Law – Attorney's fees – Standard letter

What the law says

Lawyer fees are free. There are no texts or scales that determine exactly what fees a lawyer is allowed to charge you. Therefore, it is necessary to agree on the amount or method of calculating your fee before your intervention. According to Article 10 of the Resolution 2005-790 of July 12, 2005, the lawyer is obliged to inform you of the methods of their determination. In case of insurmountable disagreements at this stage, refrain from assigning responsibility to him.

It is possible that the lawyer will ask you for a fixed fee or prefer to work on a time basis, ask for retainers throughout the process and the balance when the case is closed. According to the law of August 6, 2015, it is mandatory to sign a fee agreement, which precisely regulates the determination of the fee. As an exception, it is possible not to regulate the fee agreement: in case of force majeure, in case of urgent necessity, when the lawyer intervenes within the framework of full legal aid or in a non-judicial procedure (Article 10 of the Law). .O 71-1130 of December 31, 1971). Article 10 of Decree 2005-790 of July 12, 2005 establishes criteria that, in the absence of a fee agreement, make it possible to assess whether the amount of fees requested is excessive. These are: custom, complexity of the case, costs incurred due to the lawyer's reputation and diligence.

What can you do?

After discussing these costs with the attorney in charge, you have the option of contacting the President of the Bar Association. The latter is the guarantor of professional ethics and discipline in the bar. Competent to consider disputes regarding their remuneration.

Decree 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 defines the procedure applicable to Articles 174 and following.

The procedure

Send the letter by certified mail to the president of the bar in whose jurisdiction your attorney practices. After receiving your request, the President will summon you in the presence of your former lawyer and make a decision within four months by registered letter.

We will inform you about this within the next fifteen days.

In the absence of an answer or if you are not satisfied with this answer, you can appeal the President's decision to the First President of the Court of Appeal by mail within one month after its submission. The latter decides by order.

good to know
An appeal to the President of the Bar, like the First President of the Court of Appeals, is not a mediator, but a judicial process that leads to a judgment that can be enforced and that can impose court costs on you.

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This sample letter was written by the UFC-Que Choisir Legal Information Service. Staffed by lawyers, it answers questions from Que Choisir subscribers to let them know what to do to deal with most of the consumer problems they may encounter in their daily lives: defective products and unsatisfactory services, insurance or banking disputes, tenant-landlord disputes, co-ownership questions etc.

Attention: This letter template is not intended to replace the personalized advice we may provide to you local associations or by legal professionals. Its purpose is to offer you an argument that you think is relevant to your situation.

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