For the Public
Disputing a Lawyer's Fees
There is a procedure known as assessment, whereby lawyers' accounts
are reviewed by the Registrar of the Court of Queen's Bench.
The registrar will review the file and the work done by the lawyer
to decide if the work done justifies the fees charged. This process
may result in an order for the lawyer to reduce an
account and if the client has already paid, to reimburse the
client the amount of the reduction. Your lawyer may be prepared to
consent to have the account assessed at your request. If not, you
may apply to the Court for an assessment. The application for an
assessment must be made within 30 days of receipt of the account.
However, application can be granted at a later date if the Court is
satisfied that special circumstances exist. The Law Society of
Saskatchewan does not have the jurisdiction to review lawyers'
accounts to determine if they are appropriate. Please see the
information package with regard to the assessment procedure on the
right side of your screen.
Challenging Contingency Fee Agreements
A contingency fee agreement is an agreement which provides that a
lawyer's remuneration for services to be provided for or on behalf
of a client is contingent, in whole or in part, on the successful
disposition of the matter in respect of which the services are
provided. In other words, the fee will depend on the outcome
of the case and is a percentage of the value of the award.
The terms of a contingency fee arrangement must be reasonable and
must be set out in a written agreement, signed by both the lawyer
and the client.
Where a lawyer and client have
signed a contract such as a contingency fee agreement, the client
may apply to the Court to challenge the reasonableness of a
contingency fee agreement as set out in Section 64 of The Legal Profession Act,
1990. You may wish to consult a lawyer for further