I am trying to establish the Thai norms. Our lawyer has requested close to 350,000 baht for legal and court costs in advance. This comprises roughly 250,000 baht in court costs and 100,000 baht in lawyers’ fees. Plus, the lawyer expects to get 10% of the gross sum awarded when we win the case. The amount we expect to recover is 24 million baht. These figures seem abnormally high, especially the “court costs”. It also appears abnormal that the lawyer gets a fixed fee in advance as well as a percentage. Is this the norm?
Asked on Friday, December 7, 2001 | 11:03 AM
Normally the court fees are 2.5% of the total value filed. However, in a case where the total value of the case is high in your case, 24 million baht the court fees are capped at a maximum of 200,000 baht plus expenses for notice sending and a few other small items. It is customary for a lawyer to asks a client to cover further expenses, such as translations, interpreters, outside opinions or investigations, in advance. In a complex case, therefore, the advance payment of 350,000 baht seems quite reasonable. A 10% take of the gross winnings is also a standard fee for a case with a value of 24 million baht. It is certainly possible to find alternative fee agreements with other lawyers, but the fee terms you describe look straight and fair to us.