Marie-Claude Carrier is a construction law specialist with more than 25 years’ experience in this area. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada directory in construction law since 2012. In 2020, Marie-Claude was invited to join the Construction Lawyers Society of America as a Fellow. As an international organization, the Society brings together lawyers whose expertise in construction law has been specifically recognized.
Marie-Claude frequently argues cases in this area on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, for a clientele of general and special contractors, materials suppliers, manufacturers and project managers. Her practice is focused exclusively on construction law and she is an expert in all types of construction-related litigation, including claims for construction defects, legal construction hypothecs (builder’s liens), extra work and related claims, surety bonds, calls for tenders, and claims arising from the rules of the Québec Bid Depository System.
In addition to her litigation practice, she also advises construction contractors regarding all phases of their projects, from the tendering stage to the negotiation and performance of their contracts.
She has written many published articles on construction law and frequently serves as a conference presenter and instructor in this field. At the annual CEGQ convention of Québec general contractors in Mont-Tremblant in February 2008, she made a presentation on a precedent-setting decision she successfully argued in Superior Court and in the Court of Appeal that recognized the latitude of general contractors to accept noncompliant bids.
Appreciated for her rigour, tenacity, eminently practical approach and formidable skills as a litigator, Marie-Claude manages her files with remarkable efficiency that consistently benefits her clientele.
Civil Law, LL.B., Université Laval, 1987
Rankings & Recognitions
Areas of Practice
Acted as lead counsel in numerous complex construction litigation cases with major amounts at issue.
Brought or defended against numerous legal claims concerning the five-year liability for serious defects in construction or design.
Brought or defended against numerous legal claims in connection with the Quebec Bid Depository System Code on behalf of construction contractors, including several cases successfully defended against on behalf of one of the largest general contractors in Quebec.
Took out legal construction hypothecs and instituted hypothecary recourses on behalf of many general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on multiple projects throughout Quebec, notably Québec City’s Palais Montcalm and Saint-Hyacinthe’s Honoré-Mercier Hospital.
Negotiated many construction contracts, in English and French, with project managers on behalf of general contractors.
Handled numerous litigation files involving calls for tenders, including the successful challenge on behalf of one of the largest general contractors in Quebec of a competitor’s motion for an interim injunction seeking to prevent the performance a major construction contract worth over $30 million.
Represented a general contractor suing a municipality in Superior Court, following the omission from the contractor’s bid of the amount of applicable taxes, ultimately prevailing in the Court of Appeal based on an argument invoking the Civil Code’s obligation of good faith in the performance of contracts.
Acted both as an arbitrator and as attorney for suppliers and contractors, in the arbitration of various construction-related disputes.
Acted as lead counsel for the plaintiff, a group of sawmills, in a complex litigation against a U.S. manufacturer involving millions of dollars in damages.
Successfully represented contractors claiming compensation for additional work performed for various public-sector project managers, including the Quebec Ministry of Transport and Hydro-Québec.
Successfully represented various syndicates of condominium co-owners in major construction-related litigation against contractors, architects and engineers.
Successfully represented a general contractor in a lawsuit against the Quebec Ministry of Transport based on a breach of the obligation to inform regarding the condition of the sub-soil.
Advises contractors and promoters on a regular basis regarding their day-to-day business affairs, the negotiation of their contracts and the performance of their construction projects.
Acted as lead counsel for the plaintiff, a major contractor, who was denied an international construction contract worth tens of millions of dollars.
Acted as lead counsel for the plaintiff project owner in a major claim for damages against engineering firms in a litigation concerning the loss of bridges resulting from faulty design and soil settlements
Lead counsel for plaintiff contractor claiming damages from the Québec Minister of Transport following an unsatisfactory performance evaluation
2003 – “La portée de l’article J-8 selon la Cour d’appel” (The Scope of Article J-8 according to the Court of Appeal)
2003 – “Bref survol de certaines modifications récentes au Code de procédure” (Brief Overview of Some Recent Amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure)
2003 – “Réclamation de perte de profit pour contravention aux règles du BSDQ” (Claims for Lost Profit due to Breach of QBDS Rules)
2002 – “Guide pratique de la construction” (Practical Construction Guide)
2002 – “Les règles de l’art” (Best Practices)
2002 – “L’hypothèque légale de la construction et l’abandon des travaux” (Legal Construction Hypothecs and Abandonment of the Work)
2002 – “La responsabilité de l’administrateur et actionnaire d’une compagnie” (Liability of Company Directors and Shareholders)
2002 – “L’absence d’ordre de changement est-elle fatale?” (Is the Lack of a Change Order Fatal?)
2002 – “Un donneur d’ouvrage peut-il défendre à un entrepreneur qui est partie à une procédure judiciaire contre lui de soumissionner?” (Can a Project Manager Prevent a Contractor who is Party to Legal Proceedings Against It from Bidding?)
2002 – “Un débiteur peut-il reprocher à son créancier de ne pas avoir inscrit une hypothèque légale de la construction sur l’immeuble de sa compagnie?” (Can a Debtor Reproach a Creditor for Not Registering a Legal Construction Hypothec against its Building?)
