Costs

Germany

This page provides you with information about judicial costs in Germany. For a more in-depth analysis on the costs of proceedings, please consult the following case studies: Family law - Divorce Family law – custody of the children Family law – alimony Commercial law – contract Commercial law – responsibility

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Germany

Regulatory framework governing fees of legal professions

Lawyers

Germany has a single profession of ‘lawyer’ [Rechtsanwalt] and does not distinguish between lawyers, solicitors, barristers or advocates.

In Germany, lawyers’ fees are charged either in accordance with the Lawyers’ Remuneration Act [Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz] (RVG) or on the basis of fee agreements. In principle, fee agreements are always possible as an alternative to the statutory charges. However, the provisions of § 49b of the Federal Lawyers Code [Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung] (BRAO)] and §§ 3a to 4b of the Lawyers’ Remuneration Act must be respected. In particular, if the lawyer represents the client in court, the agreed fees cannot be less than those laid down by law. Remuneration higher than that prescribed by law may be agreed at any time.

The remuneration schedule attached to the RVG (Annex 1 to the RVG) prescribes either fixed fees or fee ranges applicable to individual activities. The fee level is normally determined by reference to the value of the claim. The ranges of fees based on claim value stipulate the maximum and minimum fee rate payable. The actual fee levels based on claim value are set out in the fees table (Annex 2 to the RVG). In each case, the appropriate fee from the prescribed range must be determined ex aequo et bono, taking into account all the circumstances, in particular the scope and difficulty of the work involved, the importance of the case and the client’s income and financial circumstances. If the lawyer incurs a particular risk of liability, this may also be taken into consideration in the assessment of his or her fees. Fee ranges with statutory maximum and minimum amounts apply in a number of special fields, notably criminal cases and matters of social law.

Bailiffs

Bailiffs [Gerichtsvollzieher] only charge the costs stipulated in the Bailiffs’ Costs Act [Gerichtsvollzieherkostengesetz] (GvKostG)]. A set fee is prescribed for each individual activity carried out by the bailiff.

Fixed costs

Fixed costs in civil proceedings

Fixed costs for litigants in civil proceedings

Usually, the court receives a court fee, calculated according to the value of the claim. In civil cases it is determined by the Court Costs Act [Gerichtskostengesetz] (GKG] and the Court Costs (Family Matters) Act [Gesetz über Gerichtskosten in Familiensachen] (FamGKG). The fee rates are set out in the schedule of costs (Annex 1 to the relevant Act). The fees are set out by claim value in the table of fees (Annex 2 to the relevant act). For general civil proceedings and those concerning family conflict, in particular for maintenance‑related matters, the fee rate is 3.0. For marital matters it is 2.0 and for matters relating to children, including parental custody and access, the fee rate is 0.5. The value of the proceedings is determined as follows:

  • For marital matters, the value of the proceedings is determined at the court's discretion on the basis of the specific circumstances of each individual case, in particular the scale and importance of the matter, and the relative income and wealth of the spouses. Income is calculated on the basis of three times the net income of both spouses. Usually, the court fixes the value of the proceedings at three times the net income.
  • For matters concerning family conflict, the value usually depends on the value of the claim. For maintenance matters, the value is based on the future maintenance payments claimed, at most the amount for one year. Arrears incurred up until the application was filed are included in the calculation.
  • For matters relating to children, including parental custody and access, the fee rate is EUR 3 000.

If no agreement is reached, the fees for court representation by a lawyer are calculated on the basis of the value of the claim. The value of the claim usually corresponds to the value of the proceedings which is set in order to determine the court fees. The Lawyers’ Remuneration Act [Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz] (RVG) sets out precisely which fees can be calculated at which rate for which type of procedure. Annex 2 to the RVG sets out the fees by claim value. For the first instance of civil matters, lawyers usually receive a court fee of 1.3 times the rate and a consultation fee of 1.2 times the rate. For a settlement agreement at first instance, lawyers also receive a settlement fee at a rate of 1.0.

Stage of civil proceedings at which fixed costs must be paid

For general civil matters, maintenance matters and marital matters, the court fees are paid when the action is brought or the application is filed. For family matters, they are due at the end of the proceedings. Providing nothing else has been agreed, lawyers are remunerated for services rendered on completion of their brief. However, they have the statutory right to an advance.

Fixed costs in criminal proceedings

Fixed costs for litigants in criminal proceedings

In criminal cases, court costs are not levied until the sentence has been handed down. The level of the fee is determined by reference to the penalty imposed, and ranges between EUR 120 and EUR 900. If no fee agreement has been concluded, the lawyer, whether as defence counsel or as representative of a co-prosecutor, receives fees for particular milestones defined in a framework which the law requires to be drawn up for this purpose in each case. The amount of each milestone is prescribed by law for each case.

