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What does a lawyer cost?

A lawyer receives a fee, supplemented by compensation for expenses incurred. There are no fixed fees. Therefore, make proper arrangements with your lawyer in advance.

Roll of honour

A lawyer receives a fee for his services. They can calculate this according to:

  • Hourly rate: you pay a certain amount per hour that your lawyer works on your case.
  • Value of the case: you pay a certain percentage of the value of the case.
  • Services rendered: you pay according to the importance of the case, the degree of difficulty, the result, etc.
  • Fixed amount: you and your lawyer agree on a fixed amount.
  • Annual contract: companies sometimes work with an annual contract if they provide several cases to the same lawyer.


In addition to his/her fees, a lawyer receives compensation for expenses incurred, such as correspondence, travel expenses and telephone. If the latter assists you in proceedings, you also have to pay court fees, for the court and bailiff.

Free lawyer

Lawyers can act pro bono for litigants whose income is below a certain threshold or assimilated categories (e.g. minors or live-in wage earners). A lawyer then provides full and accurate legal advice, assistance and representation, as for a paying client, whether in the context of proceedings or not. This is called second-line legal assistance or pro bono.

Reimbursement of lawyer's fees

Legal expenses insurance covers lawyers' and experts' fees and costs, and certain court costs. You can take out a separate policy or a legal aid section in addition to your car, home or family insurance.

With a separate more comprehensive legal expenses insurance policy, you insure against the costs of all kinds of legal proceedings. However, for common conflicts such as divorce, most insurers do not intervene. Know that you are always free to choose a lawyer. No insurance can impose a choice on you.


Legal expenses insurance

Legal expenses insurance reimburses certain costs involved in a dispute. Thanks to this insurance, you can stand up for your rights without fear of high costs.

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In proceedings, the losing party must pay a litigation fee. This is a lump-sum compensation for the costs and fees of the lawyer of the party that won. These amounts are laid down by law and depend on the nature and especially the value of the case. A legal expenses insurance can also accommodate this.

Model contract

Document agreements with your lawyer well in advance, so there are no surprises later. If necessary, use this model contract from


  • Ask that your lawyer give you regular updates on the (financial) state of affairs. You may be able to stagger the payment.
  • There are no fixed rates. Make concrete agreements with your lawyer from the start, possibly using this Model contract
  • Check whether you are entitled to a Pro-Deo Lawyer