Lawyer Charging Fees in USD not NTD?


So basically I met with a lawyer early this year for about an hour. After this initial meeting, I tried ti pay for his consultation at his front desk, but he insisted that I not worry about it. We have since had a couple of conversations, none of these conversations lasted more than an hour.

Fast forward to now, a couple months after the last time we communicated, and the lawyer is now billing me for 4 hours. I understand lawyers need to make a living, etc,etc and I will give him the benefit of the doubt in terms of the amount of “time” he put into his “research”.

HOWEVER, he is counting his fees in USD not NTD. Frankly i think this is outrageous! He’s a Taiwanese lawyer, and practices law here, not in the US. Furthermore, all matters pertained to Taiwanese law, the US is not involved whatsoever. Yet for some reason he is charging in USD and not NTD! Has anyone ever come across such a situation before? Any advice on how I should handle it?

Thanks for your help.

A lawyer should quote his rates to you before providing service – whether an hourly rate or a flat fee – so the rate should not be a surprise. If he failed to do so, I would consider that a professional lapse. Whether he is quoting in USD or NTD shouldn’t make too much difference as the amount can simply be converted between them at the prevailing rate. Just ask him to requote the bill in NTD. Being in Taiwan, you should certainly be entitled to pay in NTD.

The take-away here is that anyone using professional services – whether from a lawyer or any other kind of service provider – should always get a firm quote in writing before giving the go-ahead to the service provider. When using lawyers, it is usually in the client’s best interest to insist on a flat fee quote rather than a quoted hourly rate.

By the way, if you and he did not commit to a certain rate or fee in writing, then I would say the amount of the bill is still negotiable. If you really think he billed you too much, discuss it with him and try to persuade him to write some off. Lawyers do this quite routinely, especially with corporate clients, but also with individual clients.

It’s quite normal for lawyers in Taiwan to charge foreigners in USD, into a USD account. Why they do so, I have no idea.