- Fees and charges
- Calculating fees
- Absolute confidentiality
- Flexibility and speed
- At the heart of your business
1. FEES AND CHARGES
What do fees cover?
Like a salary, fees remunerate the services provided by your lawyer.
What are charges ?
In principle, fees remunerate the services provided by your lawyer and do not include charges, such as legal charges (fees of the clerk, bailiff, expert report, and so on) and other costs specifically incurred by the lawyer you have instructed (such as travelling costs, special couriers, translation and so on). These charges (called disbursements) are invoiced in addition to fees.
Some lawyers distinguish and separately invoice secretarial charges, such as typing, photocopies, telephone, fax and other general costs.
2. CALCULATING FEES
Lawyers freely set their fees within fair limits.
Ask your lawyer, before he starts work, how he calculates his fees and charges.
There are three main methods of calculating fees:
→ hourly rate
→ percentage of the amount at stake
→ lump sum
There are also other methods of calculating fees
By this method, the lawyer keeps a record of the time he dedicates to the case and invoices this at his chambers’ hourly rate(s).
Hourly rates vary considerably from one lawyer to another depending on his renown, specialisation, experience or organisation. These rates may also take account of the importance, difficulty or urgency of the case and your financial capacity.
Percentage of the amount at stake
By this method, fees are calculated as a percentage of the amount at stake in the case. It is calculated at the end of it, taking account in particular of the result. However, the law forbids fees being based exclusively on result.
The percentage applied may vary depending not only on the result but also on the same parameters as those applied to the hourly rate: the lawyer’s renown, specialisation, experience and organisation; the importance, difficulty or urgency of the case; the client’s financial capacity.
By this method, the lawyer notes each service provided in the file and invoices the lump-sum price.
Other methods of calculating fees
There are other methods of calculating fees such as:
→ global lump sum:
The global amount of fees for a case is set as a minimum and/or maximum lump sum: it is agreed that the fees (established by one of the main methods of calculation) will not be lower than a minimum and/or higher than a maximum set in advance
Fees are calculated by combining two or more methods of calculation
The fees consist of a lump sum for a certain period of time (per month, quarter, half-year or year) or for a certain number of cases.
Your lawyer is above all a specialist in law.
He has the required training and experience, whether in consultation or legal proceedings, to enable you to put in place strategies suited to the optimum development of your business, and to avoid disputes within it or with third parties.
3. ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY
Your lawyer is bound to uphold professional secrecy, i.e. he has an obligation of confidentiality by virtue of which he cannot disclose anything he knows or deals with for you. This obligation of confidentiality on the part of the lawyer is total since it arises from the law and it can be punished criminally and professionally.
4. FLEXIBILITY AND SPEED
Your lawyer is a freelance like you.
So you can "use" his services as you require and as you are able. You can therefore limit his presence in your company to a few hours, one or more days a week or month.
Your lawyer is available quickly and you will have greater flexibility than if you hire an employee to provide the same services.
5. AT THE HEART OF YOUR BUSINESS
To serve you well is firstly to understand you and your business, it is to discover it from within, to take account of the nature of the activity being developed, seeing on a daily basis how it operates in real terms, being able to discuss with those involved, staff members and so on. Experiencing the reality of your business will give your lawyer the opportunity to know it better, to know you better and, consequently, to adapt better to your real needs for the legal and organisational solutions he will propose.
There is no particular formality to be observed.
You can perfectly freely agree with your lawyer on a definition of his tasks, his working time, his fees and so on.