Our Fees

The German laws pertaining to the remuneration of a German attorney-at-law (Rechtsanwalt) are complicated. We therefore recommend that you contact us about the remuneration at the beginning of the assignment. Included below is a description of our general billing policy

Initial Consultation

As a general rule, we recommend beginning our engagement with an initial consultation (Erstberatung). An initial consultation provides the perspective client with the opportunity to get to know us and determine whether to engage our services further. For an initial consultation (up to one hour) we charge EUR 190 plus 19 % German value added tax if applicable (not applicable for U.S. clients and clients from many other non-EU countries). An initial consultation includes the initial review of the basic documents (e.g. Will or trust document) in preparation for the initial consultation. However, should the volume of documents presented for review be extensive and require a significant dedication of time, we reserve the right to request by email an increased fee prior to the initial consultation (not thereafter).

Remuneration without an Agreement

If you wish to further retain us and no remuneration agreement is executed, we will charge the scale fee as determined under the Law on the Remuneration of Attorneys (Gesetz über die Vergütung der Rechtsanwältinnen und Rechtsanwälte - RVG). Such scale fee will depend on the value of your interest in the matter, the time spent, the qualification of the lawyer, the complexity of the matter and other factors. In tax matters, the rules of the RVG refer to the Remuneration Ordinance for Tax Consultants, Tax Representatives and Tax Consultancy Companies (StBVV), so that we bill accordingly.

Remuneration Agreements

Once we have familiarized ourselves with your case by engaging in an initial consultation, we will discuss a reasonable renumeration agreement. Generally, we enter into the following remuneration agreements:

  • Time fee agreements:  The majority of matters are subject to a fee agreement in which we charge an hourly fee. However, in many cases we will charge no less than the scale fee as the scale fee as minimum fee is mandatory under § 4 RVG for representation in a German court (e.g. for obtaining a certificate of inheritance). In estate planning matters or for preparing a legal memorandum we do not charge the scale fee but only the time fee. The hourly rate depends on the qualification and experience of the lawyer and the complexity of the matter.
  • Flat fee agreement: If we can estimate the scope of the services required, we may agree to a flat fee. Since it is generally not feasible for the lawyer to estimate all costs at the time of engagement, this arrangement tends to be an exception. Regardless, a "security surcharge" or a retainer is generally required.
  • Contingency fee agreements: We offer contingency fee agreements when permissible under German law and the arrangement lends itself to such an agreement.