Information sheet for our clients

I – CASE FOLLOW-UP

We will take utmost care in performing the assignment you have entrusted us. So that we can honour our commitments in your interest, we need you to provide us with all of the information concerning your case when you retain our services.
Our activity is subject to the obligations set by law and the Paris Bar’s Code of Ethics.

II – FEES

In accordance with Article 11.2 of the Paris Bar’s International Rules and Regulations, a lawyer must inform his/her client of the fee terms and conditions upon being retained.

Paris attorneys bill their services at an hourly rate that is between 180 € and 400 € (plus VAT). My hourly rate (excluding VAT) is between 200 € and 300 €. As per Article 11.2 of the Paris Bar’s International Rules and Regulations, the rate applied is based on certain factors such as the nature and difficulty of the case or, as the case may be, the value under dispute. As in all specialised law firms, 70 to 80 % of the fees go towards the firm’s operational costs and therefore do not constitute a profit. The fees invoiced represent the amount of time spent on the matter. Also, when a new case file is opened, we require the payment of an advance on fees and expenses (Article 11.4 of the Paris Bar’s International Rules and Regulations).

Photocopies, faxes, travel expenses and payments made to third parties (courts, administrative offices, court offices…) are billed separately. The same applies to translations. Evidence in other languages must be translated into the language of the French or German court. Our firm works with a highly qualified translator with experience in technical and legal translation. The price for translations is calculated on an hourly basis with a rate of 80 € per hour.

My fees are invoiced at regular intervals. Invoices must be paid within two weeks. They include a description of the services rendered. This invoicing at regular intervals based on time spent provides my clients with a great degree of transparency. They are thus able to monitor the amount of time spent on their case and therefore the cost. For urgent cases or last-minute activities requiring from the lawyer a considerable amount of time, we charge an additional flat rate of 20%. The client can lower the amount of time spent by the lawyer by submitting the documentation requested in a timely fashion and by providing assistance.

If one of our invoices already drawn up and sent to the client needs to be changed, this is only possible within a period of three months after the reception of the invoice. Changes which are required after this dead line are excluded. This applies also to invoices concerning a fiscal year already closed.

If a dispute over the amount of the fees should arise that cannot be resolved amicably, the President of the Paris Bar sets the fees request of one the parties. If this decision is not accepted, the Paris Court of Appeal will rule on the matter.

Please note that, in France, each party is responsible for paying its legal fees and expenses. Nevertheless, the court can order one of the parties to pay a lump sum to the other party. The amount is set at the court’s discretion as damages towards the fees and expenses in connection with the proceedings (Article 700 of the French New Civil Procedure Code). However, this amount only rarely covers the costs actually incurred.

III- PROFESSIONAL CIVIL LIABILITY AND LIMITED LIABILITY

Our firm’s professional civil liability insurance is capped at 8.000.000 € per claim. By retaining us, you accept this limit. If you consider that the amount under dispute in your case (or any future case) could exceed this amount, please let us know in writing so we can take the necessary steps to increase this guarantee.

Information sheet concerning debt collection

Our law firm takes charge of the legal interests of our clients concerning the collection of their claims in France to the following conditions:

I - OUR ACTIVITY

Experience has shown that in France the collection of debts with amounts of less than €5 000 is not cost-effective, given that the ordinary recovery costs, which, in principle, are not refunded are too expensive compared to the recovered amount. That’s the reason why our law firm refrains from collecting claims of an amount of less than €5 000.

