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Enhanced Costs in Alberta

In Alberta when a party loses in a lawsuit or application they have to pay costs, generally as set out in the rules of court. Sometimes higher costs are appropriate. The Court in Young v Alberta (Assessors' Association Practice Review Committee/Executive Committee), 2020 ABQB 493 looked at this issue, saying at 16:

[16] Rule 10.31 grants the Court discretion to award costs. The cost award may reference Schedule C of the Rules, and may be equal to a multiple, proportion or fraction of those amounts.

[17] Generally, successful parties, where litigation misconduct has not occurred, should be awarded approximately 40-50% of their actual costs: Weatherford Canada Partnership v Addie, 2018 ABQB 571 at para 54. Cost awards exceeding that range may be appropriate where i) the losing party engages in misconduct, ii) the litigation is long and complex, or iii) the amount in dispute is significant: Weatherford at para 54; Boyd v JBS Foods Canada Inc, 2015 ABCA 191 at paras 15-16. Where Schedule C fees are inadequate, Courts may apply multipliers to a column, apply lump sum costs, or some fraction of solicitor-client costs to reach a final total costs award that is reasonable: Weatherford at para 55.


If you have any questions about costs or enhanced costs, please feel free to contact us.


The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.




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