Decision made on July, 12th 2007, adopting the National Regulations of the lawyers' (RIN) (art. 21-1 of the modified law of December, 31st 1971)
How are legal fees calculated?
Failing agreement between the lawyer and the client, fees are set out according to
the established customs,
depending on the financial situation of the client, the difficulty of the case, the costs incurred by the lawyer,
and the lawyer’s reputation and conscientiousness.
The lawyer in charge of a case can charge fees to the client even if the file is withdrawn before its conclusion based on the extent of work already done.
Informing the client :
The lawyer informs the client, upon referral, and, regularly thereafter, the method for determining fees and their likely evolution. Where appropriate, these details will appear in the fee agreement.
Components of the remuneration :
The lawyer’s income depends notably on each of the following elements in accordance with established customs :
- time spent on the case;
- research work;
- the nature and complexity of the case;
- the importance of the interests involved;
- the impact of the costs and expenses of the law practice to which the lawyer belongs;
- the lawyer’s reputation, qualifications, seniority, experience and specialization;
- the benefits and results obtained for the client thanks to the work, and the service rendered to the latter;
- the financial situation of the client.
Methods of determining legal fees :
Approved methods :
Flat fees can be agreed. The lawyer may receive a fee from a client periodically, including as a lump sum.
Prohibited methods :
A lawyer shall not determine his/her fees through a pactum de quota litis, that is to say by an agreement between the lawyer and client prior to a final court order, which fixes exclusively all of the fees according to the outcome of the court case, whether these fees consist of an amount of money or any other property or value.
The lawyer can only receive fees from his/her client or his/her client’s proxy.
Remuneration for transferral of business is prohibited.
Advance on the expenses and fees :
The lawyer who accepts a case may ask the client for an advanced payment to be deducted from expenses and fees.
This provision cannot go beyond a reasonable estimate of the fees and probable disbursements incurred in the case.
If the requested advance is not paid, the lawyer may refrain from accepting the case or withdraw according to the conditions laid down in article 13 of the above mentioned decree dated July, 12th 2005. The lawyer will provide the client with all information necessary for this purpose.
How to pay the legal fees :
The fees must be paid in accordance with the law and regulations, notably in cash,
by cheque, by bank transfer,
by promissory note and credit card.
The lawyer can be paid with a bill of exchange if it is accepted by the drawee, the lawyer’s client.
The endorsement can only be made to benefit the lawyer’s bank, only for the purposes of cashing in.
Any fees being challenged must be submitted to the President of the Bar Association the lawyer comes under.
(Article 11 : Fees. - Emoluments. - Disbursements. – Methods of payment of the fees)