Total costs per Canadian law suits

A report of The Fraser Institute [info@fraserinstitute.ca], “The State of Canadian Judicial Statistics: Trends in Canadian Civil Justice,” summarizes findings from a 1995 survey of about 50 Canadian inside counsel. They assembled the costs of a representative case (pg. 20; all figures Canadian dollars) with the components averaging:

$101,860 outside counsel
22,800 inside counsel on average taking 223 hours [Rees Morrison: $100/hr implied rate]
7,300 other law department costs [paralegals, secretaries, travel I assume]
9,260 outside counsel disbursements [Rees Morrison: very typical for U.S. litigation at 10%]
9,570 expert witnesses and their costs
3,770 court fees and transcripts
17,700 client management and staff “spent some 225 hours”

The report concluded the cost analysis by saying that “all of these meant that on average some 387 hours and $106,000 were spent on this representative case.”

Extrapolating from the average case load (58) and the average revenue of the survey participants’ companies (CDN $995 million), litigation amounted to 0.05% of sales. A typical U.S. figure is around 0.14% of sales (60% of total legal spending is outside counsel, of which 60% is litigation, and total legal spending is around 0.4%). It is not implausible that south of the border companies pay two or three times as much for litigation.

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