Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012

R Bruce Reynolds
Office:
Bay Adelaide Centre
22 Adelaide Street West
East Tower
M5H 4E3
City:
Toronto
State:
Ontario
Country:
Canada
Tel:
+1 416 367 6255
Fax:
+1 416 361 2741

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Construction

Bruce Reynolds, FCIArb, is the chair of the international construction projects group and a partner
in the construction group of the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He was recognised as
construction lawyer of the year by Who’s Who Legal; the directory calls him “one of the best regarded lawyers internationally – he acts as chair of the firm’s international construction projects group and is lauded both for his disputes work and his drafting and negotiation of construction contracts.”

Having worked at Borden Ladner Gervais for many years, how does the firm stand out from the competition?

BLG stands out in the area of construction law as Canada’s largest and best ranked firm with great strength nationally. We provide a full range of services to our clients, including: strategic advice on project development and delivery, negotiating and drafting contracts, as well as exercising and defending clients’ rights through the courts, arbitration (including international arbitrations) and other dispute resolution methods.

When did you develop an interest in construction law?

In the mid-to-late 1980s, when specialisation was in its infancy in Canada, a group of lawyers across the country self-identified as experts in construction law. For us at BLG, the realisation coincided with our retainer to work alongside the boutique Glaholt & Tamblyn as co-counsel for Dominion Bridge on the SkyDome litigation. At the time, the SkyDome litigation was the largest construction dispute in Canada, and it permitted us to grow our team and broaden our specialist capabilities.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in construction law?

Develop a strong expertise in the law and the practice of contract law and legislative interpretation, and seek out a mentor with an active practice, and a strong commitment to the speciality of construction law.

What role do insurers and third parties have to play in construction projects currently?

Insurers and surety bonding companies play a key role in risk management for construction projects. Insurers provide products such as builders risk coverage, which insures against property damage over the course of construction, while liability insurance covers property damage and personal injury to third parties. Professional liability insurance provides coverage for, among other things, design errors by architects, engineers and other design professionals, as well as errors and omissions in the provision of field services by construction professionals.

How has the Canadian construction industry weathered the economic downturn? Is the landscape healthy?

The Canadian construction industry has weathered the economic downturn very well, in part due to historically low interest rates which have fuelled a booming housing market, particularly in urban centres, and in part due to a national infrastructure renewal programme, coupled with provincial infrastructure renewal programmes in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

What is the most significant positive change that has occurred in construction law in recent memory?

In Canada, the most significant positive change is the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v Hrynew, which held that the Canadian common law of contracts includes an organising principle of good faith and a duty of honesty in the performance of a contract that applies not withstanding anything in the contract to the contrary. In the construction area, for example, these new principles are beginning to provide protection for contractors against the abusive exercise of extreme and unbalanced contractual provisions.

How do you feel your practice will continue to grow over the coming years?

The practice of construction law is becoming more and more international, as the Canadian infrastructure renewal project attracts offshore expertise and capital, and also due to the offshore activities of Canadian domestic construction and engineering firms. These trends, combined with a generally robust Canadian market for construction, due in part to governmental stimulus, will result in continued strong growth.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Bruce Reynolds, FCIArb, is the chair of the international construction projects group and a partner in the construction group of the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He was recognised as construction lawyer of the year by Who’s Who Legal; the directory calls him “one of the best-regarded lawyers internationally - he acts as chair of the firm’s international construction projects group and is lauded both for his disputes work and his drafting and negotiation of construction contracts”. He focuses his practice on both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction, insurance, and surety law. He is a co-author of Scott and Reynolds on Surety Bonds (Carswell); co-author of Construction, Builders and Mechanics’ Liens in Canada, seventh edition (Carswell); and a co-author of A Guide to Canadian Construction Insurance Law (Carswell). He acted as counsel for the Ontario government to conduct a review of the Construction Lien Act.

Mr Reynolds is former co-chair of the international construction projects committee of the International Bar Association; programme coordinator of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers; a past governor of the American College of Construction Lawyers, an elite membership of top US construction lawyers; and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a past member of the executive of the Canadian Bar Association construction law section. He was an executive of the construction law section of the Ontario Bar Association, and was its chair for two terms. He is also a former vice chair of the fidelity and surety law committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) torts and insurance practice section. He is, as well, a member of ABA’s forum on the construction industry.

Mr Reynolds was a founding fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers. He has served on the board of governors of the college, and is a past president. He was named Toronto Construction Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers. He is listed in Chambers Global (Band 1, construction law), Canadian Who’s WhoBest Lawyers in Canada, and the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. He is also listed in Martindale-Hubbell as AV Preeminent. Recently, Mr Reynolds was the recipient of the Benchmark Canada Construction Litigator of the Year Award as well as the Toronto Construction Associations’ Donald P Giffin, Sr Construction Industry Achievement Award. The latter award is presented to individuals who have benefited the construction industry through major contributions to its progress and development. Those considered for the award are distinguished by the exemplary dedication and leadership they have shown in pursuing the construction industry's common goals and interests. He has also been named an Acritas Star.

WWL says: The “very cerebral” Bruce Reynolds is “one of the first people that comes to mind for any dispute in Canada”, with sources highlighting him as a “distinguished advocate and an experienced arbitrator”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Construction which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Canada - Construction

Bruce Reynolds, FCIArb, is the chair of the international construction projects group and a partner in the construction group of the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He was recognised as construction lawyer of the year by Who’s Who Legal; the directory calls him “one of the best-regarded lawyers internationally - he acts as chair of the firm’s international construction projects group and is lauded both for his disputes work and his drafting and negotiation of construction contracts”. He focuses his practice on both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction, insurance, and surety law. He is a co-author of Scott and Reynolds on Surety Bonds (Carswell); co-author of Construction, Builders and Mechanics’ Liens in Canada, seventh edition (Carswell); and a co-author of A Guide to Canadian Construction Insurance Law (Carswell). He acted as counsel for the Ontario government to conduct a review of the Construction Lien Act.

Mr Reynolds is former co-chair of the international construction projects committee of the International Bar Association; programme coordinator of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers; a past governor of the American College of Construction Lawyers, an elite membership of top US construction lawyers; and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a past member of the executive of the Canadian Bar Association construction law section. He was an executive of the construction law section of the Ontario Bar Association, and was its chair for two terms. He is also a former vice chair of the fidelity and surety law committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) torts and insurance practice section. He is, as well, a member of ABA’s forum on the construction industry.

Mr Reynolds was a founding fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers. He has served on the board of governors of the college, and is a past president. He was named Toronto Construction Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers. He is listed in Chambers Global (Band 1, construction law), Canadian Who’s WhoBest Lawyers in Canada, and the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. He is also listed in Martindale-Hubbell as AV Preeminent.

WWL says: “Reynolds is a leading light with a deep pool of industry knowledge,” says one respondent.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Canada which can be purchased from our Shop.

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