These General Terms and Conditions apply to services rendered by and/or for lawyers of cvba EVEREST ADVOCATEN G&B (company registration number 0843.239.014 and VAT number BE 0843.239.014). More information can be found on www.everest-law.be.
Unless explicitly agreed upon otherwise and subject to the right to make adjustments in the course of the handling of the case file, our services are usually but not exclusively invoiced according to standard hourly rates (cf. assignment document). However, a final invoice based on the acquired result is also possible. Once per calendar year, the indicated basic hourly rate can be adjusted without therefore requiring the client’s prior consent.
Prior to the start of the assignment and during the handling of the case, the lawyer may demand one or more advance payments from the client. An advance payment is the lump sum paid by a client to his/her/its lawyer prior to the issuance of a detailed statement of costs and fees. In the final statement of costs and fees, advance payments are deducted from the total amount to be paid.
All our invoices are payable in cash. For lack of payment of the invoice, post-maturity interests at the rate of 10% per year will be due without prior formal notice being required. In such event, a compensation for damage amounting to 10% of the outstanding amount will be due as well. The lawyer reserves the right – subject to a fair notice period – to terminate or suspend the rendering of services upon the non-payment of requested advances or statements of costs and fees for a period of 30 days or more or on account of another serious reason.
The lawyer charges a flat-rate fee of 15% of the lawyer’s fees for his or her ordinary general administrative costs.
Incurred expenses (such as fees of experts and foreign lawyers, travel and catering expenses, costs for courier and special shipping services, costs for research work, for binding documents, video conference installations, etc.) are mentioned separately and invoiced at cost.
The lawyer reserves the right to annually adjust the lawyer’s fees and fee scales to the index figure.
All our invoices are subject to 21% VAT.
Amounts of money held or received by the lawyer on behalf of the client are booked on a special bank account held by the lawyer according to the bar regulations, i.e. the so-called trust account. The client gives the lawyer permission to withhold lawyer’s fees and expenses due (cf. above) from amounts received on behalf of the client.
The contractual or extra-contractual liability of our lawyers and of the CVBA itself for loss, damage, costs or expenses arisen in connection with the rendering of services will, except in case of fraud, always be limited to the amount of coverage awarded by the third-party liability insurer (NV ALMIN EUROPE) of the lawyer in question. This coverage is limited to the sum of € 1,250,000 unless the lawyer handling the case file would be insured for a higher amount.
The lawyer cannot be held liable for any loss, damage, costs or expenses that would arise in any way whatsoever from (fraudulent) acts or any failure to act, omissions, incorrect or incomplete statements or illegitimate acts from the part of the client, its directors, employees, intermediaries or subcontractors. The lawyer reserves the right to recover all resulting damage, if any, from the client.
The lawyer cannot be held liable for acts or any failure to act that took place prior to the commencement of the rendering of services. Even when the lawyer has given advice on the basis of information or advice that was passed on to him/her by foreign or other lawyers or consultants consulted by the client without having obtained corresponding instructions from the client, each and any liability of the lawyer for any loss, damage, costs or expenses directly or indirectly resulting from an act or failure to act from the part of such third party (parties) will be excluded.
The lawyer does not accept any liability for damage resulting from the use of documents in any form other than the form supplied by the lawyer or in other situations than those for which these documents were drawn up.
The lawyer does not accept any liability for any delay in or the non-fulfilment of his/her obligations when this delay or non-fulfilment results from circumstances that in all reason are beyond the lawyer’s control.
The case file kept at the office (except for documents that the Client asked us to return) is kept for a period of five years only, starting from the date on which the final statement of fees and costs has been sent to the client. It is the client’s responsibility to ask in a timely manner for the return of his case file or of certain documents from it if such need would exist.
If the Lawyer assists the client with the preparation or execution of operations related to the purchase or sale of property or companies, the administration of the client’s money, securities, or other assets, the opening or administration of bank accounts, savings accounts, or securities accounts, the organisation of capital which is necessary for the formation, operation, or management of companies, the formation, operation, or management of companies, trusts, fiduciaries, or similar legal constructions, or if he or she acts on behalf of and for the account of his or her client in any financial operations or property operations, he or she is obliged to observe strictly the legislation and bar association regulations with regard to anti-laundering and anti-terrorism funding. In accordance with the prevailing rules in the matter, the Lawyer is bound mainly to a duty to provide proof of identity and to a duty of vigilance with regard to his or her client. This procedure requires the client’s co-operation and obligates clients who work under the format of a company to inform their lawyer pursuant to the law of 18 September 2017 who the ultimate beneficiary is behind this company or succession of companies and to inform the Lawyer on each occasion that this situation changes. If the client refuses, within two weeks of a request to this end, to provide the information which the Lawyer is obliged to request, the Lawyer is entitled to terminate his or her contribution pursuant to Article 2.10 of the Regulations of the Flemish Bar Council (OVB) of 21 December 2011. Furthermore, the anti-laundering legislation obligates the Lawyer in certain circumstances to notify the Dean of his or her bar of any possible laundering operations and funding of terrorism in which the client might be involved.
The Lawyer processes the client’s personal data in accordance with the stipulations of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (hereinafter GDPR). The Lawyer collects and processes the client’s personal data for client management (including client administration, invoicing, follow-up of debt collection files, and the shipment of newsletters) and for tackling money laundering and the funding of terrorism. Personal data is processed on the basis of Article 6.1 (a) (since the client has granted his or her explicit consent to the processing by signing these General Terms and Conditions), Article 6.1 (b) (since the processing will sometimes be necessary for the implementation of the agreement between the Lawyer and the client), Article 6.1 (c) (since the processing will sometimes be necessary in order to meet a legal obligation to which the Lawyer is subject), and Article 6.1 (f) (since the processing will sometimes be necessary for the legitimate interest of the Lawyer) of the GDPR. If the processing of personal data is based solely on Article 6.1 (a) (consent), the client is always entitled to withdraw his or her consent. If this is necessary for the achievement of the formulated objectives, the client’s personal data will be shared with other companies within the European Economic Area which are connected directly or indirectly with the Lawyer or with any other partner of the Lawyer. The Lawyer guarantees that these recipients will take the necessary technical and organisational measures to protect the personal data. The personal data will be stored for the period which is necessary to meet the legal requirements (including in the fields of accounting and anti-laundering legislation) and at least for as long as the legal time limit with regard to the Lawyer. The client is always entitled to see his or her personal data and can rectify it or have it rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete. Under certain conditions, he or she can also have his or her personal data removed, have the processing thereof limited, and lodge an objection against the processing of his or her personal data on the basis of Article (f) GDPR. Moreover, the client is entitled to obtain a copy (in a structured, customary, and mechanically legible form) of his or her personal data which he or she has supplied to the Lawyer and to have the personal data sent on to another company. In order to exercise the aforementioned rights, the client is requested to send an e-mail to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org . The client is entitled to resist free of charge any processing of his or her personal data for direct marketing purposes. The client is entitled to submit a complaint to the Data Protection Authority (Drukpersstraat 35, 1000 Brussels – email@example.com)
The parties agree that these General Terms and Conditions, any agreement related to these General Terms and Conditions, and the assignment of the Lawyer in general shall be governed solely by Belgian law. The law courts of Ghent shall have exclusive authorisation to adjudicate any dispute regarding the interpretation or the implementation of these General Terms and Conditions and/or the agreement to which they relate. Moreover, the parties agree explicitly and formally that any law courts other than those indicated in the aforementioned section shall have no authorisation regarding the aforementioned subject matter.