2002 – “Clause d’élection de domicile dans un contrat de construction” (Election of Domicile Clauses in Construction Contracts)
2002 – “L’ACQ et le pouvoir d’imposer des amendes” (The Quebec Construction Association and the Power to Impose Fines)
2002 – “Des changements en matière d’hypothèque légale de la construction relativement aux frais d’avocats” (Changes in Legal Construction Hypothecs with respect to Legal Fees)
2001 – “L’hypothèque légale de la construction” (Legal Construction Hypothecs), with Simon Rainville
2001- “Que faire en cas de retenue exagérée du propriétaire à la fin des travaux” (What to Do in the Case of Excessive Holdbacks by the Owner upon the Completion of Work)
2001 – “La radiation de l’hypothèque légale de la construction d’un entrepreneur pour défaut de licence” (Deregistration of a Contractor’s Legal Construction Hypothec for not Having a Licence)
2001 – “La transaction ou l’entente de règlement” (Settlement Agreements)
- 2018 – Morning Seminar on Construction Law – Terminating a Contract of Enterprise or for Services
- 2014 – Construction Law Conference
2020 – In-house practical training given to an audience of construction companies and their staff on the legal construction hypothec
2019 – “L’hypothèque légale de la construction au Québec et en Ontario : comment la substituer?” (The legal construction hypothec in Quebec and Ontario: how to substitute one for the other?), joint presentation with Stéphanie Fortier-Dumais and Vikki Andrighetti, CEGQ annual convention, February 20 to 22, 2019
2018 – “Qu’en est-il de la responsabilité et des obligations du promoteur immobilier?” (Obligations and potential liability of real estate promoters), conference presentation with lawyer Stéphanie Fortier-Dumais, CEGQ annual convention, February 21 – 23, 2018
2017 – “La réclamation des frais d’avocats encourus : chose possible?” (Claims for incurred legal fees: can they succeed?), CEGQ annual convention
2014 – “Travaux de construction et garanties légales” (Legal warranties and construction work), conference presentation with Stéphanie Fortier-Dumais at a fundraising activity for the Deschênes-Fabia breast-cancer treatment centre organized by Langlois Kronström Desjardins in collaboration with Les Constructions Béland & Lapointe
2014 – “L’évaluation de rendement de l’entrepreneur par les organismes publics : une nouvelle chasse aux sorcières?” (Evaluation of contractor performance by public bodies: a new witch hunt?), joint presentation with Jean Patrick Dallaire at the Contech Conference in collaboration with Langlois Kronström Desjardins, September 24, 2014
2014 – “L’évaluation de rendement de l’entrepreneur par les organismes publics : une nouvelle chasse aux sorcières?”, CEGQ annual convention
2013 – “What construction contractors need to know about legal hypothecs, surety bonds and the bankruptcy of a sub-contractor”, Langlois Kronström Desjardins
2013 – “Practical advices inspired from real-life cases to avoid or minimize your disputes”, CEGQ annual convention
2012 – “Legal construction hypothec – practical aspects”, training session for contractors in the Québec area
2012 – “Legal construction hypothecs and problems arising from the bankruptcy of a sub-contractor”, to Kingston Byers Inc., a general contractor
2012 – “Legal construction hypothecs”, in collaboration with Les Entreprises Pol’R Inc., to specialized contractors in the Montréal and Québec area
2012 – “Abusive proceedings: what are they and what are the possible consequences?”, CEGQ annual convention
2011 – “What should a general contractor do if the trustee makes a claim following the bankruptcy of a subcontractor?”, CEGQ annual convention
2010 – “Is it possible to publish a legal construction hypothec (builder’s lien) against the immovable of a public project manager?”, CEGQ annual convention
2009 – “Examination and cross-examination of expert witnesses”, Langlois Kronström Desjardins
2009 – “Is it possible to publish a legal construction hypothec (builder’s lien) against the immovable of a public project manager?”, Langlois Kronström Desjardins
2009 – “Site Completion by Contractors”, CEGQ annual convention
2009 – “Choice of Residence Clauses”, CEGQ annual convention
2008 – “Training on Legal Construction Hypothecs, the New QBDS Code, and Construction Bonds”
2008 – “Ruling of the Court of Appeal in HMI-Promec: Discharge of a legal hypothec against Hydro-Québec”
2008 – “In defence of article J-6 of the QBDS code”, CEGQ annual convention
2008 – “Professional liability (architects and engineers)”, Canadian Department of National Defence
2007 – “The obligation of good faith in contractual matters under article 1375 of the Civil Code of Québec”, CEGQ annual conference
2005 – “Article J-8 of the QBDS code”, CEGQ annual convention
2005 – “Equivalences”, ASPE symposium
2005 – “What you should know about legal construction hypothecs”
2004 – “Bankruptcy and Construction Sites”
2004 – “Delays: Who Gives What?”
2004 – “Unilateral termination of a construction contract”, CEGQ annual convention
2004 – “A project manager’s obligation to provide information”
2003 – “Possible Recourse Regarding QBDS (ASPE) Rules”
2003 – “Training session for general contractors”
2002 – “Obligations and liability of contractors under the Civil Code of Québec”
2002 – “Construction surety bonding”
2002 – “Warranties and hidden defects”
2002 – “What you should know about calls for tenders”
2002 – “Practical guide to construction”
2001 – “What to do in the case of excessive holdbacks by the owner upon completion of work”, CEGQ annual conference/Mont-Tremblant
2001 – “Legal construction hypothecs”, ASPE/Quebec technical symposium
Since 2020 – Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA), Top Construction Lawyers
2001-2007 – Member, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)
Since 2000 – Member, Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Québec (CEGQ) (Québec General Contractors Association)
1988-2019 – Member, Canadian Bar Association, Construction Law Section