William R. Johnston

William R. Johnston: Attorney with McLennan Ross LLP
  • Associate at McLennan Ross LLP (102 Attorneys)
  • 600 McLennan Ross Building, 12220 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5N 3Y4
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Construction can be a high-risk business. Will’s experience in the industry allows him to provide support to clients at every level of the construction process. He strives to be a knowledgeable resource in the areas of litigation, occupational health and safety, and labour and employment, and has a special interest in the construction aspect of those fields.

Will’s ability to dive into the various industries of his clients ensures he has learned the ins and outs of each company, and he believes that it is important to learn what people do in order to figure out the best way to help them. Having worked in the construction industry himself Will is able to recognize the issues and provide advice to his clients regarding how best to proceed. He understands that each industry has different practices and standards and works to provide practical solutions to disputes which are often quite complex.

Will has appeared at all levels of court and endeavours to provide his clients with the most efficient and cost-effective path to resolution.

Presentations and Publications

• Supreme Court of Canada Releases Decision on Labour and Material Bonds , Will Johnstone, Alberta Construction Law Blog, 2018
• Exposure of Directors to Claims By Injured Workers , McLennan Ross Legal Counsel Newsletter, 2017
• Significant SCC Decision Increases All Risk Insurance Coverage , Jennifer Biernaskie and Will Johnston, McLennan Ross E-Mail Alert, 2016

Construction Litigation

Will’s experience in the construction industry has enabled him to effectively assist his clients with their litigation needs. His ability to prevent and resolve construction disputes, including those involving delay claims, defective building claims, and all aspects of lien enforcement and defence, is highly valued and sought after by construction companies, contractors and homeowners.

•Represents and advises construction companies and property owners concerning building contracts and builders’ liens.
•Represented a contractor with respect to unpaid invoices.
•Represents home owners in resolving builder lien issues including challenging the validity of liens, determining the lien fund, and resolving the lien issues.
•Assisted framing, plumbing and electrical contractors with the registration of builders' liens and proving their validity.
•Assists senior counsel in delay claims, back charges and other contractual disputes.
•Assisted senior counsel in a complex matter involving delay claims brought by an industrial company, which required properly terminating the contract, evaluating the progress to date and seeking damages for delays and failure to build in accordance for specifications.


• Significant SCC Decision Increases All Risk Insurance Coverage , Jennifer Biernaskie and Will Johnston, McLennan Ross E-Mail Alert, 2016

Commercial Litigation

In his commercial litigation practice, Will has been involved in a number of shareholder disputes, contractual disputes, negligence actions and large commercial arbitrations.

•Represented a homeowner who purchased a house with environmental contamination and sought damages to remediate the property.
•Represented a homeowner who purchased a house with hidden defects in the foundation and sought damages for the cost of repair.

Occupational Health & Safety

•Assists senior counsel in defending companies charged under the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
•Assisted in defending a drilling company for charges involving serious incidences.
•Will worked with experts to successfully determine the cause of an accident at a crane company, which allowed for the establishment of a due diligence defence based on industry standards and evidence from companies policies and procedures.
•Worked with engineers to verify safety protocols and equipment which resulted in having a stop work order lifted.


• Exposure of Directors to Claims By Injured Workers , McLennan Ross Legal Counsel Newsletter, 2017

Labour & Employment

Will's wide range of labour and employment experience greatly benefits his clients in the construction industry as well as any employer or employee seeking legal advice on issues including termination, discipline, human rights, employment standards, workers’ compensation, and dismissals. Will also represents employers in respect to Employment Standards complaints and advises employers on all aspects of employment agreements.

•Represent a foreman in an action to recover damages for wrongful dismissal.
•Assisted a school board in defending a grievance for wrongful dismissal for breach of privacy policies.
•Assisted a municipality in defending a grievance for discipline relating to wrongful use of employer vehicles.
•Assisted senior counsel in representing a municipality in the review of a collective agreement with relation to a job classification scheme.
•Assisted senior counsel in representing an airport during binding arbitration for a new collective agreement.

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Labour & Employment
  • Construction
  • Health
  • Litigation
  • Occupational Health & Safety

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
780.482.9155  Phone
University Attended:
University of Alberta, B.Sc., Molecular Genetics, Distinction
Law School Attended:
University of Alberta, LL.B.
Year of First admission:
2012, Alberta

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Edmonton, Alberta

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

    780.482.9155 Phone

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