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Part 8 out of 11 parts in the Legal Profession Act
64 (1) In this Part:
"agreement" means a written contract respecting the fees, charges and disbursements to be paid to a lawyer or law firm for services provided or to be provided and includes a contingent fee agreement;
"bill" means a lawyer's written statement of fees, charges and disbursements;
"charges" includes taxes on fees and disbursements and interest on fees and disbursements;
"contingent fee agreement" means an agreement that provides that payment to the lawyer for services provided depends, at least in part, on the happening of an event;
"court" means the Supreme Court;
"person charged" includes a person who has agreed to pay for legal services, whether or not the services were provided on the person's behalf;
"registrar" means the registrar of the court.
(2) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, this Part, except sections 65, 66 (1), 68, 77, 78 and 79 (1), (2), (3), (6) and (7), does not apply to a class proceeding within the meaning of the Class Proceedings Act.
(3) This Part applies to a lawyer's bill or agreement even though the lawyer has ceased to be a member of the society, if the lawyer was a member when the legal services were provided.
65 (1) A lawyer or law firm may enter into an agreement with any other person, requiring payment for services provided or to be provided by the lawyer or law firm.
(2) Subsection (1) applies despite any law or usage to the contrary.
(3) A provision in an agreement that the lawyer is not liable for negligence, or that the lawyer is relieved from responsibility to which the lawyer would otherwise be subject as a lawyer, is void.
(4) An agreement under this section may be signed on behalf of a lawyer or law firm by an authorized agent who is a practising lawyer.
66 (1) Section 65 applies to contingent fee agreements.
(2) The benchers may make rules respecting contingent fee agreements, including, but not limited to, rules that do any of the following:
(3) Rules under subsection (2) apply only to contingent fee agreements made after the rules come into force and, if those rules are amended, the amendments apply only to contingent fee agreements made after the amendments come into force.
(4) A contingent fee agreement that exceeds the limits established by the rules is void unless approved by the court under subsection (6).
(5) If a contingent fee agreement is void under subsection (4), the lawyer may charge the fees that could have been charged had there been no contingent fee agreement, but only if the event that would have allowed payment under the void agreement occurs.
(6) A lawyer may apply to the court for approval of a fee higher than the rule permits, only
(7) The court may approve an application under subsection (6) if
(8) The following rules apply to an application under subsection (6) to preserve solicitor client privilege:
(9) Despite subsection (8), reasons for judgment relating to an application under subsection (6) may be published if the names of the lawyer and client are not disclosed and any information that may identify the lawyer or the client is not disclosed.
67 (1) This section does not apply to contingent fee agreements entered into before June 1, 1988.
(2) A contingent fee agreement must not provide that a lawyer is entitled to receive both a fee based on a proportion of the amount recovered and any portion of an amount awarded as costs in a proceeding or paid as costs in the settlement of a proceeding or an anticipated proceeding.
(3) A contingent fee agreement for services relating to a child guardianship or custody matter, or a matter respecting parenting time of, contact with or access to a child, is void.
(4) A contingent fee agreement for services relating to a matrimonial dispute is void unless approved by the court.
(5) A lawyer may apply to the court for approval of a contingent fee agreement for services relating to a matrimonial dispute and section 66 (7) to (9) applies.
[2011-25-400 – proclaimed in effect on March 18, 2013]
68 (1) This section does not apply to agreements entered into before June 1, 1988.
(2) A person who has entered into an agreement with a lawyer or law firm may apply to the registrar to have the agreement examined.
(3) An application under subsection (2) may only be made within 3 months after
(4) Subject to subsection (3), a person may make an application under subsection (2) even if the person has made payment under the agreement.
(5) On an application under subsection (2), the registrar must confirm the agreement unless the registrar considers that the agreement is unfair or unreasonable under the circumstances existing at the time the agreement was entered into.
(6) If the registrar considers that the agreement is unfair or unreasonable under the circumstances existing at the time the agreement was entered into, the registrar may modify or cancel the agreement.
(7) If an agreement is cancelled under subsection (6), a registrar
(8) A party may appeal a decision of the registrar under subsection (5) or (6) to the court.
(9) The procedure under the Supreme Court Civil Rules for the assessment of costs, review of bills and examination of agreements applies to the examination of an agreement.
69 (1) A lawyer must deliver a bill to the person charged.
(2) A bill may be delivered under subsection (1) by mailing the bill to the last known business or residential address of the person charged.
(3) The bill must be signed by or on behalf of the lawyer or accompanied by a letter, signed by or on behalf of the lawyer, that refers to the bill.
(4) A bill under subsection (1) is sufficient in form if it contains a reasonably descriptive statement of the services with a lump sum charge and a detailed statement of disbursements.
(5) A lawyer must not sue to collect money owed on a bill until 30 days after the bill was delivered to the person charged.
