Based on what is agreed with the lawyer handling the case, a request for funds (advance payment) may be made at the beginning of the work. Its amount is determined according to the characteristics of the case and takes into account, in particular, the urgency or the evaluation of the number of probable hours that will be necessary to process the case. It is payable in full and covers the first assignment required. The amount of the advance payment shall be deducted from the statements of expenses and fees that are subsequently submitted.
If the case is processed within a certain period, the firm undertakes not to allow too many billed services to accumulate. Progress billing allows the customer to follow the costs generated by his case, to distribute payments more evenly and to remain abreast of the costs incurred and the financial implications. Unless an advance payment request has been agreed with the client, a detailed listing of services and costs is attached to each final or interim statement of expenses and fees. It is also possible for the client to make a request to the lawyer at any time during the case in order to obtain a precise view of the progress of the case in terms of the fees generated.
With the exception of the first advance, and unless there is a special agreement in place, notably with respect to spreading payments, all intermediate and final expense and fees bills shall be payable in principle within fifteen or thirty days, depending on the respective practice of the teams.
It is essential to remember that in Belgium, as in most member states of the European Union, lawyers' fees and expenses are subject to 21% VAT (value-added tax).
It is however specified that missions of Altea lawyers acting in the role of family mediators are exempt from VAT. The same applies to cases opened on behalf of clients located outside the territory of the European Union provided that the payments relating to their cases are also made from an account located outside the European Union.