1. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office (KBO 866418153, VAT n° BE 0866.418.153), provides through its associates, attorneys-at-law and paralegals, services which are governed by these general terms and conditions. No variation of these general terms shall be valid unless agreed upon in writing.
2. All cases entrusted to Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office will be accepted and handled exclusively by the latter, even if it is the client’s avowed or implied intention to entrust the case-file to a specific lawyer of the firm.
3. The client warrants and agrees to provide any and all data and information that may be required, with such documentary evidence as may be necessary. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the information provided at its initiative or on its behalf is accurate, complete and reliable.
4. Legal and other services are provided exclusively on the client’s behalf and for his sole benefit. Third parties may not derive rights, remedies or entitlements from the services provided or results obtained on a client’s behalf.
5. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office’ fees are billed in accordance with its standard base rate of billable hours. All prices are VAT excluded. Enquiries regarding standard fees on an hourly basis may be directed to Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office reserves its right to adjust on a half yearly basis the rates of the billable hours. Following factors may justify an extra fee: the importance of the case, the favorable outcome, the urgency or the special nature of the services provided. Apart from general expenses, only overhead expenses shall be charged and specific disbursements or extraordinary expenses are billed separately. Bailiffs’ emoluments and the court fees, taxes and other charges and expenses disbursed, including the costs of court proceedings are billed separately to the client.
6. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office is entitled to apply for advances against fees and costs in the form of retainers. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office shall periodically bill legal and other services provided in the form of statements of fees & expenses. The exact nature of the relevant services will be detailed in these periodic bills. All statements of fees & expenses and retainer notes are payable in cash. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office reserves its right to suspend all services in the event of late payment or non-payment until such time as the outstanding fees & expenses have been settled in full.
7. The client and Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office may at any time terminate the agreement without having to pay compensation on account of such termination, it being understood however that services provided and expenses incurred shall be settled in full.
8. Any case or matter entrusted to Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office entails that the firm shall have the option to avail itself of the services of third parties or other experts and to agree on behalf of the client to the limitations of liability stipulated by such third parties or other experts. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office shall incur no liability on account of the acts or omissions on the part of such third parties or other experts, whether or not the services provided by such third parties are billed separately to the client and irrespectively of whether the person or persons whose expert opinion was sought should bill their services and expenses to Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office or to the client.
9. Should any liability occur as a result of the professional services rendered, the claim arising from same shall be limited to the sum paid out under the professional risks indemnity insurance taken on behalf of Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office was subscribed to the basic policy of professional risks indemnity insurance taken out by the Ghent bar association and maintains in addition extra coverage against professional risks as may reasonably be expected. A list of the insurances coverage extended may be applied for in writing. If for any reason whatsoever no compensation is paid out under the professional risks indemnity insurances, liability will at any rate be limited to twice the amount of the fees bi lied by Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office with respect to the case where under the risk occurred, with a maximum of 100.000 EUR.
10. All electronic communications from Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office are merely informative and their contents shall under no circumstances give rise to any liability on the part of Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office, except in the case of files forwarded in PDF format, duly signed by an associate. Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office shall undertake all reasonable efforts to ensure that its emails and attachments are free from viruses and/or other defects that may damage a computer or data procession system. However, it is the client’s responsibility to take all appropriate measures for the protection of his own computer(s) or data processing system(s). Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office cannot be held liable for damage or losses that may result from opening or using electronic documents received from Thierry Lauwers Lawyers Office.
11. If one or several provisions of these general terms and conditions should prove invalid or null and void, this will in no way affect the validity and enforceability of these general terms of conditions. The Dutch text of these general terms and conditions is the only version with binding force. Free translations into French and English are available. The legal relationship to which these general terms and conditions apply is governed by Belgian law and by such deontological rules as may be applicable. All disputes will be heard and adjudicated by the Courts of Ghent (Belgium).
12. The lawyers are restrained by certain obligations by the Law of January 11th 1993 on preventing the use of the financial system for money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, as modified by the Law of January 12th 2004 and the Law of January 8th 2010 and included by the rules of procedure OVB of December 21st 2011 in application of art. 38 and 39 of this Law. Among these obligations are the identification requirement, the duty of vigilance and a reporting obligation in case of suspicion of money-laundering. A possible report always has to be done to the President of the Bar, and this without that the lawyer is entitled to inform his client. In certain circumstances, the lawyer has to withdraw as counsel from the file.