Understanding the Legal Costs of Civil Lawsuits in China

Have you been subpoenaed? Nobody likes lawsuits. But whether you like it or not, sometimes when you have been treated unfairly or there is a dispute, and you can’t reach an agreement with your partner, it’s unavoidable to take it to court.

For cross-border disputes, it’s even more complicated. You may be vexed because you are not familiar with their legal system, and you have no idea how much it will cost you to initiate a lawsuit in Mainland China. Today, we will provide you with a little guidance on the general litigation expenses here in China.

Let’s say there is 1 million RMB in dispute, which is 142,857 in US Dollars, assuming the exchange rate is 7 for consistency throughout this article.

CurrencyAmount in dispute
Exchange Rate7.0

The following costs are calculated based on a 1 million RMB claim. We divide it into two stages: costs that occur in pre-litigation and costs incurred during litigation for your easy understanding.

For the three items of costs marked in blue, the Court charges them. The plaintiff has to prepay these costs, and when the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, the court will refund the amount to the plaintiff’s bank account.

As for lawyer fees, usually, each side bears their own costs unless otherwise agreed.

For the other costs listed in the column, the plaintiff has to prepay them and claim these costs in court with evidence. When the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, the court will ask the defendants to bear these costs.

If either party is not satisfied with the judgment from the first instance, they can initiate proceedings for the second instance. In that case, there will be a filing fee for the second instance. Additionally, if the losing party complies with the judgment, there is no enforcement procedure or fees involved.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us, we are happy to assist.

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