The lawyer will invoice his fees. Apart from that the costs must be reimbursed.
This can be discussed at the beginning of a case, where agreements can be made about the fee. This can be a flat fee, an hourly fee or all other ways of payment, such as a tariff varying according to the height of the claim. A success fee can be agreed upon. This system means that when a certain preset result is obtained, a certain amount or percentage can be added to the agreed basic fee. In case of appeal procedures, a supplementary fee will be due.
Do not hesitate to discuss the matter of the fee with the lawyer of your choice.
However the lawyer retains the right, before engaging himself in the procedure, or during events, to ask payment of a provision fee.
You will always receive an invoice, also for provisions, possibly after payment of these will have been taken care of.
As far as the costs are concerned, distinction must be made between the legal costs, administrative costs and the costs of third parties.
Legal costs are costs such as court taxes, costs of obtaining an executory title, copy of penal files, etc. Generally the lawyer will make the advance and settle them immediately.
However this does not mean that they must not be reimbursed.
Administrative costs are all internal costs made for a file (starting up electronic and paper file, imputing all file data, costs of correspondence (letters, mails), national phone calls, fax, internet communication, copy service,..). Generally speaking the whole of these costs will be charged at a flat rate of 10 euros/page. Huge amounts of photocopies (0,25€/copy) or copies in color (0,35€/copy) are to be charged separately.
The same goes for international phone calls which will be charged at cost and international travel costs which will be charged on the bases of invoices and a rate of 0,40€/km, as indicated by the invoices or receipts of the respective transporting companies. International phone calls will be charged at cost and if so requested, after producing the invoice of the telephone company.
Costs of third parties, such as fees of bailiffs, court surveyors, experts, notaries, sworn translators etc. are due on the basis of the invoice of this third party. Generally speaking they will bill your directly for their services. If the lawyer advances these costs, he shall ask you to refund them.
Lawyers in Belgium are subject to the value added tax (VAT) since the 1st of January 2014. All amounts, both fees as costs, will therefore be increased with the actual VAT tariff, at present 21%.
The invoice conditions provide for the payment of the invoice within 14 working days. In case of overdue payment interest shall be payable at the legal interest rate. An automatic and contractually agreed penalty for late payment of 10% will be due.
With respect to any disputes about fees, the Antwerp Bar Association has its own regulations. Should you make use of the mediation procedure provided under these regulations, the Antwerp Bar Association will charge you an amount of 50 euros.
Some lawyers of BOUTELIGIER JANSSENS GROUPING OF LAWYERS offer legal second line assistance (pro deo). On www.balieantwerpen.be you can check whether or not you could apply for these services. If it is not clear, do not hesitate to address yourself to the lawyer you wish to consult.