Worth knowing

Detective fees are considered costs prior to litigation and can be reclaimed from the causer.

In Austria, expenses for commissioning a detective in a situation where this is necessary are considered so-called legal costs for which the costs-by-cause principle applies and which can be reclaimed from the causer / injuring party in most of the cases according to § 1295 ABGB (Austrian Civil Code).

That means that although you have to pay for the detective operations at first, you can later reclaim the costs from the causer (e.g. from the adulterer / adulteress, the marriage troublemaker, disloyal coworkers in case of theft or calling in sick fraudulently or the offender in case of defamatory statements etc.) by filing a claim for damages with the court.

As a general rule, Austrian courts do award the expenses for necessary detective services to the injured party as well.


It’s also important to know that professional detectives and their assistants are legally bound to secrecy according to § 252 GewO. (Industrial Code) regarding the matters they have been entrusted with.

Job description

Due to the strict requirements on their education, training and admission to the profession, professional detectives are not just implementing authorities when it comes down to security and legal issues but they are also functionally competent to give advice due to their knowledge of the law, which has been examined.
Professional detectives represent solely the interests of their clients and are independent and free from any undue external influence as well. Therefore, they are considered neutral and particularly credible witnesses in court.