ADVOCATEN AVOCATS LAWYERS
- These general terms and conditions (version 9/2015) apply to all tasks, which have been/are entrusted by the client, hereafter referred to as the “Client”, in any way, to BVBA ADVOCATENKANTOOR JORIS A. VERCRAEYE, company- and VAT-number (BE) 0461.259.744, practicing at 4 Jozef de Bomstraat, 2018 Antwerp, hereafter referred to as “The Office”, and by means of which the Client or his/her legal successors have given/give instructions and authority to execute all activities within the framework of the performance of the task given.
- On receipt of instructions from the Client, a dossier is opened with a serial number, which constitutes the dossier reference. Within the Office, Mr. Joris A. VERCRAEYE appoints a legal assistant under his supervision who is responsible for handling it; such is clearly indicated in correspondence conducted. Within the Office, a record is kept, concerning each file, of the costs incurred and the work performed by the Office.
- The Office is to the best of its ability, responsible for the efficient, careful and correct performance of the task given by the Client, and for communicating promptly with the Client, with respect to this, however without providing any guarantee regarding the result desired by the Client. The undertaking which the Office furnishes is an obligation to provide effort, not an obligation as to the results.
- The Client is to co-operate fully with the Office in order to achieve the envisaged result. He/she expressly undertakes immediately to supply the Office with all information available to him/her, in order to permit the task given to be handled in an adequate and timely manner. The Client shall straight away inform the Office in the event of circumstances, of any kind, which may be important in the context of the Office’s handling of the task given by the Client.
- The Client shall remunerate the Office for the work performed by the Office by means of a “fee”. The Client shall reimburse the Office for costs incurred by the Office in the form of “office expenses”. The Client shall, finally, be responsible for payment of the “court costs”. The Client has to pay VAT (21%) on those amounts, all the amounts indicated are without VAT.
6.1. First of all, concerning the “Fee”. For all tasks, except for tasks as mentioned under 6.2, the fee will
be calculated on the basis of an hourly tariff. The current hourly tariff amounts to € 175.00,- for work carried out by Mr. Joris A. VERCRAEYE and € 125.00,- for work carried out by the other lawyers. The time which will be charged to the Client is that actually spent by a lawyer handling a dossier. In exceptional circumstances the hourly tariffs may be changed, this is also to be expressly agreed between the Office and the Client.
6.2 Where the task relates to a simple collection, as a rule the fee is calculated on the basis of the sums actually recuperated, (be it following order to pay, or following proceedings), using a value tariff set up as follows, whereby always a minimum of 150,00,-€ will be charged per file:
€ 0,00,- to € 1.250,00,- 30 %
€ 1.251,00,- to € 2.500,00,- 20 %
€ 2.501,00,- to € 5.000,00,- 15 %
€ 5.001,00,- to € 50.000,00,- 10 %
€ 50.001,00,- to € 125.000,00,- 7,5 %
above € 125.000,00,- 5 %
6.3. Exceptions to the above rule:
(a) In the event of the opposing party conducting a serious defense, i.e. a defense relating to the claim which is not utterly unfounded, and additional work therefore needing to be undertaken, (the drawing up of written pleadings, defense with relating to a counterclaim and suchlike), a changeover is made to the usual hourly tariff, on the understanding that in the event of the recuperation of any sum, this hourly tariff is only to be applied where such would exceed the value tariff given above.
(b) If an opposing party becomes bankrupt or is insolvent, and little or nothing can therefore be recuperated, which implies that any costs incurred are for the account of the Client, only the usual hourly tariff is charged, providing that in the event of recuperation of any sum this hourly tariff is only applied if such were to exceed the value tariff outlined above.
(c) If an appeal is and/or needs to be registered, the sums given above under 6.2. increase by 50%.
6.4. If the Client benefits from legal assistance insurance, the Client is to remain the exclusive principal with respect to the Office. Therefore, there will always be billed to the Client. If for any reason at all the insurance company, is unwilling to pay part or all of the requested advance payment and/or final statement, the Office shall never enter into any discussion with the relevant insurance company, nor submit to any form of deliberation of disputes. Where such case arises, the Client shall undertake to assume responsibility for payment of the sums, which the insurance company refuses to pay. Obviously under the reserve of client’s right to ask The Office information regarding the provisions asked for and/or regarding the final account. Client has of course, the right to discuss these provisions and/or the final account.
- The term “court costs” should be interpreted both as the various court costs (roll duties, fees of execution of a deed and suchlike) as well as the costs of the Judicial Officer (summons, seizures, enforced execution and suchlike). Court costs paid in advance by the Office are invoiced on to the Client, with charging of VAT 21% if legally required. The costs of the Judicial Officer are charged by the latter directly to the Client as soon as they are incurred. These costs may be fully recuperated from the opposing party, in the event that a favorable ruling is obtained, and that this ruling can be actually enforced, i.e. if the opposing party appears to be solvent.
- The term “office expenses” is taken to mean costs, which are incurred within the Office (office supplies, secretariat, stamps, travel expenses, copies, telephone, fax, e-mail and suchlike). The aforementioned costs are charged to the Client at a fixed price of € 12.00,- per office unit, i.e. per typed page.
- The Office shall request the Client for one or more advance payments. On completion of a task, the Client will receive a final statement. In both cases the Client then receives an invoice, which is either a request for advance payment, or a final statement of fees and expenses, containing details of the costs incurred and the work carried out.
- Any liability of the Office is absolutely limited to the amount paid out by the underwriter for professional liability, as applicable. The Office is in first instance insured via the Order of Flemish Bars at AMLIN for a maximum amount of € 1,250,000.00- secondly, at AG INSURANCE and ZURICH INSURANCE, for a maximum amount of € 2,500,000.00-; the total insurance cover is therefore maximum € 3,750,000.00-. The underwriter is VANBREDA RISK & BENEFITS, contract number 45084974antwerpen (18415). The Client may obtain a copy of the applicable policy, directly on request. The Office shall apply the necessary care at all times when engaging third parties, it can never be held responsible for any of their short-comings.
- The Act of 11/1/1993 on preventing the abuse of the financial system for purposes of money laundering and the financing of terrorism applies as well to lawyers – subject to a limitation to certain activities and to protection of the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality . Where necessary, the Client shall be obliged to supply the lawyer’s office with information on (a) his identity and/or (b) the identity of the party represented, (c) the final beneficiary and/or (d) the nature of the transaction contemplated. Such information shall be given within a fortnight of a written request thereto by the lawyer’s office. The data thus gathered by the lawyer’s office shall be kept digitally, together with the Client’s file, during a period of five years following the end of the law office’s involvement on behalf of the Client. The full text of the Act of 11 January 1993 is available; it shall be made available to the Client at the latter’s first request, with explanations if the Client asks for them.
- Belgian law is exclusively applicable to the relationship between the Client and the Office. In the event of dispute the Courts of the Judicial District of Antwerp are exclusively competent.