What is the test for “substantial success” in determining whether either party had a good chance of success in their claim?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Firth v. Firth, 2014 BCSC 193 (CanLII):

The determination of whether either party had substantial success here requires me to engage in an objective assessment, “taking into account all the matters in dispute, their weight or importance to the parties and the parties' relative success or failure with respect to those matters”: Fotheringham v. Fotheringham, 2001 BCSC 1321 at para. 60. In that decision, Mr. Justice Bouck defined substantial success as being “about 75% or better” on the important issues in dispute.

Cole J.’s reasons on the summary trial were not transcribed. To give some context to his orders I have listened to the recording of his reasons for judgment. The parties were of course both present at the summary trial and have been able, I infer, to bring to my attention whatever aspects of that proceeding they felt were relevant, so there is no prejudice to them in my resorting to the recorded reasons: Gill v. A & P Fruit Growers Ltd., 2011 BCSC 1809 at paras. 20-21.

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