Construction and Infrastructure Law

Founded in 1982 on a construction litigation platform, the firm continues to draw a large volume of assignments related to the construction and infrastructure  law. We are proud to provide service to our clients in a variety of industries.

Given our team of highly skilled, experienced and industry-recognized lawyers, our clients are assured they are in strong, capable hands. We are proud to provide service to our clients in a variety of industries related to the construction and infrastructure industry.

The Goal of The Construction Group

Our construction lawyers draw on their experience to provide clients with cost effective and innovative solutions to the wide variety of construction issues they face in their day-to-day operations. We have designed risk management and loss-control programs for a variety of participants in the industry and have represented our clients at all levels of the courts in Canada. The firm offers clients a complete project lifecycle service, developed through involvement in all stages of the construction process.

Examples of Activities

Our team has unparalleled depth and experience in understanding and resolving the multiple legal issues faced by the construction and infrastructure industries. Some examples of our experience includes:

Disputes

  • Arbitration of domestic and international construction disputes
  • Claims for compensation, delay, extras and loss of productivity
  • Claims in relation to architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and geotechnical matters
  • Regulatory and civil claims involving environmental contamination and regulatory issues
  • Construction lien claims and drafting of new Construction Act in Ontario
  • Negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation of a wide variety of construction claims
  • Acting as counsel in disputes relating to procurement and tendering issues
  • Bonding claims
  • Construction insolvency
  • Recovery of assets

Contracts

  • Drafting RFQs, RFPs and other procurement documents
  • Contract drafting and negotiations
  • Infrastructure and mega‑project advice
  • Public‑private partnerships
  • Construction insurance, including professional liability coverage

Alternative Dispute Resolution

We are regularly engaged in dispute resolution through mediation, arbitration, dispute resolution boards, referees and litigation in matters involving construction deficiencies, design errors and project delays.

Commercial and Business Litigation

We advocate for our clients through creative problem solving, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation in all levels of court.

Our representation ideally commences before our clients even start their businesses so that we can help them avoid issues that may arise. Whether in business planning or dispute resolution, we advise on all forms of risk management and litigation services, including in the following areas:

  • Shareholder disputes, such as disputes concerning buyouts of other shareholders, unfair treatment of minority shareholder interests (oppression and derivative action lawsuits), and claims against companies, shareholders and directors
  • Business venture and partnership issues, including disputes between business partners over ownership, management and operations of the business
  • Corporate compliance and governance matters, including obligations owed to regulatory authorities, licensing authorities and to shareholders
  • Frauds committed by directors, officers and employees against the business or others involved in the business
  • Breaches of agreements, such as contracts for purchase and sale of land, equipment, other assets and businesses
  • Property disputes, such as claims involving the purchase, sale, operation and management of real property, including property damage, trespass/nuisance, commercial leasehold interests, rental properties and strata properties
  • Secured transaction matters, including mortgage foreclosures, personal property security agreements and disputes regarding priorities over assets
  • Intellectual property disputes involving confidentiality agreements, trade secrets, industrial designs, non-solicitation agreements, copyright, trademark, patents and other commercial information
  • Enforcing restrictive covenants that limit future employment, business opportunities, improper use of goodwill, business information or customer lists
  • Extraordinary commercial remedies, including obtaining court orders preventing other parties from harming business interests (injunctions), asset seizure and creditor protection
  • Collection of debts
  • Class actions involving claims for product liability, duties owed by regulatory or other government authorities and civil claims common to a large group of people

Singleton Reynolds’ Commercial Litigation Group provides clients with business driven strategies for resolving commercial litigation disputes. Our Group’s role is to provide quality legal services designed to meet our clients’ expecta­tions for cost effective, result-oriented dispute resolution. After carefully identifying the issues involved in a dispute, strategies are developed so that our clients’ needs are addressed. Whether using alternate dispute resolution strategies or taking actions to trial, our group’s wealth of professional experience is brought to bear.

Our emphasis lies on the early identification and resolution of legal problems, where possible, without involving time consuming and costly litigation. To that end, our Group is also experienced in the development of risk management strategies for our clients. Seminars, practical articles and conference presentations are available to our clients for this purpose.

Our counsel regularly appear before administrative tribunals and at all levels of the Courts of British Columbia, in the Supreme Court of Canada and in the Federal Courts. Our Group provides representation for individuals and corporations including class proceedings.

