Hourly Case Management (HCM) Guide

With the release of the new tariff on April 1, 2023, we have eliminated the ability for roster lawyers to request substantial additional hours on files. For most files, the amount of time allotted in the new tariff will compensate you for the time that you’ve reasonably spent on your matter. However, we recognize that there are exceptional cases where the regular tariffs will not provide proper compensation for your work. That is where the HCM Program comes in.

HCM is exactly what it sounds like – it is billing hourly for the work done on the file. Unlike our prior tariff system where you could bill regular tariff and additional hours, with HCM it is straight hours with no ability to bill regular tariff items. The hourly rate is the same as the one contemplated in the regular tariff.

There are positives and negatives to engaging with HCM as opposed to the regular tariff, so we’ve outlined a helpful guide to assist you through the process.

Which Files are Eligible for HCM?

Only files that are classified as “Indictable” or “Major” are eligible for consideration for HCM.

When Should I Apply for HCM?

Although a large number of files are eligible for consideration for HCM, the majority of files will be properly compensated under the regular tariff. There are two timing considerations for your application:

  1. if you are applying for HCM, you must make that application before you have billed on the file; and
  2. if you have been accepted into HCM, you cannot undo that application and go back to the regular tariff stream.

The second consideration is particularly important because there are a significant number of cases where you would likely receive as much or more compensation through the regular tariff than you would through HCM. HCM is also more work intensive than the regular tariff because you will need to request hours as you go, and acceptance into HCM is not a guarantee that all of the hours that you request will be approved.

Our recommendation to roster lawyers is that you wait until you have received disclosure and set the matter down for preliminary inquiry or trial. Once you have done that, you will have a better sense of how much time you would receive under the regular tariff.

We recommend that you refer to the Tariff cheat sheets; these provide a quick overview of the tariffs and how many hours they provide. It is a good idea to look at these documents or have your assistant do so and add up the number of hours that the regular tariff is likely to give you on the file before applying for HCM. This will help ensure that you make an informed choice as to the most appropriate option.

How Do I Apply for HCM?

If you wish to apply for HCM, you must fill out and submit the HCM application form, available in the Roster Resources section of our website. Once you have completed the form with your case plan, submit it via email to [email protected]. When we receive your application, we will review it and advise you via email if you are approved.

If you have any questions about HCM, feel free to contact us at [email protected] – we are here to help!

—Amanda Hart-Dowhun, Assessment Team Manager

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