Saskatchewan River Bungalows, I cannot find that this is an
appropriate case to exercise that discretion and I decline to
 For the foregoing reasons, the application is dismissed
Gilbert’s LLP v. David Dixon Inc.
Gilbert’s LLP v. Dixon et al.
[Indexed as: Gilbert’s LLP v. David Dixon Inc.]
2017 ONSC 1345
Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, Sachs, Nordheimer and Spies JJ.
March 2, 2017
Professions — Barristers and solicitors — Fees — Simple retainer
agreement not falling within scope of s. 16 of Solicitors Act and not covered by requirement of review under s. 17 — Simple retainer agreement
not subject to prohibition against commencement of action to enforce it
under s. 23 of Act — Solicitors Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.15, ss. 16, 17, 23.
The client did not dispute the terms of two simple written retainer agreements,
but simply refused to pay. The solicitors applied under s. 23 of the Solicitors Act
for a declaration that the retainer agreements were fair and reasonable and an
order that the client pay for the legal services rendered by the solicitors. The
application was dismissed. The application judge held that the solicitors could
not resort to s. 23 of the Act in the absence of a bona fide dispute as to the terms
or effect of the written retainer agreements, and that they could only enforce
their retainer by way of an assessment before an assessment officer. The solicitors appealed.
Held, the appeal should be allowed.
A simple or usual written fee agreement does not fall within the scope of
s. 16(1) of the Act, is not covered by the requirement of review under s. 17 of the
Act, and is not subject to the prohibition against an action being commenced
to enforce it under s. 23. A lawyer who has a simple or usual fee agreement is
entitled to have resort to the assessment process if he or she wants to, but the
lawyer is also entitled to commence an action to recover his or her fees as contemplated by s. 2.
Cozzi v. Heerdegen,  O.J. No. 2510, 2016 ONSC 3082, 350 O.A.C. 65,
266 A.C.W.S. (3d) 371 (Div. Ct.); Jane Conte Professional Corp. v. Smith, 
O.J. No. 5033, 2014 ONSC 6009, 329 O.A.C. 96, 246 A.C. W.S. (3d) 706 (Div. Ct.),