Over the past few years, the number of lawyers who had responded to the survey dropped off so dramatically our editors didn’t feel it would be valuable, or indicative of the market, to publish the numbers. So this year, we changed our method of collecting information by creating a simple and fast online form that didn’t require anyone to fold up and mail us back anything. We combined our online efforts with e-mail requests to subscribers to our publications and e-newsletter, the Canadian Legal Newswire, plus brought in the assistance of a third-party telemarketing company to help us bring the numbers up further. Our efforts brought in more than 300 responses. While still not the majority of practitioners in the country, these numbers were enough for us to push on with our efforts and be able to bring the readers a solid snapshot of who’s charging what for the most common legal services offered across the country (please see “The going rate” on page 38).
The legal fees survey is one of Canadian Lawyer’s most requested surveys and we are pleased to be able to provide it to readers once again. Other than the change in the method for collecting data, we also added a few new areas to the questionnaire — immigration and intellectual property. With its focus on general practice, the legal fees survey is most representative of and useful to lawyers in smaller firms and sole practices. As in past years, the majority of responses have come from lawyers in Ontario, followed by those in British Columbia and Alberta. With only a smattering of answers from other regions and provinces, there aren’t enough to use them in regional comparisons. We look forward to more participation (hint, hint) from the Prairies, East Coast, and Quebec next year so we may provide even more detailed charts. Once again, we’re very happy that the survey is back in business and look forward to even more growth.
Continuing the winning tradition: Every year the Canadian Business Press presents its annual Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for excellence in business journalism. This year, Canadian Lawyer had 15 nominations in the various written and visual categories, including the first-ever nomination for our sister publication Canadian Lawyer InHouse. At the ceremonies on June 4 in Toronto, Canadian Lawyer took home three gold awards, one silver, and five top-five awards.
Our gold awards went to Bruce Livesey for his article “Fall from grace” about the fall of Peter Shoniker; to Kirk Makin for his article, “Wall of Secrecy,” about the difficulties lawyers face representing terrorism suspects; and to illustrator Darcy Muenchrath for his “Divine intervention” illustration. Legal Ethics columnist Philip Slayton took home a silver award in the best regularly featured column category.
The top-five awards went to former editor Jim Middlemiss, Canadian Lawyer InHouse editor Kirsten McMahon, photographer Liam Sharp, and two to writer Kevin Marron.