Lawyers are free to set the amount of their fees with their client, though within the limits of fair moderation (article 446ter Judicial Code).
This amount takes into account, in particular, the client’s financial situation, the importance of the dispute, the level of the interests at stake, the lawyer’s specialisation in the relevant field, the lawyer’s experience, the results achieved…
Moreover, lawyers are bound to inform their client beforehand about the different criteria that will determine the cost of their intervention.
Depending on the type of intervention, lawyers make use of one of the following methods for the calculation of their fees (article 28 to 32 Codex) :
- An hourly fee ;
- A flat fee ;
- A subscription formula ;
- A percentage fee, i.e. a percentage of the amount at stake.
Your lawyer will inform you of which method is being used and of the costs associated with managing the case, and will request the payment of provisions for fees as the case progresses
Attention : a distinction is to be made between the actual fees (i.e. the counterpart of the services provided by your lawyer), the administrative costs and expenses (i.e. secretarial services, travel expenses, translation costs,…) and the legal fees (bailiff fees, court fees, …).
In a problem ?
In the case of any problem related to fees, you can contact the ombudsman, a lawyer who will listen to your problem, free of charge, provide you with information and clarify the situation.
Should the ombudsman be unable to solve the dispute, a conciliation procedure between you and your lawyer is a further possibility, either through the Fees Commission of the Bar or the Court. (see articles 22 § 1-2 and articles 103- 106 Codex).