Stage of criminal proceedings at which fixed costs must be paid

The court costs are due after sentencing. Providing nothing else has been agreed, lawyers are remunerated for services rendered at the end of their mandate. However, they have the statutory right to an advance.

Fixed costs in constitutional proceedings

Fixed costs for litigants in constitutional proceedings

There are no court costs for proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court [Bundesverfassungsgericht], with the exception of vexatious actions (§ 34 of the Federal Constitutional Court Act [Bundesverfassungsgerichtsgesetzes]). A lawyer must be retained only if there is a hearing (§ 22 of the Federal Constitutional Court Act).

Stage of constitutional proceedings at which fixed costs must be paid

Unless otherwise agreed, the lawyer’s remuneration is in principle payable on completion of his or her brief. However, lawyers do have a statutory right to an advance.

Prior information to be provided by legal representatives

Rights and obligations of the parties

Lawyers are obliged to give clients full information and advice, and must propose to their clients the safest and least hazardous means of achieving the desired objective. Lawyers must also point out any risks involved in the matter, so that clients are in a position to make an informed decision. The extent of the information to be provided depends on the lawyers’ perception of what the client needs to know. Lawyers must answer their clients’ questions fully and truthfully. Before a case proceeds to court, lawyers must make clear the prospects and risks involved in pursuing litigation. This includes the cost risks as well as the prospects for success.

Lawyers have special obligations to provide information in certain cases:

  • If their fees are based on claim value, lawyers are obliged to draw attention to this fact before being instructed to act (§ 49b (5) of the Federal Lawyers Code).
  • If an agreement is entered into concerning their remuneration, lawyers must point out that, if costs are awarded, only the statutory fees will be reimbursed (§ 3a (1), sentence 3, of the Lawyers’ Remuneration Act).
  • If lawyers agree with a client that they will be paid a contingency fee, they must draw the client’s attention to the fact that the agreement has no effect on any other costs that the client might have to pay (§ 4a (3), sentence 2, of the Lawyers’ Remuneration Act).
  • Before concluding an agreement to represent a client in proceedings at first instance before a labour court, lawyers must draw the client’s attention to the fact their costs are not refundable (§ 12a (1), sentence 2, of the Labour Courts Act [Arbeitsgerichtsgesetz]).

How costs are fixed – Legal basis

Where can I find information on cost legislation in Germany?

The texts of the laws relating to costs can be obtained from bookshops or are available in their latest versions, free of charge, on the Internet.

In which languages can I obtain information on cost legislation in Germany?

The information is in German.

Where can I find additional information about costs?

On-line information about costs

The latest versions of laws are accessible from the official website of the Federal Ministry of Justice. The various laws on costs can be downloaded by entering the relevant abbreviation (GKG, FamGKG, GvKostG and RVG).

Where can I find information on the average length of time that different procedures take?

The Federal Statistical Office [Statistisches Bundesamt] produces an annual series of statistical publications on the administration of justice. Series 10, subseries 2.1, for example, contains data on the length of civil proceedings throughout Germany, broken down by individual Land and higher regional court [Oberlandesgericht] district. Separate data is provided for local courts [Amtsgerichte] and regional courts [Landgerichte], on the one hand, and higher regional courts, on the other, as well as for proceedings at first and second instance. The series does not contain statistics on the length of time taken by the proceedings in different types of case.

Where can I find information on the average total cost of a particular type of procedure?

There are books that give details of the average cost risk for civil proceedings.

Value Added Tax

Where can I find information on Value Added Tax? What are the rates?

Courts and court bailiffs are not subject to VAT. Lawyers must charge VAT at 19%. It is charged separately as an expense and is not included in their fees.

Legal aid

Applicable income threshold in the area of civil justice

Legal aid is available upon application to anyone who, owing to their personal and financial circumstances, cannot cover the costs of the proceedings or can cover them only partially or in instalments. The intended legal action or defence must afford a reasonable chance of success and must not appear frivolous. However, litigants must use their own resources insofar as this is reasonable. Depending on their income, a party can be awarded legal aid that is not to be paid back or to be paid back in instalments. The Federal Ministry of Justice [Bundesministerium der Justiz] (BMJ) has produced a leaflet entitled Legal Advice and Legal Aid [Beratungshilfe und Prozesskostenhilfe], which answers the most frequently asked questions using examples.

