I was pretty stunned.
I tuned into TVO’s The Agenda (Episode: And Access for All? July 21, 2011) and heard Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin cite our Report (entitled “Is Time Running Out on the Billable Hour?“) on legal fees… Here’s what she said (starting at around 1:16 into the segment):
“They may earn too much for legal aid or have too many assets, but have too little to retain a lawyer at the average billing rate of – the last figure I got for 2009 – was $338 dollars an hour”.
Wow! I was surprised that, notwithstanding that there are lots of reports out there that try to measure the average billing rate, OUR REPORT FROM 2 YEARS AGO is still being cited today! I guess it’s because we interviewed 2,000 solo and small firm lawyers, got responses from 500 of them. When you compare this, for example, to the 193 lawyers who answered Canadian Lawyer Mag’s 2009 legal fees survey, our report seems to have a lot more weight for our target (solo and small firm lawyers in Toronto).
Now, not only did the Chief Justice cite the findings of our report, but the Globe and Mail also ran a story that mentioned it indirectly. Here’s the line from an article that ran on August 18, 2011 entitled “The G-G urges a higher purpose”:
Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin also raised the issue of access to justice at the CBA conference, citing a Toronto study that found the average small firm charges clients $338 an hour.
Wow! Who knew that that little old report would still be making headlines today? I’m truly grateful to the Chief Justice, TVO, and the Globe and Mail for mentioning it – even though they probably didn’t realize it come from US! HA!