Although it is not always straightforward determining the cost of a particular case, this point is always broached at the first meeting with the client.

The basic principle is that our fees are not fixed but are decided on in agreement with the client.
Since September 2015, it has become compulsory to establish a written agreement giving details of the calculation methods used for determining the lawyer’s fees.

Our fees are based on the complexities involved in each case as well as the time devoted, the specialization required and the experience of the lawyer. Any additional costs incurred would also form part of the fees.

In practice and apart from specific cases involving Legal Aid,
four invoicing methods may be envisaged:

1. « Time-spent basis » fees

At the end of the case, the fees are calculated by multiplying the time spent on the case by an hourly rate which will have been predetermined between the lawyer and the client.

2. « Fixed price » fees

Particularly adapted to « standard » procedures which are unlikely to encounter unexpected eventualities, the fees are determined in detail beforehand.

3. Contingency fees

Unlike in some countries and in particular the United States, the system of « pactum de quota litis », is prohibited in France. That is to say, a contract between a lawyer and client which stipulates that payment of fees will only be due should the case be won.
However, it is possible to settle a contingency fee arrangement and this must be agreed on by the parties beforehand.
In this case, the lawyer receives a « minimum » fee to which a « complementary » fee is added, should the predefined result be achieved.
The complementary fee may be a fixed price or proportional, linked to the result.

4. The subscription

Where a client requires occasional and regular legal advice, a subscription contract (generally annual) is the most adapted solution.
In practice, this formula is particularly suited to companies which determine, in a written agreement with their lawyer, the accounting methods for the services provided.
Regardless of the remuneration system that is agreed upon, the lawyer is entitled to request the payment of a retainer at the opening of each case.

Frequently asked questions

Although the role of a lawyer is often seen as someone who pleads, if is important to note that a lawyer also plays a major role as an advisor.
In the majority of legal cases, a lawyer’s intervention often takes place after the event in question « a posteriori ». However, in the preparation of a major complex business project, lawyers take on the very important role of an advisor before any action is taken by the client.

The sooner the lawyer in contacted the quicker they can analyse the management and complexity of the case.
In the infrequent case where a client believes that legal action is necessary, the lawyer will advise a more appropriate course of action and possibly suggest a later date of intervention. These early stages of action on the lawyer’s part are vital and in the best interest of the client.

The number of lawyers in France and in Paris is such that it is sometimes difficult to make a choice.
Once the criteria of competence and location have been satisfied, you may contact several professionals in order to choose the one with whom you feel most assured.
Your lawyer is a legal professional, he or she is also someone that should be listening to your needs and in whom you must have complete confidence.

After the first telephone interview during which you will have been able to briefly state your problem, the lawyer will give you the list of documents required for the first face to face appointment.
At the end of that meeting, the lawyer will be able to explain the various possible strategies and the conditions for implementing each one.

The remuneration of a lawyer is composed of two parts:
- the emoluments, fees and disbursements which are regulated and due when the lawyer intervenes before the courts where his presence is mandatory,
- the fees, which constitute the unregulated part of his remuneration.
The question of the fees is discussed at the first appointment. Although there are several possible modes of remuneration (see « fees »), the same principle of transparency applies in all cases.