General Terms and Conditions

 
General Terms and Condtions of:
 
BRICKS Advocaten, Van Heenvlietlaan 198, 1083 CM Amsterdam,
T: +31 (0)20 6704040, F: +31 (0)20 4004043,
E: info@bricksadvocaten.nl, W: www.bricksadvocaten.nl
 

1. Definities

 
1. BRICKS: BRICKS lawyers, the lawyer, both jointly and severally, natural and legal persons affiliated with BRICKS Lawyers;
2. Client: the counterparty of BRICKS Lawyers;
3. Engagement: each engagement to perform services that arises between BRICKS Lawyers and the Client, each amendment or addition to this as well as all legal and other transactions for the preparation and execution of the Engagement;
4. Services: all legal services that are the object of the Engagement, including, but not limited to, the drafting of agreements and rendering of advice.
5. Fee: the financial compensation (in proportion to time or on some other basis) exclusive of Disbursements as referred to at sub 6, agreed with BRICKS Lawyers for the execution of the letter of engagement with the Client, or that applies to the work concerned;
6. Disbursements: the expenses incurred by BRICKS Lawyers for the execution of the engagement.
 

2. Applicability

 
1. These general terms and conditions apply to all letters of engagement, including supplementary and follow-up engagements concluded with BRICKS Lawyers, unless otherwise agreed in writing, and apply equally to natural and legal persons involved whether directly or indirectly in any way with the provision of services by or affiliated with BRICKS Lawyers. If an exception from these terms and conditions is made for the Client for any Engagement, the Client cannot invoke this for any subsequent Engagement. Any exceptions from these terms and conditions must be agreed in each instance.
2. If any provision of these General Terms and Conditions is null and void or is voided, the other provisions of these General Terms and Conditions will remain fully in effect.
3. The applicability of any other general terms and conditions, such as those of the Client, is specifically excluded.
 

3. The Agreement

 
1. The agreement first is formed after the engagement is accepted by BRICKS Lawyers. BRICKS lawyers can be represented for the purpose of forming an agreement solely by lawyers affiliated with BRICKS Lawyers and by its employees holding a written power of attorney. This applies also to those cases in which it is the Client’s expressed or tacit intention that an engagement made with the firm should be executed by a particular employee of the firm. The operation of the provisions of Article 7:404 of the Civil Code of the Netherlands, which provides a rule for the latter case, and the operation of the provisions of Article 7:407 paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, which establishes joint and several liability for cases in which an engagement is given to two or more persons, are specifically excluded.
2. The execution of engagements given to BRICKS Lawyers shall be exclusively for the benefit of the Client. Third parties cannot derive any rights from the execution of work for the Client.
 

4. Fees

 
1. The Client shall owe the fee, plus any Disbursements and turnover tax (VAT), without any set-off or discount, for the execution of an engagement by BRICKS Lawyers, unless otherwise specifically agreed in writing.
2. Fee notes are to be paid within 14 days after the date of their invoice. Payment must be made in the manner stated on the invoices and the Client shall be granted discharge only upon its payment into the bank account in the name of BRICKS Lawyers or its affiliated trust account. Failure to make payment within the stated term will result in the Client’s default without any formal notice being required, and the Client shall then owe default interest at the rate of 1% per month on the balance of the principal owed, part of a month being reckoned as a whole month. The Client shall further owe extra-judicial collection costs in the amount of 15% of the principal owing, plus default interest. Upon failure to pay invoices, whether or not these are related to current BRICKS Lawyers, when due BRICKS Lawyers is entitled to suspend or terminate work, without any effect on the Client’s obligation to pay open and future invoices on time.
3. BRICKS Lawyers may require the Client to pay one or more deductible advance payments at any time before the start or the continuation of its services. Unless otherwise specifically agreed, the advance payment shall be deducted from the BRICKS Lawyers’ final bill. BRICKS Lawyers are also entitled to deduct the advance payment from any of the Client’s unpaid fee notes from this or other matters.
4. BRICKS Lawyers have the right to revise its fees at any time.
 

5. Liability

 
1. Any professional liability of BRICKS Lawyers is limited to the amount that is paid out in the case concerned under its professional liability insurance, plus the amount of its deductible that is not covered by the insurers under the terms and conditions of that policy. Information about such professional liability insurance is available upon request. Any claim upon BRICKS Lawyers expires 12 months after the aggrieved party became aware, or should have been aware, of the loss event.
2. The Client indemnifies BRICKS Lawyers’ partners and employees against any claims of the Client related to the services.
3. BRICKS Lawyers is authorised to involve third parties in the course of providing its services, including, but not limited to, agents, local counsel, bailiffs, investigative agencies, collections agencies, accountants, tax accountants, land registries, Chambers of Commerce, law and/or civil-law notary firms, etc. BRICKS Lawyers is not liable for any shortcomings of these or other third parties. The Client indemnifies BRICKS Lawyers against all third party claims, including those by BRICKS Lawyers brought in connection with expenses that are related in any way with activities performed for the Client, excepting gross negligence or intentional act on the part of BRICKS Lawyers. Persons may wish to limit their liability when involved with the execution of an engagement by BRICKS Lawyers. BRICKS Lawyers assumes and requires as necessary that all its engagements for the Client include its authority to accept on behalf of the Client such limitation of liability.
4. The exclusions of liability described in these General Terms and Conditions apply to events, transactions and their omissions as well as to the malfunction of any equipment, software, databases, registries or other media without exception, as well as the interception of audio and/or data transmissions by telephone, fax and email used by BRICKS Lawyers in the course of service provision. All email traffic, data traffic, audio traffic, fax and telephone traffic shall be unencrypted, unless the Client explicitly requires otherwise in writing in advance.
5. BRICKS Lawyers shall never be liable for any consequential loss that the Client may suffer with respect to services provided by BRICKS Lawyers. Consequential loss is understood here to include any trading loss and intangible loss, unless such loss is the result of the intent or wilful recklessness of BRICKS Lawyers.
 

