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 2021 update:

  • BCCA: costs assessments in absence of entered order
  • affidavits of justification in costs assessments, Legal Profession Act reviews
  • costs apportionment in overlapping bills for multiple actions
  • statutory limits on number of experts, expert reports on damages in vehicle injury cases
  • regulatory limits on disbursements in certain vehicle injury cases
  • BCCA: costs of special costs assessments, whether costs of assessment on same basis as costs of underlying proceeding
  • BCSC: lawyer’s duty to advise client of receipt of financial benefit beyond terms of retainer due to related transactions
  • BCSC: registrar’s jurisdiction under LPA to consider effect of fee settlement agreement or contractual limit on fee review
  • courts: running of limitation period for review of lawyers’ bills
  • pre-hearing conferences in Legal Profession Act proceedings
  • courts: pro-rating fees based on lawyer’s fee cap where no provision for payment of full fees as they arise
  • recent denial of quantum meruit assessment
  • new precedents for family law references
  • personal representative’s Form P40 affidavit for passing of accounts pre-hearing conference
  • courts: scale of costs at Scale B where order silent, no application for other scale
  • no right to review registrar’s decision to settle an order
  • new refusals of bankruptcy discharges

Editorial Board
Master Stuart Cameron — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Registrar Scott A. Nielsen — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Gregory T. Palm — Hamilton Duncan, Surrey


Master Stuart Cameron — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
John C. Fiddick — Whitelaw Twining Law Corporation, Vancouver
Briana Hardwick — Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP, Kelowna
Registrar Scott A. Nielsen — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Registrar Timothy Outerbridge — Court of Appeal for BC, Vancouver
Gregory T. Palm — Hamilton Duncan, Surrey


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