditions. The presentation will discuss the purpose of the GBR, its development and its influence on a project’s legal and commercial aspects.

Land transfer taxes: How to cut your tax bill
Chantal Joubert and Adina Georgescu
You are perhaps missing out on opportunities to reduce land transfer taxes or be exempt from paying them. We will discuss three scenarios where you could be entitled to a reduction or an exemption, and will inform you on how you can be dealt a winning hand.

12:10 p.m.
Networking lunch

Contracting with municipalities: Recent developments and impact of the Supreme Court decision in Octane
Yannick Forget and Marie-Pier Barabé
Contracting with a city or a municipality entails a number of characteristics which are specific to this type of contract. Failure to respect these particularities or ignoring them can have dire consequences for the co-contractor. This presentation will review recent case law focusing on the consequences of not complying with these specific rules.

The role of the expert: Recent case law
Guy Gilain and Fadi Amine
The construction sector is fast-evolving because of the introduction of new technical and technological developments. Faced with increasingly complex issues and complex litigation, the parties involved in a dispute will need to make more often use of a third party to inform the courts: the expert. During this presentation, the speakers will discuss the role of the expert in the context of a litigation and analyze recent construction litigation case law in the Quebec courts.

Recent case law in the construction industry
Yann-Julien Chouinard, Marie-Pier Barabé and Antoine Gamache
Presentation of recent case law to better inform construction sector stakeholders of certain important issues.

Closing remarks

Continuing education: 5.5 hours

A certificate of participation will be emailed to registrants having attended the conference.
Barreau du Québec: Consider adding those 5.5 hours to your online CPD plan.

Event dates

March 11, 2020

Event location

DoubleTree By Hilton Montréal

1255 Jeanne-Mance Street, Montréal