MAÎTRE BAS A.S. VAN LEEUWEN contrôle en outre si vous entrez en ligne de compte pour une aide judiciaire (toevoeging) du Conseil de l’aide juridictionnelle. Si c’est le cas, vous ne paierez qu’une ‘contribution propre’ et des droits de greffe éventuels. C’est de cette façon que votre avocat a aidé un grand nombre de ses clients.
If you’d prefer to rule out any financial surprises at the end of the day, the best option is to agree beforehand on a set price. In most cases, it’s fairly straightforward to divide a case into a number of separate components. By estimating the amount of time we are likely to spend on each component, and then factoring in any additional expenses (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses such as registry fees and bailiff’s charges), we can propose a price for each one. Thanks to our extensive experience, we’re pretty good at estimating beforehand how much time things are likely to take.
Although success may not be guaranteed, what we can guarantee is that we’ll do our very best to obtain the best possible result for you. Under their professional code of conduct, Dutch lawyers are forbidden from entering into ‘no cure, no pay’ deals. What we can do, however, is to agree beforehand on the hourly rates we charge as a function of the results obtained in your particular case. In other words, we agree up front on two hourly rates, a high rate and a low rate. If we do not obtain the result you want, for example if the court rules against you, we charge the lower of the two rates. If we’re successful, however, as when the court rules in your favour, we charge the higher of the two rates.
We can of course charge you in the conventional manner if you’d prefer us to do so. In that case, we keep a careful record of the amount of time we spend on your case and send you a monthly invoice based on this. Our hourly rates range from €120 to €330 and we agree beforehand on the rate on which our invoices will be based.
Have you taken out legal aid insurance? In that case you have the right to choose your own lawyer, at the insurer’s expense, if you are involved in a judicial or administrative procedure. That is what the Court of Justice of the European Union has decided. You also have this right to freely choose a lawyer if it is not mandatory to engage a lawyer (e.g. cases before the sub-district court). The Court of Justice has ruled that dismissal proceedings before the UWV are considered an ‘administrative procedure’. In that case, too, you have the right to choose a lawyer yourself, at the insurer’s expense.
A fixed 7% office charge is added to the lawyer’s fee to cover certain office expenses that are difficult to itemise (such as postage, photocopying and secretarial support). Most of these expenses are liable to VAT.
If we end up litigating on your behalf, your lawyer will tell you beforehand about any out-of-pocket legal expenses that may be incurred. These include costs incurred in calling witnesses and experts, and also costs such as registry fees, bailiff’s charges and travel expenses. Your lawyer will also inform you in advance of the financial risks involved. You should bear in mind that the court may order the losing party to pay the costs.
In principle, we invoice you on a monthly basis, thus enabling you to keep track of the costs of your case. Each invoice is accompanied by an itemised list of the activities we have performed for you, so as to keep you fully up to date with the status of your case and to help you decide on the next step. The invoice consists of lawyer’s fees, a fixed office charge, out-of-pocket legal expenses and VAT.