Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Solicitor and Own Client Costs Definition:

One of the most punitive awards of costs, requiring a party to pay the other's legal bill.

Related Terms: Solicitor and Client Costs, Party and Party Costs

Also known as solicitor and his client costs.

In Sidorsky v. CFCN Communications Ltd., Justice McMahon of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench wrote:

"There are three levels of costs that may be payable by one party to another: (1) Party and party costs calculated on the basis of ... the Rules of Court or some multiple thereof, plus reasonable disbursements; (2) Solicitor and client costs which provide for indemnity to the party to whom they are awarded for costs that can be said to be essential to and arising within the four corners of the litigation (and) (3) Solicitor and his own client costs, sometimes referred to as complete indemnity for costs. These are costs which a solicitor could tax against a resisting client and may include payment for services which may not be strictly essential to the conduct of the litigation."

In Max Sonnenberg v. Stewart Smith, Justice Veit, also of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, used these words:

"Research indicates that ambiguity with respect to the meaning and potential application of the solicitor and his own client scale to general litigation....

"Solicitor and his own client award (includes) those costs as would provide complete indemnity to the client as to the costs essential to, and arising within, the four corners of litigation.

"When a judge wishes to indemnify a party in a costs award the phrase "indemnity basis" should be preferred to solicitor and his own client."

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