The High Cost of Justice

  • The average hourly rate for experienced lawyers across Canada is approximately $379.
  • Most, if not all, bodily injury claims and some employment cases are charged on a contingency basis.
  • This means that a lawyer will take a percentage (a range between 25-40% or higher in some cases) of the award or agreed-upon settlement.
  • The average cost of a two-day civil action trial in Canada is $18,420, and the potential cost of a two-day civil action trial is upwards of $37,000.


  1. Disbursements or out-of-pocket expenses, which could include expert reports, court filing costs, agent costs, etc.
  2. Adverse costs – This may be awarded by a court or agreed to at the conclusion of a case.
  3. Other legal costs in developing the case, filing the case and dealing with all interim steps or court applications.

(Source: Canadian Lawyer Magazine Survey 2013) NATIONAL FEE RANGES (sample size 598)