I signed a contract with lawyer. In this contract, some fees were specified to be paid at agreed conditions. Any other fees, beyond the scope of a contract, were to be negotiated and agreed on in a separate agreement.

At some point, lawyer suggested that he could perform some action on my behalf (let's call it "service"). The service was outside of the scope of the agreement. He did not inform me about fees, costs, anything. I agreed. After the service was successfully done, he demanded a substantial fee for the service and he sent me an invoice.

This is of course, the short story. I talked to him about this, but it seems that we've reached a impasse, at which point I received an invoice.

Do I have to pay the fee that I wasn't informed of, and didn't agree on beforehand?

I know this is not really a place to ask this question, but perhaps someone can point me in the right direction. And, if possible, be so kind and use english-english, not law-english, as it is not my native language.

  • "I can do X beyond Y." "Do it" is a kind of verbal contract.
    – Trish
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 14:13
  • Well... does it change anything if what exactly happened was: "I can do X" "Do it" ... "Oh, by the way, X is beyond Y" Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


From your account, you seem to have entered into a verbal contract for this extra work to be done without agreeing a price.

According to this article, Canadian courts will assume that a contract contains "implied" terms "on the basis of the presumed intentions of the parties where necessary to give business efficacy to the contract". To put that in English, these are terms that must be there because otherwise the story wouldn't make sense.

In this case the implied term is that the lawyer will be paid a reasonable amount for his work, as it would be unreasonable to expect him to do this for free. Lawyers generally bill by the hour, so a reasonable amount would be the time he spent multiplied by his usual hourly fee. If that is what he has billed you, then I'm afraid you owe him the money.

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