2020 In House Compensation & Career Survey is now available

We are pleased to announce that our 2020 In-House Counsel Compensation & Career Report is now available. Register below to receive a free copy.

Survey Partners

Conducted By


Compensation and Career related matters including

  • Base Salary
  • Bonuses Options
  • Benefits
  • Compensation and Work Satisfaction
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Career Mobility
  • Demographic Data
  • Diversity Disparity


National Average Base Salary

In 2020, Ontario and Alberta report average base salaries above the national average, whereas salaries in British Columbia were slightly below the national average. Quebec and Atlantic and Central Canada continue to lag behind the national average.

Gender Wage Gap

The results show that women continue to be paid less than men in the same roles in the legal profession. The gap of 11% remains the same as reported in 2018 and represents a significant disparity in pay between female and male lawyers. The most substantial gaps continue to be seen at higher wage levels with 30% of males receiving a mean salary of over $200,000 compared to 19% of females who earn the same amount.

Industry Trends

Financial services and insurance continue to be the sector most represented by in-house counsel, followed by oil and gas, and Government. This year, the highest average base salaries are found in the resources/mining/forestry ($224K); manufacturing/automotive/aerospace/chemical ($193K); oil & gas ($190K); real estate ($180K); retail/hospitality, food and beverage, consumer products ($174K); construction ($173K); and information technology ($170K). The largest gain is found in the resources/mining/forestry (up $31K) industry.

The report has become a go-to resource for in-house counsel and HR professionals seeking reliable compensation data for the Canadian in-house counsel market.

About The Counsel Network

The Counsel Network provides market-leading, comprehensive talent management services for the Canadian legal professionals’ market. Over the last 32 years, The Counsel Network has earned our reputation and position as Canada’s premier legal talent management firm. We have a high performance, results-oriented culture built on the core values of excellence, leadership, integrity, teamwork and empowering relationships. We conduct our business with the highest level of integrity and ethical standards, both internally and externally.

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2020 In-House Counsel Compensation & Career Survey

The report has become a go-to resource for in-house counsel and HR professionals seeking reliable compensation data for the Canadian in-house counsel market. The majority of the 2020 survey respondents named the survey as a key source of information for industry compensation. The survey provides key information on compensation, benefits, work hours, and job satisfaction for in-house counsel.

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The Survey is dynamic and targeted, the kind of information that in-house counsel require for career development and growth. Prior to this ground-breaking survey, in-house counsel relied on anecdotal evidence in benchmarking compensation issues.

Derek Patterson, Former CCCA President


Gender wage gap still exists, ethnic diversity remains a challenge, significant increases in resources mining and forestry and oil & gas no longer highest paying industry.

Dal Bhathal, Managing Partner The Counsel Network


These results show we need to remain focused and vigilant. We have undertaken many initiatives over the years and will continue to do so in the future as we strive to achieve equity.

Daniel Bourque, Chair of CCCA


The legal profession continues to identify the need to build diversity, and the survey results back up that need with these statistics

Dal Bhathal, Managing Partner of The Counsel Network


The number of respondents increased again this year and the majority reported they rely on the Survey as a source of information when evaluating compensation

Daniel Bourque, Chair of CCCA


Was the 2020 Survey conducted before or during Covid-19?

The survey was conducted between January 14, 2020 to February 28, 2020, prior to the pandemic

What makes The Counsel Network’s Survey and Report different from others?

Since the inaugural In-House Counsel Compensation & Career Survey in 2009, the survey has become the most respected and comprehensive of its kind in the country. It contains almost 100 pages of easily accessible data and is highly valued by in-house counsel and human resources departments. Data includes, National Trends regarding In?House Counsel Compensation, Base Salary by Employment History, Age, Tenure, Type of Employer, In-Depth Look at Provinces and Territories, Changes in Compensation Where are the

Respondents based?

Across Canada, from coast to coast.

When was the first Survey conducted?

2009 with further additions in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018

Who uses the Survey?

In-House Counsel to know their worth, HR, GC's and employers to benchmark compensation for their In-House Counsel.