Alarmed at the high fee, the client changed lawyers and paid another law firm $200,000 to finish the case. Having won its case, the client asked the Court to order the debtors to pay some of the legal costs of the successful action, including costs based on the Bennett Jones' firms actual bill. After getting the costs order, the client applied to another judge of the Ontario Court to assess the Bennett Jones bill. ("Assessment" is the way to ask the Court to reduce a lawyer's bill.)
The issue was whether a client could do both: get costs based on a high bill, then seek to assess it. Answer: Yes.
If you do apply to assess a lawyer's fees, though, keep in mind that two factors the courts consider are the success achieved and the amount of work needed to get there. In this collection action, Justice Perell had said of the fees for the Mareva work:
"Recalling that the Plaintiffs' ultimate claim is around $2 million, $200,000 for costs [based on only $270,000 of Bennett Jones fees directly related to the Mareva injunction work] for an interim interlocutory motion is disproportionate and excessive."
See Ghaeinizadeh v. Bennett Jones LLP, 2014 ONCA 267 (Rosenberg)