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Attorneys’ Fees

A single consultation with an attorney is often enough to solve a legal problem. Expert legal advice can prevent you from unnecessarily wasting time, money, and energy. But for many clients, taking that first step is the hardest part. One reason is the ambiguity surrounding the costs of a legal consultation.

Attorneys’ fees and court costs primarily depend on the scope of the case and the amount in dispute. The higher the value of the claim in question, the more time the attorney will require to handle the case, and the higher the attorneys’ fees will be.

In Germany, attorneys’ fees are calculated in two different ways: either according to the Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz (Law on the Remuneration of Attorneys, RVG), or on a contractual basis. However, it should be noted that contractual agreements regarding fees must also be in accordance with the law.

Remember: We will always inform you in advance of the costs you will face. Cost transparency is extremely important to us.

Attorneys’ fees can be broken down as follows:

- Initial consultation. For consumers, costs for an initial consultation should not exceed €190.00 plus VAT. Additionally, a non-binding introductory conversation is often provided for free. During this first consultation, the attorney will analyze the difficulty of the case and assess the client’s chances in order to develop a strategy and estimate any additional costs that may arise. Please also note that a binding consultation can be conducted by telephone or e-mail.
- Out-of-court representation. If the attorney holds negotiations with the client’s opponent or represents the client’s interests in some other way, the attorney is entitled to charge a service fee for his or her work. The fee amount also depends on the amount in dispute and the difficulty of the case. Additionally, for out-of-court representation, agreements on an hourly fee or lump sum can be reached.
- Representation in court. Legal expenses (Prozesskosten) consist of court costs, attorneys’ fees for the plaintiff, and attorneys’ fees for the defendant. At the beginning of litigation, the plaintiff has to make an advance payment on court fees (Gerichtskostenvorschuss). The advance payment amount depends on the amount in dispute in the case. The party that loses the case is required to pay all legal expenses, including the opponent’s attorneys’ fees.
- Other costs. These include all miscellaneous costs that arise in the course of the attorney’s work on the case, such as travel expenses, postal and telecommunications costs, etc.
In some cases, attorneys’ fees and court fees will be covered by legal protection insurance if the client has taken out a policy.
Low-income individuals, college students, and schoolchildren can apply for state financial support for legal consultations or legal processes. This is known as Beratungshilfe (consultation assistance) or Prozesskostenhilfe (legal expense assistance). In such cases, clients will need to apply to their local Amtsgericht (district court) even before consulting an attorney for the first time; they will also need to prove their financial need and apply for a Beratungshilfeschein (consultation assistance certificate).

Many people believe that attorneys use their fees to line their own pockets, but this is a common misconception. In reality, attorneys invest the majority of their income in keeping their law firms running. The income that law firms generate has to cover employees’ salaries, rent for office space, liability insurance (a legal requirement for attorneys), specialized literature, and other operating costs.

In order to prevent misunderstandings regarding the costs we charge for our work, we provide you with comprehensive information about our fees and any other necessary expenses at an early stage.


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