Me Louis Morisset is the highest paid lawyer in the government!  Photo: Autorité des marchés financiers website

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Me Louis Morisset is the highest paid lawyer in the government! Photo: Autorité des marchés financiers website

As the end of the fiscal year approaches in Quebec City, salary negotiations for senior government job holders are in full swing.

Data from the Ministère du Conseil exécutif du Québec reveal the salaries of the 398 holders of these offices as of March 31, 2020. Droit-Inc has identified 51 members of the Barreau du Québec among the holders of senior positions, who earn a total of 9.73 million dollars a year, or some 191,000 dollars on average.

These data do not include all of the charges and salaries granted to various Québec mandarins, such as pension and insurance plans. Some also receive allowances for stays, car and various bonuses often totaling more than 10,000 dollars, which we do not include here.

From chairpersons of committees to commissioners and deputy ministers and commissioners, all salaries and allowances paid to senior officials are made public.

My Lynne Lazarovitz ‐ Roiter, Manuelle Oudart and Line Drouin.  Photos: Loto-Québec and Institut d'Administration publique de Québec websites and archives

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My Lynne Lazarovitz ‐ Roiter, Manuelle Oudart and Line Drouin. Photos: Loto-Québec and Institut d’Administration publique de Québec websites and archives

The highest paid lawyer

He is the CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers Louis Morisset, whose annual salary is $ 465,905, effective March 31, 2020. Me Morisset, who dominated the salary scale in our previous 2018-2019 salary list, has since obtained an 8.77% increase in his base salary, almost $ 40,000.

His closest rival on the podium is Me Lynne Lazarovitz ‐ Roiter, president of the Lotteries Corporation, which pocketed $ 414,620 in 2020, a 10% increase from the $ 377,000 paid to her in 2019.

Then, My Manual Oudart, CEO of CNESST, and Line drouin, Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General, each receive $ 230,091.

Me Annick Murphy.  Photo: Archives

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Me Annick Murphy. Photo: Archives

The 200,000 club

In this select club of lawyers occupying the highest positions of the State and earning more than 200,000 dollars annually, we also find the former patron of the DPCP and new retiree Me Annick murphy, and the chief negotiator of the government of Quebec Me Edith Lapointe, employed by the Conseil du trésor. The two lawyers will have pocketed $ 223,118 in 2020. This is an increase of 12% for Me Lapointe compared to 2018, and 5.6% for Me Murphy.

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Me Josée De Bellefeuille, secretary general of the Minister of the Executive Council, receives 218,149 dollars.

This expensive prize list ends with the Chief Electoral Officer Me Pierre reid (5.6% increase compared to our previous ranking), Me Marie-Josée Thomas (5.6%), Secretary General associated with the Minister of the Executive Council, the Protectrice du citoyen Me Marie Rinfret (8%), and Me Nathalie Lejeune (11% increase), president of the TAQ. These last four members of the bar the highest paid by the state each receive 210,212 dollars.

In total, nine of the 11 most senior employees of the State, members of the Bar, are women.

Me Suzanne Arpin.  Photo: Archives

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Me Suzanne Arpin. Photo: Archives

Significant differences

About ten other members of the Bar holding senior positions in the government apparatus earn more than $ 192,000 per year, which is slightly higher than the average salary of lawyers occupying such positions in Quebec.

The median salary is only $ 170,000, illustrating that more than half of lawyers appointed as leaders of the state apparatus earn less than the average salary of all lawyers in senior positions.

Between Louis Morisset’s salary and Me’s Suzanne Arpin, which touches the lowest of 51 published salaries, the difference is 348,000 dollars. The vice-president of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, last in the ranking, thus received $ 118,198.

Methodology : Droit-Inc has identified 51 members of the Bar among the 398 entries on the list of holders of senior employment in Quebec, a list published annually on the annual salaries, indemnities and allowances of holders in office as of May 15. The senior executives of Crown corporations entered on the Roll of the Order, such as the general advocates and other vice-presidents, legal affairs, of Hydro-Québec and the CDPQ, are not included in this list.