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How Much Does a Chinese Lawyer Cost? Understanding the Fees to Hire an English-Speaking Lawyer in China

If you do business with Chinese companies, have investments in China, or face disputes with Chinese entities, you may need to deal with Chinese lawyers. Understanding "How much does a Chinese lawyer cost" is crucial for budgeting your legal expenses.

As of March 2022, there are more than 600,000 Chinese lawyers. However, very few of them can provide bilingual, professional, and affordable legal services. In the past, we have discussed how to find professional Chinese lawyers who speak English. Today, we will explain how these lawyers charge their fees.

Chinese Lawyers discussing the cost

Normally speaking, Chinese lawyers typically charge by hourly rate, flat fee, or contingency fee. Here's a breakdown of these fee structures:

Option 1: Hourly Rate

Hourly rate means a Chinese lawyer bills you by the actual hours they spend in your case, including legal analysis, legal documents drafting, negotiation, court hearings, etc. Most of Chinese lawyers charge between USD 200 to USD 600 per hour, depending on their experience. For travel expenses, Chinese lawyers usually charge half that rate or less.

Option 2: Flat Fee

Many Chinese lawyers offer a flat fee, which means a fixed fee for a specific scope of services. If you choose this option, it is essential to confirm the scope of work. For example, in a civil litigation case, there are several stages: first trial, second trial, enforcement, and counterclaims. If you accept a flat fee offer for a civil case, make sure it covers all the stages you need the Chinese lawyer to handle.

Option 3: Contingency Fee

Some Chinese lawyers also work on a contingency fee plan. This means lower fees upfront and a share of percentage after winning the case, or a no-win-no-fee arrangement.

Normally speaking for completely no-win-no-fee, a Chinese lawyer will have a strict standard for taking such cases, for example they need to be confident about financial situation of the defendant.

More Chinese lawyers accept half contingency fee, which means lower fees upfront and a share of percentage after winning the case. Because this fee schedule covers basic cost of a law firm, at the same time cut the spending for the client when facing uncertainty.

Important Tip

Whichever fee structure you choose, confirm whether the fee includes tax or not.


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