26 May 2023

When it comes to litigating in Hungary, foreign parties often only take into account the court duties and attorney's fees as costs. However, in addition to these, there may be additional expenses that may come as a surprise. In order to avoid this, in our short article, we will summarise the costs of litigating in Hungary.

Generally, it is the plaintiff who advances the costs, and the losing party shall bear them. However, the judge may order the partial reimbursement of the attorney’s fee, occurred on the winning parties’ side.

1. Court’s duty

The rate of the duty is 6% of the value of the subject-matter of the proceedings, but not less than HUF 15.000 and not more than HUF 1.500.000.

In the case of an appeal against a judgment, the rate of duty is 8%, but not less than HUF 15.000 and not more than HUF 2.500.000.

The fee is 10% in the case of a judicial review and complaint against a judgment, with a minimum of HUF 50.000 and a maximum of HUF 3.500.000.

2. Attorney’s fee / Fee of the Guardian

The fees stipulated in the lawyer's engagement contract, and the reasonable out-of-pocket expenses paid by the party to its lawyer as reimbursement of costs.

However, the party can also apply the fee in accordance with the proceedings laid down in relevant decree[1].

According to the decree on attorneys' fees, in civil proceedings, the amount of the fees shall be:

  1. in the case of the value of the case not exceeding HUF 10 million, 5% of the value of the case, but at least HUF 10.000;
  2. for the value of the litigation over HUF 10 million but not exceeding HUF 100 million, 3% of the fee specified in point a) and 3% of the amount over HUF 10 million, but not less than HUF 100.000.
  3. in the case of an amount in excess of HUF 100 million, 1% of the fee specified in point b) and of the amount in excess of HUF 100 million, but not less than HUF 1 million.

We note that the above-mentioned amounts shall be applied to also the fee of the guardian, who shall be appointed if one of the parties “disappeared”, which is not uncommon in cross-border cases.

3. Fee of the translations

According to the Civil Procedure Code, at least a simple Hungarian language translation shall be attached to any document written in a foreign language. If any doubt arises concerning the correctness or completeness of the translated text, a certified translation shall be applied; in the absence thereof, the document shall be ignored by the court.

4. Security for litigation costs

A plaintiff whose domicile, seat or habitual place of residence is not in a Member State of the European Union, in a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or in another country regarded as the same according to an international treaty, shall, at the request of the defendant, provide security covering the litigation costs of the defendant, unless

  1. provided otherwise by an international agreement entered into by the Hungarian State,
  2. the plaintiff was granted cost exemption due to personal circumstances, or
  3. the plaintiff has a claim acknowledged by the defendant, an immovable property in Hungary or another asset registered in a register of certified authenticity that serves as appropriate security.

[1] Ministry of Justice Decree No. 32/2003 (VIII. 22.) on the amount of attorneys' fees payable in legal proceedings