Real Time Web Analytics

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

What Canadian lawyers are charging their clients in 2020

Each year, Canadian Lawyer Magazine does a survey of its readers to find out what lawyers across the country are charging, on average, for certain work. I like to pass along some of the results of the survey (those that are relevant to my practice areas) to the readers of this blog. The 2020 survey results are in, and here are some excerpts from it:

The cost of a civil trial (which includes preparation for the trial and matters leading up to it), where the trial is 7 days long is, on average, $34,999 in western Canada, $32,728 in eastern Canada, and $55,000 in Ontario. That leads us to a national average of $48,431 for a 7-day trial. That is for one lawyer, so presumably each party to the lawsuit is paying more or less the same amount for his or her own counsel.

By way of contrast, the cost for a mediation of up to 3 days is, on average, $13,391. Normally, the cost of mediation is shared by all parties to the mediation so the cost per person would depend on how many parties there are. So, when I remark on this blog that mediation is cheaper than litigation, there's your proof.

The cost of having having a will prepared was included in the survey. The cost of having a simple will done for a single person is $493 in western Canada, $717 in eastern Canada, and $506 in Ontario. The cost of having a complex will done in western Canada is $963 for an individual and $1156 for a couple. In eastern Canada, the cost of a complex will is $1228 for a single person and $1038 for a couple (that seems odd). The cost of a complex will in Ontario is $996 for a single person and $1211 for a couple. This does not include any other documents such as Enduring Powers of Attorney or Healthcare Directives.

Legal fees to obtain probate are, on average, $3225 in western Canada, $2513 in eastern Canada, and $2881 in Ontario. That of course would not include any contested matters.

There are differences, even within geographic areas, between various firms depending on the number of lawyers in the firm. Small firms (1 to 4 lawyers) are in almost every category less expensive than lawyers in larger firms. Sometimes the difference is small but in other cases it is quite a bit bigger. My own analysis of the numbers indicates that the differences are small when there is a set task such as will preparation, incorporation of a company, etc, but is larger when litigation is involved.

The final set of statistics that I thought would be of interest to readers is the average hourly rate being charged by lawyers in Canada. It varies depending on the amount of experience each lawyer has gained, as well as geographical area. Here are the stats from the survey:

Average hourly rate for lawyer with 1 year or less experience:
National: $332
West: $215
East: $374
Ontario: $446

Average hourly rate for lawyer with 2 to 5 years experience:
National: $427
West: $281
East: $457
Ontario: $573

Average hourly rate for lawyer with 6 to 10 years experience:
National: $580
West: $362
East: $647
Ontario: $789

Average hourly rate for lawyer with 11 to 20 years experience:
National: $681
West: $455
East: $641
Ontario: $909

Average hourly rate for lawyer with 20+ years of experience:
National: $1616
West: $475
East: $648
Ontario: $2939 (I know, right?)

This survey is published so that we lawyers know what our competitors are charging and so that we can keep an eye on pricing trends. For example, the cost of trials has gone down in the last few years. I'm publishing these results here even though many of my readers are not lawyers because I hope that having this information will help inform people who are shopping for legal services.

What I personally take from this survey is that I am charging about half of the average hourly rate for my area and level of experience, and less than a quarter of the national average for my experience level. However, I believe that no matter what this survey says, each business owner - whether lawyer or not - is sensitive to the market in his or her own town or city and will adjust accordingly. I don't plan to raise my hourly rate in the near future.





2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that. I will be sharing that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of these numbers seem really off to me. Ontario lawyers charging nearly $3,000 an hour? Hmm. But these are the published results so I have to assume they are correct.

      Last year's survey was cited in a judgment I received recently on a taxation for a client, so the results are taken seriously.

      Lynne

      Delete

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails