Fees cannot be agreed to and paid without complete transparency and a perfect understanding on the part of the client of the particulars of invoicing.
This is the reason why we have resolved to provide our clients with prior information regarding amounts of provisions and fees or the means to calculate them, by means of reference to the situation of the client, the time spent, the nature as well as the complexity of the case.
In France, Law no. 2015-990 of 6 August 2015 on growth, business and equal economic opportunity (the so-called “Macron Act”) entered into force on 8 August 2015. Some of its provisions directly concern the exercise of the profession of lawyer. This is the case as regards provisions thereunder relating to job applications made by lawyers, the opening of secondary offices, and for setting and monitoring fees.
We provide our clients with a fee agreement that complies with the “Macron Act”, which provides for invoicing particulars based on time spent by lawyers and, where applicable, on contingency fees.
Lump-sum fees excluding VAT, expenses and disbursements may be agreed – for the drafting of legal instruments or for the conduct of specific categories of litigation when the practice has sufficient knowledge of a matter to estimate the time that might be spent on the assignment, if all goes to plan, in order to assume its share of risk. Said risk may also be remunerated by means of a contingency fee that is determined by joint agreement. In this case, the practice’s fees will comprise a fixed lump-sum fee and a variable fee that depends on an unknown factor, namely the contingency fee.
The Ordre des Avocats (Bar Council, one for each Bar in France) and more recently still the “Macron Act” have prohibited fee agreements that remunerate lawyers exclusively on the basis of the outcomes obtained for clients.