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From October 4 to 29, 2021, the Canadian Lawyer team asked lawyers, in-house counsel, and clients from across the country to select the criminal law firms that represent the best in the profession. Survey respondents were asked to rank the top firms from a long list provided and were also given a chance to add a firm that was not included in the list. The rankings were based on regional service coverage, client base, notable mandates, service excellence and legal expertise. To be a candidate, firms were required to derive a majority of their work from criminal law and have more than one lawyer in this practice area. 

Voters chose between five and 10 of the criminal law firms they considered the best, and a point system was also used to determine the winners. The quantitative results were combined with feedback from respected senior members of the bar when applicable. 

This year, Canadian Lawyer decided to name the top firms in three regions: 10 from the Greater Toronto area, five from the Ottawa and Montreal areas, and another five from Western Canada (provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia). Several well-known criminal lawyers are absent from the winners’ list because the lawyers are sole practitioners or practise at a law firm that does not specialize in only criminal law. 

600+ survey votes received by Canadian Lawyer 

53 criminal law boutique firms on long list of candidates 

20 top criminal law boutique firms from three regions 

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