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.
Booking a Review or Assessment
Parties that require either an appointment for REVIEW OF RETAINER AGREEMENT / LAWYER’S CHARGES (Form 42) or ASSESSMENT OF COSTS (Form 45) must complete the online request form, found here: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/court-operations-schedules/scheduling/review-and-assessment-booking-request-form
Failure to complete this form may result in a delayed response.
Once the completed form is submitted, the party making the request will receive a selection of available dates and times, and must confirm which option they select with the RAA scheduler via email prior to filing the application. Please allow up to 48 hours for a confirmation response.
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
2nd Floor, South Tower
Edmonton Law Courts
1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2