Mario Welsh

Mario Welsh

Managing Partner for the Québec office, Lawyer

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Profile

French version is available here.

A partner at BCF, Mario Welsh practices primarily in civil and commercial litigation, professional liability and construction law. Having been a contractor himself, his expertise in the field is rather extensive, encompassing all legal aspects of the construction industry, including professional liability. He regularly litigates before trial and appeal courts, from the Court of Québec to the Supreme Court of Canada, and from the Federal Court to the Federal Court of Appeal and has represented clients before the province's various administrative tribunals. Mr. Welsh has also acted as a mediator and arbitrator. Many of his matters have become landmark decision over the years, such as Acier Mutuel, P.E.B. v. Ville de Val Bélair, Guay v. Pomerleau, Lac St-Charles v. Choinière and more recently, Massif Inc. (Le) v. Clinique d’architecture de Québec Inc., Syndicat de Beaucours v. Leahy and Payette v. Grues Guay Inc. before the Supreme Court of Canada. A veteran of a number of lengthy trials involving varied areas of the law, Mr. Welsh has also acted in major class actions, including on behalf of one of the principal parties involved in one of the largest class action cases in Canada, the pyrrhotite case in Trois-Rivières.

Mtre Welsh's practice is not confined to construction law. He also excels in other areas of the law, notably class actions. To name just two, he has represented Loto-Québec and the Autorité des marchés financiers in major class actions and regularly acts for clients in commercial disputes. Very recently, he argued before the Supreme Court in a case involving the interpretation to be given to a con-compete clause in a commercial transaction.

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Welsh has been invited to address various professional orders and construction industry stakeholders. Organizations in the construction sector often consult him regarding necessary revisions to the industry’s standard form contracts. For several years running, and again this year, Mtre Welsh's name is on the list of frequently recommended construction lawyers, according to Lexpert's extensive annual survey of legal practitioners.

Recognitions

  • Since 2008, Mario Welsh has been listed for his expertise in construction law in the most prestigious professional directories such as Best Lawyers® in Canada and Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. In 2013 and 2016, Best Lawyers® named him Lawyer of the Year in Québec in construction law.
  • Also in 2013, Mr. Welsh had the honour of being inducted into the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers Inc.

Professional affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association

  • Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Québec

  • Barreau du Québec

  • Canadian College of Construction Lawyers Inc.

Conferences

  • "The Joint Expert Under the New Quebec Code of Civil Procedure", Canadian College of Construction Lawyers 2017 Conference, Quebec city, May 2017.

  • "Comparative analysis of the role of the corporate lawyer versus the role of a lawyer in a law firm: My client is a lawyer ... What have I got myself into?", prepared and presented in collaboration with Mtre Jérôme Jolicoeur May 14, 2015 as part of the Barreau de Québec's corporate attorneys forum. 

