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lawyers fees

Posted by Service-199708 - Created: 5 years ago
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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by Service-199708 - 5 years ago

Thanks very much Sqeaky and Snowqueen for your replies on this one.

It seems awkward and almost disrespectful to ask a lawyer about detailed fees even though you would automatically ask a garage or a builder.

But by experience I can confirm that it is vitally necessary.

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Posted by Squeaky-882728 - 5 years ago

PS I should have said if you didn't get a detailed list in advance of how the fees will be calculated you could alternatively have asked for a devis for the entire case but avocats are normally very reluctant to put this in writing because they can't predict if there will be more work involved than that originally estimated.  It's unfortunately wide open to precisely the situation you find yourselves in. You'll have nothing to prove his fees are unjustified.

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Posted by Squeaky-882728 - 5 years ago

This subject crops up frequently.  Like everything else in France, you need to get the fees in writing in advance.  Amount per hour for meetings, amount for writing a letter, amount for receiving and dealing with correspondence from the other side, cost to be represented at a Tribunal, etc.

My son had 100% legal aid and after the court case the lawyer sent him (he was only 18 and no income) a bill for 500 euros for 'additional services'.  I used it to light the barbecue and have never heard another word. 

To complain about an avocat(e)'s fees or professionalism you have to write to Le Bâtonnier de l'Ordre des Avocats.  You can get the adress for the one in your area from pagesjaunes.fr.

Did you put your request in writing (in French) and send it LRAR?  If so, copy this with your letter to the Batonnier.

Just a word of caution.  If the case is still 'live' and you wish another avocat to take it up, your original lawyer isn't obliged to release the dossier without a hefty fee and the new avocat normally will charge a 'starter' fee of around 500 euros + just to review the file.  I know this from translating for someone else in a similar situation.  I couldn't find an avocat anywhere who was prepared to take on the case without an initial review fee, following on from that their charges as per usual.

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Posted by snowqueen-191196 - 5 years ago

Most local mairies offer a conciliation service, which is free. You need to contact your mairie and ask to have a meeting with their conciliateur, who is usually a retired lawyer. Hope this helps.