2021 Legal Fees Survey: Results

Slight year-over-year fee increases continue in 2021

2021 Legal Fees Survey: Results

Every year, Canadian Lawyer asks the legal profession what they are charging for services. This year was like none before, as COVID rearranged work and life for everyone. Despite all the changes, the trend of marginal, year-over-year fee increases continued. This year, slightly fewer lawyers said they would keep their fees the same, compared with last year. And the number of lawyers who said they are lowering their fees has grown once again.

Here are the numbers of the 2021 Legal Fees Survey:

  NATIONAL NATIONAL
(1-4 Lawyers)
NATIONAL
(5-25 Lawyers)
WEST EAST ONTARIO
Business Law       BC Alta Sask Man Average Range NS NB Nfld PEI Que Yukon/NWT/Nun Average Range  
Securing Financing Agreement $2,411.54 $1,856.25 $2,625 $10,400 $2,689 $10,000 $500 $5,897 $500-$10,500 - - - - $7,500 - $7,500 less than $10,000 $3,680
Simple, small business incorporation $1,094 $1,027 $1,144 $1,292 $1,113 $1,117 $1,000 $1,130 $1,000-$1,500 - $400 - - $1,833 - $1,117 less than $2,000 $1,178
Simple Prospectus $10,250 $25,000 $1,000 $12,000 $7,500 $10,000 - $9,833 $7,500-$1200 - - - - $10,000 - $10,000 less than $15,000 $10,000
Simple M&A transaction $11,767 $7,925 $11,100 $18,625 $13,857 $37,500 $50,000 $29,996 $13,000-$50,000 - - - - $25,000 - $25,000 less than $30,000 $11,367
Simple commercial lending transaction $3,450 $2,636 $3,306 $4,919 $3,771 $7,833 $6,250 $5,693 $3,000-8,000 - - - - $7,500 - $7,500 less than $10,000 $4,012
                                     
Civil Litigation                                    
Civil action up to trial (2 days) $25,570 $18,783 $24,791.67 $35,000 $32,357 $24,000 $27,500 $29,714 $24,000-$35,000 - $15,000 $7,500 - $24,000 - $15,500 $7,500-$25,000 $32,029
Civil action up to trial (5 days) $38,194.35 $32,427 $42,955 $90,315 $88,364 $75,000 $80,000 $83,420 $75,000-$95,000 - $40,000 $10,000 - $89,000 - $46,333 $40,000-$90,000 $71,324
Civil action up to trial (7 days) $92,118 $34,321 $45,000 $110,350 $99,444 $101,667 $107,500 $104,740 $99,000-$115,000 - $50,000 $13,500 - $62,500 - $42,000 $13,000-$65,000 $111,071
Civil action appeal only $29,983 $21,200 $26,875 $38,938 $31,250 $19,500 $25,000 $28,672 $19,000-$40,000 - - $15,000 - $12,250 - $13,625 $12,000-$15,000 $27,963
ADR, including mediation (up to 3 days) $19,419 $11,665 $14,563 $23,465 $19,188 $17,375 $35,000 $23,757 $17,000-$35,000 - $15,000 $2,500 - $25,000 - $14,167 $2,500-$25,000 $23,300
Day-long motion or application $9,719 $7,152 $9,700 $6,636 $8,909 $10,250 $11,250 $9,261 $6,000-$12,000 $1,800 $5,000 $3,500 - $4,625 - $3,731 $1,800-$5,000 $15,556
                                     
Criminal Law                                    
Summary criminal offence (one-day trial) $4,285.71 $4,591 $2,000 $26,563 $4,750 $5,000 $1,500 $9,453 $1,500-$27,000 - - $2,500 - $3,500 - $3,000 $2,500-$3,500 $96,586
Bail hearing $2,000.71 $1,319 $82,313 $20,250 $1,583 $2,125 $1,000 $6,240 $1,000-$21,000 - - $750 - $2,500 - $1,625 $750-$2,500 $64,875
Complex indictable trial (3-5 days, example: sex assault charge, drug offence, Charter issues) $167,080 $141,427 $280,650 $107,500 $13,167 $25,000 $7,500 $38,292 $7,500-$110,000 $2,100 - $8,000 - $25,000 - $11,700 $2,000-$25,000 $196,289
                                     
