Professional fees billed by lawyers and Access to Information


DOES THE SOLICITOR-CLIENT PRIVILEGE PREVENT THE DISCLOSURE OF THE AMOUNT OF FEES BILLED BY A LAWYER? LESSONS FROM KALOGERAKIS v. COMMISSION SCOLAIRE DES PATRIOTES

Me Annie Boivin-Breton, in collaboration with Me Pascale-Dionne Bourassa

On August 22, 2017, the Quebec Court of Appeal put an end to a long judicial saga and rendered a decision that changes the practice regarding the accessibility to the amount of fees billed by lawyers to public entities governed by the Act respecting access to Documents Held by Public Bodies and the Protection of Personal Information.

The Court of Appeal states in Kalogerakis v. Commission Scolaire des Patriotes, that the actual amount of professional fees billed by lawyers does not reveal anything confidential and that, consequently, the information is not protected by solicitor-client privilege.

It is important to note that the decision was rendered when the dispute between the parties had ended. Therefore, the Court did not have to decide if the disclosure of the amount of the fees was prevented by the litigation privilege while the dispute was still ongoing.

Link to the French version of the article: D3B- Montant des honoraires d’avocats et accès à l’information