How Much Do Lawyers Cost in Turkey? Before answering this question; It would be appropriate to know what the attorney’s fee is and how the lawyers determine the fee.
What is the Lawyer’s Fee / What is the Attorney’s Fee
Being a lawyer is a profession and services offered as a legal activity are subject to a fee. All kinds of services offered by the lawyer are the product of his knowledge, experience, time and work.
The person to whom the lawyer provides services is called the “client“. The fee paid by the client to the lawyer in return for his services is called the lawyer’s fee.
Lawyer’s fee is defined in Article 164 of the Attorneyship Law No. 1136 as, “the amount or value corresponding to the legal assistance of the lawyer.”
How is the Lawyer’s Fee Determined?
As a rule, the lawyer’s fee is freely determined by the parties. In other words, the lawyer and the client can agree as they wish on what will be the return of the legal service to be provided. However, there are cases where the parties cannot freely dispose of the lawyer’s fee.
Advocacy service cannot be offered free of charge, with exceptions. Lawyer’s fee cannot be less than the Lawyer’s Minimum Fee. The lawyer’s fee may be determined as a certain percentage of the money or the value of the lawsuit or the thing to be judged, provided that it does not exceed twenty-five percent. If the subject of the case is a right other than property or money, it is not possible to pay the lawyer’s fee as property. The attorney’s fee can be paid in Turkish Lira or in a foreign currency (US Dollar, Euro etc.).
It should be emphasized that the lawyer has the right to reject the application made to him without giving any reason. A lawyer does not have to provide services by taking the job of every client who applies to him.
Lawyers or law firms may demand any fee they wish, provided that they do not exceed the legal limits in the law regarding the services they provide. It may vary according to each lawyer or law firm, but there are some criteria that lawyers take into account when appraising fees. We can briefly list them according to our experiences and the evaluations of our other colleagues as follows;
The Legal Problem to be Resolved and The Subject of The Legal Service
The lawyer will produce services for the solution of the legal problem that the client needs to be resolved. The service to be provided in the event that the client is detained on the ground that he has committed a crime that requires trial in a high criminal court will not be the same as the legal services that will be provided for a lawsuit that requires the client to initiate enforcement proceedings due to a debt or compensation liability. In the services offered, both the legal field and the risk of the client change. The risk of the client being deprived of his liberty and the risk of diminishing his assets are evaluated differently. Even this evaluation includes many different criteria. For example, different attorney fees will probably be required for the follow-up of a criminal file where the same client is jailed pending trail and and a criminal case where he is released by the court pending a trial.
Time to be Spent for The Legal Service Provided
The attorney will take into account the possible time spent while providing services at the discretion of the lawyer’s fee. An experienced lawyer can often determine approximately how long it will take to solve the legal problem that his client will provide for the solution of the legal problem. This determination is important in terms of the fee that the lawyer will appreciate in return for his work. The long duration of the cases in Turkey is important in determining the lawyer’s fee. As a rule, the advocacy service offered for litigation also covers the legal remedies of the case. In other words, the lawyer undertakes to follow the case until it is finalized. Since the fee to be determined at the very beginning of the case will not change even though the case takes a very long time, it is important for the lawyer to demand the fee correctly, for the client as well as for the lawyer. Otherwise, it may cause damage to the trust of the parties towards each other.
As a rule, the type of service, the expectation of the client from the service and how much work the service requires are important in legal counselling or legal services that require the party to be represented by making an application. In legal counselling, fee will generally be appreciated according to the hourly time frame.
Number of Parties in The Legal Service Provided
The number of parties is especially important in determining the fee for legal counselling and attorney services provided for litigation and enforcement proceedings. For example, a lawyer experienced in criminal cases will anticipate that the large number of parties in criminal cases will take long hours and the conclusion of the case will take a long time due to the large number of parties. It takes this into account when determining the fee. Similarly, a lawyer who provides legal consultancy to the apartment or estate management may anticipate that he will have to give information to all floor owners separately and that this will take a significant amount of time in his work. The number of parties in the service offered in determining the fee is also important in these respects.
Location of the Legal Service to be Provided
The location of the service to be provided is also an important factor in determining the lawyer’s fee. If the client is in detention, the lawyer will have to go to the penitentiary institution in order to meet with his client. Since a title deed cancellation and registration case related to real estate law will be heard in the court of the place where the real estate is located, the lawyer must go to the courthouse of this place to attend the hearings. How Much Do Lawyers Cost in Turkey?
The Language in Which The Legal Service will be Provided
The provision of legal services in the mother tongue and the provision of services in a foreign language are also decisive in the appraisal of the fee. The legal language requires the use of many terms and the correct expression of legal institutions, even in the mother tongue. Providing the services of these terms and legal language in a foreign language is a complicating factor.
Time to Pay the Lawyer’s Fee
Advocacy services are usually offered over a long period of time. For example, the legal services offered for the follow-up of the cases may include a very long term as it will last until the finalization of the case. For this reason, the fact that the lawyer’s fee is paid for a long period of time will be an important factor in the appraisal of wages in our country where inflation is high.
What is the Minimum Attorneyship Fee Tariff ?
The Minimum Attorneyship Fee Tariff is the tariff that determines the lowest fee for attorneyship services published every year by the Union of Turkish Bar Associations.
At the same time, the Minimum Attorneyship Fee Tariff is applied in courts and in the decisions of all kinds of authorities that end the dispute between the parties, as well as in the determination and discretion of the lawyer’s fee that must be charged to the other party by the courts as per the law.
