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Reimbursement of costs of civil judicial proceedings

in Austria

The reimbursement of legal fees and costs in civil proceedings is regulated in the Austrian Civil Procedure Code (Zivilprozessordnung).

The general rule is that the unsuccessful party shall pay the fees and costs of the successful party. The court decides about the claim for reimbursement in the judgement. When a case is partly decided in favor of a party, only partial reimbursement will take place. However, in the case of very similar success percentage each party will bear its own costs. Even though lawyers can individually agree upon expenses and fees with their clients (comprehensive or hourly fees), the costs recoverable by the successful party are limited to a regulated rate for lawyers' compensation determined in the Law on Legal Tariffs (Rechtsanwaltstarifgesetz). Court costs are determined by the court fees act (Gerichtsgebührengesetz) and depend on the value of the dispute and the number of parties.