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How do I complain about my lawyer's bill?

How do I complain about my lawyer's bill?
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Ministry of the Attorney General
Law Society of Ontario
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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How do I complain about my lawyer's bill?
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January 2, 2020

If you think your legal bill is too high, try talking to your lawyer or paralegal about it. You may be able to talk about ways to reduce your bill or agree on a payment plan. Most lawyers and paralegals want to solve problems before they become complaints.

Your legal bill is usually made of up two parts: legal fees and disbursements.

Legal fees are based on the amount of time your lawyer or paralegal spent on your case. This includes things like preparing documents, and going to court or tribunal hearings.

Disbursements are for expenses, such as photocopies and court filing fees.

The agreement you signed when you hired your lawyer or paralegal should have explained these costs. The agreement is called a retainer agreement.

If you can't resolve this issue with your lawyer, you can ask an assessment officer of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to review your lawyer's bill. You must ask for the review within 1 month of getting your bill.

If you hired a paralegal, you could sue them in Small Claims Court, if the amount you want back is under $35,000. If your claim is for more than $35,000, you have to go to the Superior Court of Justice.

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