Last updated on December 21st, 2022 at 07:02 pm
Learn step-by-step how to find a German English speaking lawyer and how to hire a lawyer in Germany. The information on this page will give you an idea of how to find a law firm for your German legal dispute.
Find an English-speaking lawyer in Germany
or a Spanish-speaking or Arabic-speaking lawyer in Germany. It might be a little difficult but you can find a lawyer that speaks your language in Germany. For sake of brevity, I will use the example of English-speaking lawyers in Germany. Use the following methods to find an English-speaking German lawyer.
Use word-of-mouth recommendation
Ask your colleagues at the workplace or neighbours or friends if they know or can recommend any English-speaking lawyers in Germany. Inquire about their personal experience with the lawyer as well questions regarding the budget. Word-of-mouth recommendation is one of the most trustworthy ways to find English-speaking German lawyers.
Use Google Businesses or local search engines
You can use Google businesses or just Google search to find English-speaking german lawyers near you. Google Business is more reputable because it is a dedicated business page and Google ask the business owner to verify various information such as a physical address, phone number or licence. Besides this customers often leave reviews on Google business pages and you can easily get an overview of the quality of services of most English-speaking lawyers in Germany.
Use online service providers
A service provider such as YourXpert is an online business directory of legal experts. You can find not only English-speaking lawyers in Germany but also lawyers who offer consultation in several other languages.
Here is how you can find an English-speaking lawyer on YourXpert.de in FIVE simple steps.
2. It will show you a drop-down menu. Now click on Rechtsanwält*in.
3. Now you are on the directory page where you can find a lawyer in Germany.
4. Scroll down until you see the list of lawyers and a filter on the right sidebar.
Here you can select the ‘Fremdsprache‘ or Foreign Languages. Choose the language of your choice.
5. Now scroll up and find ‘Anwalt Online‘ to find the drop-down menu with the lawyer’s expertise.
Here in the screenshot, you can see English-speaking lawyers in Germany who consult in various legal fields. E.g. Asylum rights, real estate laws, employment and labour laws, family law and many more.
6) Now you can start checking lawyer profiles and contact them directly.
As you can see in the screenshots, the costs of these German lawyers are shown clearly in their profiles.
How to Hire a Lawyer in Germany
Now that you know how to find an English-speaking German lawyer, let’s see how you can go ahead and hire a lawyer in Germany. Here are the steps involved if you ever find yourself in a legal dispute in Germany and need to hire a German lawyer or a law firm to represent you in a German civil lawsuit.
Contact the lawyer or the law firm
Regardless of how you found the lawyer, you will have to get in touch with them. Most have an online presence. Find a phone number or an email or a contact form on their website and get in touch. Once they respond they will know how to proceed.
Normally, after the initial contact, the process to hire a law firm or a lawyer in Germany typically goes as follows.
Share the case details
Note that a lawyer may also ask you for a summary of the case details before the initial consultation.
If not, they will ask you to send a short summary of the facts of your case later as well as the actions you wish them to take on your behalf.
The better you describe your problem, the faster they can evaluate your case and get back to you with a decision on whether they can take on the case or not.
Some bigger law firms in Germany receive a high volume of enquiries each day. Make sure to provide them with a concise description of what the dispute is about to get your case quickly evaluated by a lawyer in Germany.
As a general rule, a lawyer in Germany will begin the engagement with an initial consultation. An initial consultation with the lawyer provides you, the prospective client, with the opportunity to get to know him/her and determine whether to engage in their services.
Depending on the lawyer or the firm, initial consultation might be free of cost. Bear in mind though, that the lawyer will spend time reviewing the documents you sent them (e.g. Will or trust document) in preparation for your initial consultation.
This is why some lawyers in Germany charge a fee for initial consultation too. They will let you know in advance of any costs. I recommend that you inquire with the lawyer about the fee at the beginning of the assignment.
Conflict of interest check
Before officially taking on a case and opening a file, some law firms and lawyers in Germany have to do a conflict of interest check and adhere to the Know Your Client (KYC) requirements.
