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.
Assessment Package | Forms
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 advice.