Corbin Devlin

Corbin Devlin: Attorney with McLennan Ross LLP
  • Partner at McLennan Ross LLP (102 Attorneys)
  • 600 McLennan Ross Building, 12220 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5N 3Y4
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Attorney Awards


Corbin is a strategic advisor, effective negotiator, and skilled advocate for construction, energy and resource industry clients.

Corbin represents construction owners, general contractors, trade contractors, suppliers, and design professionals in all manner of lawsuits, arbitrations and negotiations. His litigation experience includes commercial disputes, but particularly tendering disputes, construction defect and delay claims, breach of contract disputes, negligence actions and builders’ and miners’ lien matters. He is also experienced in drafting and negotiating all major construction contracts.

In the environmental field, Corbin represents both industry and stakeholders. With particular experience in resolving contaminated site claims, Corbin has also successfully represented industry clients and landowners in relation to investigations, enforcement actions and appeal proceedings.

Awards and Recognition:

•Construction Law, Best Lawyers in Canada, 2013 - 2019
•Leading Practitioner - Environmental Law, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015
•BV Distinguished Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
•Leading Business Lawyer - Environment Law, International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
•Environmental Law, Who’s Who Legal - Canada

Construction Law

Corbin employs legal strategy and practical business-sense to resolve construction disputes, whether the circumstances call for litigation, a negotiated resolution, or other dispute resolution methods. His years of litigating construction contract disputes have made him highly effective at drafting and negotiating tough-but-fair construction agreements.

Representative Experience:

•Regularly advises a major industrial construction owner regarding contracting and procurement issues.
•Negotiated construction agreement and related agreements for the construction of a major mining operation in Northern B.C. on behalf of the EPCM (Engineering Procurement and Construction Management) contractor.
•Represented an oilsands owner in a contract dispute with a general contractor after the contractor’s termination due to safety infractions. Negotiated favorable resolution at the earliest stages of litigation.
•Drafted and negotiated trade contracts on behalf of the construction manager on a multi-billion dollar commercial construction project.
•Represented an earth-moving contractor in a claim for payment involving disputed survey quantities, alleged construction deficiencies and contract interpretation issues (the matter was favourably settled after questioning).
•Structured a joint venture, provided detailed commentary on the owner’s unique construction agreements, and reviewed and revised the bid submission by the joint venture, for a local contractor’s bid on the construction of a major sporting facility.
•Represented a general contractor, in responding for additional payment, offset by alleged construction deficiencies, by our client’s road building subcontractor (a successful compromise was negotiated at Judicial Dispute Resolution).
•Represented a design-engineering firm, in registering liens and obtaining payment on an insolvent residential development project. Our client’s successful lien claim resulted in payments over time as lots were sold; our client’s lien claim was paid in full including legal costs on an indemnity basis.
•Managed a wide assortment of claims arising upon the insolvency of a major trade contractor, successfully recovering on disputed bond claims and negotiated the resolution of lien claims to allow our client to emerge without financial loss, with minimal court proceedings.
•Acted for a construction owner in defending a claim by a general contractor for extension costs; following a successful “mini-trial” style mediation, the claimant general contractor withdrew its claim in full.
•Acted for a trade contractor in successfully negotiating a resolution to a multi-million dollar delay claim by the construction owner, obtaining payment for his client and avoiding the cost of trial.
The Crossing Company Inc. v. Banister Pipelines Inc., 2005 ABCA 21
Represented a directional drilling contractor at trial and appeal, successfully suing for payment in the face of a contract dispute over the inherent risks associated with the work.
Smoky River Coal Ltd. (Re), 1999 ABQB 492
Established a legal precedent for registering builders’ liens against multiple parcels of land making up an “integrated project” notwithstanding that work was only done on part of the land
•Acted as plaintiff’s counsel for a NWT construction firm in a lien priority dispute, obtaining payment from the project lender after the developer of the project became insolvent.

Environmental Law

Corbin has successfully handled many regulatory proceedings, including regulatory investigations, enforcement actions, and appeals to the Environmental Appeals Board. Corbin’s environmental practice is now focused on the resolution of contaminated site claims.

