DVDW Advocaten

Standard terms and conditions

1. Applicability

1.1. DVDW Advocaten is a partnership of private limited companies and/or natural persons (hereinafter "DVDW Advocaten").

1.2. These Standard Terms and Conditions apply to all engagements and additional follow-up engagements undertaken by DVDW Advocaten, its legal successor(s), its partners and/or the Directors of its partners, as well as employees, to the legal relationships resulting from or relating to such engagements, as well as to the phase preceding the conclusion of a contract for services. DVDW Advocaten may amend these Standard Terms and Conditions, whereupon such amendments will be applicable as set out above.

1.3. These Standard Terms and Conditions are also stipulated on behalf of those legal entities, natural persons and third parties (including the partners of DVDW Advocaten) that are directly or indirectly involved in any way in the provision of services by DVDW Advocaten and/or all legal entities and natural persons for whose actions DVDW Advocaten may be (legally) liable.

2. Engagement

2.1. All engagements are deemed to have been given to and accepted by DVDW Advocaten, also if it is the client's express or implied intention that an engagement is performed by a specific person.

Sections 404 and 407(2) in Book 7 of the Netherlands Civil Code are expressly disapplied.

2.2. The client indemnifies, defends and holds DVDW Advocaten harmless from and against any and all (subsequent) claims made by third parties, including claims for reasonable costs of legal assistance, in any way arising out of or related to the work undertaken for the client, except where such claims arise from gross negligence or intent.

3. Fees and disbursements

3.1. The costs of performance of the engagement by DVDW Advocaten consist of the professional fees, VAT (where applicable) and disbursements.

3.2. Except as expressly otherwise agreed between the parties, the professional fees are calculated on a time-spent basis, i.e. the number of hours worked multiplied by the hourly rate applicable to the engagement in question and any follow-up engagements.

3.3. The hourly rate is determined on the basis of the hourly rate, as determined from time to time by DVDW Advocaten, multiplied, as appropriate, by a factor reflecting the level of experience and specialist expertise of the person actually performing the engagement, the financial interest involved and the urgency of the engagement.

3.4. Except as expressly otherwise agreed, DVDW Advocaten has the right to change the hourly rate referred to above also during the course of an engagement.

3.5. If the hourly rate is increased by more than 15% in one step or within two months of the commencement of the engagement the client may terminate the contract by registered letter. The right to do so lapses when the first invoice issued after the increase in the hourly rate falls due.

3.6. Disbursements are the costs and expenses actually incurred by DVDW Advocaten on behalf of the client (for example, court fees, bailiff's fees, travel expenses, costs of extracts and bank charges).

4. Payment

4.1. As a rule, the costs of performance of the engagement referred to in Article 3.1 are invoiced to the client once a month (in arrears).

4.2. Invoices are payable within 14 days of the invoice date. The client is not entitled to suspend the obligation to pay invoices issued by DVDW Advocaten and/or to claim a set-off.

4.3. If an invoice is not paid within the specified period, the client is in default by operation of law and liable to pay default interest at a rate equal to the current statutory interest rate.

4.4. If no payment is received after a reminder, the client will be liable to pay all judicial and extrajudicial debt collection costs, amounting to at least 15% of the invoice amount, subject to a minimum of €250.

4.5. DVDW Advocaten may suspend the provision of services, without any notice of default being required, if a regular invoice or a retainer invoice is not paid within the specified period, if DVDW Advocaten considers the credit risk of a client to be too high, or if DVDW Advocaten is insufficiently confident that the client will be able to meet its payment obligations to DVDW Advocaten. DVDW Advocaten will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by such suspension of services.

4.6. The client expressly, irrevocably and unconditionally authorizes DVDW Advocaten - as well as the foundation Stichting Derdengelden DVDW Advocaten, for the purposes hereof duly represented by DVDW Advocaten - to set off any monies received (in the client trust account held by the said foundation) on behalf of or from the client against the amounts owed by the client to DVDW Advocaten or to apply such monies towards payment of such amounts owed.

5. Retainer

5.1. DVDW Advocaten may require the client to pay a retainer before commencing work on the engagement. DVDW Advocaten may also require the client to pay a retainer if, at any time, the client has failed to pay invoices from DVDW Advocaten in a timely manner or if the client is likely not to pay invoices from DVDW Advocaten in a timely manner. On completion of the engagement, DVDW Advocaten may apply the retainer towards payment of amounts owed by the client.

6. Liability

6.1. DVDW Advocaten has taken out professional indemnity insurance providing such cover as is required by the Netherlands Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten).

6.2. The liability of DVDW Advocaten is limited to an amount equal to the payment received by DVDW Advocaten under the relevant insurance policy in the case in question, plus the excess payable by DVDW Advocaten under that insurance policy in the case in question. If no payment is made under the said insurance policy for any reason, the liability of DVDW Advocaten is limited to a maximum of twice the fee charged in respect of the case in question in the 12 months preceding the occurrence causing the liability, subject to a maximum of €100,000.

6.3. If DVDW Advocaten employs the services of a legal entity, natural person or third party from outside DVDW Advocaten to undertake work in connection with the performance of an engagement, DVDW Advocaten will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever caused by actions or omissions on the part of such legal entity, natural person or third party.

6.4. Legal entities, natural persons or third parties whose services are employed in connection with the performance of an engagement may seek to limit their liability. Any engagement given to DVDW Advocaten automatically confers on DVDW Advocaten the authority to accept such limitation of liability also on behalf of the client.

6.5. If any loss, damage or injury is caused to any person or property, whether in connection with the performance of an engagement or otherwise, for which DVDW Advocaten is liable, then such liability is limited to an amount equal to the payment received by DVDW Advocaten under the relevant insurance policy in the case in question, plus the excess payable by DVDW Advocaten under that insurance policy in the case in question.

6.6. Without prejudice to the provisions of Section 89 in Book 6 of the Netherlands Civil Code, a claim for compensation will lapse if it is not presented to the competent court within six months of the date on which the client was aware, or should reasonably have been aware, of the facts giving rise to the claim.

6.7. Under no circumstances will DVDW Advocaten be liable for any indirect or consequential loss or damage.

6.8. Each contract for services is performed solely for the benefit of the client. Third parties cannot derive any rights from the contents of such a contract or from the services provided, not even if they can be regarded as direct or indirect stakeholders or interested parties. DVDW Advocaten accepts no liability to third parties for any loss or damage whatsoever in connection with work undertaken on behalf of the client.

7. Record keeping

7.1. The file will be retained for seven years. After that time, DVDW Advocaten may destroy the file.

8. Complaints

8.1. An internal complaints procedure is applicable to all services provided by DVDW Advocaten. The complaints procedure can be found on our website www.dvdw.nl.

8.2. Any claim for liability by a client against DVDW Advocaten for services rendered by DVDW Advocaten must be notified in writing to the Board of DVDW Advocaten.

9. Governing law and competent court

9.1. The legal relations between DVDW Advocaten and its clients are governed by the laws of the Netherlands.

9.2. Any disputes between DVDW Advocaten and a client are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the competent courts in Amsterdam. Notwithstanding the foregoing, DVDW Advocaten has the right to submit disputes to the jurisdiction of the competent courts in the place of the client's residence or place of business.

9.3. These Standard Terms and Conditions are available in several languages; in case of any inconsistency between or disagreement about the contents and scope of the Dutch text and that of any translation, the Dutch text is binding.

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