In accordance with appropriate legislation our fees are set on a case by case basis.
In France there are no set hourly fee rates, nor maximum fees nor fixed-fee quotations for legal services.
At our very first client meeting an agreement is reached on a fee charging method.
The fees are negotiated for each individual case (consultation, drafting documents, assistance and representation before the court, etc.) and are the subject of a written or oral agreement between both parties.
Fees vary according to the complexity of the affair, time and labour involved, research to be made, number of languages to be used and the particular client’s requirements etc.
Generally, we charge a fee set according to the time spent and based on an hourly rate defined according to the criteria above. Each client receives an invoice indicating the time spent and description of completed tasks. Initially we are able to give clients a general idea, based on our experience, as to what the total fee may be depending on the circumstances at that time. However, fees can easily vary if circumstances change, which they often do. We, of course, keep our clients informed about any change in circumstances which would cause the fees to significantly increase.
When a client requires regular consistent legal representation, in particular for corporate matters, we suggest the client to conclude a contract of subscription. This method of fee setting allows the client to retain our services for a regular fee payment lasting the duration of a given agreement.
In some situations, we may charge a one-time fee known as a flat fee to complete any work on the case from beginning to end. These are mostly in matters of company incorporation or contract drafting.
Additional Contingency Fee Arrangement
It is however legally possible to determine an additional contingency fee, which would be set as a complement to a fixed fee. It is therefore possible to set a “minimum” fee (which is generally a flat fee), which would then be accrued to a percentage of the amount recovered or to a fee is the case is successful. The additional contingency fee may be either a fixed fee or it can depend on the result obtained using a percentage of the amount won or economy made in comparison to the claim of the other party.
Whilst working on difficult cases, we may propose the client proceed on an additional contingency basis.
Upon appointment to act on any matter, we issue an interim invoice for fees and costs. The amount and details of such invoices are decided in negotiations with the client prior to appointment.
The fee is set between the lawyer and the client and the agreement may be oral or written.
In case of limited standard legal services, the fee is general fixed orally.
If the case is more complex and time consuming or if it involves different aspects of French Law then we systematically establish a written fee agreement.
Whatever the nature of legal services required, we put the agreement in a written contract if the client so wishes.
We are required to have a written fee contract when working on an additional contingency basis.
Value-added Tax (VAT)
Fees are subjected to 20% French Value-added Tax (VAT) on consumer services and goods. The amount of VAT will be added to all amounts charged or estimated.
Legal services for corporate clients established in European Union are invoiced without French VAT, provided these clients have an intra-EU VAT number.
A lawyer’s fee, however, is not subjected to French VAT when a client is established out of France or another European Union Member State.
Terms of Payment
Accounts may be paid by check, bank transfer or in cash. In all cases, supporting documents are sent to the client.