Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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IX. Can I recover all my legal costs if the court orders another party to pay my legal costs?

After a hearing or a trial, the court may make an order of costs in favour of the plaintiff or the defendant. Normally, the winning party will be awarded costs (i.e. the costs of the winning party will be paid by the losing party). In the context of litigation, the meaning of "costs" covers fees, charges, disbursements, expenses and remuneration incurred for the court hearing or trial.

The party in whose favour the costs order is made is called the Receiving Party . The party who has to bear costs is called the Paying Party . If the Paying Party is not willing to pay or disputes the amount of costs claimed, the Receiving Party can proceed to taxation of the relevant bill of costs.

(Note: The word "taxation" has a special legal meaning in relation to the litigants' costs. It generally means the assessment of the amount of legal costs by the court. For further details, see question 1 below.)

It is open to the parties to agree on the amount of costs without resorting to assessment by the court. Indeed, they should first try to do so as assessment of costs by the court will involve extra costs for drafting a bill of costs, preparation for the assessment hearing, attendance in court and taxing fees.

  1. What is taxation of legal costs?
  2. Further to question 1, if I have appointed a lawyer to handle my lawsuit, can I apply for taxation if I am not satisfied with my own lawyer's bill?
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