The Minimum Attorneyship Fee Tariff is not a tariff that determines the amount of the attorney’s fee to be agreed between the lawyer and his client. The tariff is important in terms of the lowest part of the price to be understood.
The tariff draws a general framework for the legal services offered.
Value Added Tax (VAT) on Lawyer’s Fees and Other Tax Obligations of the Lawyer
Due to the fact that attorneyship is self-employed, the services provided are subject to Value Added Tax and the income of the attorney is subject to income tax. However, services offered to companies and businesses also require withholding tax.
Value Added Tax in legal services is 18% as a rule. In addition value added tax is %8 in the legal services provided within the scope of legal aid, cases and works that fall under the jurisdiction of family courts, consumer courts and juvenile courts, custody cases and works; legal remedies related to these lawsuits, mediation as a condition of litigation in labor disputes, and attorney services provided within the scope of judicial enforcement proceedings related to them.
If the attorneyship service is provided for institutions, companies and businesses, 20% withholding tax is added to the lawyer’s fee including VAT.
The taxes levied by the state on the attorney’s fee are also important in the appraisal of the fee.
How Much is the Lawyer’s Fee in Criminal Cases?
As stated above, the attorney determines the fee to be appreciated for the services to be provided according to certain criteria. Criteria that the lawyer will consider while appraising fees in criminal cases are the title of the client in the case, whether he is the accused or the victim/participant, whether the client is under arrest, whether the criminal case arises from a crime that falls within the scope of the high criminal court or from a crime that falls within the scope of the criminal court of first instance, the nature and nature of the alleged offense, the lower and upper limits of the alleged charge , the number of parties in the file, where the court is, if the client candidate is in detention, where he is detained, and how long the case will likely take can be taken into consideration.
According to the advisory tariff published by the Istanbul Bar Association as the “Minimum Fee Tariff”, it is seen that only the court in which the case is heard and the party to the case is differentiated without considering the criteria mentioned above.
According to the Bar Association’s advisory tariff; In the High Criminal Court, it was evaluated as 27,000-TL (Turkish Liras) for the defendant’s attorneyship and 19.000-TL (Turkish Lira) for the victim/participant attorneyship.
According to the Bar Association’s advisory tariff; In the Criminal Court of First Instance, it was evaluated as 19.000 TL (Turkish Lira) for the defendant’s attorneyship and as 13.500 TL (Turkish Lira) for the victim/participant attorneyship.
The time of publication of the Bar Association’s advisory tariff and the fees specified in the tariff are purely advisory and may be requested less or more than the fees specified by the lawyer.
How Much is the Lawyer’s Fee in Civil Cases?
It has been explained above that the lawyer has freedom while appraising the fee, that he cannot take a lawsuit free of charge, that the fee cannot be below the minimum attorneyship fee tariff.
There are many types of litigation referred to as civil litigation. For example, title deed cancellation and registration lawsuits, adequate pay lawsuits, divorce lawsuits, alimony lawsuits, lawsuits in consumer courts, lawsuits in enforcement courts, lawsuits in civil courts of peace, lawsuits in commercial courts are very different types of lawsuits.
According to the “Minimum Fee Tariff” of the Istanbul Bar Association, which advises lawyers for 2022, the fees in civil cases vary between 5,500-TL (Turkish Lira) and 19,000-TL. In addition to this, an additional fee of 10% to 15% is added over the case value in cases that constitute a material benefit. How Much Do Lawyers Cost in Turkey?
Doesn’t the Lawyer Get His/Her Fee from the Other Party?
Attorneyship contract is a mandate contract in nature. Lawyer’s fee is paid by the client. Contractual lawyer fees are not collected from the other party in Turkey.
Results are not guaranteed in attorneyship. The power of attorney requires that the work be followed with due diligence. For this reason, the lawyer’s fee is not dependent on the winning of the case, and the duty of the lawyer is to follow the case with care.
If the lawyer wins a case, there is an lawyer’s fee received from the other party. This attorney’s fee is not a compensation for the work. Similarly, in the case of acquittal of a person who is tried for a crime, the attorney’s right to the attorney’s fee for the accused who is acquitted.
Can a Lawyer Follow-Up a Lawsuit for Free?
As a rule, it is not possible for a lawyer to follow a lawsuit free of charge. The lawyer’s free follow-up of litigation will result in disciplinary liability of the lawyer and will result in disciplinary punishment, since it is against the Law of Attorneyship and professional ethics. (There is an exception to the lawyer’s free follow-up, that he can take a case free of charge, provided that it is notified to the bar association to which he is affiliated.) How Much Do Lawyers Cost in Turkey?
Is It Possible to Connect the Attorney’s Fee to Success?
The agreement that the lawyer’s fee is only tied to success, that is, if the attorney is successful in the service he/she provides, will receive a fee, and if he is not successful, he will not be charged. Even if such an agreement is in question, the attorney will be able to receive a fee in accordance with Article 164 of the Attorneyship Law and the Minimum Attorneyship Fee Tariff.
As stated in the Attorneyship Agreement section, it is not possible to guarantee the outcome in the legal profession, especially in cases. The statements of the lawyer that the work will definitely result in favor of his client are not in line with the truth. Because the lawyer is not the person who will decide. The duty of the lawyer is to represent his client in the best way and to use his expertise and knowledge on the justification of the client. How Much Do Lawyers Cost in Turkey?
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