Our group, comprised of legal counsel and paralegal assistants, has a broad range of experience in a number of areas, including:

Corporate/Commercial Disputes

Shareholders’ Remedies, Partnership and Corporate Compliance

Commercial Collections

Acting for both creditors and debtors including garnishment and injunction proceedings

Employment Law

Wrongful Dismissal Claims and Defences Advice on Termination and Risk Management

Negligence And Contract Claims

Professional Liability Claims, Contract Disputes

Class Proceedings

Mass Torts, Products Liability and Financial Services Liability

Probate And Estate

Wills Variation actions and con­tested probate claims.

The Goal of the Commercial Litigation Group

Simply put, our Group’s goal is to provide ef­ficient dispute resolution services, consistent with our commitment to advocacy of our cli­ents’ best interests. Experience and efficiency, through utilization of the latest litigation sup­port technologies, enable us to meet this goal.

Professional Liability

Singleton Reynolds has been providing legal services to professionals from the date of its inception in 1982. Members of the firm have been advising professionals for more than 40 years. The firm provides legal services to a number of professions, including architects and engi­neers, accountants, land surveyors, insurance professionals and finance professionals.

Singleton Reynolds recognizes that profes­sionals present a unique set of issues for problem solving. Our professional liability practice groups are tailor-made to meet those needs. The individuals of each practice group have extensive experience in ensuring that the professionals’ legal needs are addressed in an effective, expeditious and efficient manner.

Accountants

Singleton Reynolds has been providing legal representation to accountants and accounting firms, along with many other professions, since its inception.

We believe that, to be effective advocates for professionals, lawyers must understand the particular concerns professionals face when they are accused of an error, omission, or impropriety. Civil lawsuits affect professionals differently than companies or private citizens. As with disciplinary proceedings, complaints made through the courts involve issues of professional integrity and potentially serious financial consequences. Moreover, some options that are available to a company in similar circumstances are not available to a professional.

An effective advocate for a professional also should have an understanding of the technical subject matter of the claims, the profession’s ethical duties and standards and solid contacts within the profession.

Architects & Engineers

From the date of its inception in 1982 Singleton Reynolds has provided legal representation to architects and engineers.

Members of our group regularly advise and represent consultants with respect to disciplinary matters.

We believe that we know the business and needs of this group of professionals as well as anyone.

We know we can demonstrate through past experience that we understand the design professionals’ business and the tools they require to manage the risks they are faced with on a day-to-day basis.

Miscellaneous Errors & Omissions

Our Professional liability group has a wealth of experience in defending a wide variety of liability claims made against professionals in the insurance, real estate, construction, and finance fields as well as advising on any insurance coverage issues that might arise.

Our members routinely defend insurance adjusters and brokers on professional negligence claims and have done so for over 20 years.

Professionals involved in the sale of real estate, such as real estate agents and land appraisers, can seek guidance from our group. Singleton Reynolds is regularly retained by the insurers of these professionals to defend liability claims and to advise on coverage issues.

Our depth of experience extends to responding to claims made against land surveyors and technicians involved in the construction industry.

For those involved in financial planning and investment advice, our group understands your profession and knows how to defend any liability claims you may face.

Singleton Reynolds knows how professionals work and how to defend them.

Directors and Officers Liability

We’ve been involved in claims alleging breaches of fiduciary duties, insider trading, securities fraud, oppressive misconduct and mismanagement of corporate assets. Our experience includes investigating and unravelling Ponzi schemes, real estate investment frauds and oppression of minority shareholders in both individual actions and class actions.

Ponzi Schemes

We acted for Canadian investors in a real estate investment scheme involving hundreds of private corporations and hundreds of millions of dollars lost on real estate investments in the United States.

Oppression Actions

We have acted for directors and officers alleged to have managed a large mining operation in B.C. in an oppressive manner resulting in the loss of investment by minority shareholders. Legal proceedings resulted in a full buyout of the minority interest to the significant benefit of the majority and the company.

Class Actions

We have represented directors and officers in multiple class actions alleging insurance fraud, misappropriation of shareholders’ funds and fraudulent misrepresentation of investment opportunities and negligent mismanagement of corporate assets.

