1891868 ALBERTA LTD v CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA LTD, 2017 ABQB 40
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.30: When costs award may be made
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.32: Costs in class proceeding
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award
SCHEDULE C: Tariff of Recoverable Fees
Following an Application in which the Plaintiff unsuccessfully applied for relief related to a shareholders’ meeting, and unsuccessfully sought the further hearing of an Application for relief from oppression, the parties appeared before the Court with respect to Costs.
The Plaintiff acknowledged that it was unsuccessful, but argued that there was no reason to depart from the party-party Costs in accordance with Schedule C. The Defendant directors argued for Costs under Column 5, plus disbursements and an additional lump sum of $50,000 on the basis that this additional sum reflected the degree of success, importance of the issues and complexity of the matter pursuant to Rule 10.31(1)(b)(ii). Further, they argued that the Court should use its discretion to award Costs under Column 5 at a four times multiplier given the economic significance of the Application, and the lack of urgency to seek such serious and extreme relief. The corporate Defendant argued that they should be awarded approximately 40-50% of reasonable solicitor-client Costs, given the unwarranted and serious allegations against the directors, and the improper use of the Court to achieve a business purpose. Alternatively, the corporate Defendant sought Costs at four times Column 5 for the complexity of the Application, plus disbursements.
Justice Strekaf reiterated that Costs are within the discretion of the Court, to be determined in accordance with Rules 10.29 – 10.33. Strekaf J. held that an enhanced Costs award was justified in the circumstances because this was costly commercial litigation involving high stakes, which was conducted on an expedited basis and involved issues of moderate complexity. However, the Costs sought by the corporate Defendant were excessive, particularly in light of a lack of Affidavit evidence in support of such Costs. The Defendant corporation and directors were each awarded four times the tariff amount under Column 5 and the additional sum of $50,000, for a total award of $62,000 plus disbursements.View CanLII Details