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;
- Fixed fee plus success fee;
- Hourly fees;
- 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¢2,000 maximum
- Counsel (5-9 years) GH¢1,500 maximum
- Junior Counsel (under 5 years) – GH¢1,000 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¢2,000 – GH¢4,000
- Counsel (5-9 years) GH¢1, 000 – GH¢3,000
- Junior Counsel (under 5 years) – GH¢600- GH¢2,000
- 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¢8,000.00 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.
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¢12,000- GH¢60,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢60,000.
- 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¢30,000 to GH¢60,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢60,000.
- 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¢30,000 – GH¢90,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢90,000.
- 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 litigationGH¢60,000 – GH¢120,000 or hourly rates would apply if the hourly rates involved exceed GH¢120,000.
- 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¢10,000 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¢5,000 – GH¢30,000
- Misdemeanor Trials – GH¢30,000 – GH¢60,000
- Felony Trials – GH¢60,000 – GH¢120,000
- Indictable Trials – GH¢40,000 – GH¢300,000
- Criminal Watching Briefs – GH¢20,000 – GH¢60,000
Provided that in all cases under Sections p and q above, hourly rates will be applied where the hours involved exceed the maximum fee.
Brief fees for District Courts
Brief fees for District Courts should not exceed 50% of the brief fees charged in the High Court and Circuit Court.
Where litigation stretches over an unreasonably long period, there should be renegotiation on refresher fees after every year provided that the delay should not be traced to the default or inaction of the lawyer. However, where hourly rates apply, there shall be no need for refreshing or renegotiating fees save the review of the hourly rates.
High Court -15% of value of subject matter or if no value then GH¢90,000 – GH¢180,000
Court of Appeal-15% of value or if no value GH¢120,000 – GH¢300,000
Supreme Court – 15% of value or if no value GH¢300,000 – GH¢600,000
Review Application- 20% of value of if no value GH¢150,000 – GH¢300,000
High court – GH¢60,000 – GH¢150,000
Court of Appeal – GH¢150,000 – GH¢240,000
Supreme Court- GH¢150,000 – GH¢300,000
- Specialized Services
- Power of Attorney – Fee for Two (2) hours maximum or hourly rates would apply if the hours involved exceed two hours.
- Statutory Declaration – Fee for Two (2) hours maximum or hourly rates would apply if the hours involved exceed two hours.
- Notary Fees – two (2) hours maximum or hourly rates would apply if the hours involved exceed two hours.
- Legal Opinion Writing
- Intra-Country – minimum rate of GH¢20,000
- Cross-Border- minimum rate of US$6,000 (Ghana Cedi equivalent)
The fees for any conveyance are based on value of the property being conveyed.
Where the value of the property is:
- Up to GH¢40,000.00 – 15% maximum
- Over GH¢40,000.00 and up to GH¢200,000.00 – 15% for first GH¢40,000 and balance at 12% maximum
- Over GH¢400,000.00 and up to – 12% for first GH¢400,000.00 and balance at 10% maximum
- Over GH¢400,000.00 and up to GH¢500,000.00 – 10% for first GH¢400,000 and balance at 7.5% maximum
- Over GH¢1000,000.00 – 7.5% for first GH¢1000,000 and balance at 5% maximum
Fee for tenancy agreements shall be based on the yearly rent and other considerations involved.
Where the yearly rent or other consideration involved is:
- Up to GH¢40,000 per annum – 15% maximum
- Over GH¢40,000 and up to GH¢100,000 – GH¢6,000 plus 10% maximum per annum
- Over GH¢100,000 and up to GH¢200,000- GH¢6,000 plus 7.5% maximum per annum
- Over GH¢200,000 per annum – GH¢6,000 plus 5% maximum
Alternatively, where practicable, Counsel may charge one month’s rent as legal fees.