Insurance

We also act as legal counsel to the insurance industry. We have assisted insurers in developing policy wordings and acted as their general counsel in a variety of coverage issues at all levels of the Courts in Canada.

The Goal  of the Insurance Group

Our goal is to provide our clients with efficient and cost-effective solutions to insurance claims.

In the case of policy wordings, it is the goal of our group to provide underwriters with clear and concise policy wordings which avoid the shortcomings and pitfalls exemplified by the case law on insurance coverage issues. With over thirty-five years of experience in this area, we are able to assist underwriters in develop­ing current and appropriate policy wordings.

In the case of coverage issues, our innovative approach has led to the design of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for a number of carriers, realizing our goal of providing insurers with efficient and cost-effective ways of resolving coverage disputes and bad faith allegations.

Where issues must be resolved through the courts, we advise clients on the potential ramifications of court decisions and draw on our litigation background to ensure optimal representation of the case before the court.

Examples of Activities

We have defended a broad range of property and casualty claims for both the private insurance sector and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

We have a long-standing relation­ship with ICBC and numerous do­mestic and international insurance market insurers and continue to provide the insurance industry with skilled and cost-effective counsel. We also provide corporate advice to insurers.

Professional Liability

We have assisted a major national carrier in developing professional liability policy wordings for archi­tects, engineers and accountants and have provided coverage opinions and counsel in coverage disputes in these areas.

Directors’ and Officers’ Liability

We have been engaged as control counsel for D&O carriers to address coverage issues and to ensure that claims against officers and directors are dealt with quickly and effectively.

Municipal Liability

Our senior counsel, John Singleton, K.C., is General Counsel to the Municipal In­surance Association of B.C., which has involved the firm in providing advice on coverage issues and policy wordings, as well as acting as counsel on liability and coverage issues on behalf of MIA’s 159 local government members and their Boards and Commissions. We also represent municipali­ties in liability actions arising out of code enforcement and fire-related losses.

Builders’ Risk

We were involved in one of the first cases which determined the meaning and breadth of the faulty workmanship, materials and design exclusion in builders risk policies and have ongoing involvement in related litigation.

Insurance Fraud

We act for insurers in matters related to insurance fraud, including providing coverage advice, defending the denial of fraudulent claims and advanc­ing claims on behalf of insur­ers against insureds and third party service providers.

Fire Losses

We have extensive experience in all aspects of fire-related claims. Our fire loss group is able to manage fire litigation from the investigation phase through to case preparation and presentation in a focused and efficient manner. We provide coverage advice as well as represent insurers when their direct interests are involved, such as claims of bad faith and subrogation.

Environmental Liability

We have assisted insurers in developing environmental impairment liability wordings and represent them in both underwriting and claims activi­ties under this cover.

Class Actions

Our lawyers have acted for litigants in a number of high profile class actions in cases involving products liability, financial services and insurance issues.

General Liability

We have represented a con­sortium of general liability carriers in litigation which determined the duty of gen­eral liability insurers to defend cases alleging inherent defects in real property.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

All of our lawyers are trained in alternative dispute resolution techniques, including assess­ment of the most appropriate time to initiate and press for the resolution of claims.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration

As counsel, our lawyers regularly act for clients in major domestic and international arbitrations across Canada and abroad in institutional and ad hoc settings, drawing on our deep bench strength in construction, infrastructure and commercial arbitration. Our team brings highly specialized expertise to bear to tackle some of the most complicated disputes in North America.

Our lawyers have acted for Canadian and international clients in respect of complex disputes spanning multiple jurisdictions, and are familiar with applicable international arbitration legislative frameworks. We are experienced with the relevant institutional regimes, including those of administering bodies such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the LCIA and others, as well as the applicable institutional rules. We have also acted in ad hoc international arbitrations.

Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, Nicholas Reynolds, and Lauren Gruenberger contributed the Canada Arbitration chapter in Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through. This publication contains expert local insight into arbitration laws and institutions worldwide, providing essential ‘need to know’ answers to the fundamental questions facing corporations and counsel. Topics covered include the entire life cycle of an arbitration, from the drafting of arbitration clauses and agreements through to the enforcement of awards in local courts. The guide deals with: laws and institutions, arbitration agreements, the constitution and jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals, arbitral proceedings, interim measures, awards, and subsequent proceedings such as appeals and set aside applications. The Canada Arbitration chapter is available here: 2023-Arbitration-Canada. Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, and Nicholas Reynolds also provide a comprehensive overview of international arbitration in Canada as part of Legal 500’s Country Comparative Guide series. This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of International Arbitration laws and regulations in Canada. The guide is available here: Legal 500 – Canada – International Arbitration.

