An amendment has been made to the Minimum Attorneyship Fee Tariff (“Tariff”) and with this amendment, a new approach similar to the moral damages claims has been adopted for material damages claims.
This amendment provides that if a material damages claim is partially dismissed, then the counsel for the defendant's attorney fees as per the Tariff will not exceed the counsel for the plaintiff's attorney fees. In addition, the amendment provides that if a material damages claim is entirely dismissed, then the attorney fee will not be proportional, but fixed.
As per Article 13 of the Tariff, in case of partial dismissal of the material damages claim, the counsel for the defendant's proportional attorney fee will not exceed the amount ruled for the plaintiff's counsel. For instance, TRY 70,000 is dismissed and TRY 30,000 is accepted in a material damages claim wherein TRY 100,000 is requested in total. In that case, before the amendment, the counsel for the defendant's attorney fee would be calculated based on the dismissed amount (i.e. TRY 70,000) and the counsel for the plaintiff's attorney fee would be calculated based on the accepted amount (i.e. TRY 30,000). However, under the amendment, even if the dismissed amount (i.e. TRY 70,000) is higher than the accepted amount (i.e. TRY 30,000), the counsel for the defendant's attorney fee will not exceed the counsel for the plaintiff's attorney.
Additionally, another significant amendment brought under Article 13 of the Tariff provides that in case of full dismissal of the material compensation lawsuits, the counsel for the defendant's attorney fee will be a fixed fee.
We believe that the amendments made to the Tariff eliminates an obstacle before the right to legal remedies that we see in practice. However, this amendment may prompt the abuse of right to file a lawsuit. This is because the risk of attorney fees in case of the dismissal of the lawsuit has become a fixed amount, which may be relatively low compared to a proportional attorney fee, and the foregoing situation may be an advantage for the parties that are considering filing a lawsuit for a high-amount in bad faith.