How Much Cost is Too Much?

What Does it Mean to Get Cost?

Let’s start by understanding what we mean by “cost”. Anyone who has been to court will be familiar with the term “cost”. At every court appearance you are entitled to seek the amount it cost you to prepare and be at court. So if you had a lawyer representing you then you would be entitled to request your legal fees from the other party in what is called a “cost order”. Generally speaking, both parties will submit a cost submission for the judge to review. The judge then decides how to award the cost and how much to award.

How Does the Judge Decide to Award Cost?

A cost decision is generally awarded to the party who was most successful in their requests to the court. If a judge feels you were reasonable in your requests and that you were required to come to court to resolve your issues, then you may receive a cost amount awarded to you paid by the other side. In terms of how much a judge will award depends on what amount you or your lawyer requests and how reasonable the judge feels your request is. The judge will then decide on an amount.

But How Much is Too Much Cost?

In a recent case, Booth v. Bilek, 2020 ONSC 2523 (CanLII), a judge found that I was successful in defending a motion for a preservation order and as such, my client was entitled to seek cost. I requested over $8000 in cost to which the judge found unreasonable due to the stress COVID-19 has placed on the justice system and ordered the other side to pay my client $3000 in cost. The same judge the day before on another matter, deemed I was successful on the motion and ordered the other side to pay $5000 in legal cost for motion and stated in her endorsement that if I had asked for more cost she would have considered granting it, Thomson v. Fleming, 2020 ONSC 2036 (CanLII).  On February 20, 2020 the court deemed that I was successful on a long motion and granted cost in the amount of $27,500.00 (Atwal v. Grewal, 2020).


So if you contact me and ask me how much is too much cost? The short answer – it depends.  However, in order to receive what you deem is reasonable, you first have to ask for it!


Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-565-9494 or email if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.


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