Arbitrators

A number of our lawyers are qualified arbitrators who participate as sole arbitrators and members of panels both domestically and internationally: Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, John Singleton, Stuart Hankinson, and Nicholas Reynolds.

Mediators

As mediators, we facilitate negotiations between parties in order to encourage resolution and avoid ongoing conflict. Our mediators bring significant industry experience assisting in the resolution of disputes in the construction, infrastructure and insurance industries:  Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, John Singleton and Stuart Hankinson.

Adjudication

One of the most troubling challenges to a construction project is delay and, in particular, protracted dispute resolution. As adjudicators, our lawyers are tasked with making prompt decisions on course-of-construction issues so that schedules and completion dates are maintained, and so that the parties are able to focus on the core objective – completing the project.

Our lawyers are thoroughly familiar with Canadian adjudication regimes, having played a central role in creating Canada’s legislative framework for statutory adjudication. Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel have co-authored independent expert reports for the Ontario and Federal governments that have formed the basis for introducing statutory adjudication. As the authors of these reports, Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel have developed a deep understanding of industry issues and norms associated with prompt payment and dispute resolution. As a result, we offer not only unparalleled expertise in construction law and adjudication, but we also have extensive familiarity with the construction industry in general.

Dispute Resolution Boards

As members of Dispute Resolution Boards (DRB), we are briefed on both technical and financial issues as they arise for immediate resolution or, sometimes for a full hearing on the issues after the project is complete.

Fairness Monitoring

We have served as fairness monitor on over ninety major infrastructure projects in the past fifteen years, bringing assurance that the procurement process is fair, transparent and unbiased. Proponents who engage a fairness monitor can avoid costly challenges and delays, and also demonstrate a commitment to best practices in the procurement process.

 

 

Domestic and International Arbitration

Domestic Arbitration

We act for clients in major domestic arbitrations across Canada, drawing on our deep bench strength in commercial arbitration and construction arbitration. Our team brings highly specialized expertise to bear to tackle some of the most complex construction, engineering, and infrastructure disputes in the country.

International Arbitration

We have acted for Canadian and international clients in respect of complex disputes involving multiple jurisdictions, where the contractual dispute resolution mechanism stipulates international arbitration. As counsel, we are experienced with the relevant international institutional regimes, including those of bodies such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Domestic and International Arbitration Experience

Our experience includes representing clients not only from Canada, but from Italy, Spain, France, Uruguay, Peru, Barbados, Chile, Mexico, and the United States as well.

Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, Nicholas Reynolds, and Lauren Gruenberger contributed the Canada Arbitration chapter in Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through. This publication contains expert local insight into arbitration laws and institutions worldwide, providing essential ‘need to know’ answers to the fundamental questions facing corporations and counsel. Topics covered include the entire life cycle of an arbitration, from the drafting of arbitration clauses and agreements through to the enforcement of awards in local courts. The guide deals with: laws and institutions, arbitration agreements, the constitution and jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals, arbitral proceedings, interim measures, awards, and subsequent proceedings such as appeals and set aside applications. The Canada Arbitration chapter is available here: 2023-Arbitration-Canada. Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, and Nicholas Reynolds also provide a comprehensive overview of international arbitration in Canada as part of Legal 500’s Country Comparative Guide series. This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of International Arbitration laws and regulations in Canada. The guide is available here: Legal 500 – Canada – International Arbitration.

Additional information can be found here:  Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitrators

A number of our lawyers are qualified arbitrators who participate as sole arbitrators and members of panels both domestically and internationally: Bruce Reynolds, Sharon Vogel, John Singleton, Stuart Hankinson, and Nicholas Reynolds.

eDiscovery Services

In both the domestic and international arbitration context, our strong document management group allows us to efficiently analyze large document populations and focus on those key documents that really matter. We strive to alleviate stress during difficult times and take on as many administrative tasks as possible. In that regard, Singleton Reynolds offers state-of-the-art, in-house eDiscovery services, including data collection and processing, early case assessment, document review and final production. While allowing us to manage cases involving millions of documents, these in-house solutions also help us to keep close control over eDiscovery costs at every phase of the process. Our senior construction paralegals are eDiscovery specialists, with extensive experience in all stages of eDiscovery.

