WALSH v STEPHEN M K HOPE PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, 2019 ABQB 516
10.18: Reference to Court
10.2: Payment for lawyer’s services and contents of lawyer’s account
10.7: Contingency fee agreement requirements
10.9: Reasonableness of retainer agreements and charges subject to review
15.5: Contingency fee agreements
A dispute arose between the Plaintiff and her lawyer regarding a contingency fee agreement that was entered into in 2009. In determining the enforceability of the agreement, the Court reviewed its compliance with the specific requirements of contingency retainers set out in Rule 10.7, noting that transitional Rule 15.5(1) excepts the application of subsection (2) of Rule 10.7 where a contingency agreement is made under, and complies with, the old Rules. The Court found that the impugned agreement met the requirements of the former Rules, and was an enforceable contingency fee agreement.
As the Plaintiff had alleged that enforcement of the agreement would be unreasonable, the Court reviewed the reasonableness of the agreement. In so doing, the Court took note of the framework for review by an Assessment Officer, as contemplated in Rule 10.9, and the authority of the Court in considering assessment matters referred to it, pursuant to Rule 10.18. Moreover, the Court considered and supplemented the factors set out in Rule 10.2 with respect to review of the reasonableness of lawyer’s fees. Ultimately, the Court held that enforcement of the agreement was reasonable.View CanLII Details