Costs and Fees
In short – our principles
- By contacting us, you do not incur cost.
- If not agreed otherwise, a first counseling between the Attorney at Law and a Consumer shall cost 190 Euros at maximum. This is regulated by the German Lawyer’s Compensation Act. The counseling may take place via phone or internet so that you can save on travel expenses.
- If they wish so, our Clients receive a well-founded cost-estimation before they retain us.
- Only after discussing the fees with you, we will be able to accept your retainer.
- We see a high cost-transparency as duty towards our Clients.
What does it cost to retain an Attorney at Law in Germany?
Nearly everyone contacting an Attorney at Law will ask this question.
One of the best answers will be: Talk about it with your Attorney.
We will try to explain to what attorney’s fees are linked in a lot of cases and why it is recommendable to talk about this issue with your attorney on time:
The object value (value of the lawsuit) is very important point when estimating attorney’s fees. The question here is: “Which economic interest is reflected by the case?”.
Based on the object value there are in basic two ways for most German attorneys to calculate the fees:
Calculation based on the German Lawyer’s Compensation Act (Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz, RVG)
The German legislator enacted a law on the Compensation of Attorneys which states in detail and complexity the fees and disbursement of Attorneys. The remuneration according to the Lawyer’s Compensation Act is usually based on the object value.
Fee Agreement, especially agreement on hourly fees
When concluding a fee agreement, the Attorney and the Client will agree on how the Attorney will be compensated for his services. The object value will have influence on the fees agreed upon, but not as strong as when the calculation is based on the Lawyer’s Compensation Act. There is a legal framework for fee agreements and e.g. in most cases contingency fees are not permitted.
Fees according to the Lawyer’s Compensation Act
It is possible to make an first evaluation for the Lawyer’s fees with an free online cost-calculator. Anyhow, as these tools are for professionals and as they are only available in German, please change the language of this website to German (flag symbol) and find the links there.
Please keep in mind that the result of such an online cost-calculator has to be taken with a pinch of salt, especially if a layperson uses it.
In case the Attorney and the Client choose to conclude a fee agreement, they conclude a contract about the services to be provided by the Attorney and the remuneration to be paid by the Client.
The object value, the difficulty of the case, the estimated time and effort needed, possible liability and the Client’s special needs i.a. will be the basis for the fee agreed upon and the mode of payment.
Often the Client will receive an offer of a certain hourly rate and the length of the fraction of an hour, which will be billed. We use short time-fractions, so that a needed time of 1:10 h does not translate to a 2 hour bill! If you wish, we contact you when a certain amount of time was spent, so that you may decide on how to proceed.
A fee agreement should be made in a way which keeps the Client’s financial abilities in mind and enables the Attorney to spend the needed time on cases which requires more attention and in-depth analysis than usually.
Cost Trap? – NO!
As you see, the answer to the question “What does it cost to retain a lawyer for my case?” is dependent on numerous factors.
We put high emphasis on cost transparency!
Where we start: By contacting us, you do not incur cost. But how to continue…?
If your matter falls into our scope of services, usually there will be a first consultation. Such a first consultation is made up of a case-description by the Client and a corresponding advice by the Attorney. The advice is not an in-depth analysis, but a first “sweeping” consultation. It shall enable the Client to make a first decision if to proceed and provide him with a legal orientation.
A first consultation between an Attorney and a Consumer as singular client may cost 190 Euros at maximum, as long as there is no clearly deviating agreement between them. The German Lawyer’s Compensation Act provides for this. This upper limited was enacted to enable Consumers with cases of high object value to consult a lawyer and provide for cost protection, too.
If large amounts of documents have to screened before a useful first consultation can take place or if the object value is extraordinary high or low, we will happy to provide you with a proposal for a fee agreement.
Thus the Client is protected from cost traps, no matter if the Lawyer’s Compensation Act or a Fee Agreement finds application.
A small note: Only if the Client provides the Attorney with a sufficient and sincere description of the circumstances which form the basis to calculate the object value, the Attorney is able to make a reliable cost estimation for the Client.