R Bruce Reynolds
Office:
150 King Street West
Suite 2512 .PO Box 24
M5H 1J9
City:
Toronto
State:
Ontario
Country:
Canada

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

Bruce Reynolds chairs the international construction projects group of Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP. He is WWL’s 2018 Construction Lawyer of the Year. Bruce specialises in the litigation, arbitration and mediation of construction and infrastructure disputes, including construction liens, surety bond claims, construction insurance claims, product liability, and architects’ and engineers’ errors and omissions. He also drafts and negotiates contracts for major industrial and infrastructure projects, including construction and public–private partnerships, engineering, architectural and equipment supply contracts.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career?

Pursuing a career as a construction lawyer has provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge and to challenge myself while working with talented experts in multiple disciplines. Engagement nourishes intellectual vitality, while also providing an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful manner.

What do you enjoy most about working in construction law?

Through practising in the construction law field, I have had to the opportunity to work closely with other professionals, including other construction lawyers, and in particular, engineers, architects, developers and claims consultants, in a team-based environment. Collaborative experiences provide a forum to consistently learn from others, while strengthening each of our professional skills. Working with other professionals also makes it possible to work on large projects and disputes that can only be achieved with a strong team.

Almost all the recommendations put forward by you and your colleague Sharon Vogel for the amendment of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act were incorporated into the new Act, which came into force on 1 July 2018. What will be your next challenge in the public policy area?

We have already begun our next public policy mandate, inasmuch as we are now working with the federal government of Canada to support the development of prompt payment and adjudication legislation at the federal level. The first phase of our new mandate was to conduct a review with stakeholders and deliver a report, including recommendations, to Public Services and Procurement Canada, which was completed in June. We are now supporting Public Services and Procurement Canada in a legislative development phase.

As a co-founder of the firm’s new Toronto office, what are you hoping to achieve in the next few years?

Currently, Singleton Reynolds’ Toronto team is able to handle the largest and most complex construction disputes, including major international arbitrations. Over the next few years, we will continue to expand both our construction and commercial litigation capabilities.

What challenges has the Canadian government’s infrastructure spending programme caused in the construction market?

The federal government of Canada recently established the Canadian infrastructure Bank as the principal vehicle for its intended infrastructure investment. While the concept of creating an infrastructure bank is an excellent one, the process associated with bringing this new financial institution to the point where it can be actively engaged in multiple infrastructure investments across the country is unavoidably time-consuming. As a result, concerns have developed in regard to the short-term availability of such financing, particularly at the municipal level. Having said this, the future prospects for the implementation of such investments are good.

Does a good construction lawyer need to be a good arbitration lawyer? Has this changed in recent years?

In recent years, apart from lien proceedings, more and more Canadian construction disputes are being referred to arbitration, and so it is very important for a good construction lawyer to be a good arbitration lawyer. Of course, in other jurisdictions, this has been the case for many years.

How has the practice of construction law evolved since you began your career?

Regarding public–private partnerships (P3s), Canada has broadly embraced them as the favoured delivery system for infrastructure renewal. Over the past 25 years or so, P3s have developed an impressive track record of project delivery. The major private-sector participants in the P3 market have also built strong in-house legal teams, which in many instances handle almost the entirety of project documentation.

In the event of a significant project disruption, subcontractors initiate hostilities by invoking their lien rights, which has the effect of impleading all levels of project participants in the resulting lien action. As such, arbitrations are not the favoured dispute resolution mechanism for the majority of infrastructure disputes in Canada.

You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I would like to expand my activity as an international arbitrator specialising in construction and engineering disputes.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Canada - Construction

Bruce Reynolds is co-chair of international construction projects group at Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP and a partner in the firm’s construction and infrastructure practice group.

He is highly specialised in the resolution of construction claims, liens, surety bond claims, insurance claims, product liability issues, and architects’ and engineers’ E&O issues, as well as project procurement and contracts for industrial and infrastructure projects such as public private partnerships and construction, engineering, architectural and equipment supply contracts.

Bruce is a certified specialist in construction law by the Law Society of Ontario. He is a fellow of both the Canadian and American Colleges of Construction Lawyers. 

Bruce served as counsel for the Ontario Government in conducting the first comprehensive review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act in 34 years and, along with co-counsel Sharon Vogel, delivered a 300-page report, “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of the Construction Lien Act”. Together with Sharon, Bruce then worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General to draft Bill 142, which included 98 out of the 101 recommendations presented in their report, including recommendations for the introduction of prompt payment and adjudication legislation for the first time in Canada. Bill 142 (An Act to Amend the Construction Lien Act) was unanimously passed in the Ontario Legislative Assembly and received Royal Assent in December 2017.

Mr Reynolds was recognised as the 2018 Global Construction Lawyer of the Year by WWL. He is listed inThe Best Lawyers in CanadaChambers Global (Band 1), Martindale-Hubbell (AV), the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (construction law) and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. 

WWL says: "Big hitter" Bruce Reynolds excels in the construction field, where is renowned for his excellent representation of clients in a range of complex construction and projects disputes.

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

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Bruce Reynolds is co-chair of international construction projects group at Singleton Reynolds and a partner in the firm’s construction and infrastructure practice group.

He is highly specialised in the resolution of construction claims, liens, surety bond claims, insurance claims, product liability issues, and architects’ and engineers’ E&O issues, as well as project procurement and contracts for industrial and infrastructure projects such as public private partnerships and construction, engineering, architectural and equipment supply contracts.

Bruce is a certified specialist in construction law by the Law Society of Ontario. He is a fellow of both the Canadian and American Colleges of Construction Lawyers and is a past co-chair of the international construction projects committee of the International Bar Association. He currently serves as programme chair of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers.

Bruce served as counsel for the Ontario Government in conducting the first comprehensive review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act in 34 years and, along with co-counsel Sharon Vogel, delivered a 300-page report, Striking the Balance: Expert Review of the Construction Lien Act. Together with Sharon, Bruce then worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General to draft Bill 142, which included 98 out of the 101 recommendations presented in their report, including recommendations for the introduction of prompt payment and adjudication legislation for the first time in Canada. Bill 142 (An Act to Amend the Construction Lien Act) was unanimously passed in the Ontario Legislative Assembly and received Royal Assent in December 2017.

Over the same period, Bruce acted as lead counsel on two ICC mining arbitrations, served as the president of an ICC panel arbitrating a major dispute in respect of a gas-fired turbine project, and acted as lead counsel in the renegotiation of two major contracts for a massive hydro-electric project.

Currently, Bruce and Sharon have been retained to act for the Government of Canada to conduct a review of federal legislation on the issues of prompt payment and adjudication for federal construction projects.

WWL says: R Bruce Reynolds is one of the leading figures both nationally and internationally on the resolution of construction claims and is recognised by peers as “an excellent lawyer” who is “the best of the bunch”.

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

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