June 10, 2022

CCCL Fellows hold their 25th Annual Conference


CCCL Fellows hold their 25th Annual Conference

Halifax, June 10th, 2022

The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers held its Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference from May 26 to 29, 2022. Under the theme of “Construction Law in Times of Disruption”, more than eighty Fellows gathered in person for the first time in three years at the reputed Algonquin Resort in the beautiful town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New-Brunswick to hear colleagues, guest speakers, and panelists share their industry insights and foresights covering a wide range of topics and issues related to Construction Law and the Construction Industry.  

The agenda kicked off on Thursday afternoon with the Annual Meeting of the CCCL Board of Governors followed by a cocktail between the Fellows and their spouses and guests, and dinner at various local charming restaurants.

President D. Geoffrey Machum, Q.C., ICD,D

The next day’s Conference modules began with a panel discussion moderated by Ken Crofoot (Toronto) addressing the in-house counsels’ expectations and their relationship with external lawyers in construction matters. The panel consisted of Fellows Bruce Reynolds (Toronto), Stefan Gruszka (Calgary) and Andrew Wallace (Edmonton). A second Module addressed the impacts of climate changes from the contract and claims perspective, with panelists from across Canada: David Little (Vancouver), Andrea Lee (Toronto), Matthew Hayes (Saint John, NB), with moderator Claudia Déry (Montréal). The third module of the morning discussed the evolution of First Nations benefits agreements in Canada and moderator Marina Pratchett (Vancouver) animated the discussion between Fellows Dan Levert (Calgary) and Yvan Houle (Montréal) and guest Don McKenzie who is legal counsel of L’Nuey, a PEI Mi’kmaq rights-based organization.

The Fellows were then presented with the compelling and impactful personal reflection of Fellow Doug Stollery (Edmonton) on the Vriend v. Alberta case that he pleaded before the Supreme Court of Canada in 1998, a case that determined that a legislative omission can be the subject of a Charter of rights violation. The case involved the dismissal of a teacher because of his sexual orientation and was an issue of great controversy during that period.

After the College’s outgoing President John G. Murphy (Montréal) shared his views of the College after a year at the helm, Day One continued with a presentation titled Conquering Complexity in Arbitrations and Mediations, moderated by Marcia Oliver (London, Ont.) and featuring panelists Joel Richler (Toronto), Master Carol Albert (Toronto), Duncan Glaholt (Toronto) and John Logan (Vancouver),  and a final presentation addressing Good faith in construction contracts, where under the guidance of moderator Michael Skene (Vancouver), panelists Simon Grégoire (Montreal), Brendan D. Bowles (Toronto) and ACCL’s Douglas S. Oles (Seattle) delivered a thorough update of the evolution of this concept in both Civil and Common Law.

Day Two of the Conference began with the College’s Annual General Meeting. New appointments and designations made at the AGM included:

  • Geoff Machum, Q.C. – President
  • John G. Murphy – Immediate Past President
  • Patricia Morrison – Vice-President
  • Glenn Ackerley – Treasurer
  • Nicolas Gagnon – Secretary
  • Stephanie Hickman, Q.C.– Program Coordinator
  • Sharon Vogel– Assistant Program Coordinator
  • David Little – Governor
  • Claudia Dery – Governor
  • Simon Grégoire – Governor
  • Marcia Oliver – Governor
  • Andrew Wallace – Governor

Following the AGM, a session of five fast-paced Hot Topics in Construction Law was presented to conclude the substantive program:

  • Alliance Contracting and Progressive Design-Build contracts in Canada: an upcoming trend?  by Jason D. Roth (Calgary)
  • Prompt payment update: Evolution of holdback provisions in construction lien legislation, by Maria Ruberto (Toronto)
  • Pay when paid clauses revisited, by Andrew J. Heal (Toronto)
  • Limitation of liability clauses in multi-party construction disputes: an uncertain risk management tool, by Christopher N. Rusnak, Q.C. (Vancouver)
  • Presentation of the new CCA 1 – 2021 Contract form, by Geza R. Banfai (Toronto).

The Conference ended with a Gala dinner that featured:

  • remarks by incoming president Geoff Machum on the future of the College;
  • a presentation by keynote speaker retired Nova Scotia Chief Justice Michael MacDonald who spoke about, amongst other things, diversity, access to Justice including his work with the judiciary in Ukraine and the importance of kindness and respect in times of COVID and global unrest; and
  • the induction of ten (10) new Fellows from across Canada to the College by outgoing president, John Murphy, incoming president Geoff Machum, and Vice President Trish Morrison:

David McKenzie, Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver

Seema Lal, Clyde and Co, Vancouver

Tony Clark, in-house Graham Construction, Vancouver

Catriona Otto-Johnston, Rose LLP, Calgary

Jeremy Taitinger, Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP, Edmonton

Stephan Gruska, In-house Kiewit, Calgary

Richard Wong, Osler, Toronto

Mélanie Jacques, in-house Hydro-Québec, Montreal

Serge Pisapia, Private ADR Practice, Québec

Horia Bundaru, Norton Rose, Montreal

The 2022 Conference was steered by Program Coordinator Nicolas Gagnon (Montreal) and Assistant Program Coordinator Stephanie Hickman, Q.C. (St. John’s), with the invaluable assistance of Sharon Vogel (Toronto), who successfully faced the many challenges of organizing a first conference in three years under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic. Incoming president Geoff Machum, Q.C. is looking forward to leading the College to the 26th Annual Conference, which is currently scheduled to take place in Whistler, BC in May 2023.

The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers strives to facilitate and encourage the association of outstanding lawyers who are distinguished for their skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice or teaching of construction law, and who are dedicated to excellence in the specialized practice of construction law. For more information about the College and its Fellows, visit their website at www.cccl.org.

D. Geoffrey Machum, Q.C.

President, CCCL

Tel: 902.420.3338    Email:



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