Compensation for services rendered by lawyers is often subject to interrogations. Therefore, our wish is to offer our clients the utmost transparency in this regard, in order to establish a long-lasting trust-based relationship.
From the outset of a case, we will inform our clients about the costs of our legal intervention. Throughout the case, our clients are welcome to interrogate us on the evolution of the costs.
The fees and costs cover remuneration for intellectual work conducted, the costs of the general infrastructure of our firm, as well as costs specifically linked to the case concerned.
The fees cover a variety of lawyers' services such as:
- meetings with the client
- telephone calls both with the client and other parties involved
- participation in meetings
- the review of documents handed over by the client or sent by other parties
- the drafting of correspondence
- research of case-law and doctrine
- drafting of procedural documents (subpoenas, legal motions, submissions, statements, etc.)
- attending hearings
- drafting of contracts and agreements
There are two fee calculation methods:
Each lawyer bills his services to the client on the basis of the hourly rate that he/she personally charges. This is the most common calculation method. Depending on the result obtained, the aforementioned fees may be increased by a percentage based on the stake of the case (i.e. a “success fee”).
In some cases - in particular those that do not involve litigation but more transactional work - or in the event of a regular flow of business, we can work on the basis of a flat-rate amount, determined in advance between the lawyer and his client.
Both of these methods may be combined.
It is often very difficult, or even impossible, to anticipate with much accuracy the actual total cost of the lawyer's legal intervention, since this depends sometimes on parameters that cannot be foreseen from the start, such as for example, the opposition or, on the contrary, the willingness to conciliate expressed by the opposing party.
We would like to draw the attention of our clients to the fact that they may contribute to limiting their lawyer's fees and expenses by favouring, when possible, negotiated solutions and by transmitting all necessary documents and information from the outset of our legal intervention in a comprehensive manner.
In addition to the lawyers' fees, the expenses directly related to the management of cases are reimbursed by the client, those include : the flat-rate for opening and closing the case, the secretarial expenses and the costs relating to correspondence, photocopies, faxes, phone calls, and the moving and archiving of files The charging method for these costs is sent to the client at the start of the lawyers' intervention, at the same time as the fee calculation method.
In addition to the lawyers' fees and management fees, the incurrence of other expenses may be necessary for defending the interests of the client. The main expenses in question include : registry fees, copying costs, residential search fees, civil status document fees, mortgage statement fees, criminal case fees and business information costs etc. These expenses will of course be charged to the client at their actual cost. A dispute may also give rise to the assistance of other professionals (bailiffs, notaries, reviewers, technical advisers, etc.). Unless agreed otherwise, the costs relating to the intervention of these professionals are born directly by the client.
In principle, the payment of a provision is requested at the start of the lawyers' intervention, which will be deducted from the subsequent invoices for fees and expenses.
Thereafter and as a general rule, during the handling of the case, the client will receive the following:
- new requests for provisions, depending on the services rendered (at the closing of the case, a final breakdown listing all the services rendered and the payments already done will be sent to the client);
- or intermediary fees’ states, specifying the services rendered and the costs incurred.
It goes without saying that, at any time, the client reserves the right to request details regarding the financial situation of the case.