Applicable income threshold for defendants in criminal proceedings

Income limits are not applicable to suspects or defendants in criminal proceedings. Legal aid is awarded in accordance with other criteria.

Applicable income threshold for victims in criminal proceedings

Legal aid is awarded subject to income thresholds. These are flexible and are determined according to the anticipated costs of the case and the social situation of the claimant (maintenance obligations, housing costs). Legal aid can also be awarded with an obligation to pay it back in instalments.

Other conditions attached to the granting of legal aid for victims of criminal offences

Victims of certain serious crimes can apply to have a legal advisor assigned to them free of charge, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Other conditions attached to the granting of legal aid for defendants

Legal aid for suspects/defendants (assignment of court-appointed defence counsel) is not subject to income limits but to legal conditions. These relate primarily to the seriousness of the offence, the threat of certain legal consequences (such as being banned from practising a profession or being confined to a psychiatric or neurological hospital), whether the defendant is on remand in custody or is the subject of protective custody proceedings, whether the previous defence counsel has been suspended, the complexity of the factual and legal situation, or whether the defendant is able to defend him or herself.

Cost-free court proceedings

Under § 183 of the Social Courts Act [Sozialgerichtsgesetz] (SGG), proceedings before social courts [Sozialgerichte] involve no costs for persons entitled to benefit (i.e. insured persons, persons on benefit including those in receipt of survivor’s benefit, disabled persons and their successors, provided that they are involved in their respective capacities in court proceedings as claimants or defendants). Claimants and defendants in proceedings before social courts who do not fall within categories cited in § 183 SGG must pay a fee in accordance with § 184 of the SGG (EUR 150 for proceedings before the social courts, EUR 225 for proceedings before the regional social courts [Landessozialgerichte], EUR 300 for proceedings before the Federal Social Court [Bundessozialgericht]). § 197a of the SGG provides for derogation from these special rules whereby the costs customarily payable under the Court Costs Act are also applicable in proceedings before the social courts, if neither the claimant nor the defendant in a case are among the persons mentioned in § 183 of the SGG.

The following arrangements apply in criminal proceedings: if the defendant is acquitted, or the case fails to proceed to trial, or the proceedings against the defendant are terminated, the costs (public expenditure) and expenses necessarily incurred by the defendant are in principle payable from the public purse.

When does the losing party have to pay the winning party's costs?

The losing party must pay the other party’s costs insofar as they were necessary for the proper prosecution of the litigation; that is to say, the lawyer’s statutory fees and expenses and the other party’s travel costs, including any loss of earnings incurred through attendance at court.

Experts' fees

Experts called by the court receive a fee based on an hourly rate, that is fixed by law in the Judicial Remuneration and Compensation Act [Justizvergütungs- und –entschädigungsgesetz] (JVEG) and is paid by the parties to the proceedings.

The costs of an expert privately engaged by a party to prepare for litigation do not form part of the procedural costs the reimbursement of which is fixed in the judgment. These costs must therefore be claimed separately. If the party has engaged an expert to provide advice during litigation, reimbursement depends on the necessity of this in the case in question. The costs of an expert engaged by the court to give evidence are paid by the losing party or, if the parties have been only partially successful, both parties must pay their share of the costs on the basis of the relative extent to which they have won and lost.

Translators' and interpreters' fees

Interpreters and translators called by the court receive a fee that is also fixed by the Judicial Remuneration and Compensation Act [Justizvergütungs- und –entschädigungsgesetz] (JVEG) and is paid by the parties to the proceedings. Interpreters are paid an hourly rate and translators are paid by the line.

In criminal proceedings, interpretation and translation costs for defendants or interested parties, provided that they are necessary for the defence or for the exercise of procedural rights, are normally paid from the public purse.

Related Links

Federal Ministry of Justice

Mediation Team of the German Lawyers’ Association

Federal Family Mediation Association

Federal Mediation Association

Federal Association for Mediation in the World of Business and Work

CFM

Private banking ombudsman

Public banking ombudsman

Conciliation Board of the German Central Bank

Ombudsman of the German Co-operative Banking Group

Private building societies ombudswoman

Regional building societies’ ombudsman

Online Conciliation Service for Internet Trade Disputes

Advisory committees and conciliation boards of the chambers of physicians

Mobility Conciliation Board

Tourist Conciliation Board

North Rhine Westphalia Local Transport Conciliation Board

Private Health and Care Insurance Ombudsman

Conciliation Board of the Federal German Funeral Directors’ Association

Conciliation Board of the Federal Networks Agency

Real Estate Ombudsman in the German Real Estate Association

Arbitration boards of the Chambers of Trade and Guilds

Consensus Board for Fees and Awards

Central German Motor Trade Association

Latest versions of laws

Last update: 08/11/2019

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page German has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

Case study 1 - family law - divorce - Germany

In this case study on family law – divorce, Member States were asked to advise the party that files for divorce on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: a couple gets married. Later they separate and agree to a divorce.

