General Terms and Conditions
1. Applicability of the general terms and conditions
These general terms and conditions are issued by Matthias Boeckstijns (Boeckstijns Law firm), a sole proprietorship without legal personality, with registered office at 1000 Brussels, Wolstraat 68-72 and registered in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises under no. 0563.600.682.
These general terms and conditions are applicable at all times to all assignments and services performed by Boeckstijns Law firm, unless otherwise agreed in writing between Boeckstijns Law firm and the client.
Each time a client calls on Boeckstijns Law firm, the client is considered to accept, receive and be familiar with these general conditions.
2. Formation and execution of the mandate
Boeckstijns Law firm shall only be considered to have carried out an assignment insofar as the assignment was clearly confirmed in writing and also expressly accepted in writing by Boeckstijns Law firm. The mere forwarding of a question or assignment does not imply an agreement to cooperate.
In any event, unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing, no mandate or assignment shall be carried out as long as a commission or the first part of a fixed price agreement, insofar as this was requested, has not been paid in full. The firm shall also not bear any responsibility or liability in this interim period.
Boeckstijns Law firm will inform the client about the execution of his/her assignment and the progress of the case.
The client provides all useful information to Boeckstijns Law firm punctually and throughout the duration of the assignment, if necessary at the request of the lawyer of Boeckstijns Law firm. All useful documents shall, if possible, be provided to Boeckstijns Law firm at the start of the assignment.
The client warrants the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the data, information and documents provided to us by him or on his behalf. The client will also inform Boeckstijns Law firm of any new facts or circumstances, of whatever nature, that relate to the performance of the assignment.
4. Reliance on third parties
4.1. In addition to the usual tasks performed within the law firm, the client agrees that Boeckstijns Law firm, under the responsibility of the latter, may call upon other lawyers, whether or not within the firm, for specific or specialist assignments.
4.2. If the performance of the assignment requires the assistance of a bailiff or translator, the client will leave the choice to Boeckstijns Law firm. The costs involved will be invoiced to the client at cost price.
4.3. If Boeckstijns Law firm deems it necessary, it may call upon other third parties such as notaries, (technical) experts or accountants, chosen in consultation with the client. The costs thereof will be invoiced to the client at cost price.
5. Costs and fees
5.1. Upon commencement of a case, clear agreements are made between Boeckstijns Law firm and the client regarding the fees and costs and, if applicable, the payment modalities.
VAT will be added to the invoice (for fees and, if applicable, costs) in accordance with the rate applicable on the date of issue of the invoice. Based on the VAT Code, this is currently 21%.
§1 Boeckstijns Law firm may request one or more advance payments (commissions) before commencing the assignment and during the handling of the case. An advance payment is the fixed amount the client pays to Boeckstijns Law firm, prior to a detailed fee and expenses statement.
If a fixed price is agreed, a first part of this fixed price is usually requested at the start of the assignment. Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing, Boeckstijns Law firm’s services will not commence until this first part has been paid and received.
§2 All statements of fees and expenses shall include, except in the case of a fixed price agreement, an overview of the services provided during the period to which the services relate. The administrative or legal expenses shall also be specified separately.
Boeckstijns Law firm has the option of preparing interim statements. Any advances will be deducted from these statements.
When the case is closed, you will receive a final statement. In the final statement of fees and expenses, any advances will be deducted from the total amount.
5.3. The client will pay the advances and/or the statement of fees and expenses of Boeckstijns Law firm within fifteen (15) days of receiving the invitation to pay. Boeckstijns Law firm may, if required for the proper provision of services, set a shorter payment period, giving these reasons.
§1. If the client does not agree with the requested advance payment, the interim statement or the final statement, he/she must protest this statement within fifteen (15) days of receipt by registered letter and state the reason why he/she does not agree with the fee statement.
After that, the customer shall be deemed to have accepted the invoice.
§2. If the customer is unable to pay this amount within fifteen (15) days, he or she must inform Boeckstijns Law firm of this in writing, giving reasons, within fifteen (15) days of receipt.