For this, they will ask you for some details such as the full name, residential address and a scan of the passport or official ID of the person(s) who need representation for a German legal dispute.
They will also need the details of your opponent in order to check whether they are already on their client list.
Discuss the lawyer’s remuneration agreement
Once your German lawyer is familiarized with your case by engaging in an initial consultation, they will discuss a reasonable remuneration agreement. Potential clients in most cases have to sign a fee agreement (Honorarvereinbarung) with their lawyer in Germany. Contingency fee agreements such as the “no win no fee” basis are prohibited under German law.
Most likely, your German law firm or lawyer will propose one of the following remuneration agreements:
Time fee agreement:
This is when the lawyer in Germany charges an hourly rate. Hourly billing is the most common fee agreement for most German lawyers. The hourly rate depends on the qualification and experience of the lawyer and the complexity of the legal dispute.
Flat fee agreement:
This is a retainer-style agreement.
If your lawyer in Germany is able to estimate the scope of the services required, they can agree to a flat fee. As it is not feasible for the lawyer to estimate all costs right from the beginning, this type of agreement tends to be an exception.
Finish the paperwork
Once a lawyer in Germany has agreed to take on your case and represent you in a German court, they will ask you to sign a fee agreement and a power of attorney form.
How much does a lawyer cost in Germany?
The lawyer consultation fee in Germany is determined by the amount in dispute, i.e. the monetary value of your case, the time spent on the case, the qualification of the lawyer, the complexity of the dispute and other factors.
Typically, the hourly rates of qualified German law firms or an English-speaking lawyer in Germany can range between EUR 200 net for associates to about EUR 800 net for very senior partners.
The minimum cost of a lawyer in Germany
The minimum fee for lawyers in Germany is defined under the German Lawyer remuneration Act (Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz/ § 4 RVG). This is usually the minimum fee charged by lawyers in Germany, regardless of how much time is spent on the case.
Other costs for hiring a lawyer in Germany
Upfront payment: Some lawyers in Germany may ask for an upfront payment for legal fees. The amount of this upfront fee depends on the scope and legal complexity of the legal dispute.
Minimum fee per case: Some German lawyers or law firms also charge a minimum fee per case. This is the absolute minimum fee which they will charge in any litigation matter.
Court fees: If you have to initiate a German lawsuit, you will also need to pay court fees. These fees are due when your lawyer in Germany files the action on your behalf (Klageeinreichung). Remember that a German court will not serve the complaint to the defendant unless and until you have paid the court fees.
Some law firms or lawyers in Germany are unable to take on small claims cases.
Small Claims or Fixed-Rate Legal Services in Germany
If you need legal consultation in Germany for a private dispute, or small claim or just a one-time legal consultation, I highly recommend utilising YourXpert’s fixed-rate legal services.
You can use this service for one-time legal advice such as:
Proofreading contracts of any kind
This one-time service can safeguard you from any legal pitfalls before you sign a long-term contract.
Small claims or private legal disputes of any kind
e.g. Problems with the move-out cleaning costs or utility bill dispute with the landlord, payment-related issues with the employer, workplace mobbing, claim settlement issues with an insurance company etc.
With this kind of service, you can engage a German lawyer to take a look at your legal dispute and give you legal advice at a reasonable fixed rate.
Let’s see how you can get legal consultation at a reasonable cost in Germany.
1. Go to YourXpert Homepage. Click on Recht-Shop.
2. If you have a legal dispute as a private person select Privatkunden. If you are a business owner, and it is a commercial or business dispute, click on Geschäftskunden.
3. Now you can see the kind of fixed rate consultation you can choose from. Use Deepl to translate if you need help with German terms.
4. This is an example of ‘Nebenkostenabrechnung‘ or utility bill verification with an optional – letter to the landlord.
5. Read the details of what is included in the utility bill verification services. Then select the service you want.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how this service works
How to get a free lawyer in Germany
While technically there are no free lawyers in Germany, there is legal aid in Germany for anyone who needs legal representation but does not have the financial means. It is a detailed process, I would recommend reading the step-by-step guide on how to get legal aid in Germany.
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