Public Policy

The Goal of the Public Policy Group

Our goal is to help to make the law in the areas we practise in and to drive forward with practical solutions that help industry participants function more effectively.  By leading the field in public policy, we can provide our clients with advice on the effects of significant legislative change and also give back to the industries we serve.

The Expert Review of Prompt Payment and Adjudication of Federal Construction Contracts

Partners R. Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel along with their team, were retained in January 2018 by the federal government regarding promptness of payment and adjudication in relation to federal construction projects. Learn more about this important mandate here.

Some Examples of the Group’s Activities

Legislative Reform

Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel acted as co-counsel for the Ontario Government in conducting a review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act and prepared a report, Striking the Balance: Expert Review of the Construction Lien Act.  They then worked closely with the Ministry of the Attorney General in drafting Bill 142, which included 98 out of the 101 recommendations presented in their report. Bill 142 “An Act to Amend the Construction Lien Act” was recently proclaimed in the Ontario Legislative Assembly.

As well, our firm was recently retained to act for the federal government in conducting a review of prompt payment and adjudication in the federal context.

White Papers

We have provided advice to industry associations on the effects of government policy.  Our advice in such areas has resulted in significant constructive policy changes.

Advice to Clients on Responding to Government

We have provided advice to clients on responding to government policy and legislative change, as well as government reports that directly affect their business.

Information Requests

We have provided support to our clients in obtaining information from government, including advice in respect of relevant privacy laws.

 

Corporate Commercial

Structuring

Business structuring involves assisting our clients with whatever form of a business works best for them. We work with and assist business advisors at all stages of growth: From the initial set up, to restructuring a business along the way, whether it be for tax planning reasons, to accommodate and implement a business succession plan, or advise on growth strategies for the business.

  • business structuring
  • incorporation
  • tax driven reorganizations
  • restructuring
  • business succession

Business Advice

  • drafting, negotiating and/or review of agreements (including shareholder agreements, intellectual property agreements, purchase and sale agreements)
  • daily business management
  • succession planning

We work closely with our business clients to ensure that they have a resource for all their business needs. In this respect our business advice includes daily business management, drafting, negotiating, and review of agreements of varying types, including shareholder agreements, intellectual property agreements, and purchase and sale agreements. Integral to our approach is to provide advice that ensures the legacy of our clients’ businesses, and we work with our clients and their advisors to pass the legacy on.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • due diligence
  • asset/share purchase and sale transactions

We assist businesses of varying sizes and types with their purchases or sales, at any time during the process, from focusing on confidentiality and management of the due diligence process, to negotiating and drafting the key purchase and sale documentation, to ensuring that the structure, personal or corporate, post transaction reflects the client’s goals.

Commercial Real Estate

SURV’s lawyers have extensive experience and expertise in all areas of commercial real estate,  providing tailored and comprehensive real estate advice to their diverse client base.

Investment Structures

We recommend and implement appropriate structures for property acquisition and holding. Corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, and other forms of joint ventures may be implemented to address the client’s business objectives, risk mitigation, and tax efficiencies.

Acquisition and Disposition

We act for clients in the acquisition, financing, operation and disposition of shopping centres, residential and offices complexes, hotels/recreational properties and multi-use projects. This includes review and consideration of existing leases, zoning and municipal issues, environmental issues, and financing.

Development

We have experience with a wide spectrum of development issues, including project management, tendering, rezoning and municipal approvals, construction and insurance, subdivisions (including air space parcels) sales disclosure issues, builders liens, and construction dispute resolution.

Finance

We represent both borrowers and lenders, including financial institutions and private parties, on a wide variety of financing arrangements relating to real estate and commercial matters. We advise on all aspects of finance from structuring and securitizing to funding both primary and subordinate loans, including project construction and takeout financing and many other types of credit facility.

Leasing

We represent both landlords and tenants in the negotiation of ground leases, retail leases, office leases, lease renewals and rental valuations.

Strata Property

We have expertise in both strata and bare land strata developments as well as re-structuring, including the creation of appropriate bylaws, and property management issues arising out of the Strata Property Act.

