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The costs of legal proceedings in the Netherlands

The costs of legal proceedings in the Netherlands

Who bears the costs of legal proceedings in the Netherlands?

Our contract lawyer Lisa Jie Sam Foek explains in this blog the reimbursement of lawyer’s fees and other legal costs such as court fees in legal proceedings in the Netherlands.

What are the costs attached to legal proceedings? The types of costs can be simplified into the following three categories, they will be discussed independently:

  • Lawyer’s fees
  • Legal costs as court fees.

If the court decides its verdict in your favour, one can recover part of the lawyer’s fees. The remaining costs are in principle paid for by the losing party. However, there are exceptions to this general rule, as we will see at the end.  

Lawyer's fees

If eligible for reimbursement, one does not recover all of the lawyer’s fees. The costs of a lawyer is agreed to amongst the party and their lawyer, typically by the use of a hourly rate. In the event you win the legal proceedings, one may seek reimbursement in accordance with the liquidation point system. Here are two rules by which the liquidation point system functions:

  • A single liquidation point has a fixed value dependent upon the financial interest of the represented party.
  • One or half a liquidation point is earned for every procedural act a lawyer performs; this includes, attending a hearing or drawing up and submitting a legal document.

Thus, the higher the fixed value of a liquidation point and the more liquidation points, the higher the reimbursement and vice versa.

Court fees

The Court fees are the costs incurred by starting a legal procedure. This mainly consists of administration costs. The amount of the court fees is dependent on two factors:

  • The type of case
  • And the value of the case.

The costs range between 79 euros to 3946 euros for a claim of more than 100,000 euros.

In the Netherlands, the legal costs will be eligible for full reimbursement in the event of an order for costs.

Reimbursement of costs

One is eligible for reimbursement if you have won the case. Therefore, if you win the case:

  • The court fees are paid for by the opposing party
  • The lawyer fees are paid for in accordance with the liquidation point system
  • Other legal costs as bailiff’s costs and costs of witnesses or experts’ are paid for as well.

Of course, if one loses the proceeding, it is the losing party who bears these costs. However, there is one exception to this general rule.

Each party could bear its own legal costs

Sometimes the court sees a reason to set off the legal costs between the parties. In other words, each party could bear its own legal costs. This often happens in family law where the opposing parties share the same legal responsibilities. In its evaluation, the court does not take into consideration which party’s interest was defended in its verdict.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that in proceedings concerning intellectual property, one may sometimes be able to recover the full actual costs. Similarly, in the exceptional circumstance that a party has abused procedural law, knowing that the proceedings would be ineffective, this party will also bear all the actual costs.

Procedural costs: lawyer in Amsterdam

It is important to take the procedural costs in consideration when deciding whether to take legal action. But most important is to assess the probability of success with the help of a lawyer. Feel free to contact Lisa Jie Sam Foek, lawyer in Amsterdam (Blenheim) and find out how we can offer the tailored assistance you need.

LAW - associated firm

Together with a number of international law firms outside
The Netherlands, Blenheim is member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide.

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