Solicitors Amendment Act, 1995
The Bill amends the Solicitors Act to allow solicitors to enter into contingency fee agreements with their clients in respect of an action or any proceeding in which the solicitor is to act on the client's behalf. Such an agreement must be in writing.
The solicitor shall not enter into an agreement which would allow the solicitor to recover more than 20 per cent of the award, or of the value of the property, recovered in the action or proceeding.
A solicitor shall not enter into a contingency fee agreement if the action or proceeding for which the solicitor is retained is a criminal proceeding, a divorce proceeding or a proceeding involving support of a child or spouse or custody of a child.
An Act to amend the Solicitors Act
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. Section 15 of the Solicitors Act is amended by adding the following definition:
"contingency fee agreement" means an agreement referred to in section 28. ("entente sur des honoraires conditionnels")
2. Subsection 16 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Contingency fee agreements
(2) For the purposes of this section and of sections 20 to 27 and 29 to 33, "agreement" includes a contingency fee agreement.
3. Section 28 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Contingency fee agreements
28. (1) If a solicitor is retained to bring an action or other proceeding on a client's behalf, the solicitor and the client may enter into a contingency fee agreement by which the solicitor,
(a) purchases all or part of a client's interest in the action or other contentious proceeding that the solicitor is to bring or maintain on the client's behalf;
(b) stipulates for payment only in the event of success in the action or proceeding that the solicitor is employed to prosecute or for which the solicitor is retained; or
(c) agrees with the client that the amount to be paid to the solicitor is a percentage of, or is otherwise determinable by,
(i) the amount recovered in the action or proceeding, or
(ii) the value of the property recovered in the action or proceeding.
(2) A contingency fee agreement shall be in writing.
(3) A solicitor shall not enter into a contingency fee agreement if the amount to be paid the solicitor under the agreement is more than 20 per cent of the amount recovered in the action or proceeding or is more than 20 per cent of the value of the property recovered in the action or proceeding.
No contingency fees in certain matters
(4) A solicitor shall not enter into a contingency fee agreement if the action or proceeding for which the solicitor is retained is one of the following:
1. A proceeding under the Criminal Code (Canada) or any other criminal proceeding.
2. A divorce proceeding.
3. A proceeding relating to the support of a spouse or child or to the custody of a child.
(5) Sections 17, 18 and 19 do not apply to contingency fee agreements.
(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting contingency fee agreements including regulations,
(a) governing the terms and conditions of contingency fee agreements;
(b) imposing duties on solicitors who enter into a contingency fee agreement;
(c) exempting persons, actions or proceedings or classes of persons, actions or proceedings from the Act, a regulation made under this section or any provision thereof.
4. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
5. The short title of this Act is the Solicitors Amendment Act, 1995.