Costs and honorary fees
Lawyers are paid honorary fees plus a payment to cover their costs incurred, such as correspondence, travel and telephone costs. These fees and costs can be calculated in a number of ways:
- Based on an hourly rate: the lawyer works out how many hours they spent on the case and multiplies them by the hourly rate. You can ask them to keep you up to date on how many hours they have spent. The hourly rates lawyers charge depend on a number of things, such as their experience and expertise, whether the matter is urgent and what the nature of the matter is.
- Based on the value of the case: the client pays a given percentage.
- Based on services performed: the client pays an amount depending on the work done, the importance and difficulty of the case, the results and the urgency.
- Fixed fee: the client and lawyer agree on an all-in lump-sum fee.
- Annual contract: this method is often used by companies who employ the same lawyer on different matters.
Payment by results alone (“no win, no fee”) agreements are not allowed.
You can ask your lawyer to estimate their costs and fees in advance and agree on that. Or visit the Flemish Bar Association’s website for a model contract.