Institutional Real Estate

We have extensive experience acting for governmental and quasi-governmental institutions in connection with the foregoing areas of real estate. We are sensitive to the public realm in which institutions operate, and understand the interplay between different levels of government and private and public partners in getting large scale projects built.

Employment and Labour

Our Group has learned through experience that employment and labour disputes can have a profound personal and financial impact on all involved, including: loss of valued personnel; economic impact on business; the potential destabilization and fragmentation of the work environment; and the potential for detrimental impact on business reputation.

Our Group members focus on taking a preventative approach to employment and labour related issues and disputes. This includes strongly drafted agreements, consistent and appropriate workplace training, effective and current policies, and the use of mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques.

Our clients include small business owners to large corporations and represent a wide range of industries including but not limited to, educational institutions, the entertainment industry, members of the construction industry including developers, architects, contractors and engineers.

We frequently represent clients at all levels of court and at various tribunals as well as in bargaining and non-traditional settings, including mediations and arbitration.

Our expertise includes:

  • Drafting & Implementation of Employment Agreements
  • Policy Drafting, Training, & Implementation
  • Employment and Labour Investigations
  • Protection of Confidential, Trade Secret, and Work Product Information
  • Mediating Employment and Labour Disputes
  • Human Rights
  • Labour
  • Workers Compensation
  • Employment Standards
  • Privacy
  • Employment and Labour Related Immigration

Immigration

With today’s global economy and changing workforce, employers in Canada face challenges in both attracting and importing workers at every level from senior executive, professional, specialized trades to entry level positions. Singleton Reynolds can assist in obtaining the necessary work permits for new and transferring employees at every level. We will work with employers and individuals to identify and execute the best immigration options, and guide you through the bureaucracy related to the processing of temporary and permanent work permits.

We have extensive experience in applying for all categories of temporary work permits available under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, North America Free Trade Agreement, General Agreement on Trade in Services, other international treaties and international programs such as the Study Work Abroad Program, Working Holiday Program and other professional exchanges. We regularly assist employees with obtaining Labour Market Impact Assessments, finding exemptions for newly hired foreign workers and professional contractors and identifying the most useful intra-company transferee provisions to ensure all levels of employees are able to work across Canada. We can also provide support for Business Visitors.

We also assist in successful submission of applications through the BC Provincial Nominee Programs and other similar programs in other jurisdictions across Canada. We also provide assistance in preparing and submitting applications for Permanent Residency in these classes: Canadian Experience, Express Entry, Federal Skilled Worker, Investor and Spousal and Family Sponsorships.

We provide our clients with up-to-date information on changes to immigration programs and will identify opportunities for fast tracking of every manner of application.

Our Immigration experience includes:

  • Facilitating entry into Canada and the U.S. for frequent Business Visas;
  • Confirming work permit exemptions for After Sales Service providers and other exempt categories of workers;
  • Obtaining work permits for intra-company transfers of executive, managers, employers with Specialized Knowledge, professional consultants and other employers/contractors exempt from requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment;
  • Guiding employers through the posting requirements and applying to Service Canada for a Labour Market Impact Assessment including blanket applications;
  • Spousal work permits;
  • Permanent Residence Applications under Provincial Nominee Programs, Canadian Experience Class, Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker programs;
  • Spousal and family sponsorships;
  • Rehabilitation Applications (for those inadmissible because of a criminal record);
  • Temporary Resident Visas and Temporary Resident Permits;
  • Troubleshooting at problems at port of entry;
  • NEXUS applications and appeals.

Entertainment Law

Business and personal matters

We have broad and deep experience providing advice to businesses and individuals in matters relating to and arising out of the entertainment industry and creative arts, including corporate law, shareholders’ rights, financing, Insurance, E&O, labour and employment, immigration, contractual, e-commerce, real property and leasing, estate and other personal matters, all in their often multi-jurisdictional aspects.

Negotiation

Negotiation resulting in a contract or settlement of a dispute by agreement often serves our clients best. Our experience and expertise in the entertainment industry allows us to quickly understand the nature of the dispute and, in consultation with our clients, formulate and carry out a plan for resolution.

