The Canadian Bar Association and Thomson Reuters Release Reports on the State of the Legal Market in Canada

  • March 06, 2024

Ottawa, March 6, 2024 – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA), in collaboration with Thomson Reuters, have released the inaugural State of the Canadian Law Firm Market and Canadian Government Lawyers Benchmark reports. These reports offer insights into how firms and government lawyers assess and measure their success, goals, risks, and challenges in today’s legal landscape.

The State of the Canadian Law Firm Market report reflects a generally optimistic outlook about the prospects for continued growth and profitability. Similarly, Canadian government lawyers generally view their organizations as successful but anticipate many challenges ahead.

Despite a robust post-pandemic recovery, the marketplace remains rife with uncertainty for Canadian firms. The State of the Canadian Law Firm Market report highlights gaps in strategic planning amid rapid technological changes, global volatility, and domestic economic concerns. Among the challenges facing firms are talent attraction and retention, heightened competition, excessive time spent on administrative tasks versus high-value work, and mental health concerns.

Similarly, the Canadian Government Lawyers Benchmark report reveals a disconnect between what government lawyers deem as success and what gets measured. It also highlights how government departments are grappling with hybrid working arrangements. Topping the list of challenges are managing the pace of legal and regulatory changes, streamlining administrative tasks, safeguarding lawyer mental well-being, and recruitment and retention.

Both reports highlight concerns regarding the increased use of generative AI tools. Only 6% of Canadian government lawyers are currently experimenting with this technology, trailing behind their law firm peers at 26%.

“These reports will serve as a benchmark for the legal profession,” said John Stefaniuk, K.C., CBA President. “They will allow us to follow the evolution of the legal market more closely in years to come and advance innovative solutions to challenges, current and developing. We thank the Thomson Reuters Institute for directing its expertise to the important task of gathering and analyzing this data.”

“The challenges and opportunities facing both law firms and government agencies are evolving rapidly, and AI is going to play a pivotal role in the evolution of the legal industry,” added Steve Assie, head of Canada, Thomson Reuters. “Legal professionals need solutions they trust that can leverage the power of generative AI, with the guardrails around data and security, to operate more efficiently and better serve their clients. In addition to generative AI, law firms and government agencies will face talent issues and rising pressures to improve efficiency, and both would be well served to regularly reassess how they measure and manage for success.”


The CBA partnered with the Thomson Reuters Institute to survey lawyers from small, medium, and large Canadian firms, as well as government lawyers, in October 2023. Similar studies have been conducted in the UK, the EU, Australia, and the United States.

About the Canadian Bar Association

The CBA is dedicated to supporting the profession, the rule of law and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Over 38,000 lawyers, judges, Quebec notaries, law professors and law students from across Canada are members.

For more information, contact:

Vanessa Racine
Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs
613-237-2925 x153

Jeff McCoy
Thomson Reuters