Required mission statements and fee agreements
As required by law, all services performed by the firm shall be preceded by a mission statement and fee agreement.
For legal and consulting services, the missions statement lists the client’s expectations, for example, creating a legal corporate structure including certain characteristics or writing up a consultation on the interest of a certain taxation option, etc.
For litigation cases, the mission statement will follow the history of the dispute from beginning to the litigation and may already contain solution options which will act as a useful legal basis to defend the client’s interests, and which will later be explored by the attorney.
For all cases, the fee agreement will define the conditions of calculating fees for diligence (work completed and services rendered), costs paid for and/or advanced by the firm in the client’s interest, and if applicable, the result-contingent fee.
Determining a fee based only on the result is strictly prohibited by French law. Result fees will only be due if damages and interests are awarded and/or in case of savings the client could not enjoy without involvement by the attorney.
Dealing with a “long” case (for example, proceedings before a tribunal then in an appellate court), i.e., usually lasting several years, will be charged in stages as the case progresses with each stage being covered by a detailed invoice.
The attorney will advise which type of billing is best suited for the service rendered: either as a flat fee or at an hourly rate.
Legal protection insurance
We always invite our clients to verify whether they have legal protection insurance.
If so, especially for litigation cases, you are responsible for filing a declaration with your insurer in order to open a case and for asking your insurer to send you an updated list of compensation rates applicable to your policy. That way, for example, depending on their rates and the type of insurance policy, your legal protection could cover the amiable negotiation phase up to €400, proceedings before the tribunal of first instance may be covered up to €1,500, legal expert fees may be covered up to €5,000, or proceedings before an appellate court may be covered up to €1,800, and so on.
Some types of legal protection also cover all or part of legal and consulting services, so we ask all clients to verify what type of insurance policy they hold with their respective insurers.