Terms and Conditions: How to instruct Graf & Partners
If you consider to engage the legal services of Graf & Partners, the best way forward is to send us an enquiry by email, fax or regular mail. In such enquiry, please outline the situation and explain the relevant facts of the case. Of course, all information provided by you is protected by the attorney-client privilege. If, at first, you prefer not to disclose the actual names of the parties involved, that is fine too. However, please understand that we need to undertake a conflict check before we can agree to take on a case. Also, we need to comply with anti money laundering regulations. For this, we need to obtain the information described below in order to decide whether Graf & Partners is able to advise or represent you. In any case, you do not become our client until we have confirmed in writing that Graf & Partners is taking on the case.
Graf & Partners hosts various expert law blogs on German and international law topics. Thus, we receive a large number of enquiries, on some days in excess of 100 emails and phone calls. We ask for your understanding that we cannot immediately respond to every enquiry sent to us. We can also not take on every case we are being offered. We do, however, strive to respond to every enquiry within three business days. In particular, we will inform you whether this firm will be able to advise and represent you in the matter or whether we have to decline. In any case, we need to make it clear that – unless we have formally accepted to take on your legal matter, Graf & Partners is under no obligation to assess the case, to provide any kidn of legal advice or to check, much less adhere to, any deadlines or limitation periods.
Please note that, as a rule, we will not answer any questions free of charge. We frequently receive enquiries like “Could you please answer the below question, but I do not wish to incur any costs.” You will understand that we cannot respond to such emails.
Legal Fees, Retainers, Upfront Payments
Graf & Partners specialise in corporate and business law, probate and estate administration as well as international litigation. Also, we focus on international, English speaking clients. Therefore, our fees are higher than those of average German law firms. The hourly rates for partners range from 280 to 450 Euro plus VAT, rates for associate lawyers range from 210 to 300 Euro plus VAT.
We ask all new clients to provide us with an upfront payment. Depending on the complexity of the case, the minimum upfront payment is EUR 500 to 1,000 net for private clients and between EUR 2,000 and 10,000 net for corporate and business clients.
If the above terms are agreeable and you wish to instruct Graf & Partners, we will provide you with a fee agreement and a power of attorney form for you to sign and send back to us. We will also send the wiring information for the upfront payment. Once we are in possession of the required information and documents (see next section) and as soon as we have received the upfront payment, we will assess your case – usually within one or two weeks – and suggest a concrete way forward.
Required Information and Documents
In order for us to conduct a proper conflict check and in order to comply with the statutory Know Your Client & Anti Money Laundering regulations, please provide us with:
- your full name and residential address
- some form of ID (copy or scan of passport, state ID card etc)
- signed power of attorney
- signed legal fee agreement.
For any questions, do not hesitate to contact our office.