Legal advice does not come for free, as long as you do not qualify for legal aid. Any consultation or assessment of your case, no matter if performed on the phone, as an online meeting, by email, or in personal at the law office, prompts fees. This is irrelevant of how long the consultation may take. Knowledge is power and the lawyer’s asset, meaning it must be paid in an adequate manner.
In contrast to any „advice“ you may find in the daily papers, honest advice by a legally qualified expert – which in Germany means two successful state examinations (for both lawyers and judges) – is something you can rely on. This is emphasised by legal standards and professional law supervised by the German Law Society. A professional legal counsel is committed to your interests alone while she also needs to act in a highly confidential way.
It stands to reason that you would like to know from the start what costs to expect. Unfortunately, this inquiry clashes with the lawyers' fees laid down in German law, which is subject to numerous commentaries and difficult to predict even for experts, as it very much depends on the individual case. This is one of the reasons I exclusively work on the basis of fee agreements, meaning my services to you are more transparent and easier to track and calculate.
In order for me to be able to offer my services in excellent quality, I have to work in a way that is effective as well as cost-efficient. The fees codified in the German Lawyers' Fees Act do not meet these requirements, which is mainly true for out-of-court consultations. The amount of time needed for drawing up expert assessments, contracts, and last wills may be substantial. Likewise, legal representation in court cases may take a significant amount of time, fort he client as well as fort he lawyer dealing with the case. Ultimately, clearly calculated fees will enable your legal counsel to focus on your individual case entirely.
My fee agreement for legal representation combine a lump sum and an hourly rate, with the lump sum covering a certain number of hours needed for dealing with the case and the hourly rate billing any extra hours (hourly rate as of 1 October 2023: 400.00 euros per 60 minutes, excluding 19% VAT). Depending on the case, a full lump sum or a total calculation based on the hourly rate may be further options. By means of keeping an exact timesheet, I will enable you to keep an eye on my legal services in your specific case.
The fee for plain legal advice without the examination of documents relating to the case and not taking more than 90 minutes is at 476.00 euros (including 19% VAT). Should it be necessary to exam any documents relating to the case (maximum: 10 pages), the fee increases to 595.00 euros (including 19% VAT).
Please note that legal insurance taken out by you will only cover the fees prescribed by law in the Lawyers' Fees Act. However, the charges laid down there are usually lower than the ones calculated in my fee agreements, meaning you will have to cover part of the costs at your own expense. The same is valid if you win a court action. Generally, the opposing party will then have to cover the costs of your lawyer according to the Lawyers' Fees Act. They will, however, not have to pay any amount exceeding the maximum fee prescribed by law. Moreover, I am no contract partner to your legal insurance, meaning that I will send my bill to you while you would have to get in touch with your insurance and request refund.
My law practice stands for cost transparency, confidence, reliance, and sincerity. It goes without saying that I gladly answer any questions as to fee agreements in detail, including the review of single terms.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch for any further information or for a rough calculation of costs regarding your legal issue.