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Contingency fee arrangements allow lawyers and their clients to agree that the lawyer will be paid only in the event of success.

On December 9, 2002, Bill 213, the Justice Statute Law Amendment Act, 2002, received Royal Assent. Schedule A of this legislation amends the Solicitors Act to regulate contingency fee agreements. It contains broad regulation-making power relating to contingency fees, and includes the following regulatory controls:

  • Requires all contingency fee agreements to be made in writing;
  • Prohibits contingency fees in criminal, quasi-criminal and family law matters;
  • Precludes lawyers from collecting both the pre-determined contingency fee and legal costs, unless approved by a judge;
  • Allows client to collect full payment for an award of costs, even if it exceeds the amount payable under a contingency fee agreement, if the award is used to pay the client's solicitor;
  • Authorizes the LGIC to prescribe a maximum percentage that can be charged as a contingency fee; and
  • Allows the courts to review contingency fee contracts and to endorse negotiated fees above the prescribed standards where it is fair to do so.

For further background, please see overview materials and Schedule A of the Justice Statute Law Amendment Act, 2002.

The deadline for written responses to the proposed draft regulation on contingency fees was April 22, 2004.

The Ministry thanks all those who participated.

Links

Overview Materials

  1. Background
  2. Legislative Amendments
  3. Prior External Consultations
  4. Issue: Maximum Percentage
  5. Issue: Safeguards
  6. In-Force Date of Regulation