James W. MacLellan  

Partner

Executive Summary

James’ practice focuses on construction and surety bonding issues. He spends the majority of his practice advising sureties on complex insolvency and risk mitigation matters. He also advises a number of public institutions, including hospitals, colleges and municipalities in infrastructure, procurement and contract litigation matters. James has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada and Court of Appeals in Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta and in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. With extensive experience, James lends his expertise in the area as an instructor for the Surety and Construction Law Course at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto for the Surety Association of Canada. James has been selected by peers for inclusion in the 2019 edition (and since 2010) of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Construction Law) 2018 edition (and since 2015) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Construction Law). In 2009 he was recognized as a Faculty of Business Distinguished Graduate by Brock University. James is the author of several papers and a frequent speaker at legal conferences and seminars on topics related to surety and construction law. Called to the Bar of the Province of Ontario in 1995.

 

Representative Work

  • Iona Contractors Ltd. v Guarantee Company of North America, [2015] ABCA 240 - upholding trust provisions under Alberta Lien Legislation.
  • 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.
  • La Coopérative d'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, "Leading Discussion on Recent Surety Developments," Surety Association of Canada Annual General Meeting, September 2015.
  • Speaker, "Hot Topics in Construction Law," Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX, 2015.
  • 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