Matthew R. Alter


 | Toronto

Matthew Alter* is a partner in the Litigation Group at Cassels and serves as Chair of the firm’s Construction Group. Matthew’s practice focuses on representing public and private owners and developers, general contractors, and other construction industry participants in all aspects of construction and procurement. He advises clients on project delivery methods and procurement processes and drafts and negotiates various agreements for construction and infrastructure projects and related acquisitions, including Public-Private Partnership arrangements. Matthew also represents industry participants in all types of contract and project disputes and litigation, including: tendering claims and defences, contractor defaults, interference and delay claims, liens, trust claims, insolvency claims, and surety bond claims. Recognized internationally as a top construction and procurement lawyer, Matthew is certified as a Specialist in Construction Law by the Law Society of Ontario and is proud to have served as a past President of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers.

Select recent publications and presentations include:

  • Chair: The Modern Construction Law Landscape, 22nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Niagara-on-the-Lake (May 2019)
  • Speaker: Implications of Prompt Payment for Construction, 2019 Construction Adjudication Symposium, Toronto (May 2019)
  • Co-Author: Construction and Projects in Canada, Thomson Reuters for Practical Law (March 2019)
  • Speaker: Looking Through Different Lenses: Tactical and Technical Concerns When Representing the Owner or the Contractor, ABA Forum on Construction Law 2019 Fall Meeting, Montreal (October 2018)
  • Speaker: Practical Considerations: The Ultimate Payee’s Perspective, Osgoode Professional Development (April 2018)
  • Speaker: Pre-litigation Claim Management, Construction & Infrastructure Litigation 201, OBA Institute (February 2018)

*denotes Professional Corporation

  • Best Lawyers in Canada (Construction Law, Public Procurement Law)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Lawyer of the Year (Public Procurement Law – Toronto) (2015 & 2018)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Construction Law)
  • Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • Expert Guides (Construction)
  • Expert Guides: Best of the Best (Global) (Construction)
  • Law Society of Ontario, Certified Specialist (Construction Law)
  • Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Construction Law)
  • Lexpert Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada (Construction)
  • Lexpert Magazine, Cover, Procurement Pros (April 2011)
  • Lexpert Special Edition, Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Who’s Who Legal: Global (Construction, Government)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Construction, Government)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders (Construction)
  • “Matthew Alter is fully engaged and provides advice that is pragmatic and targets a desired outcome.” – Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • “He is very knowledgeable, responds quickly to requests and has provided sound guidance.” – Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • “Observers report that ‘he is very well-versed in the law,’ with one client stating ‘I like the practical nature of his approach.” – Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • “A first-rate litigator and astute advisor. He provides a brilliant advisory service to clients and is also adept at handling complex disputes.”– Who’s Who Legal (Construction)
  • “He is extremely thoughtful and evaluates the entire picture. He certainly watches out for our interests and makes sure we don’t miss anything.”– Chambers Global (Construction)
  • “His knowledge base is his strength; he is very experienced and knows what he is doing.” – Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • “Matthew Alter is a fine lawyer. He is experienced, bright and possesses a keen knowledge of complex construction law issues. In addition, he provides timely and practical legal advice.” – Best Lawyers in Canada (Construction/Public Procurement)
  • “Matthew Alter is one of the top lawyers that I have worked with in my professional career. He is a true expert in construction law, and has the unique ability of being able to simplify difficult concepts, and then recommend suitable solutions.” – Best Lawyers in Canada (Construction/Public Procurement)
  • “He can present a difficult subject that people aren’t familiar with in layman’s terms, so that we have a good understanding from both a construction perspective and a legal one.” – Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • “The ‘excellent’ Matthew Alter is a contractual specialist with considerable expertise in contract drafting, negotiation and contract-related disputes work.” – Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Construction)
  • “Clients highlight his ‘thoroughness, timeliness and common sense.’” – Chambers Canada (Construction)
  • LL.B., University of Windsor, 1985
  • B.A. (Hons), University of Toronto, 1982
  • Ontario, 1987
  • American Bar Association, Past Chair, International Construction Division of the Forum on Construction Law (2011–2013)
  • Canadian Bar Association, Past Executive Member, National Construction Law Section
  • Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Fellow (since 2005) and Past President (2018-2019)
  • Canadian Construction Association, Member
  • Construlegal, Alliance of Construction Law Firms for the Americas, Representative for Canada
  • Law Society of Ontario, Member and Past Chair, Construction Law Specialty Committee (2006–2007)
  • Ontario Bar Association, Past Chair, Construction Law Section (2004–2005)
  • Toronto Construction Association, Past Member of The Construction Institute Professional Development Committee (1996–2008)
  • Toronto Lawyers Association