Canadian lawyers are cautiously optimistic about fees.
According to the Canadian Lawyer 2018 Legal Fees Survey, the research 'indicates a more hopeful outlook for Canadian law firms as they examine their pricing structures. But the mood remains guarded.' No respondents expect to cut their fees this year. Last year, the reported 0.6 per cent indicated they planned a cut, in 2016 reported three per cent. However, fewer expect to increase their fees this year, with only 43 per cent indicating an upward trend compared to the 45 per cent last year.
Complexity and overheads drives rates
Rate increases are driven by complexity for 39 per cent of respondents, while 58 per cent cited inflation and higher overhead as the main factor for fee increases for 57 per cent of the responses. Half of those increasing their fees indicated they would go up by five per cent or less, while 37 per cent suggested fees could increase by six to 10 per cent. The hourly billing rate still reigns although 71 per cent indicated they charge flat fees. The survey results can be found here.