How to find a lawyer

In Belgium all lawyers are registered with the Order in the jurisdictional district where their study is based. In Brussels there are two associations, one comprising French-speaking lawyers, the other the Dutch-speaking lawyers.

The French and German Lawyers’ Association (OBFG) includes the Registers of the Walloon region and the French register in Brussels.

The Dutch register of the capital and the Flemish registers belong to the Order called ” Orde van de Vlaamse Balies” (OVB).

The list of lawyers is available on the phone book alphabetically or on the yellow pages, or even on the Internet ( https://avocats.be/fr or http://www.advocaat.be/ ). Lawyers specializing in defense of defendants in criminal courts can be found through a specific search under the heading “criminal law” (” droit pénal ” in French, ” strafrecht” in Dutch).

You can also find a lawyer in your neighborhood by searching by court area or district.

The secretariat of each Bar Association can also provide you with a list of members.

Finally you can contact a lawyer who has been recommended, directly by e-mail, by letter or telephone.

How to pay fees and fees

As a general rule, the payment of fees is your responsibility. You may be asked for an advance on costs before any intervention. The fees are not set by law. However, the lawyer is required to explain how he calculates his fee: hourly rate applied based on the time taken for your defense or fixed amount for each type of service (advice, reading the file, interrogation, etc.).

Furthermore, there are expenses incurred for the Order and forecasts for judicial administrative burdens.

If your income is not sufficient to support legal fees, you can apply for free legal aid to the competent court service to cover the fees. The list of offices in each district is available on the Internet:

  • in French ,
  • in Dutch .

You will receive free legal assistance if you receive a social assistance benefit, benefit from the minimum income guaranteed for older people, a substitute income tax return for the disabled, if you have a dependent child who receives guaranteed family allowances, if you are a tenant in a home, underage, insolvent (bankruptcy law), under arrest, if you are in custody and are summoned by verbal process, or if you have a mental illness.

Facilitation also applies if you live alone and have an income below € 860 or if the total income of cohabiting adults in your household is less than € 1 104 (plus € 145.16 per dependent component).

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