Obligation on the lawyer to keep the client informed of costs
Where the client is paying the lawyer on an hourly basis there is an obligation on the lawyer to update the client on the costs being incurred as the matter proceeds:
[T]here is a positive obligation on a solicitor to keep the client apprised of the cost of the proceedings, such that the client has the opportunity to make decisions on the course of the litigation, especially from the client’s perspective of ability to pay for the services. Obviously, not every client will be prepared or able to pay for Cadillac service and will wish to discuss the cost of the professional services with the solicitor at important steps along the way. It appears this did not occur in this case.
(Josephson Angus Barristers v. 662470 B.C. Ltd., 2011 BCSC 749 at para. 50).
Clients being charged on an hourly basis should generally receive monthly bills which itemize the time spent and provide a description of the tasks completed for each amount of time spent.
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