Cost transparency is very important to us. Unfortunately, many people seeking legal advice shy away from going to a lawyer for fear of financial burdens. However, the fear of the cost issue is usually unfounded. We will be happy to inform you in detail about all costs incurred.
If, after an initial assessment of your case, you decide to engage us for your case, the following applies:
Remuneration in accordance with the Lawyers' Fees Act (RVG)
The fee for the work of the lawyer is calculated according to the Lawyers’ Fees Act (RVG). This stipulates that in most cases, the amount of a lawyer’s fees is determined by two factors: Firstly, the so-called “subject matter” respective “amount in dispute” of the respective matter. This is the “value” of your matter, e.g. in the case of a claim for payment of EUR 10,000, this is this amount (= EUR 10,000). From this value of the subject matter respective the amount in dispute, the usual = “simple” fee for your case can then be derived using a fee table of the RVG. The current table of fees can be found here. For example, for an amount in dispute of up to EUR 10,000 the usual fee amounts to EUR 558.00. On the other hand, the amount of the lawyer’s fees depends on the exact activity of the lawyer. According to RVG legal fees incur particularly in the following cases:
- For the handling of the legal affair as such (= procedural fee): 1.3 fees (This fee is incurred only once. It is irrelevant how many pleadings the lawyer will make in the proceedings),
- For participation in the oral proceedings (= appointment fee): 1.2 fees (the lawyer receives this fee only once, no matter how many court appointments are made),
- For participation in the conclusion of a settlement in court: 1.5 fees (= settlement fee).
To this must be added a lump sum for expenses of the lawyer for telephone and postage in the maximum amount of EUR 20 as well as the value added tax in the amount of currently 16%. If, in addition, travel expenses of the lawyer are incurred, e.g. because the legal dispute does not take place at the local district or regional court in Mannheim, but abroad, these are also to be paid.
The above form of calculation is the normal case for disputes about, e.g., payment claims. We will inform you in detail about the precise amount of these costs and fees in your case.
When drafting and reviewing contractual agreements, the RVG expressly requests the parties to conclude a fee agreement. In these cases, we offer our clients the conclusion of a fee agreement for which there are principally two alternatives:
When agreeing on an hourly fee, we charge an hourly rate per hour worked, which is individually agreed to with you. You will receive a detailed time recording from us as well as, if applicable, partial invoices showing when we have performed which services for you. In this way, you receive cost transparency. You decide when and how long you want to use our services and pay only for the time we worked for you.
In the case of a flat fee, we agree with you individually on the fee for a specific legal service – regardless of how long it actually takes us to complete the work. This offers you the greatest possible cost certainty. You know right from the start what our work will cost you in the end. Thus, you can plan the costs of your legal advice right at the start of our assignment.
Possible court costs
If you decide to have your legal dispute settled in court, court costs will be charged in accordance with the German Law on Court Costs (GKG). This determines that the costs of your legal dispute are in most cases determined by two factors: On the one hand, the so-called amount in dispute of the respective matter. From this, the usual = “simple” fee of your case can be derived from a fee table of the GVG. The current table of fees can be found here. For example, for an amount in dispute of up to EUR 10,000 the fee amounts to EUR 241.00. Secondly, the amount of court fees depends on the scope of the court’s activities. For example, court fees according to the GKG are incurred in the following cases:
- First instance proceedings before the local or regional court: 3.0 fees,
- Termination of legal proceedings by withdrawal of action, court settlement or declaration of settlement: 1.0 fees,
- In the event of an out-of-court settlement, no court fees incur.
In addition to the court costs, court expenses (e.g. clerical expenses, etc.) may also be added.
We will inform you in detail about the precise amount of these fees in your case.
Furthermore, it should be noted that in the event of a defeat in court, a client must not only pay the court costs and the costs of his own lawyer, but also the costs of the opposing lawyer. Therefore, we only accept a mandate if you have good prospects of actually winning your case. Otherwise, we will advise you not to take legal action.
Cost absorption by the legal expenses insurance
If you have concluded a legal expenses insurance, your insurance company will normally pay all statutory fees within the scope of the individual insurance. (However, depending on the contractual agreements in your insurance contract, you may have to pay a so-called “deductible”). We will be happy to take care of all correspondence with your insurance company, including the coverage request and billing.
If legal proceedings are instituted, legal aid may be applied for. If necessary, this will cover all or part of your court costs and lawyer’s fees, if
(1.) you cannot afford the fees of your lawyer and the court fees,
(2.) the legal prosecution or defense offers sufficient prospect of success and
(3.) the legal action does not appear “willful”.
We would be happy to advise you in this regard and will also take care of all communication with the court and the corresponding billing.
Imposition of costs on the losing (third) party
In certain cases, the client can demand that the opponent will reimburse the lawyer’s fees incurred, so that the client does not incur any costs:
- If the client has a claim for damages against a third party due to a negligent or intentional act or a breach of contract, the client can principally demand reimbursement of his legal fees from the third party;
- If a third party is in default of performance, the client may demand reimbursement from the third party of the lawyer’s fees necessary for the enforcement of the performance;
- If a client was successful in a legal dispute, the opponent is obliged to pay all legal fees and court costs.
We would be pleased to advise you in detail about this matter.