How Much Does a China Lawyer Cost: Things You Need to Know
Part I: How do China lawyers normally charge attorney fees?
If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit in China, or you need assistance with a China legal matter, you need to find China lawyers, and of course ask about their billing practices and fees.
Most China lawyers bill under one (or several) of the following arrangements:
Hourly rate: this is the most common way for a western lawyer to bill, however most China lawyer do not charge by hourly rates, except for the lawyers who often serve foreign clients. This process requires accurate record of all time spent working on documents, reviewing case files, presenting information in court, and any other tasks related to the client's case. The client and lawyer will agree on the hourly rate before getting started with the case.
Flat Fee Arrangements: with the flat fee arrangement, the attorney will render a specific legal service to the client for a fixed sum of money. Before agreeing to a flat fee, make sure you understand what is covered in the agreement. It may not include filing fees or other disbursements associated with the legal process.
Retainer fee: many lawyers require a retainer fee up front, which is something like a down payment on the case. As the lawyer works on your case, he or she will deduct the costs from the amount you paid and send you periodic invoices showing the deductions.
Contingency fee: a lawyer may offer this type of billing in a debt collection case. However, they are not allowed in criminal case, administrative cases and most family law case such as divorce, inheritance, child custody cases. With a contingency fee, the client only pay a small basic fee until the case is resolved. Upon resolution, the contingency fee is a percentage of the settlement or money awarded on behalf of the attorney's client. The average ranges from 5 to 30 percent. Contingency fees may be negotiable. In addition to the hourly fees or flat-rate fee charged by a lawyer in a criminal case, the client often has to pay additional expenses, such as:
Expert witness fees
Litigation or arbitration fees（charged by the courts and arbitration institutions）
Part II: Fee Practice of Landing Lawyer
For new clients, we could first set a free 30 minutes online meeting with the client in order to understand the background and inform the client the main issues that may arise.
We usually invoice on a time spent basis, our blend hourly fee rate is USD 240-360 depending on the case/ situation. We may charge a flat fee on the basis of estimated workloads after our further discussion with the client with the case/ project.
For special cases, we could also discuss with the clients about contingency fee, our normal percentage ranges from 6% to 20%.