Fees remunerate the lawyer for the service they provide, that is, all of the tasks they must complete in order to successfully fulfil the mission entrusted to them. Some of these tasks are clearly apparent. Many others essential for the effective execution of the mission are less so.
Among other things, services can include reading documents and reviewing files, meetings, legal research, verbal and written consultations, telephone conversations, preparing and writing pleadings (summons, submissions, memorandums, etc.), travel and appearances at hearings, pleadings, wait time at hearings, etc.
The lawyers involved in a case will keep a complete record of the services provided. This enables the creation, at any time, of a precise statement of all work done and the cost.
Unless there is a special formula tied to specific circumstances, Altea's lawyers will calculate fees billed using an hourly rate.
A base hourly rate is set for the lawyer in charge of the case. If required, tiered pricing is provided for partners, colleagues registered on the roll, and trainees. The base rate for each category of lawyer involved will be applied taking the client's situation into account. In this respect, special attention will be paid to private individuals and members of the non-profit sector. The exact rates applicable to each case will be agreed at the start of the client relationship.
Hourly rates can be adjusted when a case requires significant specialisation, emergency work, or when the result obtained is particularly favourable to the client, notably in terms of financial gain (‘success fee’). In some instances, the firm's lawyers can suggest billing based on a set fee for each phase of the procedure (for simple or repetitive procedures). These specificities must, however, be expressly agreed with the client when the case is opened and, unless the lawyer confirms otherwise in writing, the straight hourly rate will be applied.