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What are litigation fees?

The litigation fee is a flat-rate contribution towards the costs and fees of the lawyer of the winning party (Art. 1022 Judicial Code).

This is, logically enough, payable by the party who has been unsuccessful in court.

For specific reasons, the judge can deviate from the basic amounts and grant a different amount within the legal limits. Specifically, this is possible for the following reasons:

  • the losing party's financial capacity, to reduce the amount of compensation owed;
  • the complexity of the case;
  • the contractually determined fees for the winning party;
  • the manifestly unreasonable nature of the situation.

The litigation fee can always be reclaimed in civil matters. In criminal cases, this is only possible in a limited number of situations.

According to the Royal Decree of 26/10/07, the amounts of the litigation fee are determined as follows:

Article 1. The basic, minimum and maximum amounts of the litigation fee referred to in Article 1022 of the Judicial Code are determined in this Decree.

The amounts are determined per instance.

No fee is due for acts performed before a court from which the case has been withdrawn by decision of the district court.

Likewise, no fee is due if the defendant or the defendant on appeal, before the registration of the case on the roll, grants the claim and discharges his commitments in principal, interest and costs.

If the defendant or the defendant on appeal, after the registration of the case on the roll, grants the claim and discharges his commitments in principal, interest and costs, the amount of the compensation is equal to one quarter of the basic compensation, without being able to exceed € 1,200.

Article 2. With the exception of the matters referred to in Article 4 of this Decree, the litigation fee for disputes relating to claims measurable in money shall be determined as follows:

* Basic amount Minimum amount Maximum amount
Up to € 250 € 180 € 90 € 360
From € 250.01 to € 750 € 240 € 150 € 600
From € 750.01 to € 2,500 € 480 € 240 € 1,200
From € 2,500.01 to € 5,000 € 780 € 450 € 1,800
From € 5,000.01 to € 10,000 € 1,080 € 600 € 2,400
From € 10,000.01 to € 20,000 € 1,320 € 750 € 3,000
From € 20,000.01 to € 40,000 € 2,400 € 1,200 € 4,800
From € 40,000.01 to € 60,000 € 3,000 € 1,200 € 6,000
From € 60,000.01 to € 100,000 € 3,600 € 1,200 € 7,200
From € 100,000.01 to € 250,000 € 6,000 € 1,200 € 12,000
From € 250,000.01 to € 500,000 € 8,400 € 1,200 € 16,800
From € 500,000.01 to € 1,000,000 € 12,000 € 1,200 € 24,000
Over € 1,000,000.01 € 18,000 € 1,200

€ 36,000

* amounts adjusted to the indexation and valid as from 01/06/2016

For the purposes of this Article, the amount of the claim shall be determined in accordance with Articles 557 to 562 and 618 of the Judicial Code relating to the determination of the jurisdiction and instance. Where the dispute concerns the title of a maintenance allowance, by way of derogation from Article 561 of the same Code, the amount of the claim shall be calculated, in order to determine the litigation fee, on the basis of the amount of the annuity or of twelve monthly instalments.

Article 3. For disputes relating to claims not measurable in money, the basic amount of the litigation fee is € 1,440, the minimum amount is € 90 and the maximum amount is € 12,000.

Article 4. By way of derogation from Articles 2 and 3, the basic, minimum and maximum amounts of the litigation fee for the administration of justice referred to in Articles 579 and 1017 (2) of the Judicial Code are determined as follows:

*

Basic amount Minimum amount Maximum amount
President of the labour court
Up to € 2,500 € 43.75 € 31.75 € 55.75
Over € 2,500.01 € 87.43 € 69.43 € 105.43
Not measurable in money € 43.75 € 31.75 € 55.75
Labour court
Up to € 249.99 € 43.75 € 31.75 € 55.75
From € 250 to € 619.99 € 87.43 € 69.43 € 105.43
From € 620 to € 2,500 € 131.18 € 107.18 € 155.18
Over € 2,500 € 262.37 € 226.37 € 298.37
Not measurable in money € 131.18 € 107.18 € 155.18
Labour court
Up to € 249.99 € 58.33 € 46.33 € 70.33
From € 250 to € 619.99 € 116.60 € 98.60 € 134.60
From € 620 to € 2,500 € 174.94 € 144.94 € 192.94
Over € 2,500 € 349.80 € 301.80 € 397.80
Not measurable in money € 174.94 € 144.94 € 192.94

* amounts adjusted to the indexation and valid as from 01/06/2016.

Article 5. For claims submitted in accordance with Article 1340 of the Judicial Code, the minimum fees referred to in Article 2 apply for the stage of the procedure described in Articles 1340 to 1343, §2 of the Judicial Code.

Article 6. When the case is closed by default, and no unsuccessful party has ever appeared, the amount of the litigation fee is that of the minimum fee.

Article 7. No litigation fees are awarded for legal proceedings that seek legal assistance.

Otherwise, the fact that legal assistance is provided in no way detracts from the award of the fees referred to in the previous articles.

Article 8. The basic, minimum and maximum amounts are linked to the consumer price index corresponding to 105.78 points (2004 base). Each time the index rises or falls by 10 points, the sums referred to in Articles 2 to 4 of this Decree are increased or decreased by 10 percent.

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