Trial Counsel for Law Firms

The billable hour is not just dead, it died years ago

Everyone knows that billing by the hour is flawed, including Ontario’s Court of Appeal.

Billing by the hour as opposed to billing by the job borders on an admission that you don’t know what you are doing because you have no sense of what something might entail.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently had these straight shooting words on the billable hour in the case of a financial institution seeking excessive fees from a farmer:

“A person requiring legal advice does not set out to buy time. Rather, the object of the exercise is to buy services. Moreover, there is something inherently troubling about a billing system that pits a lawyer’s financial interest against that of its client and that has built-in incentives for inefficiency. The billable hour model has both of these undesirable features.”

The Court of Appeal emphasises that the billable hour puts the lawyer in a conflict of interest with their own client and rewards slow work.

It is for reasons such as these that Hassell Trial Counsel no longer charges purely by the hour.  Our fees are based on the importance of the matter, complexity, time, effort and results. In short, value.  And we’ll be relying on the Court of Appeal decision in our costs submissions.

Hassell Trial Counsel
111 Greensides Ave
Toronto, Ontario M6G 3P8

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