General terms and conditions
1. Information on the website
1.1. Our website contains general information about our firm and our lawyers. The information you find on this website is of a general nature and purely informative, and therefore cannot be considered personal legal advice.
1.2. DLPA does not accept liability for any damage that you may suffer due to actions based on information that can be found on this website. If you would like personal advice, you can contact a lawyer who will advise you on the basis of your personal information.
2.1. These general terms and conditions (in the most recent version) and any special conditions for the assignment (the “Assignment”) apply to all contracts with DLPA (the “Firm”). The application of any conditions imposed by the client (the “Client”) is excluded.
2.2. The Assignment is accepted and implemented by the Firm, which is exclusively responsible for its implementation, even if a client has given an assignment - explicitly or implicitly - with a view to its implementation by a specific person. The Firm accepts responsibility (and is solely and exclusively responsible) for the services that its lawyers (whether or not through a partnership) and employees (collectively the “Persons” or “Person”) provide. No one other than the Firm has or shall have any obligation towards the Client or any other person with respect to these services, and no one other than the Firm, therefore, has or shall have any liability for the services they provide in the name of the Firm. The Client agrees not to make any claim against any person other than the Firm with respect to these services. To the extent necessary, the Client waives this possibility irrevocably.
3. Costs and fees
3.1. Unless agreed otherwise, the fee for the activities carried out is charged on the basis of an hourly rate for the lawyers who deal with the case, taking into account the nature and extent of the case as well as the experience of the lawyer who deals with it. If the result is positive, the Firm is entitled to charge a success fee.
3.2. Besides the fee, the Firm charges the administrative costs (including those for opening the case, correspondence and typing, telephone, fax and photocopying) and travel costs, on the basis of fixed rates that are periodically reviewed.
Furthermore, the amounts that the Firm advances on the client’s behalf (registration costs or fees, database searches, translation costs, bailiffs’ costs) are charged at cost price.
3.3. VAT is charged on all costs and fees invoiced at the applicable rate.
3.4. At the beginning of the case or while it is underway, the Firm can send a provisional statement to the Client with the request to pay a deposit that will later be deducted.
At intervals to be agreed with the Client, and in any case upon closure of the case, the Firm will present the Client with a bill detailing the office and court costs charged, the services provided and the fee charged.
4. Payment arrangements
4.1. Statements of the Firm’s commissions and fees are payable within eight days. Interest is legally charged on late payment from the due date onwards. If applicable, the interest rate applies as established in accordance with the Law of 2 August 2002 on the prevention of payment arrears in commercial transactions. In all other matters, the legal interest rate applies.
4.2. In the event of payment arrears, the Firm has the right to suspend the (continued) implementation of the Assignment without prior notification, even if the default on payment has to do with a different contractual relationship with the Client. In the event of non-payment of all or part of a statement by the due date stated, the balance of all other statements, even those that are not yet due, will legally become immediately payable.
5. Third party funds
5.1. The Firm passes on all the amounts it receives in its third party account to the Client. The Firm may retain the amounts it receives on behalf of the Client in order to settle outstanding statements, where necessary after informing the Client.
5.2. Under no circumstances is the Firm liable to the Client in the event that the financial institution where the third party account is held goes bankrupt, is negligent or takes (legal) action that may have a negative effect on the Client.
6. Appeal to third parties
For the implementation of the Assignment, the Firm may call upon third parties, and will take the necessary care in selecting these third parties. The Firm is not liable for any action or negligence by third parties.
7.1. If the Firm is held liable for an error made in the implementation of an Assignment, the compensation owed – both contractually and extra-contractually – shall be limited to the direct damage effectively suffered, proof of which is to be provided by the Client, with a maximum equal to the amount guaranteed by the Firm’s liability insurance for the claim for damages in question. If a claim for damages is not covered by this liability insurance, the amount of compensation for damage owed is limited to three times the fee paid by the Client for the Assignment in question. Under no circumstances is the Firm liable for indirect damage or consequential loss, including damage suffered by third parties.
7.2. If a claim is made against the Firm as a result of an error or negligence on the part of the Firm and third parties (including the Client), the Firm will at most be liable for the damage caused directly by the error or negligence on the part of the Firm, without being held jointly or severally liable with those third parties.
7.3. The Firm is not liable for delays or defects in the implementation of the Assignment if this is due to circumstances beyond its will or control, including actions or negligence resulting from the failure of co-operation with the Client or other parties, electronic failures or interruption of means of communication that cannot be imputed to it, strikes, or in general any situation that could not be predicted or avoided at the beginning of the Assignment.
7.4. Any claim made against the Firm must be subjected to immediate judicial or administrative review on pain of forfeiture. Any claim upon the Firm shall in any case expire if the circumstance that leads or may lead to liability is not subjected to judicial or administrative review within a year of when it is discovered or could reasonably have been discovered.
7.5. Notwithstanding shorter deadlines resulting from the law or these terms and conditions, all claims against the Firm will in any case expire two years after the end of the Assignment in question.
7.6. The Client shall safeguard the Firm and the Persons against all third-party claims linked to or resulting from the Assignment.
7.7. The aforesaid arrangement does not apply in the event of fraud - unless this fraud is committed by the employees of the Firm - and applies insofar as and to the extent that this is possible under Belgian law or the deontological obligations.
8. Termination of co-operation
The Client and the Firm - with the latter taking into account the deontological obligations concerned - may end the contract at any time by informing the other party of this in writing.
9.1. The invalidity or non-enforceability of one or more clauses (or sub-clauses) of these general terms and conditions will not have any effect on the validity or enforceability of its other clauses (and sub-clauses), which shall continue to apply undiminished. The invalid or non-enforceable clauses (or sub-clauses) shall be replaced by valid and enforceable clauses (or sub-clauses) that adhere to the original intention as closely as possible.
9.2. All activities (and their results) in the context of the Assignment shall remain the exclusive property of the Firm at all times and cannot be transferred by the Client to third parties. In any event, third parties shall not be able to invoke them or enforce any agreements upon the Firm.
9.3. A Client who is a legal person shall make these terms and conditions enforceable upon its directors, managers, shareholders, staff, agents, subcontractors and other parties working for it, with the result that they are equally bound by them.
9.4. The Dutch language text of these terms and conditions takes precedence over any translations.
9.5. Notwithstanding the terms of article 2.2. above, the (terms of) these general terms and conditions do not only apply to – and where appropriate, benefit – the Firm, but also apply to – and where appropriate, benefit – all Persons.
All advice given by the Firm is solely and exclusively intended for the Client’s use and is only given in the context of the case for which it is given. Advice from the Firm may not be used by or communicated to third parties.
9.6. These general terms and conditions apply to all Assignments that the Firm accepts, including any follow-up assignments and new assignments.
10. Applicable law - Competent court
All contracts with the Firm are governed by Belgian law. The courts of the legal district of Kortrijk have sole competence.