The Cedi equivalent of a fee of US$1,000 shall be charged for the incorporation of a partnership and the drafting of a partnership agreement shall attract an additional fee range between US$1,000 – US$2,000 payable in the Ghana Cedi equivalent. Hourly rates would apply if the man hours exceed US$2,000.
Company / Registration
A fee range between US$1,000 – US$4,000 payable in the Ghana Cedi equivalent shall be charged for the incorporation of a company. A separate fee ranging between US$1,000 – US$2,000 shall be charged for the preparation of the Regulations of the Company. Hourly rates would apply if the man hours involved exceed US$2,000.
For the preparation of Commercial agreements including research, legal opinion drafting and engrossment or finalization, but excluding conferences with clients:
- the fee shall be the same as hourly rates for each hour spent, or
- the fees shall be based on a percentage of the consideration or lump sum involved in the agreement as follows:
- Less than GH¢20,000, the fees shall not exceed 15% thereof;
- Over GH¢20,000, the fee shall not exceed 10% thereof;
- Over GH¢100,000 but less than GH¢300,000 the fee shall not exceed 7% thereof;
- Over GH¢300,000 but less than GH¢1000,000 the fee shall not exceed 5% thereof;
- Over GH¢10,00,000 the fee shall not exceed 3% thereof.
- Simple wills (without any trust or limitation or dispositions) – GH¢6,000 maximum, or hourly rates will apply if the hours exceed GH¢6,000
- Complicated wills – GH¢18,000 maximum, or hourly rates will apply if the hours exceed GH¢18,000
Value of Estate Fees to be charged
- a) Up to GH¢200,000.00 GH¢14,000 maximum
- b) Over GH¢200,000.00 GH¢14,000 for the first GH¢200,000 plus up to 5% for any additional value.
The preparation of Vesting Assent and the Winding Up of an Estate should not be included as part of the matters relating to Probate and Letters of Administration and must be treated as separate matters. The fees to be charged for Vesting Assent and Winding Up of an Estate shall be the same provided that where the same lawyer was responsible for the Probate and Letters of Administration, the maximum fee for the Vesting Assent and Winding Up of an Estate shall not exceed 50% of the fees approved.
Where the lawyer negotiates compensation claims for property, land, et cetera, acquired by government, the fees shall not exceed 15% of the total compensation paid.
Debt collection, as its name implies, involves the recovery of monies such as rent, contract payments and other debts for and on behalf of clients. This may be achieved in two main ways:
- by correspondence, or
- by instituting legal action for the recovery of the debt or by acting on behalf of the debtor for any such action.
All expenses for the recovery of debts should be borne by the client.
Where the amount involved is up to and includes:
- GH¢50,000 – 10% maximum
- GH¢200,000 – 10% for the first GH¢50,000 and balance at 7% maximum
- GHS800,000 – 10% for first GH¢50,000, 7% for balance up to GH¢200,000 and remaining balance at 5% maximum
- Over GHS800,000 – 10% for first GH¢50,000, 7% for balance up to GH¢200,000, 5% for balance up to GH¢800,000 and remaining balance at 3% maximum
Debt Collection by Instituting Legal Action
Fees are provided for under brief fees [see Clause E(k) supra]
Lawyers are humans and they are to help you if possible at a free rate.
Mostly you pay them so that they will be able to convey themselves to where ever to assist you.
For instance, contracting a lawyer from northern Region, when you are in Greater Accra means, you will have to pay for the transportation fee all the way from the Northern region to Accra.
To avoid this, you need to contract lawyers very close to you or where the case will be in order to pay less.
There are poor people and rich people, the lawyers recognizes that hence if your profile they get to know you have more money than they think, you will definitely be charged more, almost at the end of the chart fees or fixed fees or the hourly rate.
If for instance a Lawyers Charge for the legal service is usually GHc 40,000, when you show you are rich, you will end up paying all the Ghc 40,000 or more while someone who is poor can even pay Ghc 10,000 for the same legal service.
Contract a new or Junior lawyer who is intelligent, their Rates are lower than the senior Lawyers and you will still get the same results.