In a personal injury action, is a plaintiff’s total liability to his lawyer not to exceed that of his lawyer's total liability?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Harris v. Leikin Group Inc., 2013 ONSC 3300 (CanLII):

I think the parties agreed on that approach, although paragraph 47 of the Plaintiffs’ Cost Submissions was less than crystal clear on the point. In any event, both parties pointed to the decision in Mantella v. Mantella, [2006] O.J. No. 2085 (S.C.J.) as articulating the principle to be applied – i.e. since costs operate to indemnify, costs awarded may not exceed a client’s total liability to his lawyer, but in fixing partial, and therefore substantial, indemnity costs, the actual fees charged are not the starting point of the analysis. Instead, the court considers the pertinent factors laid down in the rules in fixing the amount of recovery appropriate on a partial indemnity basis.[1]

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