Our Fees

Attorney fees – fair and transparent

Our most important principle in regard to fees: We always tell our clients in advance what costs they will be looking at. This means that you will never receive a “surprise bill” from ZELLER & SEYFERT. We know that these kinds of surprises are not acceptable for competitive businesses in these days as everyone has to meet their budgets. Our fee structure is very transparent and therefore fully predictable for you.

Hourly billing is neither fair nor does it favor efficiency

Furthermore, we are offering you billing models that are fairer than hourly billing – which is currently still business standard in our field of legal practice (Business Litigation). In our view, hourly billing is not suitable for the future of legal services, as it incentivizes inefficiency: Under hourly billing, a skilled lawyer who works quick and determined, would have to accept lower fees than another lawyer completing the same piece of work in much longer time. To put it in Richard Susskind’s words: “Hourly billing is an institutionalized disincentive to efficiency.”

Alternative fee arrangements

Clients are becoming more aware of this and therefore do not accept hourly fee agreements more and more frequently. We know that our clients are under tremendous cost pressure in a competitive market environment (more-for-less challenge). Therefore, they need to optimize their legal costs in the direction to pay for the output of their lawyers (i.e. the results), not for the input (i.e. the time spent).

Fixed fees for milestones

In our law practice, one method of billing has proven to overcome the shortcomings of hourly rate billing. We call it fixed fees for milestones. It works tremendously easy: In advance, we discuss the key milestones of the relevant dispute or project, e.g. drafting a complaint, drafting a subsequent pleading, courtroom representation at a hearing, drafting an appeal brief etc. For each of these previously agreed milestones we will define a value. Whenever we reach a milestone we will bill the agreed amount. That’s it, no catch. Just note that for reasons of professional law we are obliged not to undermine the minimum fees according to §§ 4 RVG, 49b BRAO.

Contingency fees / success driven fees

We think that a success driven fee is usually the fairest billing model the parties can agree on. However, there are restrictions under German Law regarding this model: We are obliged to carefully assess whether a client in the concrete circumstances is qualified under the law to enter into a contingency fee agreement or not. The advantage for both sides is obvious: If we are not succesful there will be no or a relatively small fee (result: both sides are equally unhappy). If we win on your behalf we receive a fair share of this success (result: both sides are really happy). If you think your case is suitable for a success driven fee please approach us: We will then check if this is permitted by law in the individual case (this is mainly regulated in §§ 4a RVG, 49b(2) BRAO).

Conflict outsourcing

A relatively new and innovative alternative billing model is what we call “conflict outsourcing". In essence, we charge a fixed monthly fee for which we take care of the handling of all the conflicts that arise from a particular legal relationship for you. Handling means correspondence and negotiations with the opponent side, taking all measures of legal action, litigation or the amicable settlement of the case. Of course, you will keep the ultimate authority to decide over the concrete procedure in each individual case.

For example, the handling of all Employment and Labor Law conflicts in relation to all employees in a particular department or a specific operation unit would be a possible application of this billing model in practice. In intellectual property the takeover of all conceivable conflicts arising from the violation of individual rights of your intellectual property portfolio could be another scenario. Please note, however, that also in this model we are legally obliged not to undermine the minimum fees according to §§ 4 RVG, 49b BRAO. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss all practical options of conflict outsourcing for your business.

Contact your German Lawyer

Please contact us for more information on our fees. Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone (+49 (0) 69-58 80 972-40), via contact form or by email (mail@zellerseyfert.com). Please also check the link bar on the left side: Here you may request a callback from us within 24 hours or book an initial appointment (cost free) with a German Attorney qualified in Labor and Employment Law, IP Law, Media and Copyright Law or Liability Law / Business Law / Corporate Law. Besides you may start a live chat with us. We look really forward to hearing from you.

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