Litigation

If a dispute must be litigated, or litigation options must be explored, our lawyers are experienced at all levels of court in British Columbia and Canada. They are always well-prepared to litigate and have expertise in areas both unique to the entertainment industry and as diverse as copyright, trademark, digital media, publicity and privacy rights, corporate law, shareholders’ rights, contract or tort law, insurance, defamation, commercial leases, service or software supply, employment, Immigration, monetary claims, the enforcement of judgments and jurisdictional matters.

Arbitration and mediation

We always consider whether or not Alternative Dispute Resolution is required or will serve our clients’ interest as a more efficient and private method of dispute resolution. Our lawyers are experienced advocates in all forms of ADR, including mediation and arbitration, including IFTA, domestic and international commercial arbitration. They are also very experienced at acting as arbitrators and mediators.

Respectful workplace

We work with creative industries, including the film and music industry, to help guide and inform their harassment policies and advise them on how best to implement protocols in the workplace to effectively deal with bullying and harassment. We also guide employers on how to investigate these kinds of claims and provide recommendations on how to manage these difficult issues and provide hands-on training to various industry groups seeking to ensure respectful work environments. Our lawyers are leaders in this area and are regularly invited to speak on key workplace issues including bullying and harassment.

Wills and Estates

The lawyers in our Wills and Estates Group are experienced in assisting clients with all aspects of a comprehensive plan to prepare for personal or business succession. They routinely work with executors or trustees to administer estates or trusts, and assist beneficiaries, executors or trustees with all types of litigation-related issues.

The Goal of the Wills and Estates Group

Whether you are coming to us to design your estate plan, to assist you with the probate or administration of an estate, or to provide advice about litigation involving an estate, beneficiary or executor – we draw on our extensive experience with planning, administration and litigation with cost-effective and innovative solutions.

Estate Administration

Being named executor can be a daunting experience. From drafting applications and probate materials to assisting with executor accounts, we assist many executors, administrators or trustees in navigating through this experience with creative solutions to the challenges and problems that arise in dealing with a deceased person’s estate. Our team can assist with:

• Addressing and dealing with defects in a will, including when an original will cannot be located
• Working with an executor, administrator or trustee to locate and determine a deceased’s person’s assets and liabilities
• Assisting with the navigation of the family dynamic
• Adjusting the terms of a will
• Resealing a foreign grant of probate to use it in British Columbia
• The winding up of an estate and the discharging of an executor, administrator or trustee

Estate Litigation

The death of a loved is, for many reasons, an emotional experience. It is not uncommon for disputes to arise after someone has passed away and many disputes may be heighted due to the emotional vulnerability of the situation. Our team has experience in all facets of estate litigation and will work with you to find a solution that best suits your needs. In particular, we work with clients in:

• Will variation and beneficiary claims
• Disputes over gifted assets

Disputes are not limited to events arising after death. Often during our lifetimes, disputes can arise as capacity, disability and/or mobility become issues. With our aging population, the issue of adult guardianship is consequently becoming a more common issue. We are experienced in helping families through these issues, and the difficult process involved the appointment of a committee for an incapacitated adult.

Estate and Capacity Planning

In any estate plan, there are three main areas to plan for: the event of loss of capacity, your future health care, and disposition of your assets on your death. We consider all of these, and your unique circumstances, in putting together a comprehensive succession plan to ensure your assets are protected, your beneficiaries taken care of, and your future capacity (or loss thereof) provided for. We draft and designs suites of documents including:

• Wills
• Representation Agreements
• Powers of Attorney
• Advance Directives

We also work with our clients to consider and utilize trusts in any estate plan. There are a number of different ways in which trusts can be used in planning and they can be an invaluable tool for reducing or delaying tax liabilities, preserving wealth, insulating your estate from litigation and transitioning your estate. They must, however, be carefully drafted to ensure that the goal of having a trust is effectively carried out. For that reason, we often work closely with our clients’ financial advisors or accountants to prepare and implement a plan including trusts that best suit our clients’ needs. We also have experience setting up trusts designed to ensure those who receive disability benefits can continue to do so. Often utilized trusts are:

• Family Trusts
• Alter Ego Trusts
• Spousal Trusts
• Disability Trusts

Singleton Reynolds’ Wills & Estate Planning Group provides a full range of advisory services encompassing estate, tax and retirement planning for your personal and corporate needs. Estate planning is an individual process specifically designed to meet your needs and wishes for the future. Our goal is to provide advice and services in preparing the best estate, tax and retirement planning for you.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a process. It involves the people you care about most- your family, oth­er individuals, and in many cases, charitable organizations. It also involves your assets and the various forms of ownership those assets may take. Estate planning addresses your future needs in case you ever become unable to care for yourself. It is an important step in managing your future.