Representative Experience:

•Represents major industry clients in defending (or negotiating, as the circumstances may require) contaminated site lawsuits and regulatory actions throughout Alberta and the NWT.
Imperial Oil Ltd. and Devon Estates Ltd. v. Director, Enforcement and Monitoring, Bow Region, Regional Services, Alberta Environment re: Imperial Oil Ltd.
Acted for a municipality in successfully defending allegations by an oil company that the municipality shared responsibility for the continuing contamination of a former refinery site re-developed into residential housing.
•Defended a claim by a landowner against the owner of a neighboring gas station property. Although the gas station had been decommissioned fifteen years earlier, there were allegations of continuing impacts associated with hydrocarbon contamination. We settled the claim on very favorable terms after obtaining a strong opinion at a Judicial Dispute Resolution (mediation by a judge) regarding our client's low risk of liability.
•Negotiated the withdrawal of an Environmental Protection Order against a landowner accused of causing releases to the environment and failing to cooperate with the regulator.
•Managed the response to investigations by Alberta Environment and the Energy Resources and Conservation Board, on behalf of a major facility owner, successfully avoiding prosecution following accidental releases to the environment.
•Represents landowners in pursuing contaminated site claims against polluters, including industrial operators, municipalities and neighboring property owners.
•Advises facility owners and contractors in responding to regulatory investigations and releases to the environment.


In addition to contributing legal articles to industry publications, Corbin authored the McLennan Ross Builders’ Lien Procedures Guide and is the lead contributor to the Alberta Construction Law Blog .

• Progressive Holdback Tricks and Traps Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2018
• Are Engineering Services Lienable? Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2017
• Construction Holdback Requirements - Not for Dummies Corbin Devlin and Kathleen Garbutt, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2017
• Lien Pitfall - Transfers of Land Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2017
• Five Reasons to Read the Dispute Resolution Clause in Your Construction Contract Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2016
• Lien Pitfall - Liening the Wrong Interest Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2016
• Compromising on Consequential Damages Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2016
• General Contractor vs. Construction Manager - What's in a Name, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2016
• Indemnity Causes Red Flags Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2016
• Federal Exemption from Liens No Simple Matter Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Interpreting a 'Withholding of Payments' Clause Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Towards a More Relaxed Interpretation of the Builders' Lien Act Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Arbitration Clauses and Lien Right s Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• More Frequently Asked Lien Questions Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Mischievous Liens Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Arbitration - Quicker, Yes. Cheaper, No Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Court Denies Coverage for Property Damage 'Connected' to Faulty Workmanship Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• 'Incorporation by Reference' - More Dangerous than it Sounds Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2015
• Keeping Construction and Tendering Contracts Separate Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• Top 3 Ways Project Documentation Fails Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• The Top Ten Things That Go Wrong With Lien Registration Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog,2014
• Liening the Landlord for Tenant Improvements Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• Problems with Posting Security to Discharge Liens Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• The Importance of Keeping a Diary Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• No Setoffs Allowed Against the Statutory Lien Holdback? Think Again Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• Can a Lien Include Damages Due to Delay? Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• Termination for Convenience Clauses Often Inadequate Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014
• The Problem with Unit Prices and Stipulated Price Forms Corbin Devlin, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2014


Corbin is regularly engaged to present internal seminars for his clients, to improve their understanding and management of legal risks. Construction clients engage Corbin to provide educational sessions on diverse topics such as contracting risks, builders’ liens, and tendering law. Corbin also speaks to industry clients on civil and regulatory liability issues, investigations and enforcement, and professional liability.

Corbin has made presentations at public and industry events, including:

• Contaminated Sites: The Real Law, McLennan Ross Webinar, 2016
•“Case Review: Mandatory Arbitration Clauses and Liens”, McLennan Ross Construction Law Seminar, 2014
• Understanding the Essence of EPCM Contract, The Canadian Institute: EPCM for Energy and Mining Conference, 2013
•“Dealing with Public Authorities for Contractors and Suppliers”, McLennan Ross Webinar, 2012
•“Builders’ Liens: Lien Funds and Other Problems”, McLennan Ross Construction Law Seminar, 2011
•“The Law of Tendering: Legal Update and Practice Strategies”, Negotiating Major Business Agreements Conference, Insight Information, 2010

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Energy
  • Environmental & Regulatory
  • Construction
  • Litigation
  • Northern Practice Group

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
780.482.9261  Phone
University Attended:
University of Alberta, B.Comm., Distinction
Law School Attended:
University of Alberta, J.D.
Year of First Admission:
2006, Northwest Territories; 1997, Alberta

Professional Associations, Affiliations and Community Activities:

•Contracts Committee, Construction Owners Association of Alberta
•Member, Canadian Bar Association
•Construction Law
•Environmental Law
•Former Chair, Canadian Bar Association
•National Environmental Energy
•Resources Law
•Former Chair, Canadian Bar Association
•Alberta Branch, Environmental Law Section - North
•Former Director of Disputes and Arbitrations, Whitemud West Hockey Association
•Former Director and Executive Director, Environmental Law Centre


Peer Reviews

Edmonton, Alberta

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    Edmonton, AB
    600 McLennan Ross Building , 12220 Stony Plain Road
    Edmonton, AB T5N 3Y4

    780.482.9261 Phone

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