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Ken McEwan, Q.C., Emily Kirkpatrick, and William Stransky Obtain Leave to Appeal from Decision of Arbitrator in Construction Dispute

Ken McEwan, Q.C., Emily Kirkpatrick and William Stransky successfully obtained leave to appeal from an arbitration award on behalf of the Flatiron Graham Joint Venture’s in their dispute against the British Columbia Hydro & Power Authority (“BC Hydro”). The arbitration concerned substantial and complex claims and counterclaims with respect to the construction of BC Hydro’s Interior to Lower Mainland (ILM) Project, a 247 kilometer long, 500-kilovolt power line that now stretches from Merritt to Coquitlam. FGJV was BC Hydro’s primary contractor for the ILM Project. At the end of that arbitration, the arbitrator refused to undertake a final accounting of amounts BC Hydro withheld under FGJV’s lump-sum contract on the ground that he had no further authority, despite having requested submissions on the issue.

While appeals from arbitrations are rarely allowed, the Supreme Court of British Columbia determined that the question of whether the arbitrator had jurisdiction to undertake the accounting was significant enough to warrant granting leave. With leave granted, Ken, Emily, and Will will argued that the arbitrator was obligated to complete the accounting he ordered and direct the payment of the amounts withheld, and request that amount be ordered by the court or the issue be remitted to the arbitrator to allow him to do so.

Read the Oral Ruling.