An instalment plan or payment in instalments can only be granted if Boeckstijns Law firm gives its written consent.
5.5. Invoices are payable on the due date indicated on the invoice.
The Act of 2 August 2002 to combat payment arrears in commercial transactions applies to these invoices.
If the invoice has not been paid by the due date, interest shall be payable, ipso jure and without notice of default, at a rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of issue.
Any late payment by the client also entitles Boeckstijns Law firm to charge liquidated damages of 10% of the invoice amount.
All costs related to the collection of overdue invoice amounts through amicable and judicial channels, including bailiff and lawyer costs, will be charged to the client.
5.6. In the event of default of payment after the invoice due date, Boeckstijns Law firm is also entitled to immediately cease its activities until the client has met his or her payment obligations in full, without this leading to any liability on the part of Boeckstijns Law firm.
However, the client will be notified in advance and in writing (by letter or e-mail) of such cessation.
6. Third-party funds
6.1. Boeckstijns Law firm shall transfer all amounts received for its clients to its clients as soon as possible. If Boeckstijns Law firm cannot transfer an amount immediately, it will inform the client of the receipt of the amount and the reason why the amount cannot be transferred.
6.2. Boeckstijns Law firm may deduct from the amounts received on behalf of the client sums to cover outstanding advances or statements of expenses and fees. He will inform the client of this in writing. However, this provision does not affect the client’s right to contest the statements of fees of Boeckstijns Law firm and to claim payment of these retained amounts.
6.3. Boeckstijns Law firm shall transfer all amounts received from the client for the account of third parties to these third parties as soon as possible.
7.1. Boeckstijns Law firm provides a best-efforts undertaking which it will carry out to the best of its ability. In doing so, Boeckstijns Law firm cannot guarantee a specific result.
7.2. All lawyers of Boeckstijns Law firm are insured via a collective insurance policy for ‘professional civil liability’, taken out by the Order of Flemish Bars, with Amlin Insurance SE via Vanbreda Risk & Benefits with policy number LXX034899. (hereinafter ‘Insurance’)
7.3. The professional liability of Boeckstijns Law firm and the lawyers handling the case is limited to the amount covered by the Insurance. The client considers the aforementioned Insurance to be sufficient and accepts that the compensation for the proven loss incurred by him/her as a result of a professional error of a lawyer of Boeckstijns Law firm will, in all cases and regardless of the nature of the error, be limited to the amount for which the lawyer is insured.
The insured amount of the Insurance provides a guarantee of 2,500,000 euros per claim.
7.4. Boeckstijns Law firm rejects all liability, of whatever nature, with respect to advice and services provided by lawyers who are not part of our office, experts or any other supplier of services that the office might have to call on in the context of our assistance in your case.
Boeckstijns Law firm may only be liable for damage arising directly from the assignment given to our office.
8. Termination of the agreement
8.1 If the case is closed, the client will be informed by Boeckstijns Law firm in writing. After closure of the file, the file will be archived and kept for five years from the date of the letter notifying the client that the agreement is terminated. After five years, the file will be destroyed.
8.2 The client may terminate the agreement at any time by notifying Boeckstijns Law firm in writing.
Boeckstijns Law firm will transfer its final statement of fees and expenses to the client, taking into account its performance until termination of the agreement. The lawyer cannot claim compensation.
Upon first request, Boeckstijns Law firm will return the documents of the file to the client within a reasonable period of time.
8.3 Boeckstijns Law firm may terminate the agreement at any time by notifying the client in writing. In determining the moment of termination, Boeckstijns Law firm should take into account a reasonable time for the client to obtain the necessary assistance from another lawyer.
9. Applicable law and disputes
Belgian law shall apply, to the exclusion of any other law.
Disputes fall under the exclusive competence of the law courts of Brussels, without prejudice to the competent authorities of the Order of Flemish Bars or the Dutch speaking Brussels Bar.
If one or more clauses of these general terms and conditions should be invalid or void, this shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the other clauses of these general terms and conditions.