Lawyers may ask courts to invalidate their retainer agreements: Ontario Court of Appeal

Gavin MacKenzie says the decision will not lead to lawyers bringing a “flood of applications.”

By Julius Melnitzer | December 5, 2022

In a case of first impression, the Ontario Court of Appeal has been asked to strike a written retainer agreement because it was not “fair and reasonable” to the lawyer.

But the court declined to do so, upholding the motion judge’s conclusion that the agreement between Toronto’s Igor Ellyn Professional Corporation and the firm’s clients, Alexander Bimman and 2182474 Ontario Inc., was fair and reasonable.

“Both the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal held that section 24 of the Solicitors Act contemplates the possibility that a retainer agreement could be found not to be fair and reasonable to the lawyer but found that the agreement in the particular case was neither unfair nor unreasonable,” says Gavin MacKenzie of MacKenzie Barristers Professional Corporation, a Toronto litigation boutique, and a former treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. READ MORE

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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