[Table of Contents] [previous part] [next part]
Part 8 out of ten parts in the Law Society Rules

 

These Law Society Rules no longer in effect

These Law Society Rules were in effect until June 30, 2015, and are archived here for reference.

The revised and consolidated Law Society Rules 2015 came into effect on July 1, 2015. Download a PDF of the concordance between the new and old rules.


PART 8 – LAWYERS' FEES


Reasonable remuneration

8-1 (1) A lawyer who enters into a contingent fee agreement with a client must ensure that, under the circumstances existing at the time the agreement is entered into,

(a) the agreement is fair, and

(b) the lawyer's remuneration provided for in the agreement is reasonable.

(2) A lawyer who prepares a bill for fees earned under a contingent fee agreement must ensure that the total fee payable by the client

(a) does not exceed the remuneration provided for in the agreement, and

(b) is reasonable under the circumstances existing at the time the bill is prepared.


Maximum remuneration in personal injury actions

8-2 (1) Subject to the court's approval of higher remuneration under section 66(7) of the Act, the maximum remuneration to which a lawyer is entitled under a contingent fee agreement for representing a client up to and including all matters pertaining to the trial of an action, when acting for a plaintiff in

(a) a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle, is 33 1/3% of the amount recovered, and

(b) any other claim for personal injury or wrongful death, is 40% of the amount recovered.

(2) Despite subrule (1), a contingent fee agreement may provide that the lawyer may elect to forego any remuneration based on a proportion of the amount recovered and receive instead an amount equal to any costs awarded to the client by order of a court.

(3) This Rule does not prevent a lawyer and client from making a separate agreement for payment beyond the amount specified in subrule (1) to compensate the lawyer for representing the client in an appeal from a trial judgment pronounced in the proceeding for which the lawyer was retained.

[(1) amended, (3) added 04/07]


Form and content of contingent fee agreements

8-3 A contingent fee agreement must

(a) be in writing,

(b) state that the person who entered into the agreement with the lawyer may, within 3 months after the agreement was made or the retainer between the solicitor and client was terminated by either party, apply to a district registrar of the Supreme Court of British Columbia to have the agreement examined, even if the person has made payment to the lawyer under the agreement, and

(c) not include a provision that

(i) the lawyer is not liable for negligence or is relieved from any responsibility to which a lawyer would otherwise be subject,

(ii) the claim or cause of action that is the subject matter of the agreement cannot be abandoned, discontinued or settled without the consent of the lawyer, a law firm or a law corporation, or

(iii) the client may not change lawyers before the conclusion of the claim or cause of action that is the subject matter of the agreement.

[amended 09/99]


Statement of Rules in contingent fee agreements

8-4 (1) A contingent fee agreement between a lawyer and a plaintiff in a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle must include the following statement, prominently placed:

Under the Rules of the Law Society of British Columbia, without court approval, a lawyer may charge a maximum of 33 1/3% of the total amount recovered in a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of the use of a motor vehicle.

The percentage limit applies to all matters related to the trial of a lawsuit, but does not include any appeal. A lawyer and a client may make a separate agreement for legal fees for an appeal.

Fees charged by different lawyers vary.

(2) A contingent fee agreement between a lawyer and a plaintiff in a claim for personal injury or wrongful death not affected by subrule (1) must include the following statement, prominently placed:

Under the Rules of the Law Society of British Columbia, without court approval, a lawyer may charge a maximum of 40% of the total amount recovered in a claim for personal injury or wrongful death.

The percentage limit applies to all matters related to the trial of a lawsuit, but does not include any appeal. A lawyer and a client may make a separate agreement for legal fees for an appeal.

Fees charged by different lawyers vary.

(3) If a contingent fee agreement includes a provision permitted under Rule 8-2(2), the statement required under subrule (1) or (2) must include the following:

The Law Society Rules allow a lawyer and client to agree that the lawyer may choose to charge the amount of costs awarded instead of a percentage of the amount recovered.

[(1) and (2) amended 04/07]


[Table of Contents] [previous part] [next part]
Part 8 out of ten parts in the Law Society Rules