  • "Update on the handling of change orders and extras. Has the Charbonneau Commission had any impact?", given April 21, 2015 as part of the Advanced Conference on the Management of Claims and Litigation in the Construction Industry, organized by the Canadian Institute and held in Montreal. 
  • "Overseeing projects: Where are we on the issue of professional obligations?", given April 10, 2015 as part of the construction forum organized by Université Laval, in Québec City. 
  • "Professional liability: preventing litigation against professionals and dealing with specific issues in representing them when litigation arises", prepared in collaboration with Mtre Nicolas Croteau and Jozef Zorko, Architect. Presented jointly with Jozef Zorko April 2, 2014 as part of the Advanced Conference on the Management of Claims and Litigation in the Construction Industry, organized by the Canadian Institute. 
  • Above talk again presented in collaboration with Mtre Jean-François Michaud / Norton Rose, at the Ècole du Barreau September 28, 2012 and February 25, 2013, October 28, 2013, April 1 2014, September 28, 2014 and February 20, 2015. 
  • "Professional liability in the construction industry", given November 5, 2013 as part of the continuing education program hosted by Heenan Blaikie, Montréal. 
  • "Caselaw affecting architects and engineers involved in construction litigation: helpful strategies when acting for architects and engineers", prepared in collaboration with Mtre Bénédicte St-Gelais and presented November 27, 2012 as part of the Canadian Institute's Construction Superconference held in Montréal. 
  • "Lawyers and best litigation practices: conference on the role and liability of architects and engineers as construction professionals", audio conference prepared with Mtre Bénédicte St-Gelais, September 2012, published by Wilson & Lafleur. 
  • Exceeding expectations! The Perfect "public" Construction Site", acted as moderator in a day-long construction seminar organized by the Association de la construction du Québec, held April 20, 2012 at the Loews Le Concorde Hotel. 
  • "Changes while work is in progress; the pitfalls to be avoided in settling disputes", given February 8, 2012, as part of the 11th day-long seminar on contract-related claims, prepared for the continuing education program at the Faculty of Science and Engineering of Université Laval, in Québec City, also presented June 15, 2011 at SNC-Lavalin, in Montréal, and May 20, 2011 as part of a construction law forum organized by the Barreau du Québec in Montréal. 
  • "Introduction to Construction Law", audio conference prepared jointly with Mtre Annie Labrecque and with the collaboration of Mtre Bénédicte St-Gelais, August 2011, published by Wilson & Lafleur. 
  • "Class Actions, Part I, the Defence Perspective: the authorization stage and the conduct of the case post- authorization", presented February 3, 2011 in Montréal, training session organized by the Barreau de Québec. 
  • "Class Actions: instituting the action; handling concurrent actions; the authorization process; the judge's powers respecting authorization; proof and hearing; the determination of liability; methodology for determining damages", presented October 1, 2010, in collaboration with the Honourable Dominique Bélanger, J.C.S., Mtre Claude Desmeules, training session organized by the Barreau de Québec. 
  • "Specific obligations related to the professional liability of architects and engineers", given May 4, 2010, as part of the Advanced Conference on the Management of Claims and Litigation in the Construction Industry, organized by the Canadian Institute in Montréal. 
  • "Caselaw on the rights and obligations of professionnels in the construction industry", presented in Montréal March 25, 2010 as part of the professional development program of the Canadian Bar Association, Québec division. 
  • "Risk management in contracts with architects and engineers", given February 11, 2010, as part of the 13th Annual Conference of the Corporation des Entrepreneurs Généraux du Québec, in Montréal. 
  • "Practical advice on working with architects and engineers", presented as part of the Canadian Institute's Construction Superconference, held November 25, 2009 in Montréal. 
  • "Expert witnesses and construction disputes", presented September 26, 2008, as part of the 80th Annual Conference of the Association des avocats & avocates de province, in Tadoussac. 
  • "Expert witnesses", given May 30, 2008 as part of the Annual Convention of the Barreau de Québec, held in Québec City. 
  • Talks and seminars tailored to specific client needs, such as seminars on construction law covering the contract award phase, the contract performance phase, project completion and the effects of Bill 107, held in 2007 for the Commission scolaire de la Capitale. 
  • "The impending implementation of the National Building Code (NBC 2005), an objective-based code: reduce costs and access multi-faceted solutions for your projects", talk presented November 29, 2007 as part of the 18th Construction Superconference held in Montréal. 
  • "Calls for Tenders: when the courts dictate the ground rules", talk presented June 7, June 14, and October 9, 2007 in Montréal and Québec City to construction stakeholders, owners, contractors and professionals. 
  • "Framing professional liability in service contracts: from myth to reality", talk given May 24, 2007 as part of the 2nd Advanced Conference on the Management of Claims and Litigation in the Construction Industry, organized by the Canadian Institute. 
  • "Structural engineers: their liability and obligations", given February 1, 2007 as part of the 10th Annual Conference of the Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Québec. 
  • "Why and when to bring claims against structural engineers: practical and legal aspects to consider", talk given in Montréal on November 30, 2006 as part of the 17th Construction Superconference in Montréal, organized by the Canadian Institute. 
  • "Class Actions", presented December 6, 2005 as part of the Barreau du Québec's continuing education program. 
  • "Recent caselaw on contract changes that may affect the decision to bring claims: Extras - myth or reality?" given December 1, 2005 as part of the 5th day-long seminar on contract-related claims, part of the continuing education program at Université Laval's Faculty of Sciences and Engineering.

  • "Recent caselaw on construction claims: the rights and obligations of contractors and sub-contractors", presented in Chicoutimi March 9, 2004, prepared for the Association des constructeurs de routes et grands travaux du Québec.

Representative work

  • Counsel to Loto-Québec in ongoing class action initiated on behalf of alleged pathological gamblers. This is perhaps the only class action in the world involving gambling and particularly the use of video lottery terminals (VLTs).

  • Counsel to SNC-Lavalin in an important lawsuit from 800 homeowners in Trois-Rivières who are dealing with pyrite.

  • Counsel to Hydro-Québec with respect to the construction of a power dam in Eastmain.

  • Arbitrator in a construction litigation stemming from delays and extra costs following a call for tenders for the Lac Bloom iron mine project.

  • Successfully represented Grues Guay Inc. before the Supreme Court of Canada in a case involving Yannick Payette (Payette v. Grues Guay Inc.)

Involvement

  • Member of various Barreau du Québec committees, such as the Class Actions Committee and the Best Practices Committee. 
  • President of the Barreau du Québec Indemnity Fund. 
  • Member of the Management Committee of the construction law section of the Canadian Bar Association – Québec division. 
  • Member of the executive and treasurer of the Barreau de Québec 
  • Member of the Ethics Committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC).

Contact

418 649-5473
mario.welsh@bcf.ca

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Assistant(s)

Geneviève McLean

418 694-2920 #4357
genevieve.mclean@bcf.ca

Nicole Lavoie

418 694-2920 #6473
nicole.lavoie@bcf.ca

Quebec City

Complexe Jules-Dallaire, T1
2828 Laurier Blvd, 12th Floor
Quebec City, Quebec   G1V 0B9
CANADA
tel. : 418 266-4500
fax : 418 266-4515
info@bcf.ca