Canadian Legal Research Firm

I’ve found a Canadian law firm that specializes in legal research. OnPoint Legal Research Law Corporation is a B.C. firm that also has an office in Alberta. It seems that although they have physical offices, much of their work is arranged by phone or email. The lawyers are mostly young, which leads me to wonder whether this portends something for legal practice in Canada.

(Someone should tell them that their lovely Flash enhanced website doesn’t have a page title for its home page — which may be one of the reasons they’ve had to pay for Google preference.)

Are there any other legal research firms that our readers know of?


  1. this is quite interesting, Simon. It adds a whole new dimension to conflict of interest, though (well, not new exactly, but certainly living on the edge), so I wonder if the business model will succeed.

  2. I know of several lawyers who act on contract for research, in Calgary and Edmonton. I don’t know what structure they use for this business. Also, there is at least one firm, Bottom Line Research, run by Barbara Cotton in Calgary.

  3. The CBA – Alberta Branch has a Research Lawyers subsection (which invites Law Librarians to be associate members) and there are several contract legal researchers that attend meetings and offer services.

    Karen McDougall, an Edmonton Lawyer, offers Legal Research on a contract basis. See her site:

  4. There is also a CBA subsection of research lawyers in Vancouver as well.

    I reviewed this firms website info. It does seem to be a solo operation. I notice that they offer research in foreign and US legislation (not sure how that is different). One of the gripes I have about this is that they often don’t have the resources to do this, so use the reference services of university law libraries, and then take the information and charge out to their clients. So we are vigilant to watch out for this.

    It might be useful to compare this to the services offered to the legal profession in BC by the BC Courthouse Library Society

  5. Many, many moons ago I did the freelance thing myself. I certainly did not set myself up as a law firm or in true private practice, nor was that status required at that time by the Law Society of Alberta. The business model certainly has become more structured and formalized over the last decade to try and address conflict and liability issues. I believe many independent researchers generally work with a small range of (repeat) law firm clients, as I did. I know that in Alberta, at least, there are still quite a few freelancers, and there are regular listings of the same in the Ontario Reports weeklies. There is also an outfit called Taran Virtual Associates -The Legal Outsourcing Network(R) ( which does various things including research. They are based in Ontario but their web site says they recruit lawyers from across Canada.

    I should point out that the CBA Alberta Branch has sections in both Calgary and Edmonton, and Calgary has long had a research lawyers subsection (in which our Brenda has long been involved, and of which I was a member before I moved back to Edmonton and worked with Karen and others to start up the northern subsection.)

  6. In Quebec, we have Delegatus, a company headed by Pascale Pageau, last year president of the Montreal Young Bar Association. She is featured in the last edition of Les Affaires in a special section dealing with the future of justice and the legal practice.

  7. I have not (until now!) been a blogger, but happened across this posting while Googling something else, hence the one year time lag in responding.

    The increasing scope of case law and even legal doctrine available from online sources makes freelance legal research a more and more viable option. It may be attractive to research-saavy lawyers seeking alternatives to big firm practice, as well as to law firms and clients who want cost-efficient ways of acquiring as-need expertise on discrete issues or files. Lawyers in this context do need to be mindful of ethical concerns such as conflicts and confidentiality, but these in my opinion are manageable issues. I have recently launched a legal research company based in Montreal (Juridica Consulting Inc./Services conseils Juridica inc.) and know of two or three other people also doing freelance legal research. This is a real option for providing/obtaining quality legal services that would not have been available just a few years ago, all thanks to modern technology.

  8. I’m wondering what you mean by :
    The lawyers are mostly young, which leads me to wonder whether this portends something for legal practice in Canada.”

    I’m a young lawyer and have done contract research at two periods now to fill in gaps in my career path. I certainly would rather be working full-time, getting an actual salary, getting mentorship and building a career and skills beyond what I learned in a first year law school Research and Writing class! It may be a growing practice to farm out research this way, but that may be a problem!!!

  9. I suspect he meant that this is an innovative idea, and he was wondering whether we will see additional innovation like this as younger lawyers rise up through the ranks.

    Incidentally, the page Simon Fodden links to is a dead end but the firm’s main website still exists at