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Apr 9, 2020

Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act Order and Release of Construction Lien Holdbacks

By: Leor Margulies

To my clients and confreres in the construction lending and development industries:

I am writing to you first and foremost to make sure that all of you are safe. The COVID-19 crisis has created unprecedented challenges and hardships for everybody around the world and not the least here in Toronto. Hopefully, we can all work together and find our way back to some level of normalcy.

Our firm has been working primarily on a remote basis with a skeleton staff in the actual office, as lawyers continue to be considered "essential services". We have been able to function almost seamlessly with respect to documentation production, searches, registrations, closings and money transfers. We are here to assist any and all of you to complete your transactions and fund any loans or closings as required. We are also in the midst of reviving our legal SWAT team from the 2008/2009 financial crisis to help lenders and borrowers address the nuclear fallout from COVID-19 on developments and loans. Stay tuned.

An issue has arisen under the Emergency Orders which hopefully will be addressed soon by the Ontario government relating to the impact of the emergency legislation on the timing for release of lien holdbacks. It has put into question when this timing occurs. We have posted a short article on our website outlining the issues and the possible solutions and I urge you to review it and consider the implications of the emergency order, pending clarification from the Ontario government as it impacts on release of holdbacks to trades by owners and lenders.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of my development and lending team here at Robins Appleby LLP.

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Robins Appleby LLP Suite 2600, 120 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 1T1
E. T. 416.868.1080 F. 416.868.0306

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