Canadian partners earn significantly less than US counterparts

August 22, 2014 AboveTheLaw reported on the earnings of Canadian partners and noted that, unlike their US counterparts, the majority of leading Canadian lawyers don’t make seven figures.

When Canadian judges asked for a pay rise in 2011, the Government of Canada asked the tax department to provide figures on the earnings of every sole practitioner and law firm partner in the country. Since Canadian law firms don’t publicly share financial information, this move offered a unique insight into the way that Canadian lawyers are paid.

SOme interesting results emerged: the top lawyer in Canada in 2010 made over $8 million, and another lawyer in Toronto made over $6 million. In Toronto - the epicentre of the Canadian legal world - approximately 340 Toronto lawyers made more than $1.2 million. This sum stacks up someone unfavourably to the profits taken home by leading US lawyers: the article points out that 1.2 million is just the first fiscal quarter for Quinn Emanuel partners.

Approximately 800 lawyers in the top ten metro areas in Canada made more than $880,000, while in the US, more than twenty firms had profits per partner of over $2 million, and the top 100 US firms averaged $1.47 million in profits per equity partner.

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