Question: In a labour case over unilateral termination of a labour contract in contravention of law, if an Employee loses the suit and if his Employer requests it, must the Employee pay for the Employer to hire the lawyer protecting their legitimate rights under a legal service contract?


Attorney fees are paid by the requester, unless otherwise agreed by the concerned parties[1]. Therefore, except for the case that Employees and Employers reach an agreement in LC that the losing party will bear the attorney fees, Employees does not have to pay the attorney fees for Employers. Pursuant to the practical litigation situation in the Court, requesting the losing party to bear attorney fees is more common in countries with common law systems such as the UK, the U.S, etc. than in the countries under civil law system like Vietnam. The same is often not accepted, although the parties have agreed on that in the signed contract. Actual attorney fees can only be paid by the losing party when the parties reach an agreement at the time of hearing and any dispute arises.

[1]  Article 168 Civil Procedure Code