FEES

I.

The fees for our work as lawyers are, in all cases, based on the regulations of the Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz (lawyers fees' act).

The following remarks on the remuneration structure under the act are only intended to give you a general overview. As not all conceivable constellations and services subject to a charge can be covered here, please understand the following information as a non-binding guideline only. We can only provide binding information on the anticipated fees of a case in the specific individual instance on the basis of a request.

Litigation:

The fees incurred for representing a client in proceedings at a local or regional court or a labour court depend on the value of the matter, also known as the amount in controversy. If an action has been brought for payment of a debt, the amount of the claim and the amount in controversy are identical. If the amount in controversy is known, the amount of the fee can be seen from an official table of fees. The number of individual fees that arise and whether a fee is charged in full or only a fraction is charged depends on the nature of the work the lawyer has carried out. The actual amount of the fee is expressed in decimal points.

A procedural fee (Verfahrensgebühr) of the 1.3 fold of the full fee is charged for legal representation in lower courts. Here the extent of the work of the lawyer and the time it has taken is not relevant. If the lawyer files an action or replies to an action brought by the opposing party, a procedural fee is incurred. The procedural fee for the second instance amounts to 1.6. A further fee (Terminsgebühr - fee for attending a court hearing) is incurred when a hearing has taken place. It amounts to 1.2 in both the first and the second instances.

Settlement:

If a settlement is obtained - even if for part of the claims in dispute only - a settlement fee of 1.0 arises, for the second instance the fee is 1.3. If a settlement is achieved before the matter is taken to court, a settlement fee of 1.5 is charged.

Out-of-court representation:

If the lawyer has already represented the client out of court, for example by sending a payment demand prior to bringing an action, a statutory fee (Geschäftsgebühr) is charged. The lawyer can set the amount of this fee with a factor between 0.5 and 2.5 at his reasonably exercised discretion. Generally speaking, the lawyer can claim what is known as a mean fee of 1.5. The lawyer may not charge a fee with a factor above 1.3 unless the out-of-court work was very time consuming or complex. One half of the statutory fee counts towards the procedural fee for the ensuing court proceedings, however only up to 0.75 of the statutory fee.

Proceedings for recovery of a debt:

If the client does not want to sue but institute proceedings for recovery of a debt, a procedural fee of 1.0 is made for the application for a court notice to pay a debt and a procedural fee of 0.5 for an application for a judicial order for execution.

Other fees:

If a lawyer represents a number of clients in the same case, each fee will only be incurred once. However an additional fee of 0.3 will be charged for each additional person.

Fees due to a lawyer for providing legal advice or providing a written legal opinion have no longer been set by law since 01 July 2006. The fees that had been applicable until then were abolished. Thus the lawyer should conclude a fee agreement with his client. Should he fail to do so, he is only entitled to a standard fee. Should the amount be disputed, it will ultimately be decided by a court of law on the strength of an expert opinion. If the client is a consumer, the maximum fee is €250.00 net, for an initial consultation a maximum of €190 net. In both cases the lawyer can charge the client for reimbursement of expenses and VAT.

Thus we ask our clients to conclude a fee agreement with us before we begin our work on their behalf, in order to ensure maximum certainty and transparency on the question of costs.

Apart from the fees he charges for his work, the lawyer can claim reimbursement of his telephone costs and postage. Unless these costs are itemised, the lawyer can charge a flat rate of 20% of the fees or a maximum of €20.00. The lawyer may also bill a client separately for, as an example, costs incurred by copying court files on behalf of his client.

II.

Apart from fees based on the lawyers' fees act, an agreement on fees based on an hourly rate is also possible or an agreement on a flat rate based on the anticipated amount of work that can be estimated with a degree of reliability.

Please do not hesitate to put your questions about fees and costs to us so that together we can develop a structure that best suits both the client and the case.

If no agreement to the contrary is concluded (time-based or flat-rate fee), we always charge for our services on the statutory basis of the lawyers' fees act.

Links to relevant web sites:
http://www.brak.de/fuer-verbraucher/kosten/
http://www.justiz.nrw.de/BS/Hilfen/Kostenrechner.php

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