Case B – Transnational situation: Two nationals from a same Member State (Member State A) get married. The marriage is celebrated in Member State A. After the wedding, the couple moves to live and work in another Member State (Member State B) where they establish their residence. Shortly thereafter the couple separates with the wife returning to Member State A and the husband remaining in Member State B. The couple agrees to a divorce. Upon her return to Member State A, the wife immediately files for a divorce before the courts of Member State B.


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court and Appeals


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

Depends on income and assets

Depends on income and assets

Case B

Depends on income and assets

Depends on income and assets



Costs for lawyers


Case Study

Lawyer

Average costs

Case A

Depends on income and assets

Case B

Depends on income and assets



Costs for witness compensation and pledge or security


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Pledge or security

Are witnesses compensated?

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Case A

Yes, but witnesses are not normally required.

No

Case B

Yes, but witnesses are not normally required.

No



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

If reimbursement is not total what is percentage in general?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

Depends on income and assets

Yes

Half

If the person’s income and financial circumstances improve and in the case of payment by instalments.

Case B



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Case A

Case B

At the court’s discretion

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

At the court’s discretion

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Service of documents abroad


Last update: 08/11/2019

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page German has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

Case study 2 - family law - custody of the children - Germany

In this case study on family law – custody of the children, Member States were asked to advise the suing party on litigation costs on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: Two persons have lived together unmarried for a number of years. They have a three year old child when they separate. A court decision grants custody of the child to the mother and a right of access to the father. The mother sues to limit the father’s right of access.

Case B – Transnational situation where you are a lawyer in Member State A: Two persons have lived together unmarried in a Member State (Member State B) for a number of years. They have a child together but separate immediately after the child’s birth. A court decision in Member State B gives the child’s custody to the mother with a right of access to the father. The mother and the child move to live in another Member State (Member State A) as authorised to do so by the Court decision and the father remains in Member State B. A few years later, the mother sues in Member State A to change the father’s right of access.


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court, Appeals and Alternative Dispute Resolution


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

EUR 44.50 

Appeal:
EUR 89.00 
Appeal on point of law: EUR
133.50 

Case B

EUR 44.50 

Appeal:
EUR 89.00 
Appeal on point of law: EUR
133.50 



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

No

First instance:
EUR 590.00 

At the court’s discretion

EUR 85.00 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Case B

No

First instance:
EUR 590.00 

At the court’s discretion

EUR 85.00 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax



Costs for witness compensation


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Loss of earnings max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses

Case B

Yes

Loss of earnings max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

Depends on income and assets

Yes

If the person’s income and financial circumstances improve and in the case of payment by instalments.

Case B

Depends on income and assets

Yes

If the person’s income and financial circumstances improve and in the case of payment by instalments.



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Approximative cost?

Case A

Case B

At the court’s discretion

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

At the court’s discretion

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Costs of serving documents abroad


Last update: 08/11/2019

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page German has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

Case study 3 - family law - alimony - Germany

In this case study on family law – alimony, Member States were asked to advise the suing party on litigation costs on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: Two persons have lived together unmarried for a number of years. They have a three year old child when they separate. A court decision grants custody of the child to the mother. The only outstanding dispute relates to the amount of the alimony owed to the mother by the father for the support and education of the child. The mother sues on this.

Case B – Transnational situation where you are a lawyer in Member State A: Two persons have lived together unmarried in a Member State (State B). They have a three year old child. They separate. A court decision in Member State B gives the child’s custody to the mother. With the agreement of the father, the mother and the child move to live in another Member State (Member State A) where they establish their residence.

An outstanding dispute remains. This relates to the amount of the alimony owed to the mother by the father for the support and education of the child. The mother sues on this in Member State A.