Family Law                                    
Uncontested divorce $1,860 $1,841 $1,925 $1,786 $2,677 $2,050 $1,500 $2,003 $1,500-$3,000 - - $1,000 - $1,838 - $1,419 $1,000-$2,000 $1,439
Contested divorce $20,625 $18,250 $16,833 $12,150 $23,182 $11,750 $7,500 $13,645 $7,500-$25,000 - - - - $20,000 - $20,000 less than $25,000 $23,278
Trial up to 2 days $19,087 $13,317 $28,938 $12,875 $19,375 $12,500 $4,000 $12,188 $4,000-$20,000 - - $3,500 - $20,000 - $11,750 $3,500-$20,000 $23,150
Trial up to 5 days $43,481 $30,867 $55,938 $30,417 $44,375 $25,000 $10,000 $27,448 $10,000-$45,000 - - $8,500 - $52,500 - $30,500 $8,500-$55,000 $51,950
Marriage/co-habitation agreement $2,708 $2,452 $3,750 $1,821 $2,823 $1,440 $750 $1,709 $750-$3,000 - - $1,500 - $2,000 - $1,750 $1,500-$2,000 $3,531
Separation agreement with children $7,014 $4,091 $19,786 $2,158 $3,546 $1,938 $750 $2,098 $750-$4,000 - - $2,000 - $3,750 - $2,875 $2,000-$4,000 $13,300
Separation agreement without children $5,463 $2,682 $3,583 $1,833 $2,835 $1,583 $750 $1,750 $750-$3,000 - - $1,250 - $2,000 - $1,625 $1,000-$2,000 $10,467
Child custody and support agreement $2,236 $2,784 $3,600 $1,638 $3,760 $1,750 $750 $1,974 $750-$4,000 - - $1,250 - $2,250 - $1,750 $1,000-$2,500 $12,273
Spousal support agreement $6,274 $2,272 $3,600 $1,363 $2,911 $1,750 $750 $1,693 $750-$3,000 - - $1,500 - $2,250 - $1,875 $1,500-$2,500 $12,341
Division of property/assets agreement $3,363 $5,261 $21,083 $1,713 $8,735 $1,750 $750 $3,237 $750-$9,000 - - $3,000 - $3,750 - $3,375 $3,000-$4,000 $12,432
Motion to Change / variation applications $6,863 $4,494 $10,464 $3,475 $6,175 $3,833 $3,000 $4,121 $3,000-$7,000 - - $2,000 - $5,000 - $3,500 $2,000-$5,000 $10,000
Mobility cases (changing the child’s residence outside of the jurisdiction) $16,120 $9,467 $18,500 $6,375 $12,750 $5,500 $7,500 $8,031 $5,500-$13,000 - - - - $12,500 - $12,500 less than $15,000 $26,778
Child protection hearings $7,391 $3,043 $16,667 $5,525 $7,500 $5,600 $2,500 $5,281 $2,500-$7,500 - - - - $7,500 - $7,500 less than $10,000 $16,000
                                     
Immigration Law                                    
Work Permit $2,150 $1,350 $2,833 $2,417 $2,500 $2,500 $1,800 $2,304 $1,800-$2,500 - - - - $2,250 - $2,250 less than $5,000 $2,167
Family class sponsorship $4,464 $4,313 $4,667 $3,917 - - $5,500 $4,708 $3,000-$5,500 - - - - $5,000 - $5,000 less than $10,000 $4,500
Skilled worker application $4,407 $3,963 $5,000 $3,950 - - $3,000 $3,475 $3,000-$4,500 - - - - $5,000 - $5,000 less than $10,000 $5,500
Refugee protection claim $3,670 $3,117 $4,500 $2,425 - - $3,500 $2,963 $2,000-$3,500 - - - - $5,000 - $5,000 less than $10,000 $5,000
Labour Market Impact Assessment $3,358 $2,383 $4,333 $1,825 - - $2,500 $2,163 $1,500-$2,500 - - - - $5,000 - $5,000 less than $10,000 $4,500
Federal Court application for Leave $4,725 $925 $5,500 $5,283 $10,000 - $1,000 $5,428 $1,000-$10,000 - - - - $10,000 - $10,000 less than $15,000 $5,750
Federal Court judicial review $26,335 $33,470 $16,500 $11,950 $27,500 - $4,000 $14,483 $4,000-$12,000 - - - - $28,333 - $28,333 less than $30,000 $43,375
                                     
Intellectual Property Law                                    
Simple patent application $7,400 $6,325 $9,550 $650 - - - $650 less than $1,500 - - - - - - - - $10,775
Simple trademark registration $1,467 $950 $2,500 $650 - - - $650 less than $1,500 - - - - - - - - $1,630
Patent audit (three patent families in five jurisdictions) $5,625 $1,250 $10,000 $1,250 - - - $1,250 less than $1,500 - - - - - - - - $10,000
Patentability search for simple mechanical invention $1,833 $1,000 $3,500 $500 - - - $500 less than $1,500 - - - - - - - - $2,500
                                     
