A dispute sometimes arises between a lawyer and his or her client about the lawyer’s bill: Is it too high? What services were provided? How was it calculated? What out-of-pocket expenses were incurred?
If you have received a bill from your lawyer, and don’t understand it or object to some part of it, the first thing you should do is discuss it with your lawyer.
Ask your lawyer what services were performed, and why. Find out how the lawyer’s fee was calculated; was it a lump sum, or based on an hourly rate? If you are confused about the disbursements charged, ask what they are for, and why they were necessary.
In short, make sure you understand the bill; only then will you be in a position to decide whether you will accept the bill as delivered, or whether you will apply to have it assessed.
This booklet describes the process for having your lawyer’s bill assessed by a Master (or sometimes a judge) of the Court of Queen’s Bench.
NOTE: This booklet is designed to assist clients who want to have their lawyer’s bills assessed. It will describe the circumstances in which a bill may be assessed, how you prepare for an assessment, how a hearing operates, and who pays the cost of the assessment.