6. Data and Information

 
1. Client will assure that all data and information that BRICKS Lawyers states that it requires or that the Client reasonably should know are necessary to execute the Engagement are provided to BRICKS Lawyers in a timely manner. BRICKS Lawyers is entitled to suspend the execution of the Engagement until such time as the Client has fulfilled its obligation as stated in the preceding sentence.
2. BRICKS Lawyers is not liable for damages of whatever their nature that result from BRICKS Lawyers having based its services on inaccurate an/of incomplete data and information furnished by the Client.
3. BRICKS Lawyers is entitled to remove from its archives and to destroy without further notice the files and all records in them that may be the property of the Client and/or third parties once 5 years have lapsed since the conclusion of the relevant action undertaken by BRICKS Lawyers.
 

7. Disputes/other

 
1. The legal relationship with the Client and the service provision by BRICKS Lawyers is governed solely by the law of the Netherlands. Disputes will be settled exclusively by the competent Dutch court, notwithstanding the authority of entities of the Netherlands Bar Associations (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten) and the Royal Notarial Association (Koninklijke Notariële Beroepsorganisatie)..
2. These General Terms and Conditions are available for inspection in the office of BRICKS Lawyers at Van Heenvlietlaan 198 in Amsterdam and will be provide upon the conclusion of a letter of engagement. They can also be provided at no cost upon request. These General Terms and Conditions may be found also at www.bricksadvocaten.nl.
 

8. Complaints and Dispute Settlement Scheme for the Legal Profession

 
1. The Klachten- en Geschillenregeling Advocatuur (Complaints and Dispute Settlement Scheme for the Legal Profession) applies to the services provided by BRICKS Lawyers.
2. BRICKS Lawyers’ complaints procedure is the (free of charge) procedure followed by BRICKS Lawyers to handle complaints of clients of BRICKS Lawyers regarding the formation of an engagement, the quality of the services provided by a lawyer of BRICKS Lawyers or the amount of the invoice (not being a complaint within the meaning of Chapter 4 of the Advocatenwet (Counsel Act)). The complaints procedure applies to every engagement entered into by BRICKS Lawyers or a lawyer of BRICKS Lawyers with a litigant.
3. The complaints procedure is as follows. When a written complaint is filed with BRICKS Lawyers, that complaint is passed on to the complaints coordinator. Ms A. de Fouw is the complaints coordinator, unless the complaint relates to her. In that case Ms K. Keij is the complaints coordinator. The complaints coordinator informs the lawyer to which the complaint relates of that complaint and gives that lawyer and the complainant the opportunity to clarify the complaint. The lawyer, possibly through the mediation of the complaints coordinator, then attempts to reach a solution together with the complainant. The complaints coordinator decides on the validity of the complaint within four weeks after receipt of the complaint. The complaints coordinator notifies the complainant in writing of that decision, possibly while making recommendations. If and insofar as the complaint has been settled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints coordinator and the lawyer sign the decision on the validity of the complaint. If BRICKS Lawyers is unable to satisfactorily settle a client’s complaint regarding the services provided by a lawyer of BRICKS Lawyers by means of this complaints procedure, the client may present the complaint within twelve months after its written settlement to the Geschillencommissie Advocatuur (Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession – the “Disputes Committee”).
4. All disputes regarding the conclusion and/or provision of services by a lawyer of BRICKS Lawyers, including disputes regarding contested and/or unpaid invoices of BRICKS Lawyers, will be settled by the Disputes Committee at the request of the client and/or BRICKS Lawyers in accordance with the Reglement Geschillencommissie Advocatuur (Legal Profession Disputes Committee Rules – the “Rules”). If the dispute relates to an engagement by a private client, the Rules provide for binding advice, unless the client applies to the ordinary court within one month after the settlement of the complaint by BRICKS Lawyers. In the event of the collection of a claim from a private client, that collection will be subject to binding advice only if the client deposits the outstanding amount with the Disputes Committee. If the client fails to do so, that debt collection will be subject to arbitration. If the dispute relates to an engagement by a business client, the Rules provide for arbitration.
5. A copy of the Rules can be obtained at the secretary of the Disputes Committee, PO Box 90600, 2509 LP The Hague, the Netherlands.