According to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), these are the regulations guiding payment for legal services provided by members of the Association.
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Remuneration for legal services must measure up to the value of the time spent or value created as determined by the economic environment in which the service is provided.
The Scale of Fees covers charges for professional services rendered by lawyers. Fees are quoted in both Ghana Cedis and US Dollars and are to be applied to services rendered to Ghanaian clients and international clients respectively as prescribed by law.
The essence of these guidelines shall be negotiation and agreement between Counsel and the client within the range prescribed below before the commencement of the provision of legal services. The law entitles every lawyer to reasonable compensation for his services. In negotiating for fees a lawyer shall adhere to these approved tariffs and shall avoid charges which either overestimate or undervalue the service rendered, though in legal aid cases, the poverty of the client may require a less charge or even none at all.
The negotiation will take into consideration the nature and/amount of work involved and estimated time to be spent on it. The terms of payment may include a deposit of up to fifty percent of the agreed fees payable upon firm instructions being given to commence work unless the Client and Counsel agree otherwise. In negotiating the terms of the fee, Counsel and the Client may agree on any method/basis and terms of payment acceptable to them including:
Fixed fee plus success fee;
Hourly fees plus success fee; and
Fixed fee for part of the work and hourly fees for the other part.
Where percentage rates are applied in computing fees, they may range from five percent (5%) to twenty-five percent (25%) unless otherwise agreed.
Initial Consultation Fees
Senior Counsel (10+years) – GH¢1,000 maximum
Counsel (5-9 years) GH¢750 maximum
Junior Counsel (under 5 years) – GH¢500 maximum
Senior Counsel (10+years) – US$500 – $1,000 maximum
Counsel (5-9 years) – US$375-$750 maximum
Junior Counsel (under 5 years) – US250-$500 maximum
Counsel may charge hourly rates for an extended Initial Consultation.
Hourly rates may range between the amounts stated below unless otherwise agreed:
Senior Counsel (10+years) – GH¢1,000 – GH¢2,000
Counsel (5-9 years) GH¢500 – GH¢1500
Junior Counsel (under 5 years) – GH¢300- GH¢1000
Senior Counsel (10+years) – US$500 – US$1,000
Counsel (5-9 years) – US$375 – US$750
Junior Counsel (under 5 years) – US$250 – US$500
The law permits a lawyer to accept retainer for advice. However a lawyer shall be separately instructed and separately remunerated by fees for each piece of work done, and shall not undertake to represent any person, authority or corporation in all their court work for a fixed annual salary. The minimum rate for retainer may be GH¢4,000.00 per month depending on the scope of work contained in the retainer provided that the clients shall be entitled to free consultation in addition to a discount of up to twenty percent (20%) for other legal services.
These are incidentals, costs and out of pocket expenses incurred in the provision of legal services on behalf of the Client and should be discussed at the start of the engagement. They may include filing fees, stamping of documents, swearing of affidavits, service of processes, telephone, fax, e-mail, photocopying, printing and binding, courier services, transportation and accommodation, preparation of appeal records, execution of judgments and notarization among others. These shall be billed for separately and paid by the client. A deposit should be paid on account by the client before commencement of work. Out-of-pocket expenses should be billed be at cost because expenses are not profit items.
Brief Fees in the Circuit & High Courts
The following brief fees shall be charged for cases falling under these headings:
Land Litigation – 10% – 20% of the value of the land or hourly rates would apply if the work involved exceeds the 20% value of the land.
Labour Litigation – 10% – 20% of the total award or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates exceed 20% of the claim.
Human Rights Litigation – GH¢6,000- GH¢30,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢30,000.
Estate Litigation – 5%-20% of the total value of the estate or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed the 20% value of the estate.
Maritime Litigation – Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$30,000-US$70,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed US$70,000.
Aviation Litigation – Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$30,000-US$70,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed US$70,000.
Libel Litigation – GH¢15,000 to GH¢30,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢30,000.
Landlord and Tenant Litigation – 5% to 15% of value of claim or hourly rates would apply where there is no value or if hourly rates involved exceed 15% of the claim
Matrimonial Causes Dissolution & Custody only GH¢15,000 – GH¢45,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢45,000.
Property Settlement & Financial Provision contest – 10% – 20% of claim or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates exceed 20% of the claim.
Adoption Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$2000 –US$4,000.
Debt Recovery Litigation 10%-25% of value of amount.
Company Litigation Directorship litigation GH¢30,000 – GH¢60,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢60,000.
Shareholder Rights 10%-20% of value of shareholding or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed 20% of the shareholding.
Winding-Up application -5% of value of company assets or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed 5% of the asset value.
Insolvency Litigation GH¢5,000 minimum.
Insurance Litigation – 15% – 25% of the claim or hourly rates would apply if the hours involved exceed 25% of the claim.
Legal Representation Before Statutory Bodies Representation of clients at the Labour Commission, CHRAJ, Regional House of Chiefs, Quasi-Judicial Bodies and Committees of Inquiry will attract the same rates as brief fees in High Court.
Representation of clients at the National House of Chiefs will attract the same rates as Civil Appeals in the Court of Appeal.
Criminal Trials Bail Application – GH¢2,500 – GH¢15,000
Misdemeanor Trials – GH¢15,000 – GH¢30,000
Felony Trials – GH¢30,000 – GH¢60,000
Indictable Trials – GH¢20,000 – GH¢150,000
Criminal Watching Briefs – GH¢10,000 – GH¢30,000
Provided that in all cases under Sections p and q above, hourly rates will be applied where the hours involved exceed the maximum fee.
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