What budget to invest to hire a lawyer?


Initiating legal proceedings is never pleasant or easy, but in your daily life you may need to hire a lawyer. But be careful, because the use of a lawyer can quickly prove to be very expensive if this choice is taken lightly. The rate of their fees can indeed climb very quickly, fortunately there are ways to be able to properly manage your expenses.

Unregulated and variable fees

In French law, there is no form whatsoever of a framework or regulation of lawyers’ fees. The latter set the amount of these themselves and invoice them to their client following an hourly rate logic applied to an allotted number of hours, or to an overall lump sum payment for part or all of their benefits. It is the supply market that dictates prices, and this market is, like all markets, structured by many economic factors. Moreover, many ancillary costs must be added to this base, particularly operating costs relating to the opening of the file, travel or communication costs, etc. Finally, additional fees may be added depending on the result of the procedure and the client’s financial situation at the end of the latter. Suffice to say that the budget to be provided must be considered well before signing the agreement necessary to launch the collaboration.

What criteria to make your choice?

Among the many criteria that influence the price of a lawyer’s fees, there is the lawyer’s status (a partner is generally paid more than an associate, who is himself more expensive than a lawyer), the notoriety of his firm and its geographical location (the price of a Parisian lawyer is on average 30% higher than a provincial lawyer). The scale for calculating fees also takes into account the complexity of the case for which the lawyer is requested, the average resolution time for the type of conflict concerned, but also the financial situation of the client who requests it. For example, a divorce by mutual consent is generally invoiced between 1,200 and 1,500 euros, and up to 4,000 in the event of litigation to be settled. Often, lawyers propose, during the first meeting, to establish an overall estimate billed to the client, and which will be deducted thereafter from the amount of the total fees, to allow the client to have a better idea of ​​the costs to be to hire.

Aid and guarantees to finance the call for a lawyer

Faced with these sometimes prohibitive costs, there are aid mechanisms from the State to support complainants in their procedures. The main one is legal aid, which allows the state to cover part or all of the services billed by the lawyer, with the client having to pay only the remainder. It is allocated subject to means testing and is structured in three levels of support: 25% of lawyer’s fees, 55% or 100% for full legal aid. Some multi-risk home insurance contracts also include a legal protection guarantee which can also provide financial support in the case of certain procedures, such as amicable divorce, real estate expertise or neighborhood disputes. Check in your contract if your insurance offers one and if your case is not part of the warranty exclusions.

(By the writing of the agency hREF)

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