1. This is a summons for review of the taxation of plaintiff's bill of costs in Suit No. 1428 of 1919 and Appeal No. 15 of 1920. Both in the Suit and in the Appeal the brief fees claimed for counsel were fifteen G. Ma. for the one and thirteen G. Ms. for the other. The Taxing Master has reduced these to twelve G. Ms. and ten G. Ms. in the Suit, and ten G. Ms. and eight G. Ms. in the Appeal.
2. These are the reductions complained of and it is said that they offend against the cases of Robb v. Connor IL (1874) 373 and Sturgis v. Morse (No. 2)(1859) 26 Beav. 562. In Robb v. Connor, the Taxing Master's decision was reversed, because he had in fact exercised no discretion. He reduced the fees marked by the attorney on the brief not because he considered them excessive but merely in a spirit of wanton interference out of a desire to clip and shave. That is not the case here. The Taxing Master's order shows that he has considered the nature and importance of the suit, the amount involved, and has decided on such consideration that the fees of twelve and ten G. Ms. are reasonable and proper.
3. The case of Sturgia v. Morse (No. 2) lays down no hard and fast rule. Indeed in some cases higher fees have been allowed in the Appeal Court. The Taxing Master allowed lower fees on the ground that the counsel engaged were already familiar with the facts.
4. On both points the Taxing Master has exercised his discretion in accordance with the principles laid down in Rule 517. The Court will never interfere in taxation unless the master is wrong in principle or very clearly wrong in detail.
5. In the case of Hill v. Peel (1870) L.R. 5 C.P. 172 Bovill, C.J. said :
A very wide discretion must necessarily be left to the taxing officer, which must be exercised by him after a careful consideration of the particular circumstances of each case; and where, after properly considering the matter, the Master has arrived at a decision, it lies upon those who impeach his decision to satisfy the Court that he is wrong. Where a principle is involved, the Court will always entertain the question, and, if necessary, give directions to the Master; but, where it is a question of whether the Master has exercised his discretion properly, or it is only a question as to the amount to be allowed, the Court is generally unwilling to interfere with the judgment of its officer, whose peculiar province it is to investigate and to judge of such matters, unless there are very strong grounds to show that the officer is wrong in the judgment which he has formed.
6. This lays down the rule that has guided the Courts in these matters. On a question of the quantum of fees the Court always allows the opinion of the Taxing Master to be paramount.
7. I, therefore, dismiss this Summons with costs. Counsel certified.