1.4: Procedural orders
10.10: Time limitation on reviewing retainer agreements and charges
10.6: Void provisions

Case Summary

The Applicant, Homersham commenced a Review Application alleging that his clients, the Respondents had failed or refused to pay accounts rendered. The Review Officer referred several questions relating to the terms of the retainer agreement and the timeliness of the Review to a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench for determination.

On the issue of timeliness, the Respondents objected to the review of accounts issued more than six months prior to the date the Review Application was filed on the basis of Rule 10.10(2). Justice Poelman rejected this argument, stating that “the six-month time limit does not apply to interim accounts as interim accounts can be changed and are not subject to taxation”. Justice Poelman determined that the accounts in question were interim accounts because the retainer agreement provided for potential reductions in accordance with a cap on fees such that fees owed were not finally determined until year end.

Moreover, Poelman J. held that, even when Rule 10.10(2) does apply, the Court has jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 1.4(2) to extend the time period to bring an Application for Review. Justice Poelman applied the Court’s jurisdiction to grant an extension. In light of the “difficulties” arising between the parties, His Lordship held that it was reasonable for Homersham to wait until the end of the three-year term of the retainer agreement drew near to pursue the unpaid accounts. Further, there was no suggestion that an extension of time for Review would prejudice the Respondents.

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