Rob Ford’s lawyer ask for Mayor’s legal bill to be paid by Paul Magder | Posted Toronto | National Post
In court documents, Mr. Ford’s lawyer Alan Lenczner argues that the request for $116,044, including related fees, is “entirely reasonable,” noting that Paul Magder had asked the mayor to pay his lawyer’s bill after he won round one of the legal fight, to the tune of more than $125,000 for lawyer hours alone.
Justice Charles Hackland ruled last year that Mayor Ford broke provincial law and should be ousted for voting to overturn an order he reimburse donations made by lobbyists and a company to his football charity. The city’s integrity commissioner had deemed those donations to have been improper.
Clayton Ruby and associates represented Mr. Magder pro bono, but after winning the initial application asked the mayor to cover their costs, which totalled $150,746 with disbursements and HST.
Judge Hackland never ruled on costs and his decision was subsequently overturned by a Divisional Court, which decided the city did not have the authority to impose the sanction it did.
“Not only are the costs being sought by Ford reasonable for the application, the leave to appeal and the appeal, they were within reasonable expectation of the applicant Paul Magder,” Mr. Ford’s submissions states, because Mr. Magder bore the risk of an adverse costs award in bringing forward the application.
“Thus Paul Magder understood even before the inception of his application that, if he was successful, his lawyers would receive costs from Ford which they would keep in their entirety. He also understood that, if he was unsuccessful, he would have to indemnify Rob Ford for his costs on a partial indemnity basis but not be required to pay his own lawyers.”
Mr. Magder has not filed his cost submissions. In justifying his bill following the first judgment, Mr. Ruby pointed to the “significant research” his team had to undertake, in part because the wording of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is “somewhat vague.”
Both Mr. Ruby and Mr. Lenczner claimed a rate of $350 an hour, with associates billing at a lower amount.
Usually, Ontario courts make the loser pay, but under partial indemnity, it is often 30% or 40% of what a lawyer would have ordinarily billed, according to municipal lawyer John Mascarin. He said it’s not unusual for a lawyer who offered services pro bono to seek costs from a losing party. He said Mr. Magder may argue that he should not have to pay Mr. Ford’s costs on the grounds that the case was in the public interest.
In such cases, courts often order each party to bear their own costs, said Mr. Mascarin