Services we offer:

Wills

Preparation of wills of varying complexity.

Estate Administration

Assist with estate administration and probate of wills and provide services with respect to wills variation and other estate litigation matters.

Representation Agreements

Preparation of representation agreements including financial/ legal matters and future health and personal care matters.

Family Trusts

Implementation and administra­tion of family trusts as part of tax and wealth preservation plan­ning.

Power Of Attorney

Preparation of specific and endur­ing powers of attorney.

Committeeships/Adult Guardianship

Preparation of your nomination of committee for your future heath care needs. Preparation of your application of appointment as committee

Charitable Giving

Advice with respect to charitable giving and the tax advantages and structure of donations to charities.

Corporate Reorganization

Implementation of corporate reorganizations related to estate planning.

 

British Columbia Wills & Estates Blog

Estate law affects everybody, whether dealing  with an aging parent or grandparent or working with (or as) an executor. This blog may provide useful information to you or simply be an interesting read. We explore issues such as estate administration, estate planning, claims to vary wills, invalid wills, right of survivorship on jointly held assets and adult capacity, all with a focus on British Columbia Estate law.

Product Liability

Hydroelectric Projects

We have acted as counsel on several product liability issues faced by Hydroelectric producers involving turbines and generators, tailrace channels, transmission lines and tunnel support.

Leaky Condos

We have represented a variety of clients faced with faulty building materials used in multi-family projects including roofing materials, windows, HVAC systems, building papers, siding and face-sealed design components.

Industrial/Mining Projects

We have represented clients faced with large claims due to industrial product failures involving coated electrical cables, underground ventilation, tailing pond linings, rock bolts and wire mesh and tunnel boring machines.

Construction Projects

We have acted for project owners, developers, designers and builders faced with system failures associated with geothermal systems, Leeds standards, HVAC systems, water supply and transmission piping.

Automotive and Aviation Industry

We have represented large vehicle manufacturers and their insurers in the automotive industry in regards to product-based class actions for seat belt or airbag malfunctions, product recalls and crash investigations. We have also acted for the manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles including motorcycles and golf carts.

We have also represented high-profile aviation and marine-related vehicle manufacturers and their insurers in claims related to engine failures and parts failures  as well as crashes investigated by the Transportation Safety Board.

Indigenous Business Law

Growing Importance

Business transactions involving Indigenous communities and their lands have become increasingly commonplace over the past decade. Modern treaties and innovative legislation have allowed First Nations and their members to unlock the economic potential of their lands, creating opportunities, and building financial sustainability and independence. Lenders, developers and other project proponents have increasingly come to recognize the opportunities presented by these changes – including opportunities to advance reconciliation by partnering with First Nations on projects.

Unique Legal Regimes, Values and Stakeholders

Although some laws of general application apply to transactions on Indigenous lands, many do not. The legal regimes applicable to Indigenous lands are often markedly different from those applicable to non-Indigenous lands, and typically vary from Nation to Nation. In addition, the values that drive decisions and decision-making processes by individual First Nations will reflect their district cultural heritage and experience, and business transactions with Indigenous communities and organizations often involve unique stakeholders and governance structures.

On some transactions, a membership vote may be required, while on others the Nation may act through an economic development corporation (which may be independent from or controlled by Council). In some cases, Indigenous Services Canada may be involved in negotiating a lease, or Council approval may be required for a lease granted by a member of the First Nation. The possibilities are limitless, so navigating the unique complexities of structuring proponents, lending, leasing, development and construction on Indigenous lands requires experienced legal counsel with a sensitive yet practical approach.

Our Experience

Unlike many firms, we act for both First Nations and their partners in the larger business community – lenders, developers, and other project proponents – in connection with transactions on Indigenous lands. We are especially well positioned to understand the perspectives of the parties, whether the transaction involves lending, leasing, development, or construction. We have also worked extensively with First Nations in the area of law and policy development, so have a strong understanding of the applicable legal frameworks and issues that are important to First Nations and those who wish to do business with First Nations.