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court and Appeals


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

Depends on level of maintenance sought

Depends on level of maintenance sought

Case B

Depends on level of maintenance sought

Depends on level of maintenance sought


Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Depends on level of maintenance sought

No

Depends on type of enforcement measure

At the court’s discretion

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax

Case B

Yes

Depends on level of maintenance sought

No

Depends on type of enforcement measure

At the court’s discretion

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax



Costs for witness compensation


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Loss of earnings, max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses

Case B

Yes

Loss of earnings, max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

Depends on income and financial situation

Yes

Improvement in the person’s income and financial circumstances and in the case of payment by instalments

Case B

Depends on income and financial situation

Yes

Improvement in the person’s income and financial circumstances and in the case of payment by instalments



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Case A

Case B

At the court’s discretion

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

At the court’s discretion

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Service of documents abroad


Last update: 08/11/2019

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page German has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

Case study 4 - commercial law - contract - Germany

In this case study on commercial law – contract, Member States were asked to advise the seller on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: A company delivered goods worth 20.000 euros. The seller has not been paid because the buyer considers that the goods do not conform to what was agreed.

The seller decides to sue to obtain the full payment of the price.

Case B – Transnational situation: A company whose head office is located in Member State B delivers goods worth 20.000 euros to buyer in Member State A. The contract is subject to Member State B’s law and written in Member State B’s language. This seller has not been paid because the buyer located in Member State A considers that the goods do not conform to what was agreed. The seller decides to sue in Member State A to obtain full payment of the price as provided under the contract with the buyer.


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court and Appeals


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

EUR 864.00

Appeal on points of fact and law:
EUR 1 152.00 
Appeal on points of law: EUR 1 440.00 

Case B

EUR 864.00

Appeal on points of fact and law:
EUR 1 152.00 
Appeal on points of law: EUR 1 440.00 



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

Yes

First instance: EUR
1 950 

No

Depends on type of enforcement measure

No

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax

Case B

Yes

First instance: EUR
1 950

No

No

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax



Costs for witness compensation


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Loss of earnings max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses

Case B

Yes

Loss of earnings max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

When is support total?

Conditions?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

What costs are never reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

In principle no legal aid for legal persons outside the EU

General prerequisites:

If the party is not financially secure (i.e. indigent) and the intended action has prospects of success and does not appear vexatious

If not more than EUR 15 remain after deduction of allowances for the indigent party and his/her family members and after deduction of further charges for accommodation etc.

Where this is not the case, full support is likewise applicable but must be repaid by instalments; level of instalments depends on residual income.

1. Application (lawyer not compulsory for application)

2. Proceedings not yet completed

3. See also column 1

Yes, to the extent that s/he has won

Costs that were not essential for the proper prosecution of the action or for the defence

See column 2

Case B

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Case A

Case B

In principle for all written pleadings to the court and all written documents submitted as evidence. The court may refrain from ordering the translation of documents if all the judges hearing the case understand the language

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

The language of the court is German; if all concerned have a good command of the foreign language, an interpreter need not be engaged.

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Service of documents abroad


Last update: 08/11/2019

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page German has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

Case study 5 - commercial law - responsibility - Germany

In this case study on commercial law – responsibility, Member States were asked to advise the customer on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: A heating equipment manufacturer delivers a heater to an installer. The installer on-sells (and installs) the heater to a customer to equip his/her house. The house catches fire shortly thereafter. Every participant (heating equipment manufacturer, installer, end-customer) is insured. The origin of the fire is contested. Nobody wants to compensate the customer.

The customer decides to sue for full compensation the heating equipment manufacturer, the heating equipment installer and the insurance companies.

Case B – Transnational situation: A heating equipment manufacturer in a Member State B delivers heater to an installer in a Member State C. The installer on-sells the heater (and installs) the heater to a customer in Member State A to equip his/her house. The house catches fire shortly thereafter. Each participant (heating equipment manufacturer, installer, end-customer) is insured by an insurance company in its own Member State. The origin of the fire is contested. Nobody wants to compensate the customer.

The customer decides to sue in Member State A for full compensation the heating equipment manufacturer, the heating equipment installer and the insurance companies in Member State A.


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court and Appeals


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

Depends on the amount of compensation claimed

Depends on the amount of compensation claimed

Case B

Depends on the amount of compensation claimed

Depends on the amount of compensation claimed



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Depends on the amount of compensation claimed

No

Depends on the type of enforcement measure

Not compulsory by law but depends on whether the court considers it necessary to call in an expert, in which case highly probable in practice.

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax

Case B

Yes

Depends on the amount of compensation claimed

No

Depends on the type of enforcement measure

See above

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax



Costs for witness compensation


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Loss of earnings, max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses

Case B

Yes

Loss of earnings, max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

When is support total?

Conditions?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

What costs are never reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

Case B

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above

See case study no. 4 above



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Case A

Case B

See case study no. 4 above

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

See case study no. 4 above

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Service of documents abroad


Last update: 08/11/2019

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