Standard Terms and Conditions
1. Scope of application
1.1. DVDW Advocaten B.V. (“DVDW”) is a limited liability company whose object is the practice of law as attorneys-at-law.
1.2. These Standard Terms and Conditions apply to all engagements and additional follow-up engagements undertaken by DVDW, its legal successors, its shareholders and/or the Directors of its partners, or its employees, to the legal relationships resulting from or relating to such engagements, and to the phase preceding the formation of a contract for services. DVDW 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 shareholders of DVDW) that are directly or indirectly involved in any way in the services provided by DVDW, and/or by all legal entities and natural persons for whose actions DVDW may be legally liable.
2.1. All engagements are deemed to have been given to and accepted by DVDW, even where it is the express or implied intention that the engagement will be performed by a specific person. Sections 404 and 407(2) of Book 7 of the Netherlands Civil Code are expressly disapplied.
2.2. The client indemnifies DVDW and holds DVDW harmless against any and all (further) claims made by third parties, including the reasonable costs of legal assistance, that in any way arise from or are 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 DVDW’s performance of the engagement consist of the professional fees, VAT (where applicable) and disbursements.
3.2. Except where the parties have expressly agreed otherwise, the professional fees are calculated on a time-spent basis, i.e. the number of hours worked multiplied by the hourly rate for the engagement in question and any follow-up engagements.
3.3. The hourly rate is determined on the basis of the hourly rates determined from time to time by DVDW, 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 where expressly agreed otherwise, DVDW has the right to change that hourly rate, even 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 after the engagement commenced, the client may cancel the engagement by registered letter. The right to do so lapses when the first invoice issued after the hourly rate was increased falls due.
3.6. Disbursements are the costs and expenses actually incurred by DVDW on behalf of the client (for example, court fees, bailiff's fees, travel expenses, costs of extracts and bank charges).
4.1. As a rule, the costs of performing the engagement as described in Article 3.1 are invoiced to the client once a month (in arrears).
4.2. Invoices are payable within 14 days after the invoice date. The client is not entitled to suspend the obligation to pay DVDW’s invoices and/or to claim a set-off.
4.3. If an invoice is not paid by the payment deadline specified, the client is in default by operation of law and liable to pay interest at a rate equal to the current statutory interest rate.
4.4. If the client fails to pay even after having been sent a reminder, the client will be liable to pay all judicial and extrajudicial debt collection costs, for at least 15% of the invoice amount, subject to a minimum of €250.
4.5. DVDW may suspend its services, without any notice of breach being required, if an invoice for past or future costs (including invoices for advance payments) is not paid by the deadline specified, if DVDW considers the client to represent an excessively high credit risk, or if DVDW is insufficiently confident that the client will be able to fulfil its payment obligations to DVDW. DVDW will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by such suspension of services.
4.6 In connection with DVDW’s services, Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten may hold funds belonging to the client or to third parties that are credited to a bank account of Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten. Neither DVDW nor Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten is liable if the bank does not fulfil its obligations under its current account contract with Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten. If the bank charges DVDW or Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten negative interest on the funds belonging to the client or a third party, that negative interest will be passed on to the client or the third party, and will be deducted from the amount held.
4.7. The client gives DVDW and Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten its unconditional and irrevocable permission to set off any funds received by or on behalf of the client (on a bank account of Stichting Beheer Derdengelden DVDW advocaten) against, or use such funds as payment of, any amount due by the client to DVDW.
5. Advance payments
5.1. DVDW may require the client to pay an advance before commencing work on the engagement. DVDW may also require the client to pay an advance if, at any time, the client has failed to pay invoices from DVDW by their due date or if the client is likely not to pay invoices from DVDW in by their due date. On completion of the engagement, or in the event that the client has failed to pay invoices from DVDW by their due date or it becomes foreseeable that the client is likely not to pay invoices from DVDW in by their due date, DVDW may apply the advance towards payment of amounts owed by the client.
6.1. DVDW has taken out professional indemnity insurance providing such cover as is required by the Netherlands Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten).
6.2. DVDW’s liability is limited to an amount equal to the payment received by DVDW under the relevant insurance policy for the claim in question, plus the excess payable by DVDW under that insurance policy for the claim in question. If no payment is made under the said insurance policy for any reason, DVDW’s liability is limited to a maximum of twice the fee charged for 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 employs the services of a legal entity, natural person or third party from outside DVDW to undertake work in connection with the performance of an engagement, DVDW 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 automatically confers on DVDW the authority to accept such limitation of liability on behalf of the client.
6.5. If any loss, damage or injury is caused to property or persons, whether in connection with the performance of an engagement or otherwise, for which DVDW is liable, then such liability is limited to an amount equal to the payment received by DVDW under the relevant insurance policy for the claim in question, plus the excess payable by DVDW under that insurance policy for the claim in question.
6.6. Without prejudice to the provisions of Section 89 of 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 after 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 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 substance of such a contract or from the services provided, even if they can be regarded as direct or indirect stakeholders or interested parties. DVDW accepts no liability towards third parties for any loss or damage whatsoever in connection with work undertaken on behalf of a client.
7.1. The client’s file will be retained for eight years. After that time, DVDW may destroy the file.
8.1. An internal complaints procedure is applicable to all services provided by DVDW. The complaints procedure can be found on our website at www.dvdw.nl.
8.2. Any claim for liability by a client against DVDW for services rendered by DVDW must be notified in writing to the Board of DVDW.
9. Governing law and competent court
9.1. The legal relationship between DVDW and its clients are governed by the laws of the Netherlands.
9.2. Any disputes between DVDW and a client are the exclusive jurisdiction of the competent courts in Amsterdam. Notwithstanding the foregoing, DVDW has the right to submit disputes to the jurisdiction of the competent court in the client’s place of residence or place of business.
9.3. These Standard Terms and Conditions are available in several languages; in the event of any inconsistency between or disagreement about the substance and meaning of the Dutch text and that of any translation, the Dutch text is binding.