TANG v MUWAIS, 2014 ABQB 511


10.2: Payment for lawyer’s services and contents of lawyer’s account
10.26: Appeal to judge
10.27: Decision of judge

Case Summary

A Review Officer reduced the fees of a lawyer who sought to have two accounts taxed against her former client. The reduction was due to ongoing delays in the scheduling of Questioning. The lawyer appealed pursuant to Rule 10.26. Justice Graesser reviewed the factors set out at Rule 10.2 with respect to the reasonableness of legal fees. Graesser J. noted that the hourly rate appeared reasonable given the lawyer’s years of experience and seniority; however, His Lordship observed that the result which was achieved in the litigation is an appropriate factor to consider under Rule 10.2(f). In considering the history of the matter, what was accomplished and at what cost, Justice Graesser held there was no palpable and overriding error on the part of the Review Officer. The reductions on the accounts were appropriate given: (i) the delay in the pace of litigation, (ii) the absence of any meaningful results and (iii) the excessive efforts expended by the lawyer in comparison to the difficulty and complexity of the tasks undertaken. The Appeal was dismissed and the Review Officer’s Decision was confirmed.

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