Reviews & Assessments
Role of a Review Officer
Review Officers determine the reasonableness of lawyers’ bills. They have authority to reduce or disallow bills that they find to be unreasonable. Their decisions can be entered as enforceable judgments of the Court of Queen’s Bench. A Client can request a review to determine if they have been overcharged by a lawyer (or former lawyer) or to obtain explanations for billings that the client does not understand and the lawyer cannot explain to the client’s satisfaction. Lawyers may also request reviews. They do so because the review process provides them with a more efficient alternative to suing a client for unpaid bills. Regardless of who requests a review, the Review Officer will hear from both sides, review the lawyer’s bills, decide on the reasonableness of the bills and determine how much, if any, is payable by either side to the other. This page contains links to Review Office publications that explain the review process and provide guidance on the procedures for requesting a review and for dealing with other issues related to reviews. In addition, it contains links to the court forms that must be completed and filed for these procedures.
Review Officers are also Assessment Officers. Assessment Officers have jurisdiction to assess court costs that a party may claim under the Alberta Rules of Court or by virtue of an award of costs made by the Court of Queen’s Bench or the Court of Appeal of Alberta. An assessment ensures that the costs claimed are permitted under the applicable rule or court award and that the amounts are correct (where specified in the rule or award) or are reasonable (where the amounts are not specified). At the end of an assessment, the Assessment Officer certifies the total payable to the party entitled to costs. This page contains links to court forms for assessments and a link to a now out-dated but still useful Costs Manual. It is expected that this manual will eventually be replaced by more user-friendly and up-to-date publications.
Important Notices and Announcements
- Amendments to Rules of Court - Reviews and Assessments
- COVID-19 Suspension of Hearings, March 25, 2020 - Pursuant to two Master Orders issued by Chief Justice Moreau, all non-emergency or non-urgent Court of Queen’s Bench proceedings, including reviews and assessments, have been suspended until May 1, 2020. In addition, all review and assessments that are scheduled to be heard prior to May 1 have been adjourned sine die (i.e., without a fixed date). As this suspension may be extended beyond May 1, 2020, readers are encouraged to periodically check the Court’s homepage at https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/home for updates. Bookings for new and adjourned reviews and assessments are also suspended and will recommence once the Court’s suspension of proceedings is lifted.
Review & Assessment Office Contact Information
Calgary Review Office
8th Floor, North Tower
Calgary Courts Centre
601 – 5th St. S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 5P7
Edmonton Review Office
Mezzanine, South Tower
Edmonton Law Courts
1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2