(6) The court may permit a lawyer to sue to collect money owed on a bill before the end of the 30 day period if the court finds that
70 (1) Subject to subsection (11), the person charged or a person who has agreed to indemnify that person may obtain an appointment to have a bill reviewed before
whichever occurs first.
(2) The person who obtained an appointment under subsection (1) for a review of the bill must deliver a copy of the appointment to the lawyer at the address shown on the bill, at least 5 days before the date set for the review.
(3) Subject to subsection (11), a lawyer may obtain an appointment to have a bill reviewed 30 days or more after the bill was delivered under section 69.
(4) The lawyer must serve a copy of the appointment on the person charged at least 5 days before the date set for the review.
(5) The following people may obtain an appointment on behalf of a lawyer to have a bill reviewed:
(6) If a lawyer has sued to collect on a bill, the court in which the action was commenced may order that the bill be referred to the registrar.
(7) The court may make an order under subsection (6) whether or not any party has applied for an order.
(8) On a referral under subsection (6), the registrar may
(9) When making an order under subsection (6), the court may direct that the registrar take action under subsection (8) (a) or (b).
(10) Section 73 applies to a certificate issued under subsection (8) (a).
(11) In either of the following circumstances, the lawyer's bill must not be reviewed unless the court finds that special circumstances justify a review of the bill and orders that the bill be reviewed by the registrar:
(12) If a lawyer sues to collect money owed on a bill, the lawsuit must not proceed if an application for review is made before or after the lawsuit was commenced, until
(13) The procedure under the Supreme Court Civil Rules for the assessment of costs, review of bills and examination of agreements applies to the review of bills under this section.
(14) The registrar may refer any question arising under this Part to the court for directions or a determination.
71 (1) This section applies to a review or examination under section 68 (7), 70, 77 (3), 78 (2) or 79 (3).
(2) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), the registrar must allow fees, charges and disbursements for the following services:
(3) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), the registrar may allow fees, charges and disbursements for the following services, even if unnecessary for the proper conduct of the proceeding or business to which they relate:
(4) At a review of a lawyer's bill, the registrar must consider all of the circumstances, including
(5) The discretion of the registrar under subsection (4) is not limited by the terms of an agreement between the lawyer and the lawyer's client.
72 (1) Costs of a review of a lawyer's bill must be paid by the following:
(2) Despite subsection (1), the registrar has the discretion, in special circumstances, to order the payment of costs other than as provided in that subsection.
73 (1) On the application of a party to a review under this Part, the registrar may order that a party
(2) On a review under this Part, the registrar may
(3) If a registrar gives a certificate under subsection (2), the registrar must add to the amount certified an amount of interest calculated
(4) If a registrar gives a certificate under subsection (2) that requires that the lawyer refund money to another person, the registrar must add to the amount to be refunded an amount of interest calculated
74 A lawyer must, on demand,
75 (1) A party to a review may appeal to the court, within
(2) On the appeal, the court may make any order it considers appropriate.
(3) If the terms of an order of the court require it, the registrar must amend the certificate.
76 (1) If it appears to the registrar that there is money due from the lawyer to the person charged, the registrar may make an interim certificate as to the amount payable by the lawyer.
(2) If an interim certificate is entered under subsection (1), the court may order the money certified to be paid immediately
(3) After a review under sections 70 and 71, the certificate of the registrar may be filed in a registry of the court and, on the expiry of the time specified or permitted under section 75, the certificate is deemed to be a judgment of the court.
77 (1) The court may order, on terms it considers appropriate, delivery of a bill to the person charged, if
(2) A person charged may apply to the court for an order that the client's lawyer or former lawyer deliver to the court, to the client or to the client's agent
(3) When an order under subsection (2) is made, the court may
78 (1) If a client changes lawyers or begins acting on his or her own behalf, the client or the new lawyer may apply to the court for an order directing that the client's former lawyer deliver the client's records to another lawyer nominated by the client or to the client, as the case may be.
(2) If the court makes an order under subsection (1), the court may
79 (1) A lawyer who is retained to prosecute or defend a proceeding in a court or before a tribunal has a charge against any property that is recovered or preserved as a result of the proceeding for the proper fees, charges and disbursements of or in relation to the proceeding, including counsel fees.
(2) Subsection (1) applies whether or not the lawyer acted as counsel.
(3) The court that heard the proceeding or in which the proceeding is pending may order the review and payment of the fees, charges and disbursements out of the property as that court considers appropriate.
(4) Sections 70 to 73 apply to a review under subsection (3) of this section.
(5) If the proceeding referred to in subsection (1) was before a tribunal, the lawyer may apply to the court for an order under subsection (3).
(6) All acts done and conveyances made to defeat, or that operate or tend to defeat, the charge are void against the charge, unless made to a bona fide purchaser for value without notice.
(7) A proceeding for the purpose of realizing or enforcing a charge arising under this section may not be taken until after application has been made to the appropriate court for directions.