  1. Formal notice
    After having received the documents which justify the debt, the lawyer verifies the information concerning the debtor in the Companies Register (equivalent in the UK for "registre de commerce et des sociétés" in France). When the debt seems justified, the lawyer sends to the debtor a formal notice by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
  2. Legal proceedings
    If the claims are high, after the deadline set by him, the lawyer will enforce them by legal proceedings, either by way of an order for payment procedure or by way of action. If the latter applies, the lawyer normally chooses the so-called “procédure en référé”, or summary procedure which enables the lawyer to quickly get a title, provided that the opponent cannot seriously reject the claim (so called absence of serious rejection). Otherwise, we will enforce the claim by way of proceedings in the main action.
    Given that summary procedures and particularly proceedings in the main action trigger off high costs, the lawyer prefers the order for payment procedure for cases with an amount of dispute of less than € 10 000 (instead of proceedings in the main action).
  3. Mandate given to a bailiff
    Once we are in possession of the title, (order in an order for payment procedure or judgement after a trial) we will send it to a locally competent bailiff in order to get it served and enforced by execution. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the bailiff, whose invoices are normally made out according to a scale of fees, is a self-employed professional and as such is entitled to perceive contingency fees.
  4. Translations
    German or English documents, which have to be produced in French courts, are required to be translated into French. If necessary, our certificated translators can translate them, against an adequate remuneration.
  5. Insolvency
    If insolvency proceedings are opened against the debtor, we will file the claims to the official receiver. To enable us to do this, all documents justifying the claim, its origin, exact amount, merits and due dates must be sent to us in duplicate, of which one copy must bear the handwritten note by the manager of the company "copie certifiée conforme à l’original (=certified copy true to the original) as well as his signature. At regular intervals, we will write to the official receiver requesting the state of the proceedings, and this until payment of a dividend, or until the close of the proceedings for lack of assets.

II - LAWYER'S FEES

In France, each party bears, in principle, its own (judicial and extra-judicial) legal fees. In case of proceedings, the court can order one of the parties to pay a lump sum to the other party for those expenses. However, in our experience this sum covers only a small part of the actual lawyer’s fees and expenses (article 700 of the French civil procedure). In the absence of any other formal agreement, our services are charged according to the following rates :

  1. Formal notice
    For this service, the lawyer charges €250, regardless of the amount to be recovered, provided that it is sent to us a brief and clear summary concerning the claim.
  2. Extrajudicial negotiations between the parties
    For negotiations between the parties the lawyer charges a lump sum of €350, upon condition that the time spent by the lawyer does not exceed one hour and a half. Besides, we apply the fees indicated under II c) and II d).
  3. Order for payment procedure
    For this type of procedure, the fees are calculated according to expenditure of time. The hourly rate for the senior lawyer amounts to €290 and €200 for the other lawyers.
  4. Summary procedure or proceedings in the main action
    We charge an amount of €800 for our attending the hearing. The preparation of the necessary applications, pleadings and correspondence is calculated according to expenditure of time. The hourly rate for the senior lawyer amounts to €290 (especially for difficult questions) and €200 for the other lawyers.
  5. Translations
    The price for translations is calculated on an hourly basis with a rate of 80 € per hour.
  6. Insolvency
    For the follow-up of the case during insolvency proceedings, we charge a lump sum of €350 for filing the debt. For the regular correspondence with the official receiver concerning the state of the proceedings, transferring of this information to the clients, the follow-up of the reconstruction proceedings and the regular transfer of the dividends, we apply the fees indicated under II.
  7. Search for the addresses of debtors in France
    Normally, for this type of request we work together with an investigator. For the getting of several estimates from the various investigators we work with, the translation of their reports and the correspondence with clients and the investigator we charge a lump sum of 200 €.

III - EXPENSES IN ADDITION TO THE LAWYER'S FEES

The court fees for order of payment procedures amount to approximately €45 to €50. The order of an extract of the Companies register concerning the debtor’s company which has to be produced in court is charged €75, as this research in the Companies Register can be very time-consuming for our office. This amount also includes the costs for the extract (about €5). The bailiff charges about 100 € for the serving of the payment order.

To this you have to add the above mentioned court expenses and the fees of the bailiff. French civil courts charge an amount of 35 € at the first instance and 150 € at the Court of Appeal and commercial courts charge an additional amount between €50 and €150 for the filing of an application, regardless of the amount of dispute.


2 avenue Trudaine
B.P. 30657 · F-75423 Paris Cedex 09
Tél. (0033)1 42 81 41 51
Fax (0033)1 42 81 49 26
avocats@adam-caumeil.com
www.adam-caumeil.com