June 18, 2024

CCCL Fellows hold their 27th Annual Conference


CCCL Fellows hold their 27th Annual Conference

Toronto, June 10th, 2024

The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers held its Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference from May 23 to 26, 2024. Under the theme of “Construction Law in Challenging Times”, almost one hundred Fellows gathered in person at the historic Le Mount Stephen Hotel in Montréal, QC to hear colleagues, guest speakers, and panelists share their industry insights covering a wide range of topics and issues related to Construction Law and the Construction Industry.  

Glenn Ackerley, President

The agenda kicked off on Thursday afternoon with the Annual Meeting of the CCCL Board of Governors followed by a cocktail reception and dinner at various local restaurants.

The next day’s Conference modules began with a panel discussion moderated by Doug Stollery (Edmonton) addressing the evolution of P3s and their pros and cons.  The panel consisted of Fellows Tony Clark (Calgary), Seema Lal (Vancouver), Jason Roth (Calgary), David McKenzie (Vancouver), Sophie Truesdell-Menard (Montréal), and George Vlavianos (Qatar).

A second Module addressed the role of dispute boards in Canada with a panel moderated by Duncan Glaholt.  Honorary Fellow Doug Jones (New South Wales, Australia), and Fellows Jean Van der Lee (Calgary), Chris O’Connor (BC), Serge Pisapia (Montréal), and Brendan Bowles (Toronto) made up the panel.

The third module of the morning addressed the question of what it means to be a construction lawyer today.  Moderated by Karen Martin (Vancouver), a range of perspectives was provided by a panel consisting of Honourary Fellow Phil Bruner (Minnesota), and Fellows Marcia Oliver (Millgrove, ON), Christopher Hirst (Vancouver), and Stefan Gruszka (Calgary).

The Fellows were then provided an informative presentation by guest speaker Félix Turgeon, Vice-President of Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretariat of High Frequency Rail about the plans for a high-speed train service project connecting Québec City, Montréal and Toronto.  The College’s outgoing President Patricia Morrison (Calgary) then shared her perspectives about the past year and new initiatives for the College in the future.

Day One continued with a panel presentation moderated by Fellow Rick Shaban (Toronto) entitled Termination of Contract: “I just can’t take it anymore!”.  The panel featured guest speaker Roberta Downey of Vincent and Elkins (UK), Honourary Fellow Doug Oles (Seattle), and Fellows Colin Piercey (Halifax), Chris Rusnak (Vancouver), and Bruce Reynolds (Toronto).

The final presentation of the day was a panel addressing the use of experts in disputes, moderated by Matthew Alter (Toronto), and made up of Honourary Fellow Madam Justice Jane Sidnell (Edmonton), and Fellows Roger Gillott (Toronto), Beth Allard (Vancouver), and David Curtis (Vancouver).

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

  • Glenn Ackerley – President
  • Patricia L. Morrison, K.C.– Immediate Past President
  • Nicolas Gagnon – Vice-President
  • Matthew Hayes – Treasurer
  • Sharon Vogel – Secretary
  • Phillip Scheibel – Program Co-ordinator
  • Brendan Bowles – Governor
  • Claudia Dery – Governor
  • Simon Grégoire – Governor
  • Seema Lal – Governor
  • Andrew Wallace – Governor

Following the AGM, a session of eight Hot Topics in Construction Law, moderated by Phil Scheibel (Calgary), was presented to conclude the substantive program:

  • The Evolving Law on the Duty to Disclose Settlements that Change the Adversarial Landscape by Denise Bambrough (Toronto)
  • Owner Liability in Design-Build Contracts by David de Groot (Calgary)
  • Is an Estimate Binding? by Chris Petrucci (Calgary)
  • The Use (and Abuse) of Emergency Arbitrators in Construction Arbitration by Joe McArthur (Vancouver)
  • Current State of Contract A by Mike Preston (Vancouver)
  • Good Faith in Civil Law vs. Common Law by Horia Bundaru
  • Paramount Resources Ltd v Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, by Jeremy Taitinger
  • From Harvard to xBEs & Corporate DEI by Andrew Wallace

The Conference ended with a gala dinner that featured:

  • a question-and-answer presentation led by Vice-President Nicolas Gagnon with The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada, who spoke about the current challenges to democratic institutions and the rule of law;
  • remarks by incoming President Glenn Ackerley on engagement with the College; and
  • the induction of eight new Fellows from across Canada to the College by Immediate Past-President Trish Morrison, President Glenn Ackerley, and Vice-President Nicolas Gagnon:

Mark Alexander – Edmonton

Antoine Bigenwald – Montréal

Dirk Laudan – Vancouver

Samuel Massicotte – Québec City

Rachel Mockler – Vancouver

Conor O’Neil – Saint John

Vanessa Reakes – Vancouver

Clémentine Sallée – Montréal


The 2024 Conference was expertly organized and planned by Program Coordinator Sharon Vogel (Toronto) and Assistant Program Coordinator Phil Scheibel (Calgary), with the assistance of Andrea Lee (Toronto).

President Glenn Ackerley is looking forward to leading the College to the 28th Annual Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Victoria, British Columbia in May of 2025.

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.

Glenn Ackerley

President, CCCL

Tel: (416) 947-5008            Email:

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