Experience shows: When debtors in Germany do not fulfil their obligations and legal action becomes inevitable, a lot of creditors abroad fear exploding costs and loss of control of credit management.
Judging from the experience with international lawyers who in general often charge on an hourly basis between 175.00 and 300.00 Euros per hour plus and with the creditor not even knowing how many hours pursuing the debtor might take, it is obvious that it seems likely that costs might easily grow out of all proportion to the principal claim.
Does it really have to be that way in Germany? – No. Whilst it is also true that in Germany a lot of big, prestigious law firms, especially the international ones, charge substantial hourly fees, there are two ways to limit legal costs and make them predictable with a precision to the absolute cent.
Solution 1: The German law on (minimum) lawyer’s remuneration provides a chart of fees which depend on the so-called value in dispute which usually equals the principal claim. There is a fee for debt-recovery out of court and another for the written pleadings in a civil law suit as well as yet another for the hearing together with a 20.00 € lump sum for the attorney’s out-of-pocket expenses for postal and telecommunication services. And that’s it! Your lawyer may have to call and discuss and / or write 2, 5, 10 times but the fees will not rise. He may have to appear in 1, 2 and / or more hearings in court but the fee remains the same. Furthermore, in the case of winning, the debtor has to reimburse you.
Solution 2: In summer 2008, “No win – no fee” also known as “No cure – no pay” has become one legal way for lawyer’s remuneration in Germany. Before this change, it was strictly forbidden. In Germany, however, the legislator adopted this American and British mode. So, here is a way for creditors who have so little belief in the feasibility of their claim that they dare not invest in lawyer’s fees to start legal action. An example could be the case of the debtor company having declared insolvency. I am very experienced in overcoming such difficulties.
Practising since 1998 and specialising in working for clients from abroad, it is one of my primary marketing tools to provide legal services within the legal framework for lower pricing and yet a very high level of efficiency in Germany. Should you need more information, please give me a call or e-mail me.
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