1.1. These conditions apply to all cases between BVBA Peterfreund & Associates Ltd, based at Belgiëlei 11, 2018 Antwerp, CBE-No.: 0818,076,125, RPR Antwerp, hereinafter referred to as the lawyer (or law firm), and the client.
2.1. The lawyer informs the client accurately on the performance of his commission and about the course of the case process. Clients can at any time obtain an overview of the work performed and the associated expenses. The information will be provided orally upon his first request, and shall be confirmed in writing within 24 hours upon request.
2.2. The customer will timely give all relevant information to the lawyer, if necessary on request of the lawyer.
3. Reliance on third parties
3.1. Besides the usual duties conducted within the law firm itself, the client agrees that the lawyer, under responsibility of the latter, may rely on other lawyers to carry out his commission for specific tasks.
3.2. If the fulfilling of the commission requires the aid of a bailiff or a translator, then client will leave the selection thereof to the lawyer.
3.3. The lawyer will only with the explicit consent of the client rely on other third parties such as notaries, accountants or experts, chosen in consultation with the client.
4. Expenses and fees
4.1 The statement of expenses and fees of a lawyer can contain three elements: the expenses of the lawyer, court costs and expenses, and the lawyer’s fee.
4.2. The expenses of the lawyer are calculated as follows (all amounts are ex VAT)
-opening of the file : 75, – Euro
– correspondence and/or fax: 10,00 Euro/unit (letter or fax)
– e-mail: 10,00 Euro/mail
– photocopies’s: 0,25 Euro/unit (copy)
– registered mail: shipping costs
– travel: 0.65 Euro/km.
4.3. Court costs and expenses are the costs that the lawyer has to advance to third parties, including the bailiff, the clerk, translators and public bodies. These costs will be noted precise and detailed in the statement of expenses and fees.
4.4. The fee is the fee for the services provided by the lawyer. The general hourly rate is 145, – euro (ex VAT) for particular clients and 150,- euro for companies, which can be increased by 50% in case of emergency and/or 50% in function of the exceptional value of the case. Also for standard correspondence a fixed rate of 10 minutes per letter (dictation), unless the correspondence is substantiated. The foregoing is valid under reserve of other agreements made with the client.
4.5. The lawyer can ask for one or multiple advances before the start of the commission and during the process of the case one. An advance or imprest is the fixed amount the client remunerates the lawyer, prior to a detailed statement of expenses and fees. On the final statement of expenses and fees, the advances will be deducted from the total amount.
4.6. Also possibly, depending on the duration, complexity and/or amount of existing services provided, interim statements can be drawn up which will already include a detailed breakdown of expenses and fees.
4.7. The client pays the advance and the final statement of expenses and fees of the attorney within fourteen days of receipt. The lawyer may, if it is necessary for good service, decide a shorter payment term if motivated.
4.8. If the client does not agree with the required advance or the (interim) statement he will see to submitting written protest within fourteen days of receipt.
4.9. After written demand for payment of outstanding fees and expenses and in the absence of protest is found to be legitimate the client is due interest on the outstanding balance at least equal to the statutory rate from the date of the demand, or to the interest rate applicable In case of late payment in commercial transactions.
5. Third party fund
5.1. The lawyer will relay all amounts he receives for his client in the shortest possible time to his client. If the lawyer can not immediately pay an amount, he must inform the client of receipt of the amount and make him aware of the reason why the amount is unpaid.
5.2. The lawyer may reserve sums on received amounts for his client to cover the outstanding advances or statements of expenses and fees. He notifies the client in writing. This provision shall not affect the right of the client to contest the statement of payable expenses and fees within fourteen days of receipt and claim the withheld amounts.
5.3. The lawyer will forward all amounts he receives from the client payable to others immediately to these third parties.
6.1. The lawyer’s professional liability is insured for an amount of its 1.250.000 Euros (one million two hundred and fifty thousand Euros). The lawyer will inform the client that in favor of the specific process of a case an increasingly higher insurance can be arranged provided the client will pay the additional premium.
6.2. The client will agree that the standard insurance of the lawyer provides adequate compensation and accepts that the compensation for the damage he suffers as a result of a possible professional misconduct of the lawyer is limited to the amount actually paid by the professional insurance of the lawyer. This restriction does not apply in cases of intent of the lawyer.
7. Termination of the agreement
7.1. The client may at any time terminate the contract by written notice to the lawyer. The lawyer forwards his final statement of expenses and fees to the client, taking into account his performance until the termination of the contract. The lawyer may not request compensation.
7.2. At first request, the lawyer will return the documents in the file to the client.
7.3. The lawyer may at any time terminate the contract, in writing to the client. To determine the moment when he ceases his performance, the lawyer must take into account the possibility for the client to obtain timely assistance of a different lawyer.
8. Applicable law and disputes
8.1. The Belgian law and legislation applies.
8.2 The courts of Antwerp have exclusive jurisdiction.