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  #41  
Old 27.08.2015, 10:28
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

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So how does one get an estimate of what legal services will cost?

My experience with Swiss lawyers was that the office administrator could tell me an hourly rate, but could not give an estimate of costs - even just a rough idea - for a given task.

This is (one of) the reasons I am wary of engaging lawyers here - I don't know if I am getting into thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands.
In a Swiss law firm, the office administrator is not the right person to ask. The lawyer should be able to give you an estimate based on his or her past experience in similar cases. In large scale or complex cases (e.g. an arbitration that will last 1 1/2 years it may be difficult to project the overall costs) but then it should be possible to give estimates for various stages.

Also, it is possible to:
- ask for caps (i.e. capped fee amounts). A lawyer may however be unwilling to do this, if the scope of the matter is unclear, e.g. if much depends on how the counterparty will react, or if there are lot of documents to review which might turn up additional problems. On the other hand the lawyer might simply quote a high cap.
- ask for flat fees. However, this would generally only be done for limited tasks (e.g. issuing a capacity opinion, founding a company, etc.).
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  #42  
Old 27.08.2015, 11:00
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

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a lawyer is not a computer or a typist, he or she gets paid for using their brain. typing an e-mail, after all, is easy. thinking about what you are typing, and then looking at it from every possible angle you can imagine, and then re-thinking it, and then proofreading it, and then re-thinking it, etc., etc., etc.......

......takes time.



as a lawyer, every e-mail I write and every conversation I have can be construed to be legal advice. and every time I give legal advice, I risk being sued for malpractice. I also risk being sanctioned by the appropriate licensing authorities, depending upon how careless I might be - lawyers, after all, completely unlike bankers, are subject to rules of ethics.

in other words, I take my time before I write or speak, and when I was in private practice you can bet I charged for every minute my brain was turned on and engaged. if somebody objects to me taking my time, then they are free to proceed without my counsel, it doesn't offend me at all when people don't ask for my advice.
Hi, I understand what you are saying but in all professions people have to think before they write and can be held responsible for what they do. I don't mind paying the hours that are actually spent. This is normal. What bothers me is the tendency to overcharge, round up, ad pro forma admin fees, keep things deliberately vague, etc. This is not ethical to me and why I consider lawyers too much money-driven here. )

I disagree lawyers would be more ethical than bankers in Switzerland. Of course a lot has gone wrong in the banking sector but my personal experience with lawyers over the last 7 years is that I have come across so much overcharging, conflicts of interests, silly legal manoeuvres which only served the purpose of additional billing, tricks with late billing so you do not realize what your costs are,.. that you have to excuse me for disagreeing. And this was with the biggest law firms in Switzerland. I run the same risk of being sued just as much and the bank regulator is not exactly your friend either. At the end of the day, lawyers are only controlled by their own internal bodies, in my opinion not exactly the best way to guarantee an independent opinion in case of a conflict with clients.
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Old 27.08.2015, 11:22
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

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So how does one get an estimate of what legal services will cost?

My experience with Swiss lawyers was that the office administrator could tell me an hourly rate, but could not give an estimate of costs - even just a rough idea - for a given task.

This is (one of) the reasons I am wary of engaging lawyers here - I don't know if I am getting into thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands.
in this regard, lawyers are unfortunately no different than plumbers or auto mechanics - if you don't give them a clear scope of what you want done, they will invariably fix every possible thing they can find. including, often times, things that didn't need fixing.

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  #44  
Old 27.08.2015, 11:39
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

My lawyer actually signed the back of my passport renewal photos for free!!

I did ask if i would be billed and told not to be silly.

Considering the last time i needed him it cost thousands, i suppose he thought he would be nice this time.
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  #45  
Old 27.08.2015, 12:03
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

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My lawyer actually signed the back of my passport renewal photos for free!!

I did ask if i would be billed and told not to be silly.

Considering the last time i needed him it cost thousands, i suppose he thought he would be nice this time.
Maybe he was being smart and overcharged you last time "just in case"
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  #46  
Old 27.08.2015, 16:55
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

Maybe, but hopefully i shall not have to call him again. And the money he charged me in the first place helped me big time to get what was owed to me. On my own, i could not have done it.

Also, by the time i need another passport he shall be retired.

Shise - what am i going to do in ten years time to get a flipping passport...!!!
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Old 27.08.2015, 17:10
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

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Maybe, but hopefully i shall not have to call him again. And the money he charged me in the first place helped me big time to get what was owed to me. On my own, i could not have done it.

Also, by the time i need another passport he shall be retired.

Shise - what am i going to do in ten years time to get a flipping passport...!!!
You don't need to get your passport photos signed anymore unless you damage your passport.
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  #48  
Old 27.08.2015, 20:13
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Re: Lawyer chaging for consulting meetings prior to a price negociation

I did, for a new Irish one in January.
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