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October 29, 2019
If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers, and a good lawyer always comes with certain fees. Hence, the discussion initiated by Legal Consultants of Dubai under this article pertains to the no refund policy of legal fees, if the lawyer has commenced the professional service or legal work, in accordance with UAE Law. I am convinced that all the lawyers or law firms might have encountered clients seeking refund due to varying reasons. Nevertheless, the lawyer is authorised to retain the fees as agreed upon between the parties under the said agreement.
Legal services offered by any lawyer can be intricate which is dependent on the category of legal service and amount of work. Accordingly, the fees vary from each lawyer considering several factors including but not limited to, legal experience, the expertise of the lawyer, the complexity of the matter and the authority before the case is presented.
It is vital for any lawyer to explicitly mention the legal fees prior to the commencement of work and upon confirmation, the client is obliged to submit the legal fees as agreed upon between the parties. Nonetheless, once the fees are submitted by the client and the lawyer has commenced the work nothing will prevent him from retaining the fees, should the client dismiss the lawyer on unreasonable grounds. This is in accordance with Federal Law Number 23 of 1991 regarding Regulating the Legal Profession (the Lawyer's Law).
The Lawyer's law explicitly highlights the rights and obligations of the lawyers wherein; lawyers are entitled to receive legal fees for the legal work undertaken by the lawyer and expenses paid for legally representing the client, pursuant to Article 28 of the Law. Having said that, the lawyer's fees and the expenses paid by him shall be given subsequent priority by the client considering the amount of work undertaken by the lawyer to obtain the decision by any competent authority.
Importantly, pursuant to Article 33 of the Lawyer's Law, if the client dismisses the lawyer without justifiable reasons, or grounds after the lawyer has commenced the work or legal service, the Client shall have complete obligation to pay the entire amount and if the fees have already been paid, the lawyer shall retain the fees as agreed upon by the parties. Whereas, if the agreement between the parties has been dismissed prior to the commencement of work, the lawyer is entitled to receive the fees for the legal efforts made or exerted in initiating the work, subject to 25% of the value of the complete matter agreed between the parties. Also, in the event of disagreement with regards to the legal fees, it shall be estimated in accordance with Article 29 of the Lawyer's Law.
The Law further provides a provision in the event of a client's demise which offers authority to the successors proceed or rescinds the agreement signed with the lawyer. Accordingly, should the successor choose to dismiss the agreement, the lawyer is entitled to retain the fees for the efforts exerted thereof. In conclusion, the provisions of Lawyer's Law safeguards the interest of both parties, subsequently, entitles the lawyer to retain or seek appropriate fees for the amount of work exerted by the lawyer, regardless of dismissal by the client.