The law regarding the remuneration of court appointed experts was amended and took effect at the beginning of 2021. Commencing on January 1st, there started an increase in hourly fees in every field. The increase is averaging at about 23% after seven years of stagnation.
The last increase in the remuneration of court appointed experts in Germany occurred during 2013. Experts, who deliver expert opinions for German courts and other judicial authorities, are now paid a remuneration of 70 to 155 € per hour plus value added tax (VAT). Their specific hourly fees are calculated according to the average payment they earn while working for private contractors in their respective fields. There is a five percent deduction from this fee, the remaining amount is classified according to eighteen different pay levels in 5 € intervals. For example, an expert for real estate valuation will be paid a fee of 115 € per hour, an expert for damages concerning buildings a fee of 105 €. During a nationwide survey of all publicly certified experts in 2018, the average amounts of hourly fees while working for a private contractor were determined for more than 150 different fields of expertise. During the survey it was found out that the difference between payment as a court appointed expert and payment while working for private contractors had risen to more than thirty percent.
Accordingly, the legislator was obligated to adjust the payment of court appointed experts. The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is expecting additional spending in the field of court expertise in the range of about 80 million € per year. Here it is important to consider that more than half of the costs paid for expert opinions commissioned by the courts or other judicial authorities, have to be paid by the state, because this is either a legal requirement for certain judicial proceedings or because the parties involved are unable to pay for an expert themselves.