Disproportionate, inappropriate steps justified both sides bearing their own costs

Civil practice and procedure – Costs – Particular orders as to costs

Defendant clients hired plaintiff law firm to represent them in matter related to their franchise business. Clients claimed that law firm's accounts were significantly higher than estimated. Clients terminated law firm’s retainer after negotiating their own settlement with franchisor. Pursuant to Solicitors Act, clients obtained registrar's order to assess law firm's accounts. Without leave of court, law firm commenced this action seeking payment of $216,273.92, balance of its unpaid accounts, as well as damages for breach of contract, misrepresentation, deceit, fraud and unjust enrichment, and it sought charging lien. Law firm brought motion for order staying assessment pending final disposition of action; clients brought cross-motion for order staying action until completion of assessment. Motion was dismissed and cross-motion granted. Parties did not agree on matters of costs and both clients and law firm made claims for costs. Accurate assessment was that there was divided success or such qualified success that it was appropriate to exercise discretion to make no order as to costs for either party. There was no purpose to air laundry of soiled lawyer and client relationship save to say that for purposes of motion and cross-motion there was enough disproportionate and inappropriate steps taken to justify having both sides bear their own costs.

Teplitsky, Colson LLP v. 2169252 Ontario Inc. (2020), 2020 CarswellOnt 1099, 2020 ONSC 557, Perell J. (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 19964, 2019 ONSC 7026, Perell J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

Case Law is a weekly summary of notable civil and criminal court decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and all Ontario courts. These cases may be found online in WestlawNext Canada. To subscribe, please visit store.thomsonreuters.ca

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Housing supply needs more public-private collaboration, less red tape, say lawyers

Judicial vacancies holding up construction litigation: litigators

With new federal funding Pro Bono Ontario expanding program for Ukrainian nationals across Canada

Ontario Court of Appeal resolves access rights between parents and maternal grandparents

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds dismissal of statute-barred personal injury claim

Ontario Superior Court rules on admissibility of jury questions in vehicle accident case

Most Read Articles

Ontario Court of Appeal resolves access rights between parents and maternal grandparents

Judicial vacancies holding up construction litigation: litigators

With new federal funding Pro Bono Ontario expanding program for Ukrainian nationals across Canada

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds dismissal of statute-barred personal injury claim