The firm’s fees are determined with the client with transparency. In fact, in compliance with the ethical rules guiding the profession, fees are not fixed until an estimate has been accepted by the client. The principle according to which the fees are freely fixed is provided by the law N°71-1130 dated December the 31st of 1971.
The firm assures that the fees matter will be addressed at the very first appointment (charged 75 euros, a fixed price including all taxes), as soon as the legal issue has been discussed and put aside. The most adequate payment method to the specific case’s circumstances will always be recommended by Ariane Rooryck-Sarret.
A Fees Agreement will be established with the client to materialize the services offered by the firm in the case and the choice made between the following payment method available:
- Fees fixed on a time-spent basis: the amount of fees asked to the client will depend on the amount of time spent on the case and on the hourly rate performed by the firm. When that type of fees is chosen, Ariane Rooryck-Sarret will give the client an estimated amount of hours needed for the specific case. Moreover, a detail account will be handed out to the client.
- Fixed-price fees: this formula, this type of fees is mostly chosen when the case that will have to be dealt with is common and the lawyer does not expect to face any unforeseeable event during the proceedings. As a consequence, the lawyer is able, in advance, to come to an agreement with the client on the fixed price for the entirety of the proceedings. Fixed price fees will be appropriate for uncontested divorce cases for instance.
- Fees amount variation depending on the result: when expressly provided by the fees agreement, when a specific result expected by a client is achieved, a bonus (additional payment) may supplement the minimum fees fixed (fixed price basis, or time spent basis) may be due to the lawyer. However, it is mandatory to establish beforehand a basic fee, as a lawyer cannot be remunerated only according to that payment method.
Legal Protection: if you acquire a legal protection as part of an insurance contract, then the insurance company may bear the firm’s fees. In that case, the insurance company cannot choose a lawyer on the client’s behalf. Indeed, the client is still free to choose his or her own lawyer.
Legal aid: you are eligible to a total or partial legal aid if your monthly income does not exceed certain montain. Individual incomes are taken into consideration, the couple’s incomes as a whole would be taken into consideration if you are married or pacsed. Nevertheless, in case of a divorce litigation, your incomes will be taken into account individually. If you have one dependents, then those sums may increase (like the two first dependents and then for each of the following ones). However, legal aid do not cover for legal costs, pleading fees (13 euros), affidavits, or any other fees that arose from the proof establishment needed for the trail to come.
To know when and where to apply for legal aid, please go to “Useful Links”
Reimbursement of your fees by the opposing party: following a legal dispute, in accordance to the articles 700 of the Civil Procedure Code and 451-1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the judge can sentence the opposing party to repay your legal costs.
Moreover, the judge can order a party to pay a certain amount of money to the lawyers' opposing party to compensate him or her for accepting a legal aid case. That amount of money being equivalent to the normal lawyers' fees if she or he would have not accepted to be paid by the State's legal aid.