Lawyer's fees

Lawyers may freely agree on their fee with their client. In practice, what is agreed upon with the client is either a fee on the basis of time spent (hourly rate) or invoicing pursuant to the Lawyers' Tariff.

The hourly rate must be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the type and amount of work, the difficulty of the case, and the amount in dispute (interest in the case). According to the Fee Guidelines of the Liechtenstein Chamber of Lawyers, an hourly rate between CHF 300.00 and CHF 1,000.00 is adequate, depending of the type of work and the difficulty of the case. Expenses (e.g. for copies, postage, telephone, cost of secretary work, etc.) may also be invoiced in addition to the hourly rate.

As an alternative to an hourly rate, the lawyer's fee may also be calculated in accordance with the Act on the Tariff for Lawyers and Legal Agents (Rechtsanwaltstarifgesetz, RATG). This tariff is calculated according to the value of the item in dispute and contains various tariff items (Tarifposten, TP) for the various services rendered by lawyers. Add to this the so-called standard rate (Einheitssatz, ES) of 40% or 50% as general compensation for ancillary services (e.g. meetings with clients, telephone calls, correspondence, study of files and law literature, etc.).

Liechtenstein procedural law provides that opponents must pay compensation for legal costs on the basis of the principle of success. This means that the losing party must compensate the winning party for its legal costs at the percentage at which the lawsuit has been won. In this, the awarding of costs by the court is not based on the costs actually incurred by the lawyer as a result of time spent, but is always based on the Lawyers' Tariff. It is therefore possible that a client will not be fully compensated for the costs of his own lawyer on the basis of time spent.

Lawyers are not allowed to agree on a success fee (quota litis).