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Minimum fees recommended for lawyers 2021

The National Union of Romanian Bars (UNBR) adopted, by Decision no. 82/2020, published on the institution’s website, the minimum fees recommended to be practiced by lawyers. The list is for reference only, and the application of these recommendations will become official from January 1, 2021.

It is not excluded that the list will undergo some changes, given the fact that UNBR will consult the Competition Council, in order to obtain a specific point of view, in the field of competition, states Avocatnet in an article on this topic.

The tariffs are structured on two main categories (and one that allows the combination of the first two):

1. The hourly fee, which applies especially in those complex cases, where the lawyer cannot anticipate, from the start, what volume of work he will have to perform. According to the UNBR Decision, it can be established according to:

– operating expenses;

– the lawyer’s experience;

– lawyer’s reputation, etc.

The minimum recommended hourly fee is at least 220 lei per hour. The problem, however, as mentioned by UNBR in the Judgment, is that there have been no systematic studies that reflect, in an objective way, an average of the expenses that lawyers have – with operating costs, for example. According to the Union, the estimate was made on the basis of public data.

A specific example of a recommended fee is the establishment of the hourly fee for notifications, addresses or correspondence, which will involve an hourly rate of at least 330 lei. Assisting or representing a party in a mediation process, for example, would involve a fee of at least 440 lei per hour.

2. Fixed or flat fee. It can be applied when the lawyer, from experience (his or another lawyer) can determine, in advance, the volume of work required to provide a service. According to UNBR, this type of fee is most often used in cases with a patrimonial content, by establishing the percentage of the fee, related to the value of the litigation.

Fixed fees vary depending on the actual activity. A request for recusal would be charged at least 330 lei. In a contentious procedure, certain minimum fees could reach 2,200 lei (actions in border, for example) or even 20,000 lei (in the case of certain patrimonial actions in court, the amount of which exceeds 1,000,000 lei; or 1 % of the value of the dispute, which is higher).

3. Mixed fee. In this case, according to UNBR, an hourly fee will be applied, combined with a percentage fee, in the form of a fixed fee.