Labour and Employment Law                                    
Basic employment contract review $994 $848 $1,200 $1,344 $1,313 $1,058 $1,150 $1,216 $1,000-$1,500 $1,500 $250 $1,000 - $1,750 - $1,125 $250-$2,000 $1,094
Severance package renew $1,284 $944 $975 $2,344 $2,457 $2,815 $5,150 $3,191 $2,000-$3,000 - $250 - - $1,750 - $1,000 $250-$2,000 $1,220
Litigation claim or defence up to mediation/trial $16,573 $14,875 $14,917 $183,042 $18,000 $22,125 $3,000 $56,542 $18,000-$185,000 - - - - $15,000 - $15,000 less than $20,000 $19,000
Standard workplace policies $2,857 $1,750 $3,264 $3,200 $2,900 $8,750 - $4,950 $2,500-$9,000 - - - - $7,500 - $7,500 less than $10,000 $2,892
Collective bargaining renewal $16,875 $500 $26,000 $7,750 $15,000 $32,500 - $18,417 $7,500-$33,000 - - - - $15,000 - $15,000 less than $20,000 $8,500
Labour arbitration (up to 3 days) $20,800 $13,750 $26,000 $25,375 $25,000 $20,875 $40,000 $27,813 $20,000-$26,000 - - - - $10,000 - $10,000 less than $15,000 $16,600
                                     
Real Estate                                    
Residential real estate purchase $1,131 $1,142 $1,025 $1,121 $1,036 $1,056 $975 $1,047 $1,000-$1,500 - - $2,000 - $1,250 - $1,625 $1,000-$2,000 $1,198
Residential real estate sale $932 $905 $950 $1,208 $815 $819 $1,100 $985 $800-$1,500 - - $1,250 - $1,050 - $1,150 $1,000-$1,500 $996
Residential real estate sale and purchase $1,868 $1,860 $1,717 $1,638 $1,608 $1,525 $1,400 $1,543 $1,000-$2,000 - - - - $2,200 - $2,200 less than $5,000 $2,036
Commercial property purchase $3,080 $2,620 $3,958 $3,650 $2,688 - $1,500 $2,613 $2,500-$4,000 - - - - - - - - $3,197
Commercial property sale $3,731 $3,604 $3,792 $3,210 $2,500 - $1,500 $2,403 $2,500-$4,000 - - $20,000 - - - $20,000 less than $30,000 $3,631
Commercial lease agreement $2,160 $2,161 $2,458 $2,820 $1,829 - $1,000 $1,883 $1,500-3,000 - $1,000 - - $1,100 - $1,050 $1,000-$1,500 $2,306
                                     
Wills and Estates                                    
Simple will $624 $614 $684 $821 $816 $290 $325 $563 $250-$1,000 - $150 $1,000 - $817 - $656 $150-$1,000 $503
Complex will (individual) $2,242 $1,602 $1,513 $6,983 $4,851 $7,350 $17,650 $9,209 $4,500-$7,500 - - $2,000 - $2,250 - $2,125 $2,000-$2,500 $1,030
Complex will (couple) $2,134 $2,093 $2,163 $2,158 $3,744 $1,450 $2,800 $2,538 $1,500-$4,000 - - - - $2,900 - $2,900 less than 5,000 $1,386
Power of attorney (individual) $248 $227 $384 $364 $286 $175 $200 $256 $175-$500 - $100 $750 - $458 - $436 $100-$750 $177
Power of attorney (couple) $366 $348 $525 $508 $449 $231 $300 $372 $200-$600 - $200 - - $683 - $442 $200-$700 $263
Handling estate file (including probate) $4,561 $4,428 $4,875 $4,750 $5,800 $3,419 $7,000 $5,242 $3,000-$6,000 - - $2,500 - $2,950 - $2,725 $2,500-$3,000 $4,136
Simple will (couple) $799 $784 $913 $1,067 $825 $417 $300 $652 $400-1,500 - $300 - - $1,475 - $888 $300-$1,500 $745
Personal directives (Advance Directives, Representation Agreements, Power of Attorney for Personal Care) $306 $246 $646 $680 $260 $167 $150 $314 $100-$700 - - $750 - $1,200 - $975 $750-$1,200 $186
Package price for Will, Power of Attorney and Personal Directives $957 $871 $1,389 $1,436 $1,080 $594 $725 $959 $500-$1,500 - - - - $1,900 - $1,900 less than $5,000 $720

Recent articles & video

IBA Women Lawyers Committee launches toolkit to close gender gap in the legal profession

Roundup of law firm hires, promotions, departures: Sept. 26, 2022 update

Baker McKenzie elects new global executive committee members

Alternative fee arrangements possible with proper tools: AltFee chief operating officer

Privacy commissioner raises concern over proposed online streaming bill

Babin Bessner Spry leads plaintiffs in $202M commercial case

Most Read Articles

MLT Aikins expands Vancouver footprint with addition of litigation practice of Hakemi & Ridgedale

BC outlines intentions to create a single regulator governing lawyers, notaries, paralegals

Canada extending term of copyright protection from 50-to-70 years

Can technology take over the legal profession?