Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Prior to establishing Lesperance Mendes in 1997, John was a partner in a large Vancouver firm and the chairperson of its construction law group.
John has been the chairperson of Lesperance Mendes’ construction defect practice group since the inception of the firm. Lesperance Mendes has represented private and public owners in claims arising out of the defective construction of condominiums, commercial buildings, bridges, highways and other infrastructure projects. Such disputes have included:
- Claims arising out of building envelope, structural, mechanical and electrical defects
- Claims under “2-5-10” new home warranties and building envelope renovation warranties
- Subsidence claims arising out of poor soil conditions
John’s construction law practice has included advising government agencies, private owners and contractors on the tendering and procurement of public, private, design-build and “P3” projects. He has also been involved in construction disputes arising out of pre-contractual representations, extra work, changed site conditions and schedule delays, and claims under various forms of construction bonds and insurance.
John has advised strata corporations and owners on a wide range of governance issues as part of his condominium law practice. These include allocating common expenses and special levies between sections and types of strata lots, resolving owner deadlocks through the appointment of administrators or granting of injunctive relief and enforcing bylaws. In addition, he has represented strata corporations in disputes with contractors and service providers.
John’s litigation practice also includes appeal proceedings, class actions, claims against municipalities and defamation claims.
John’s experience as trial and appellate counsel includes:
- Representing Shell Canada at the Supreme Court of Canada in Shell Canada v. City of Vancouver, a decision that successfully challenged the procurement practices of the City of Vancouver
- Successfully defending the owner of a harbour against a $5 million claim by a contractor in a trial that lasted over 40 days, and obtaining a dismissal of the contractor’s appeal
- Representing a crown corporation in an appeal that overturned a Supreme Court decision and established that owners do not owe a legal duty to subcontractors using a bid depository
- Representing a crown corporation in a trial dismissing a construction manager’s claim for fees and damages
- Representing a strata corporation in an appeal dismissing a contractor’s tendering claim
- Representing a strata corporation in an appeal on how building envelope repair expenses should be allocated between owners of different types of lots
- Representing a strata corporation in a decision allowing the cost of major building envelope repairs to be included in the strata corporation’s annual budget and approved by a 50% + 1 majority of the owners
- Representing a strata corporation in an appeal establishing that the strata had a triable claim against the manufacturer of a sheathing membrane
- Obtaining an order invalidating the City of Vancouver’s video lottery bylaw
- Obtaining a judgment against the City of Nelson for misrepresenting to the purchaser of an apartment building that it complied with the City’s sprinkler bylaw
John is also experienced in mediation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
John was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1984 and a Master of Laws degree in 1986. His graduate studies included the completion of a master’s thesis on the right to equality under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- 100% Litigation
- British Columbia, 1986
- Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
- LL.M. – 1986
- University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- LL.B. – 1984
- University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- B.A. – 1981
- “Construction Disputes and Insurance Coverage” (Co-Chair and Speaker, “Builder’s Risk Coverage”), Insurance Institute Conference, 1995
- Co-Chair and Speaker, “Legal Liability for Construction Deficiencies”, Construction Industry Forum, Insight Conferences and the Globe & Mail , 1995
- Speaker, “The Condominium Deficiency Claim”, Professional Association of Managing Agents conference, 1996
- Co-Chair and Panelist, “Design Build Contracts”, Insight Conferences and the Globe & Mail, 1997
- Speaker, “The Limitation Act: A Construction Guide for the Defective Condominium”, Continuing Legal Education Society Conference, “Leaky Condos”, 2000
- Author and presenter of submission on reforming the Limitation Act to the Barrett Commission of Inquiry into the Quality of Condominium Construction, 2000
- Speaker, “Multiparty Settlements”, Pacific Business & Law Institute Conference, “The State of the Art of Leaky Building Litigation”, 2003
- Speaker, “Strata Lot Sections”, Condominium Home Owners’ Association Conference , 2005
- Panelist, “Litigating a Mould Problem”, Pacific Business & Law Institute Conference, “Toxic Mould: Remediation and Litigation”, 2006
- Speaker, “Homeowner Protection Act 2-5-10 Warranty Claims”, Professional Association of Managing Agents seminar , 2006
- Speaker, “End-of-Warranty Reports under the Homeowner Protection Act”, British Columbia Building Envelope Council Meetings, Vancouver and Victoria , 2010
- Speaker, “Legal Liability Arising From Proposed Amendments to the Strata Property Act”, Condominium Home Owners Association forum, “Depreciation Reports and Reserve Fund Studies”, 2010