Practice Before the Registrar

Practice Point

Know what to expect at your registrar’s hearing

This publication is essential for: anyone requiring guidance for appearing before a master or registrar in BC.

Faced with a hearing before a Supreme Court or Court of Appeal registrar and don’t know what to do?  Turn to Practice Before the Registrar for guidance from the Registrars themselves and from experienced practitioners. Learn when and why to seek a hearing, the procedure to get your hearing, what happens at the hearing, and steps to take after the hearing. With clear discussions of the law and procedure and 80 sample forms, this resource will help you smoothly navigate the many types of hearings before the registrar, from costs assessments, family law references, bankruptcy matters, and settling orders to reviews and appeals.

With this resource, you will be able to:

  • understand when to go before a registrar in your client’s case
  • efficiently prepare for a registrar’s hearing
  • confidently advocate at a registrar’s hearing with knowledge of practice and procedure

Highlights of the 2023 update:

  • case law (BCCA)
    • court’s modification or cancellation of unfair or unreasonable lawyer’s agreement for payment for services
    • award or denial of trial costs at Court of Appeal
    • assessment of special costs at Court of Appeal
    • strictness of appeal book completion instructions
    • conditional terms for discharge of bankrupt
  • case law (BCSC)
    • special costs under the family law tariff
    • limitation period in case of contingency fee agreement
    • whether double costs are available in a Legal Profession Act review
    • court-directed family law references to the registrar
    • early disclosure of financial records when passing estate accounts
    • registrar’s jurisdiction to settle an order made at a judicial case conference

Editorial Board
Registrar Meg Gaily — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Master Scott A. Nielsen — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Gregory T. Palm — Hamilton Duncan Law Corporation, Surrey

John C. Fiddick — Whitelaw Twining Law Corporation, Vancouver
Registrar Meg Gaily — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Laurel Hogg — Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP, Kelowna
Master Scott A. Nielsen — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Registrar Timothy Outerbridge — Court of Appeal for BC, Vancouver
Gregory T. Palm — Hamilton Duncan Law Corporation, Surrey
Jessica Spellisey — Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP, Kelowna


1.  General Advice on Practice Before the Registrar

2.  Assessment of Costs Before the Registrar

3.  Legal Profession Act Proceedings Before the Registrar

4.  Family Law References to the Registrar

5.  Subpoena to Debtor Hearings Before the Registrar

6.  Court Order Enforcement Act Applications Before the Registrar

7.  Passing Accounts Before the Registrar

8.  Settling Orders Before the Registrar

9.  Practice Before the Court of Appeal Registrar

10. Reviews of Assessments and Appeals of Reviews

11. Bankruptcy Matters Before the Registrar

Forms and Precedents

Case Table
Statutes and Related Material Table

As Registrar, the most common saying I hear is ‘I’ve never done [a registrar’s hearing] before’. The manual puts you in the position of knowing what needs to be done. Essentially, [Practice Before the Registrar] provides a measure of experience in a single volume.

Scott Nielsen, District Registrar, Supreme Court of BC