Credentials hearing

Re: An Applicant

Pursuant to Law Society Rule 2-69.1, the published summary does not identify the applicant when the application is rejected.

Hearing Dates: February 26 to March 1, 2007 (Application for call and admission by transfer), February 15, 2008 (Costs)

Panel: Dirk Sigalet, QC, Chair, Robert Apps, QC, and John Hogg, QC

Reports Issued: June 19, 2007 (2007 LSBC 34) and June 19, 2008 (2008 LSBC 17)


Majority (Robert Apps, QC, and John Hogg, QC)

Law Society Rule 5-9 states that costs in all instances should remain at the discretion of the panel. Awards of costs should be reasonable and not prevent applications that might otherwise be made in appropriate circumstances.

Awarding full costs to the Law Society of $43,389.31 would have a punitive effect and serve as a substantial deterrent for any person wishing to apply for enrolment with the Law Society. The majority fixes costs at $20,000, to be paid by release of the amount held as security for costs.

Minority (Dirk Sigalet, QC)

There are policy reasons and binding precedent that require the panel to order full costs against the unsuccessful Applicant.

For the reasons clearly set out in Law Society of BC v. McNabb and Law Society of BC v. Edwards, the successful party is entitled to a full indemnity for its costs. And while the costs ordered must be reasonable, the panel did not hear evidence or argument that the costs were unreasonable.

Ability to pay is not a factor when determining the amount of costs. However, once costs are determined, ability to pay then becomes a factor in deciding when the costs are paid.

The minority finds costs of $43,489.31 to be paid as follows:

1. $20,000 by release of the amount held as security for costs; and

2. payment of the balance on or before December 31, 2008 of $23,409.31.