In accordance with the Judicial Code (Art. 446ter) the lawyer must estimate the fees with the discretion expected of his profession, and that estimate must be fair and reasonable. According to the rules of the Bar, the lawyer may not advance costs, such as legal expenses (summons, court registration costs, etc.); this implies that a retainer will be asked to cover these expenses.

In general, there are 3 methods to calculate the applicable fees:

1. fee per unit of time, this is an amount per chargeable (part of an) hour for services provided. The rate depends on the specific aspects of the case. The tariff will be decided in the beginning of the professional relationship and will not be adapted, unless both the lawyer and the client agree to it. In general and unless another tariff is agreed upon, the hourly fee is set at 200 (+VAT if applicable). For complicated or urgent matters or extremely simple cases the hourly tariff may be respectively higher or lower.

2. fee related to the value of the case, in other words, charging a percentage of the value of the case expressed in money. To calculate the value of the case, both the principal and the interests must be taken into account.
Unless agreed otherwise in writing, the following percentages apply (with a minimum of 500):


from 0 to 9.000 :
from 9.001 to 75.000 :
from 75.001 to 150.000 :
from 150.001 to 250.000 :
above 250,000 :


< 50.000 : 15% on the value of the case
> 50.000 : 10% on the value of the case

These percentages apply to the amounts that the client has won or saved.

Here too, corrections or other coefficients may apply.
When the claim is manifestly unfounded, or if the amount claimed is manifestly excessive, the lawyer will not apply the percentage on the clearly excessive or unfounded part of the claim.
The percentage is reduced by half if the claim is undisputed. The plaintiff's lawyer reduces the percentage by at least half of the rejected part of the claim, and the defendant's lawyer reduces the percentage by at least half of the amount of the claim awarded to the plaintiff.

In case of appeal, the fees are increased by 50%.

3. fee related to the nature of the case, i.e. a fixed amount per service or series of services. However, this method can only be used in some specific cases. If applicable, the amount will be discussed beforehand.


If the case is won, the defendant has to pay a compensation that covers (at least part of) the fees. The calculation of the compensation depends on the amount due; an example: an award into 40.000 leads to a basic compensation of 2.500.


Besides fees, there are also expenses. They are charged separately to the client. Expenses are amounts that the lawyer incurs in carrying out a task assigned to him on behalf of the client.
Expenses: summons, court expenses, such as court registration, judgment costs, translation costs, etc. The exact amount is charged.

Other office expenses:
- Opening (registration) file: 30
- Closing file 30
- Secretary costs: 11/item (= 1 typed page or 1 mail)
- Travel expenses: 0,60/km
- In-house translation: EUR 0,04 /character
- Photocopies: 0,20 /copy

The office expenses for the opening and closing of the file, the typing, printing and photocopy costs, postage expenses and varied office expenses may also be charged at a flat rate based on 8 % of the fees charged.