If you feel like you have been overcharged for a civil litigation issue, you may be entitled to a refund.
At Legal Bills Ontario, we offer a free review of your legal bills by a senior lawyer specializing in civil litigation. If you have been overcharged, then our team at Legal Bills Ontario may be able to either negotiate a settlement or obtain an order requiring repayment.
The fees charged by lawyers are not simply a personal matter, but are regarded by our judicial systems as being an important public interest concern. Consequently, in order to safeguard access to justice, our court system if requested to do so will review legal bills in order to ensure that the amounts charged are reasonable.
Lawyers are legally obligated to justify the fees charged to clients.
The process through which a lawyer is held accountable is called an assessment.
During an assessment, the lawyer must provide a detailed explanation of all of the fees and expenses charged. The judicial officer overseeing the assessment hearing will then make a determination on whether the charges were both fair and reasonable. Any charges that cannot be justified must be refunded.
When determining whether a legal bill is fair and reasonable, the assessment officer will consider the following factors:
1. The time expended by the solicitors;
2. The legal complexity of the matters at issue;
3. The degree of responsibility assumed by the solicitor;
4. The monetary value of the matters at issue;
5. The importance of the matter to the client;
6. The degree of skill and competence demonstrated by the solicitor;
7. The results achieved;
8. The ability of the client to pay;
9. The amount the client reasonably expected to pay for the services provided.
In principle, every solicitor/client assessment is determined by the application of these nine factors. No one factor is more important than the others. However, in practice, an assessment is often largely devoted to a dispute over the skill and competence demonstrated by the lawyer following a less than satisfactory resolution to a legal proceeding.