Legal Representation & Fees FAQ
Our charges are set in the sliding scale below. This means that our fees can never exceed 10% of what you have paid and we have recovered for you. We do require however a retainer sum on your behalf, payable in installments, which can be as low as 2.900 Euros. If we win the case and Court costs are awarded on Corvera (which will happen almost certainly if we win) and we collect the costs from them, we will reimburse you the retainer.
Number of Claimants Fees Up to 5 claimants 10% of the sum recovered and a retainer of €5,500 From 5 to 15 claimants 10% of the sum recovered and a retainer of €4,500 From 15 to 25 claimants 10% of the sum recovered and a retainer of €3,900 From 25 to 50 claimants; 10% of the sum recovered and a retainer of €3,500 From 50 claimants onwards 10% of the sum recovered and a retainer of €2,900
Owners with 2 properties have 2 separate contracts which unfortunately will attract an additional fee although this fee is reduced to 75% of the fee for the first unit.
Our fees are all inclusive of any costs we may generate in the process of representing you in Court. There is one specific fee for a situation which is not included and that is if it is considered necessary to register an embargo against a property on your behalf and the Court requires the plaintiff to deposit a sum with Courts as a guarantee.
There are no hidden disbursements or costs outside of the retainer, they are covered by the fees. Again, this would be noted on the letter of engagement.
This is an important question since the Court costs below apply if the case is lost by the Group Action and the Courts award costs on the group action.
Therefore, if Court costs (which are basically the Corvera legal fees) are imposed on the plaintiff group, which will happen if the Court case is lost and the judge awards costs on the group action, the resulting legal fee is lower than if every plaintiff litigated individually. The reason for this is that fees in Spain are calculated on the basis of degressive scale.
For example, if your contract is for a property worth €230,000 Euros and you are claiming €70,000 Euros the value of the claim would be of €300,000, and you lose your case, Corvera´s lawyers legal fees would be of €23,184, as a percentage of 6% applies. If all claimants group together the applicable legal fees would not exceed 4%, which is 33% less (in the event of losing the case). On a claim value of €600,000 and above it makes no difference as it a fixed 4%.
The same will apply if you obtain a favourable ruling but the other way round. In other words, if we win the case on your behalf and costs are awarded on the Corvera we would be entitled to the fees as below and on receiving these, we would refund you the retainer paid.
Irrespective of the Courts costs as set below our firm will charge 10% of whatever sums we can recover from the developer, with a retainer payment as set out on the Lawbird Corvera Golf Proposal for Legal Action.
What excedes up to
----------.-Source: Murcia Bar Association
Appeal is not included in the letter of engagement but generally, the fees tend to be 50% of the fees in the first instance.
These do include Procurator fees. We would be specifically noting this on the letter of engagement.
We have not included the cost of appeal, whether we win or we lose but generally speaking they are calculated at 50% of the main fees.
I am completely comfortable with your question as I would think the same way if I had been let down by a lawyer. Our firm works on the basis of formal undertakings which are formalized by signing a letter of engagement. This contract commits us to do a certain job, which is to obtain a ruling in the Courts of First Instance.
Top law firms in Spain tend to work with large corporations and are not structured to offer a good service to a large number of individuals. They also lack the best professionals because these tend to leave after a training period to start up their own firms and therefore are mostly staffed by less ambitious practitioners.
This consideration is logic: people feel let down by a lawyer who appears to come from a small firm, and don't wish to experience the same situation. Our firm has 250 ongoing Court cases and a client base of 2,500 people, who mainly bought properties or have made investments in Spain. We have a staff of 18 people, of which 6 are lawyers, and we are capable of coping with the number of clients. We also have a very strong presence in internet and will issue updates through our various websites (provided these are not particular to a case and are not case-sensitive). I am a regular internet writer and tend to reply my emails within 24 hours although I am trying to reduce this to 18. The same applies to the rest of the staff in the office.
Also, large firms don’t necessary have more “clout” in Court as, on a hearing, it is a one to one fight, that is, one lawyer per firm. Larger firms are also more adapted to corporate clients, as good lawyers tend to set up on their own after a practice period. We have experienced this in Courts many times.
A Joinder of Actions (the term "class action" in Spain is reserved to Consumer Associations) is based, in this case, on procedural identity, that is, when there are common procedural elements (parties, subject matter of cause of action). The purpose is clear: to avoid incompatible or contradictory judgments in actions which have a certain degree of similarity, based on identity, connection or attraction. A secondary purpose is procedural economy. A translation of the court ruling is available upon request.
Please find below clarification. On a €75,000 (incl. Vat) deposit, the breakdown of costs would be:
- Retainer: €3,500 VAT included (based on a group of 25 claimants)
- Lawbird maximum fee (10%): €7,500 VAT included. Balance is paid on recovery of funds (which in principle would include also interest and legal costs. Should legal costs be recovered, a full refund of the retainer would operate and we would be entitled to 10% of total amount obtained for you (liquid funds in bank account).
- Counter claim retainer: 65% of €3,500
- Appeal retainer: 50% of €3,500 (this retainer is regardless of whether we challenge a ruling or oppose an appeal lodged by the defendant.
- Insolvency: No further fees in this instance to join the creditors list.
We have finally decided to charge the same to claimants who have two properties and those who have one, which means that there will only be one single fee for both cases (equal to claimants with 1 property/case). The reason for doing this is that we can consider both properties to be part of one claimant, within the group action. This however does not mean that it will occur the same if the case is lost as then the Murcia Bar Association Fee Guidelines apply.