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Cost and Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer in Cameroon

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Cost and Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer in Cameroon. How to Hire or Get a Lawyer in Cameroon?

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This article describes the cost and things to consider when hiring a lawyer in Cameroon.

Challenges With Getting a Lawyer

For most people, hiring a lawyer is one of those things they wish they never had to go through; it's a big commitment…employing another individual to represent your interests adequately and ensure that whatever reason you employed them for is resolved quickly and smoothly.



We at temogroup know it is a big deal, and therefore we have come up with a few things you should look out for when getting or hiring a lawyer, so you can pick someone best suited to represent your interests effectively. 

Suggested: How to Sue Someone or a Company in Court in Cameroon?

Cost and Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer in Cameroon (or Law Firm)

Before you get to hire a law firm or lawyer in Cameroon, consider the following:

DO YOU NEED A LAWYER?

Learn about your problem

The first and often most underrated thing is that you need to understand what your issue is and know whether you actually need a lawyer's services before trying to hire one. Most times, people face a problem and automatically believe that they need a lawyer to solve it.



While having the mindset of engaging a lawyer for issues is a good thing, you should try to find out a bit more about the problem first. 

Do some minor research to understand your rights, use the Internet, ask friends, and use services like ours! Consultants at temogroup provide free initial legal information to individuals and businesses that are unsure about their legal rights and need some quick assistance and/or data (you can contact us here)

Can you solve it on your own?

 In many cases, you may be able to solve your problem without a lawyer's help. If a company has wronged you, it might be that the best way to attempt to resolve it is to see if it has a customer service department. Often, a complaint can be settled to your satisfaction without finding a lawyer.

For instance, you book a domestic flight from Douala to Yaounde, your flight gets delayed for 6 hours, you eventually get to your destination, and you are so upset that you decide you want to sue the airline. Now while you have a right to sue them, you should be aware that there are other ways you can attempt to raise a grievance and obtain compensation.

You can make a formal complaint to the airline, and if you do not get a satisfactory response, you can ask the Consumer Protection Council to assist you. We actually have an article on steps to follow to claim compensation when your flight is delayed.

As you can see, you still get what you want – a resolution of your complaint, but this way, it has not cost you the time, money and effort which would have occasioned you using a lawyer. So before you think about hiring or getting a lawyer, you should ask yourself- do I really need a lawyer?

BEGIN YOUR SEARCH FOR A LAWYER IN CAMEROON (How to get a Lawyer in Cameroon?)

 There are thousands of lawyers in Cameroon; the issue for you then is how to find one that best suits your needs? 



Lawyers improve their clients' quality of life by protecting them from situations that might later bring emotional and financial hardship. A good lawyer is there to help those in trouble now and those who want to avoid problems in the future.

If your problem needs special skills or specialized knowledge of a specific sector, you want to be sure that the lawyer you will be dealing with has experience in that area of law.

In beginning your lawyer search, you can follow the steps below:

Build a shortlist

The first step in your search for a lawyer is building a shortlist. You can do this in Cameroon, primarily in 2 ways (offline and online):

  • Asking for recommendations from people who have had similar needs/issues in the past, ask from friends, family members, business partners etc. People you trust and who have been through similar issues can recommend a lawyer with the appropriate skills. For example, suppose you have marital problems and consider a divorce. In that case, the most logical recommendation is to ask someone who has recently been divorced or is in the middle of a divorce.
  • Internet search and Professional Networks: You will be amazed at how effective this can be in locating lawyers in Cameroon who have a particular interest/expertise in the issue you have. You can glean this information by finding articles and blog posts by these lawyers or by che
    cking lawyer directories. 
  • You can find information about lawyers by using services like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Contact your shortlist

The next step is to contact the lawyers who have made it to your shortlist and then ask them some questions to narrow down the list.

Before you contact them, however, you should be clear on your expectations, build a profile in your mind of what you want your ideal lawyer to be, and then match the responses you get from the individuals on your shortlist to decide whether they make the cut.

How to Hire or Get a Lawyer in Cameroon?



