Canada

Marsden Group has been an active part of the Canadian Legal market place since establishing roots in Canada in the late 1990’s.  The Marsden Canadian team has years of experience recruiting partners, associates and executives for law firms across Canada and assists our International offices with recruitment across the world.

The Marsden Canadian team works closely with our partners and associates, helping the individual identify the criteria of their search and then navigate through this highly personal process with them.  Our goal and objective is to provide support and market intelligence so that all parties concerned can make informed decisions with the assistance of senior experienced recruiters.

Marsden’s clients across Canada and abroad range from National Premier and top-tier firms through to boutiques and International and Magic Circle firms.  The Marsden team works at establishing deep relationships with our clients and networks so that we can understand their needs fully and work with them closely to source and secure partners and associates who fit their culture and ultimately have successful integration experiences.

The legal landscape in Canada has changed over the last number of years and is recognized around the world as a strong Financial centre.  Regarded and known for depth in mining and resources, Canadian lawyers are actively sought out for their expertise in resources, banking and securities, and corporate finance.

Legal Market

There are approximately 64,000 lawyers working throughout Canada.  Toronto is recognised as the financial centre with many of Canada's most prominent law firms based there. Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver are also thriving legal and financial centres.  English is the primary language spoken in Canada, with the exception of Quebec and parts of New Brunswick where French predominates.

Most Canadian lawyers are trained in common law influenced by both the British and US system. In the province of Quebec, where civil law is practiced, many of its lawyers have a dual common/civil law degree. Lawyers in the top firms in Quebec will typically conduct most of their practice in English and also have common law experience.

Remuneration

Canadian lawyers are well paid. A first year lawyer at a top firm in Toronto will earn approximately CDN $95,000 and senior associates will earn over CDN $200,000. Lawyers in Calgary, which has a booming economy driven by the oil and gas sector, earn salaries approximately equivalent to those in Toronto.  In Vancouver and Montreal, lawyers will typically earn salaries which are 10-20% less than in Toronto or Calgary.

Visas

Please note that this is a brief overview and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Unless you have a Canadian passport or other official status, you will require a visa in order to work in Canada. The employing law firm will usually assist with the application process for a visa and generally the work permit will be specific to that employer. Your spouse and direct dependants can join you, but their eligibility for work depends on the specifics of the visa.

Re-Qualification

Foreign lawyers who wish to become a member of the Canadian Law Society, must apply to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) for an evaluation of their legal credentials. The NCA may require applicants to take 30-60 credit hours in a Canadian law school.  The actual number of credit hours is based on the applicant’s length and calibre of legal experience and strength of prior academic performance. Applicants will then be required to complete the bar admission requirements for the province they are intending to practice in.  This may consist of further examinations and a period of articling of up to 12 months, which may be abridged depending upon the length of the applicant’s legal experience.

Lifestyle

Canada is often referred to as a cultural mosaic built by a society that respects and celebrates the cultures of many countries from around the world.

There is no end to the places to explore in Canada.  Known for its large, majestic landscapes and several record-holding landmarks, some of the major attractions of Canada are to be found in its cosmopolitan cities. First-class restaurants inspired by cuisines from all over the world, top jazz and night clubs, year round festivals and a wealth of cultural and historical pursuits, can be found across the country.

Canadians enjoy warm summers in addition to the bracing but exciting winters - and in some parts of Canada, like the West Coast, the winters can actually be quite mild.

Useful Links

Government of Ontario
Law Society of Upper Canada
Service Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
National Post
The Globe and Mail
Toronto Life
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
Toronto Transit commission
Lexpert