CASE NUMBER = QB 68/10, JCW
HEARING DATE: AUGUST 25TH, 2010, 10 am
FINAL HEARING: SEPT. 22, 2010, 10 am
14th, 2010 Assessing Officer Patricia L. Buttner found lawyer
William H. Holliday guilty of overbilling client Robert Lewis
by the amount of $400. Details below.
LODGED BY ROBERT LEWIS AGAINST LAWYER WILLIAM H. HOLLIDAY, JULY
THE PLAINTIFF HAS ASKED THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH
IN WEYBURN, SASKATCHEWAN TO ASSESS THE ACCOUNT OF WILLIAM H.
In approximately mid-April, 2010, William H. Holliday
was engaged to execute the sale of land (in S. Saskatchewan)
valued at $90,000. His fee was $2,431. Of that amount, $1,950
was not itemized.
The plaintiff claims Holliday (charging $350/hour)
withheld pertinent information regarding the latter's searching
of the title (deed) that generated $1,500 in unwarranted fees.
W. H.Holliday did not advise Robert Lewis that
beyond his $350 hourly fee, he also charges for his skill and
experience. He did not furnish his client with a letter of introduction,
advising him of his fees and billing practices; and most importantly,
he did not verify what section(s) of land he was being asked
to sell on behalf of his client. .
COPY/PASTE OF DECISION
QB 68 of 2010
IN THE COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH
JUDICIAL CENTRE OF WEYBURN
B E T W E E N:
ROBERT J. LEWIS
- and -
WILLIAM H. HOLLIDAY
CERTIFICATE OF ASSESSMENT OFFICER
APPEARANCES: Robert J. Lewis present
by conference call
William H. Holliday - present
attended at the Weyburn Courthouse on Wednesday, August 25,
2010 and Wednesday the 22nd of September, 2010, for an assessment
of a solicitor/client bill for services rendered by the Respondent
to the Applicant in the amount of $2,431.88.
The account relates to services provided to Mr. Lewis in relation
to a land transaction covering a time frame April 15, 2010 until
June 29, 2010.
I advised the applicant of Rule 567 and that I had read the
material that was before me.
Holliday advised that his bill was not time based and went through
his file and applied time spent with respect to certain items.
Mr. Holliday is a lawyer with considerable
experience and his hourly rate is $350.00/hour.
A brief overview of Mr. Holliday’s file is as follows:
TIME DATE DESCRIPTION______________________
.4 hours April 15, 2010 Mr. Holliday
accepts Mr. Lewis as a client
.2 hours April 16, 2010 Title and quick search results done
April 26, 2010 Agreement to purchase.
.4 hours April 29, 2010 Phone call with Mr. Lewis
.75 hours May 5, 2010 E-mail with attached quick search
.25 hours May 6, 2010 E-mail to Chad
.2 hours May 7, 2010 E-mail to Robert, signing agreement
May 10, 2010 Instructions to staff to prepare documents
.2 hours May 27, 2010 Correspondence with Mr. Bridges
June 2, 2010 Confirmation document delivered to Mr. Lewis by
.5 hours June 4, 2010 Mr. Lewis to make corrections on agreement
.5 hours June 14, 2010 Material sent to Barry Bridges
.2 hours June 18, 2010 Letter received from Mr. Bridges’
.2 hours June 21, 2010 Mr. Bridges accepted conditions
.2 hours June 28, 2010 Funds received with GST Certificate and
copies of new titles. Disbursement sheet prepared.
June 29, 2010 Express Post to Mr. Lewis, delivered July 5, 2010.
Mr. Lewis’ objections are:
1. Mr. Holliday was not aware until
April 26, 2010 that a half section was involved and he should
have been. This caused unnecessary cost.
2. Objects to the charge on May 5, 2010
3. Objects to charge on May 6
4. Objects to the charge on June 4, 2010
There was no agreement here between
the solicitor and client as to fees; accordingly bills of this
nature are to be taxed on a quantum meruit basis. The assessment
officer must take into consideration the time expended and the
difficulty of the work, importance of the matter, the value
to the client, the results achieved and complexity of the issues
I am satisfied that this
matter was neither a simple land transaction nor an overly complex
matter. Mr. Holliday exhibited experience, considerable skill
and ability. I am further satisfied that the results obtained
on behalf of the applicant were satisfactory.
Therefore taking into account
the foregoing findings with respect to the complexity of the
matter, the time expended, the results obtained, the sum of
$400.00 has been assessed off the invoice dated
June 29, 2010 and is payable to Mr. Lewis.
Dated this 14th day of October, 2010.
Patricia L. Buttner, Assessing Officer