First ever Canadian survey on gender-based partners compensation in law firms

  • October 16, 2018

OTTAWA – Today the Canadian Bar Association’s Women Lawyers Forum launches the first ever national compensation survey of partners in law firms in Canada.

Data from the U.S. consistently shows that male lawyers earn more than their female counterparts in firms, and while the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association has done surveys on corporate compensation, there is no data-driven, research-based statistics to determine the state of the gender divide in private law firm partner compensation in Canada.

The survey will help provide the legal profession with data about law firm partner compensation by gender, and identify some of the criteria that may affect compensation and contribute to gender differences in compensation.


“The survey results will be of value and interest to firms in setting compensation, it will be of value to Canadian law firms and the CBA in advancing their strategic directives to guide the profession toward a future that is in step with emerging trends.  It will help guide the Women Lawyers Forum in pursuing its mandate to promote equality and equity in the legal profession in Canada.”

- Kathryn Sainty, Q.C., Chair of CBA’s Women Lawyers Forum

“Equity issues within the legal practice and profession are of key interest to me and will be a priority during my time as CBA National President. I believe we will all benefit greatly from having access to Canadian data that will allow firms to formulate internal policies and strategies in developing the next generation of partners.”

- Ray Adlington, CBA President


  • The CBA’s Women Lawyers Forum received $38,400 from CBA’s Law For The Future Fund to undertake this survey.
  • The confidential survey will be conducted by Bramm Research, with firms 50+ lawyers across Canada.
  • The survey will seek information as to the gender identity of each partner in the firm, whether that partner is an income or equity partner, the income percentage of that partner in comparison to the percentage of all partners in the firm (i.e. 100%) and certain factors that may affect each partner's respective compensation.
  • The data will be collected and analysed as an aggregate and a final report is expected in the spring of 2019.

For more information about the survey please contact Katya Hodge at


The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.