Significant Successes

Case Name:

Fancy Barristers Professional Corp. v. Sonitek Ltd.

RE: Fancy Barristers Professional Corporation (Plaintiff), and Sonitek Ltd. (Defendant)

[2007] O.J. No. 572
Court File No. 05-CV-289055SR
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

K.A. Hoilett J.

Heard: February 13, 2007.
Judgment: February 16, 2007.
(7 paras.)


Monica Chakravarti for the Plaintiff.

Thomas H. Riesz for the Defendant.


  1. K.A. HOILETT J.:- This is an action brought pursuant to the Simplified Rules for the payment of a lawyers' account in the amount of $28,438.31. The relevant facts are elaborately canvassed in the records filed, but probably most comprehensively and graphically in the plaintiff's affidavit of August 14, 2006 found in Volume I, being this volume of the Trial Record, at Tab 5. Exhibit 2 is also a useful distillation of outstanding balances, modest periodic payments, as well as promises by the defendant, made from time to time, to make good the account.

  2. The relationship between the parties was governed by a written retainer pursuant to which the plaintiff undertook work relating to five different files. By any measure, the matters undertaken were ones of some complexity given the international dimensions of the defendant's activities. The sheer volume of material the plaintiff had to review bespeaks one measure of the complexity of work undertaken. By way of illustration only, one eight-page letter prepared by the plaintiff required a review of some 425 documents.

  3. Significant findings, in my view, are the following: The written retainer was dated June 1, 2004, and the final account was rendered in or about February 10, 2005. No attempt was ever made to have any of the accounts assessed, payments were made in respect of the accounts and, finally, there were promises from time to time to pay the accounts.

  4. The hourly rate for professional services was agreed upon and that fact, together with the written retainer, fly in the face of the defendant's suggestion that fees were to be on a contingency basis.

  5. The defendant in this matter are sophisticated clients and the plaintiff's professional credentials, which have been meticulously documented by him, seem consistent with a high-level professional services rendered.

  6. Consistent wit the retainer, the plaintiff engaged the services of another lawyer associated with a firm larger than his own, aimed in part of lending gravitas to the legal team representing the defendant - a strategy deemed prudent, given their legal American counterparts.

  7. Upon a review of the record and having regard to all those considerations relevant to what are reasonable legal accounts, I am of the opinion that the plaintiff is entitled to judgment for the amount claimed with interest in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act. The plaintiff shall also have his costs of this action. Failing agreement by the parties on reasonable costs, I shall entertain brief written submissions within 30 days, sent to me in one package.