LITIGATION COSTS in BULGARIA
LITIGATION COSTS in BULGARIA
Every foreign client needs to understand how the Bulgarian legal system works and to calculate the outstanding costs for a future litigation procedure against Bulgarian courts. The burden of this legal fees & trial costs in litigation process has always been important point of our legal work with foreign clients & investors in Bulgaria. According this legal fees & trial costs, investors, peoples and companies deciding whether to bring a civil action or waiting until we suggest them a better solution for solving his problems.
The existing litigation costs, concerning the trial process in Bulgaria include the state fee, lawyers’ fees, deposits of technical experts for preparation of statement or technical opinion, appointed from the Bulgarian court and costs & court fees for calling witnesses, translation of documents and expertise, court fees & legal costs for obtaining internal measures for securing the debt of every creditor in Bulgaria.
Litigation costs do not include the technical costs of translations, certifications, and legalization of documents, collection and examination of evidence, utilities, travel expenses, preliminary legal opinions. This costs & fees has to be submitted in the court trial and to be included in the future court decision.
Bulgarian civil procedure law is obtaining on simple construction – the party, losing the trial, needs to cover all outstanding fees & trial costs, paid in the litigation process from the opposite side, also the proportional accepted part of the initial claims.
Legal costs in trial procedures in Bulgaria
Every Bulgarian court is obliged to settle this information and inform the both parties for outstanding legal fees & trial costs after the trial process has been completed. The costs section is also an enforceable part of the court’s judgment. In order to pursue reimbursement of awarded costs, the party seeking them should obtain from the Court a writ of execution and initiate an enforcement case with a judicial enforcement officer (bailiff). Costs incurred within the enforcement case, such as bailiff’s fees and attorney’s fees, are also collectable from the debtor.
Bulgarian courts are working on every case, in accordance with the simple lawyer’s remuneration Tariffs, which cannot be reduced below the minimum amount stated in special Ordinance 1 of 2004 on the minimum amounts of attorney fees (promulgated in the Official Gazette by Issue 64/2004).
It is worth noting that the current CPC provides several exceptions to the basic principle on distribution of burden of litigation costs. The first exception depends on the outcome of the case, as each party has the right to claim its costs in accordance with the accepted or rejected part of the claim. The second exception depends on the behavior of the parties, as, if the defendant did not cause the litigation and acknowledges the claim, the costs are borne by the plaintiff, even though the decision is favorable to him. Another exception to the principle involves termination of the case due to refusal or withdrawal of the claim, procedural violations, non-payment of the state fee, inadmissibility of the claim, and so on, in which case the defendant’s costs should be borne by the plaintiff. In case of a court settlement, the parties may agree to split the costs. In such case, the Court reimburses 50 percent of the paid state fee to the plaintiff.
The Bulgarian CPC does not recognize the funding of litigation costs by outside third parties (which is allowed in the U.S., for example), but the parties have the option of purchasing litigation expenses insurance under the Bulgarian Insurance Code if the estimated cost amount is significant.