- These General Terms & Conditions will apply to all assignments including any supplementary assignments and follow-up assignments from Lunenberg’s clients.
- The client’s General Terms & Conditions will not apply and are hereby expressly ruled out.
- Unless and until a client provides the advocate with a written or verbal assignment that he accepts no contract can be said to exist.
- The client agrees that in consultation with him the advocate will allow the assignment or parts of it to be carried out by one or more advocates employed at the law firm and/or legal associates under his responsibility.
- Articles 7:404, 7:407 paragraphs 2 and 7:409 BW [= Civil Code of the Netherlands] are hereby expressly ruled out.
- The execution of the assignment will take place solely to the benefit of the client.
- Third parties cannot derive any rights from the content of the work carried out. The client indemnifies Lunenberg against claims of third parties that argue they have sustained damage due to or in relation to Lunenberg carrying out work for the client’s benefit.
- Unless and until the advocate has first consulted with his client, he will not involve third parties. When involving third parties however the advocate will give evidence of due care though he cannot be held liable for damage resulting from actions of third parties named above.
- Whilst Lunenberg will make every effort to achieve the result the client wishes, it cannot guarantee said result will be achieved.
- Whilst carrying out the work for which Lunenberg has been engaged it will only allow itself to be guided by the client’s interests. In doing so it will have due respect for applicable guidelines including code of conduct rules for advocates and the rules and regulations of the Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten [= Bar Association of the Netherlands].
- The client grants Lunenberg permission to register and process personal particulars.
- The client will always supply Lunenberg with timely and complete data relevant to correct execution of the assignment granted. The client guarantees the correct and complete nature of said data even if it emanates from third parties. The client will keep Lunenberg informed about all occurrences and circumstances that may be of relevance to carrying out the assignment well. This will also apply to occurrences and circumstances that have only become known after commencement of the work.
- Lunenberg has a statutory requirement in particular cases and when carrying out the assignment to report immediately any unusual transactions either accomplished or intended to the legally appointed authority that deals with such cases. In addition the law requires Lunenberg to maintain confidentiality about any such reporting. Lunenberg can never be held liable for the negative consequences of any such reporting on Lunenberg’s part not even if said reporting subsequently appears to be unfounded. This will continue to be the case unless and until the client shows that making the report in the given circumstances was unacceptable according to measures of reasonableness and fairness. The client indemnifies Lunenberg against all third party claims arising from Lunenberg applying the stipulations concerned.
Expenses/fees and costs
- The client will owe to Lunenberg all fees increased by office charges and BTW [= Dutch VAT]. Office charges are understood to include non-specified office charges such as postal charges, phone bills, fax bills, photocopying costs etc. Such office charges are fixed at 6% of the fee.
- In addition the client will be charged any out-of-pocket expenses. Such expenses are understood to include costs such as fixed charges e.g. court fees, bailiff’s costs etc.
- Unless otherwise agreed the fees owing to Lunenberg will be calculated based on the hourly rate fixed at the office.
- Lunenberg is entitled to alter such hourly rates annually on January 1st.
- Lunenberg is entitled to bill the client for an advance payment to be calculated in any interim or final expense claims.
- Where no advance payment is calculated the fee will be submitted at regular in principle monthly intervals.
- Expense claims should be paid within 7 days of the date without deduction, discount or debt recovery. Where this deadline is exceeded the delay will attract interest equal to the then current statutory interest.
- Any cost relating to payment will be at the client’s expense.
- Client payment means the expense claims are acknowledged as being due.
- The costs will be at the client’s expense if Lunenberg either of its own accord or by means of third parties has to take collection measures.
- The monies received will first be deducted from the costs mentioned under 23, then from the apparent interest and finally from the principal sum.
- If the client is in default of payment of the expense claims Lunenberg has in addition to the collection measures mentioned under 23 the right to put its work for the client on hold. Only after the client has been duly notified and been granted a short period in which to fulfil his payment obligation even at that late stage, will the attorney concerned be authorised to make use of said right to put the work on hold. Lunenberg will not accept any liability for any possible harm the client suffers because of putting the work on hold such as is understood here.
- Lunenberg’s liability and that of its employees will always be limited to the amount or amounts for which Lunenberg has concluded and is entitled to professional liability insurance, plus the deductible excess applicable under this insurance.
- If for whatever reason no insurance benefit occurs all liability will be limited to the billed fee to Lunenberg in the case concerned in the year concerned to a maximum amount of €20,000 and limited to third parties to the amount of €5,000.
Third party money
- Monies Lunenberg holds on behalf of the client are put into a bank account of Stichting Beheer Derdengelden Lunenberg Advocaten. To cover compensation in the costs of administering and managing said account no interest accruing to third party monies will be repaid.
- Once the assignment has been ended the original documents in the dossier will be issued to the client on request. The dossier. The dossier will be kept for the statutory period of five (5) years after the case is ended and will be at the client’s disposal for a remuneration of the actual costs Lunenberg incurs for bringing the dossier from the archives. Administrative data – the financial administration of Lunenberg advocaten– will be kept for seven years.
Settlement of complaints and disputes
- When providing services Lunenberg will always comply with the applicable professional rules and observe the due care that can under the prevailing circumstances be reasonably expected of it.
- Lunenberg has signed up to the Netherlands Bar Association’s Settlement Regulating Client’s Complaints and Disputes. All disputes that arise due to an assignment coming into existence or being executed including any expense claims disputes there may be will be settled in accordance with the Reglement Geschillencommissie [= Arbitration Board Regulations]. By entering into an agreement with Lunenberg the client accepts the applicability of the Netherlands Bar Association’s Settlement.
- Before the complaint can be brought before the Board, the complaint must be dealt with by Lunenberg in a complaints procedure at which time also discussions with the client will be held about how best to deal with the complaint.
- The client must hand in his complaint to Lunenberg within thirty days of the point at which he took cognizance or could reasonably have taken cognizance of the actions or omissions that gave rise to his complaint.
- Lunenberg will provide a written explanation of the solution to the problem within four weeks of the complaint being received. The client may submit his complaint to the Board if it is not dealt with by the deadline set or not dealt with satisfactorily.
- The client must submit his complaint to the Board no later than twelve months after Lunenberg’s written response after which the deadline expires.
- The Board is authorised to assess complaints about the quality of the service provided and the size of the expense claims. In addition it is authorised to assess claims for the harm done up to the amount of €10,000.
- Lunenberg can submit any unpaid expense claims to the Board.
- The Board is located at (2591 XR) The Hague at No 46 Bordewijklaan (postal address: PO BOX 90600, 2509 LP The Hague) and may be reached at Tel 070-3105310 and Fax 070-3658814.
Applicable law and choice of forum
- The law of the Netherlands applies to the agreement covering an assignment between Lunenberg and the client.
- All disputes between the client and Lunenberg shall be settled by the competent court in Gelderland (Rechtbank Gelderland) , location Zutphen, on the understanding that Lunenberg reserves the right to submit the dispute to the court that – without this stipulation – would be competent.
- The Dutch version of these General Terms & Conditions will always prevail above those of any other language version.