Unless otherwise agreed, fees shall be calculated under the Austrian Legal Counsel Fees Act (RATG) and/or under the Austrian General Criteria for Lawyers’ Fees (AHK). In any case, the Lawyer shall be entitled to an appropriate fee.
8.2. Even if a lump sum or a time-based fee has been agreed, the minimum entitlement of the Lawyer over and above that fee shall be at least the costs recovered from the opposing party, if it is possible to recover the costs; otherwise, the Lawyer shall receive the agreed lump sum or time-based fee.
8.3. In addition to the fee agreed with or payable to the Lawyer, the following items are also payable: VAT at the applicable statutory rate, any appropriate expenses that may be required (e.g. travel, telephone, fax and photocopying) and any cash expenses incurred on the Client’s behalf (e.g. court fees).
8.4. The Client is aware that estimates, given by the Lawyer and not expressly referred to as binding, regarding the anticipated fee are subject to change and cannot be regarded as a binding quote (as defined in the Austrian Consumer Protection Act, KSchG, section 5 (2)), as it is in the nature of the Lawyer’s work that its scope cannot be reliably assessed in advance.
8.5. The Client shall not be charged for the work involved in calculating the fee and writing the invoice. However, this does not apply to the work involved in the translation of lists of services (from German into other languages) where such work is requested by the Client. Unless otherwise agreed, the invoiced amount shall include the service of drawing up letters at the Client’s request to the Client’s chartered accountant where such letters relate, for example, to the progress of pending cases, or where such letters give risk assessments for the purpose of setting aside provisions and/or providing information on the level of outstanding fees at a certain reporting date.
8.6. The Lawyer may at any time and no less than at quarterly intervals send invoices to the Client and ask for advances on fees.
8.7. If the Client is an entrepreneur, then any properly itemised invoice sent to the Client shall be deemed to have been accepted by the same unless the Client sends a written objection within one month of receiving the invoice (the authoritative date for calculation shall be the receipt of the Client’s objection by the Lawyer).
8.8. If the Client is in arrears with the payment of all or part of the fee, they shall be liable for interest on arrears at the statutory amount and at a rate of at least 4% above the base interest rate applicable at the time. The foregoing shall not affect possible further-reaching legal claims (e.g. under the Austrian Civil Code, ABGB, section 1333).
8.9. The Lawyer may, at their own discretion, pass on to the Client any expenses that have been paid to courts or authorities (i.e. cash expenses) and any costs (e.g. for subcontracted third-party services), for direct payment.
8.10. If several clients brief the Lawyer in a given case, they shall be collectively liable for any claims made towards the Lawyer in this connection.
8.11. The Client’s claims for costs towards the opposing party are hereby assigned to the Lawyer from the date when they arise and to the extent that the Lawyer is entitled to lawyer’s fees. The Lawyer may notify the opposing party of this assignment at any time.