John Singleton Q.C. is endorsed as a long-standing figure in Canadian construction. He has advised on the construction of key development across Western Canada from the firm’s BC office. His practice includes a focus on ADR and he is often involved in arbitrations and mediations in the sector.

Chambers Global

John Singleton Q.C. is a standout figure at the construction bar with deep expertise in handling complex disputes.

Who’s Who Legal

The “formidable” John Singleton Q.C. boasts significant expertise in the sector and is highlighted by peers as a “first-class construction lawyer” who stands “at the top” of the field.

Who's Who Legal

A distinguished construction practitioner in Western Canada who enjoys an excellent reputation as an arbitrator and mediator. He is described as “one of the best,” and is appreciated for offering “straightforward advice.”

Chambers Global

Rankings

John Singleton is top-ranked by Leading Global Rankings Agencies and Directories.

Professional Background

John Singleton is a principal legal figure in the country’s construction industry, having played key roles in major developments across Western Canada. He founded the firm in Vancouver, in 1982, with a vision of creating a practice that would stand out for its expertise in construction and infrastructure law. Today, Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP serves clients across the country and is recognized internationally for its knowledge and insight.

As managing partner of the firm, John has acted as counsel in precedent-setting cases involving insurance, construction, liability and environmental matters. He offers extensive experience in major infrastructure projects and public private partnerships, as well as complex commercial disputes.

John is an accomplished mediator and arbitrator. He earned the chartered arbitrator designation (C.Arb) from the ADR Institute of Canada, and over the past decade has served as fairness advisor on more than 70 infrastructure projects, ranging from the construction of hospitals and hydro energy enterprises, to the building of the RCMP headquarters in Surrey, B.C.

He has dedicated significant time to sharing his knowledge through academia and professional journals. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of British Columbia and the Thompson Rivers University, and was a visiting lecturer at Stanford University’s law school.

John is consistently recognized as a leader in the construction legal field, regularly earning top rankings from Lexpert, Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal, Martindale-Hubbell and others. Benchmark Canada has designated him a “litigation star” and Chambers Canada recently labelled him a “top gun.”

Outside of the firm, John maintains a long-term relationship with Arts Umbrella, the not-for-profit arts education centre dedicated to inspiring children and young adults. Over the past 20 years he has served as a member of the organization’s board, as president and as legal advisor.

Education

  • Bachelor of arts, University of Alberta
  • Bachelor of laws, University of Alberta
  • Master of laws: University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Member of the Law Societies of Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Yukon

Rankings + Recognitions

  • Recognized as a Leading Practitioner in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • Recognized in the Lexpert/ROB Infrastructure Special Edition.
  • Ranked in the areas of Construction Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law and Product Liability Law by Best Lawyers® in Canada 2020.
  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the areas of Construction (most frequently recommended), Commercial Insurance and Product Liability in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • Recognized by the 2019 Benchmark Canada Awards as “Hall of Fame Lawyer of the Year”.
  • Recognized as a leading infrastructure lawyer in the 2018 issue of the Lexpert® Special Edition on Infrastructure.
  • Ranked by Best Lawyers® for his work in Construction Law, Insurance Law and Product Liability Law from 2006 – 2019.
  • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal as one of the top construction lawyers in Canada.
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ 5 out of 5 peer review rated from 1990 – present.
  • Recognized in Benchmark Canada — The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a “Litigation Star”.
  • Recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers Canada — Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Construction) as a Band 1 practitioner in the area of construction law. Sources describe John as a “real top gun” and praise him as a “perceptive, experienced and knowledgeable” practitioner.
  • Recognized as a leading lawyer in construction, litigation, insurance and professional liability in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • Recognized in The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Construction Law).

Memberships

  • Member, Society of Construction Lawyers
  • Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
  • Member, Diversity Law Institute
  • Member, Trial Law Institute
  • Fellow, Canadian College of Construction Lawyers
  • Member, Federation of Defence and Corporate Counsel
  • Member, Defence Research Institute
  • Member, Arbitrators Institute of Canada
  • Arbitrator, American Dispute Resolution Center
  • Member, Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
  • Member, panel of arbitrators of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Member, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore International Arbitration Centres

Community + Volunteering

John has served as board member , president and legal advisor during the past two decades to the Arts Umbrella, a remarkable organization offering music, dance and visual and performing arts programs to over 20,000 children and young adults each year.

  • Legal counsel on precedent-setting cases in the construction and insurance industries.
  • Chartered arbitrator and mediator.
  • Fairness advisor on dozens of infrastructure projects in the past decade.
  • Active lecturer and speaker at courses on construction, insurance and environmental law.
  • Visiting lecturer at Stanford Law School.
  • Adjunct professor, University of British Columbia, faculty of law.
  • Adjunct professor, Thompson River University, faculty of law.

Publications

  • Co-author, “Yongfeng Holdings Inc. v. Zheng: The Need for Strict Compliance when Registering a Claim of Builder’s Lien“, December 2019
  • Co-Author, On Acts and Accidents, Insurance People, November 2018
  • Co-Author,  A New Construction Act – What Has Changed and How Will It Affect P3 Projects?, Lexpert Special Edition on Infrastructure, September 2018
  • New Duty of Honest Performance of Contractual Obligations
  • How To Operate When You Cooperate
  • Keeping Out of Trouble in 2013
  • The Law of Tenders: Fair Today, Gone Tomorrow
  • When Is a Contract a Contract?
  • Thinking of Contracting in the United States?
  • Dealing Fairly with Subcontractor Bids
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM): the Good and the Bad
  • CLIENT ALERT- If It’s Brokered It Can’t Be Fixed
  • Class Dismissed
  • Public Private Partnerships: A Paradigm Shift
  • Thinking of Retiring?
  • No Insurance for Faulty Workmanship or Materials
  • Insurer Required to Defend Civil Lawsuit Involving Criminal Acts
  • New Client Identification and Verification Rules for BC Law Firms
  • CLIENT ALERT – When is a Design “Faulty”?
  • Computers Blackberrys and E-Discovery
  • Resolving Foreign-Interest Business Disputes in the People’s Republic of China: II
  • Resolving Foreign-Interest Business Disputes in the People’s Republic of China: I
  • Thoughtless and Careless Neighbours
  • Right to Negotiate with Bidders in the Procurement Process
  • CLIENT ALERT – Right to Negotiate with Bidders in the Procurement Process

Presentations

  • Speaker, Construction Projects: Risk Management for Modern Challenges, Pacific Business & Law Institute
  • Coordinator of and frequent speaker at courses on construction, insurance and environmental law
  • Active lecturer and author of papers on loss control, construction law, insurance law, environmental law and other subjects for trade and legal publications
  • Visiting Lecturer, Stanford University Law School, Palo Alto, California
  • Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law