Things that should be covered when looking to get a brilliant lawyer or law firm in Cameroon include:

  1. Personality and Communication skills: There is an unfortunate myth circling around that the more aggressive and argumentative the lawyer is, the better they are as a lawyer, with the respect that is an utter fallacy (a fancy way of saying 'that is incorrect'). 
  2. You are looking to hire a lawyer, not a street urchin: pay more attention to things like professionalism and respect. Remember you will be dealing with this person closely, so it needs to be pleasant to work with and has excellent communication skills.
  3. Experience, Expertise and References: If your issue requires special knowledge, make sure that the lawyer has the requisite expertise, ask for past cases they have worked on which are similar to yours, and satisfy yourself that they have the experience and knowledge to handle your case. If possible, you should ask your lawyer if they can provide any references or contact details of past clients they have worked with. If your lawyer is really good at their job, they should not have a problem providing contact details for a couple of previous clients. (References aren't necessary if the person got on your shortlist based on a recommendation).
  4. Consider the Size of the Firm: if you are looking to engage a mid-size to a large firm of lawyers, you need to be clear on who will be handling your case. Most times, you might have initial meetings with a senior partner or lawyer in the firm. Still, once you sign up, you realize that your work has been passed off entirely to a more junior lawyer, be clear on who will be doing the work;. At the same time, there's nothing wrong with junior lawyers handling cases; you don't want to be charged the total rate of a senior lawyer when in actual fact, the work is being done by a junior with little or no supervision from the more senior lawyer.
  5. Legal Fees: you need to be clear on how the lawyer will bill you – hourly rate, fixed-rate, contingency etc., and if not a fixed rate, you need to have the lawyer give you an approximation of what the case will cost you in legal fees. Now while we at LawPàdí advocate that clients should never choose lawyers solely on costs, we understand that for some, keeping costs to a minimum is a strong driver, so if you fall into this category, you should take care to balance out costs with competence/expertise.

COST OF HIRING A LAWYER IN CAMEROON (LEGAL FEES)

Make sure you understand what you are paying for. Always ask your lawyer for a Fee Quote. The fee quote should be in writing and in clear, direct language that you are comfortable with.

 It should have a breakdown of the fees. It should include what other expenses you will be liable for, things like: filing costs (fees for filing a lawsuit), postage, telephone, courier, photocopying, out of town air or car transportation, and hotel and meal expenses etc.



Once you are comfortable with your choice for a lawyer and are happy with the free quote, you should insist that your lawyer provides a contract – Terms of Engagement. It shouldn't be a long contract, just one or two pages that show how the relationship will be managed.

It will contain things like how communication should be managed and how frequent, the scope of engagement, agreed fees, confidentiality, when payments should be made, and the procedure for terminating the agreement.

The typical cost of hiring a lawyer or a law firm in Cameroon based on the above analysis ranges between 50,000 FCFA to 2,000,000 FCFA or more depending on the type of litigation.

Read Also: What to Do if You are Sued in Cameroon? (Lawsuit Steps/Litigation Process).

WORKING WITH A LAWYER

Once you have engaged the services of a lawyer, you need to communicate your expectations before you begin discussing strategies. Your lawyer needs to know what your "best case/expected outcome" for the case is, and your lawyer needs to explain all other possible outcomes that could happen.

Your lawyer should give you an analysis of your case and what your rights and potential liabilities will be based on the prevailing facts.



They should be able to predict the likelihood of different outcomes based on the position of the law. They should most importantly outline multiple options and the merits and drawbacks of each option so you are making an informed decision.

If your case involves a dispute, you should know that lawyers don't just jump to sue people. In fact, suing is probably one of the more expensive and time-consuming ways for you to resolve a dispute. Make sure your lawyer has an open mind about alternative means to dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration.

If you become dissatisfied with the service you are being given during the engagement with your lawyer, you have the right to fire your lawyer (based on the terms set out in terms of engagement). 

Suppose your unhappiness stems from what might constitute professional misconduct. In that case, you have the option open to you to report the lawyer to the Cameroon Bar Association, which is the body that deals with complaints against lawyers by clients which have to do with professional misconduct. Hopefully, that doesn't happen in your situation.

Suggested: Top Law Firms and Lawyers in Cameroon.

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Temo Group: Cost and Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer in Cameroon
Cost and Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer in Cameroon
Cost and Things to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer in Cameroon. How to Hire or Get a Lawyer in Cameroon?
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