Legal fees in German employment law
Is the initial consultation with a lawyer free of charge?
I have decided against offering a free initial consultation, because in my opinion they lead to the lawyer concentrating on selling you his services for a fee and paying less attention to your actual concerns. I offer my initial consultations at a fair and affordable price, usually an initial consultation costs between 100 and 150 Euros. If legal proceedings ensue following an initial consultation, I credit the initial consultation fee in full against the legal fees.
If you contact me, I will let you know what costs you will be faced with. Often I can already give you a short initial assessment of your case, which I will not charge you even if you decide against a consultation.
Where can I get a free consultation on employment law?
To put it plainly: Nowhere.
There are attorneys who advertise free initial consultations or free initial evaluations. It is debatable whether attorneys are allowed to do this. You have to expect that a free consultation may turn out to be a bait-and-switch offer, and that the consultation is all about advertising fee-based services.
Members of trade unions are generally entitled to advice and substitution in matters of labor law. The cost of union legal protection is included in the membership fee. For more information on union legal protection, contact your union or DGB Rechtsschutz GmbH.
Legal protection insurance policies cover the costs of hiring a lawyer. However, these policies must have been taken out before the dispute arose, and legal expenses insurance policies often only cover the costs of a legal dispute after a certain waiting period. There generally is also a deductible of at least 100 Euros.
Can I get free advice at the labor court?
You can file a lawsuit at the labor court in the legal application office. The legal officers there take up the complaint and take care of the wording of the complaint, but they are not allowed to give legal advice.
What does an initial consultation in labor law cost?
I offer an initial consultation in employment law starting at 150 euros.
The initial consultation fee includes the review of your documents, the examination of the legal situation and a personal consultation on the phone or via video call. If you wish, I will summarize the results of our consultation in an e-mail afterwards.
What are the fees for further consultation?
Depending on the scope and complexity of the consultation, additional fees may apply. If it becomes apparent during the course of the consultation that higher fees will be due, I will let you know in good time. For pure consulting services, the fees usually do not exceed 250 euros.
What are the costs for out-of-court representation (for example, for a lawyer’s letter)?
The costs for out-of-court representation, i.e. in general for telephone and written communication with your employer, are generally based on the amount in dispute, i.e. the sum at stake in your legal dispute.
In simple cases – for example, when it is only a matter of asserting a claim by means of a lawyer’s letter – I am also allowed to go below the statutory fees and can offer these services for as little as 200 Euros.
What does a lawyer charge per hour?
In principle, I charge my fees according to the German Lawyers’ Fees Act ( Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsesetz, RVG). The attorney’s fees according to the RVG cover the complete work with a fixed amount.
In more extensive proceedings, I usually agree on an hourly rate for my work. My hourly rate depends on the complexity of the matter.
If you are interested in billing on an hourly basis, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What does legal representation cost?
My fees for court proceedings are based on the German Lawyers’ Fees Act (Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz, RVG). The amount of my fees depends on the so-called amount in dispute, i.e. the sum at stake in the legal dispute and the way the court proceedings end.
The statutory fees are minimum fees, which I may only go below in exceptional cases.
For particularly complex and expensive proceedings, I will only work on the basis of a separate fee agreement.
Who bears the legal fees in labor law?
Out of court and in the first instance before the labor court, each party bears its own costs. This means that you will not be reimbursed by your employer for the costs of my services even if you are completely successful in the legal dispute. Conversely, this provision also protects you from having to reimburse your employer for the costs of his attorney if you lose in court.
Only in the second and third instance does the general rule apply that the losing party must reimburse the winning party for the costs of legal representation.