Cost of legal aid

Legal aid is provided for free to persons without means. Others are liable to co-pay for the legal aid they are given. The costs collected from the applicant include the legal aid charge and the deductible.

Legal aid charge

A legal aid charge is EUR 70. The legal aid charge is not collected if the applicant gets legal aid for free.

Legal aid fee criteria

The hourly and other legal aid fees are determined in compliance with the Government Decree on Legal Aid Fee Criteria. When the fee is calculated by the hour the fee is 110 Euro per hour. The applicant’s basic and supplementary deductible is taken into account in determining the amount of the legal aid fee.

Deductible

The deductible of a recipient of legal aid may have two components, which are calculated in different ways; these components are the basic deductible which is based on the available means of the applicant, and the supplementary deductible which is based on the assets of the applicant and his or her spouse. The supplementary deductible is used to cover the portion of the attorney’s fee and expenses that remains after the basic deductible has been subtracted from them.

The amount of the deductible is determined after the matter has been dealt with. An advance of the deductible may be collected. The recipient of the legal aid pays the deductible directly to his or her counsel, either a private attorney or a Public Legal Aid Attorney.

Basic deductible

The basic deductible is calculated as a percentage of the costs of the legal aid, determined on the basis of the applicant’s available means as follows:

Single person

up to EUR 600: 0 %

up to EUR 800: 20 %

up to EUR 900: 30 %

up to EUR 1,050: 40 %

up to EUR 1,150: 55 %

up to EUR 1,300: 75 %

Couple, per person

up to EUR 550: 0 %

up to EUR 700: 20 %

up to EUR 800: 30 %

up to EUR 1,000: 40 %

up to EUR 1,100: 55 %

up to EUR 1,200: 75 %

The income of the spouse is not taken into account, if the spouses are opposing parties in the case (e.g. in a divorce case) or if the applicant is being suspected of or accused of committing a crime.

Supplementary deductible

The supplementary deductible consists of 50 per cent of the assets of the applicant and his or her spouse, in so far as these exceed EUR 5,000.

Example: (deposits of EUR 25,000 less threshold of EUR 5,000) x 50% = supplementary deductible EUR 10,000

Assets that however are not taken into account in determining the supplementary deductible are the family's primary residence, an ordinary leisure home and a car, provided that their value is reasonable in proportion to the family’s size and need.

Examples

a) Attorney’s bill EUR 8,000

1. basic deductible 0 %

2. supplementary deductible EUR 10,000

Recipient of legal aid pays EUR 8,000.

b) Attorney’s bill EUR 20,000

1. basic deductible 0 %

2. supplementary deductible EUR 10,000

Recipient of legal aid pays EUR 10,000.

c) Attorney’s bill EUR 20,000

1. basic deductible 20 %

2. supplementary deductible EUR 10,000

Recipient of legal aid pays (EUR 20,000 x 20 %) + EUR 10,000 = EUR 14,000.

 
Published 5.3.2014