General Terms and Conditions Oostlander | Verhoeven Advocaten & Mediators B.V.
Oostlander Verhoeven Advocaten & Mediators BV is a private limited company of lawyers (both legal and natural persons) incorporated under Dutch law, trading under the name “Oostlander | Verhoeven Advocaten & Mediators BV”, hereinafter referred to as “OV Advocaten”. OV Advocaten’s staff work as specialised family law lawyers, divorce mediators and/or inheritance lawyers.
Article 1 Applicability
- These general terms and conditions shall apply to all engagements, including any subsequent, amended or additional engagement afforded to one of the lawyers of OV Advocaten, to legal relationships arising therefrom or related thereto, as well as to the phase preceding the conclusion of an agreement for services.
- These general terms and conditions are stipulated for the benefit of any third party, whether employed or not, engaged in the performance of any assignment or who is or may be liable in connection therewith.
- OV Advocaten is authorised to amend or supplement the general terms and conditions for future work or services. If this authority is exercised, the client will, of course, be informed immediately with a copy of the amended general terms and conditions, after which they will apply.
- The applicability of other general terms and conditions is expressly excluded.
Article 2 Assignments
- All assignments, either to OV Advocaten directly or the individual lawyers, are accepted and carried out exclusively by or on behalf of OV Advocaten. The applicability of Sections 7:404, 7:407(2), 7:409 and 7:422(1)(b) of the Dutch Civil Code is excluded.
- The client is obliged to cooperate as much as possible in the execution of the assignment, whereby the client will always provide all information necessary for the execution of the assignment in a timely manner and guarantee the accuracy of this information. If the information necessary for the execution of the assignment has not been made available to OV Advocaten, or has not been made available on time or in accordance with the arrangements made, this may result in suspension of the performance of OV Advocaten’s obligations.
- OV Advocaten may engage third parties in the performance of the assignment. It will do so as much as possible in consultation with the client/principal. OV Advocaten is not liable for errors or shortcomings of any third party or parties engaged. OV Advocaten is authorised to accept a limitation of liability from a third party on behalf of the client. OV Advocaten shall be entitled to rely on these terms and conditions against the client as far as the performance of the assignment by the third party is concerned. Third parties will never be approached directly by the client.
- The client indemnifies and holds OV Advocaten harmless against all claims and/or demands of third parties that are in any way related to the work performed for the client. The client shall reimburse OV Advocaten for the reasonably incurred costs of defending such claims.
- Both the client, the clients or OV Advocaten may terminate the agreement, if desired with immediate effect, by giving written notice. Upon termination, the client is obliged to pay the fee for the work performed up to the time of termination.
Article 3 Processing personal data & Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft)
- If OV Advocaten is engaged to provide legal services or services for the purpose of mediation, OV Advocaten is thereby given permission to process personal data if and to the extent necessary for the performance of the assignment. For the manner in which OV Advocaten handles personal data, please refer to the privacy statement which can be found on OV Advocaten’s website.
- Pursuant to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act and other legislation, OV Advocaten is obliged to verify client identity and report certain unusual transactions to the authorities. The client is aware of this obligation and consents to this, to the extent necessary. OV Advocaten is not authorised to commence work under the Wwft until the procedure described in that Act for identifying the client and any ultimate beneficial owners has been completed. OV Advocaten shall never be liable for any loss or damage that a client has suffered, suffers or will suffer as a result of or in connection with a wrongful disclosure under the Wwft, unless there is intent or gross negligence on the part of OV Advocaten.
- OV Advocaten will maintain confidentiality as is appropriate in the client-attorney relationship. However, client data (client data) may be used in connection with any review of its processes and possible conflict of interest, as well as in connection with handling the assignment and relationship management.
Article 4 Liability
- Any liability of OV Advocaten shall be limited to the amount paid out under its professional liability insurance policy in the relevant case, plus the amount of any deductible not borne by the insurers under the policy conditions. This except insofar as exclusion of liability is not possible under Dutch law. OV Advocaten is insured up to € 500,000 per claim. Further information on the content of the policy conditions will be provided upon written request by the client.
- If, for whatever reason, there is no insurance payout, OV Advocaten’s liability shall be limited to the amount of fees charged by it in relation to the assignment. However, any liability will never exceed € 25,000.
- Without prejudice to the provisions in Section 6:89 of the Dutch Civil Code, a claim for compensation shall lapse if that claim has not been brought before the competent court within six months after the facts on which the claim is based were known or could reasonably have been known to the client. In any case, all claims expire 12 months after the case is closed.
- Liability for indirect damages or consequential loss is excluded under all circumstances.
- The performance of the contract for services shall be exclusively for the benefit of the client. Third parties cannot derive any rights from the content of the aforementioned agreement nor from
the work carried out, even if they can be designated as a direct or indirect interested party.
- OV Advocaten does not guarantee the timely and correct receipt of messages sent by it, regardless of the method of transmission. In the case of communication by electronic means such as email, OV Advocaten shall not be liable for damage resulting from viruses and or other irregularities in the communication.
Article 5 Fee, expenses and advance payment
- The costs of carrying out the assignment include the fee, turnover tax (VAT) and disbursements paid on behalf of the client (actual necessary costs incurred such as court fees, bailiff’s fees, costs of extracts, etc.).
- Unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in writing, the fee shall be determined on the basis of the time spent (the number of hours worked) multiplied by the hourly rate applicable to the relevant assignment and any follow-up assignments.
- The hourly rate payable will be agreed in advance with the client. The hourly rate is determined by the hourly rate to be set periodically, which may be increased by a factor depending on the experience required and the specialism, the financial interest and the degree of urgency involved in the assignment. OV Advocaten reserves the right to adjust the agreed hourly rate in the interim or annually per 1 January.
- Costs of third parties engaged for the client are charged directly to the client in principle.
- Both before the commencement of the work and during the course of the work OV Advocaten may request from the client an advance payment for services already rendered or yet to be rendered. OV Advocaten shall not commence or continue its work for the client until the client has paid the advance payment. The advance invoice will be set off against the final invoice of the assignment, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
Article 6 Payment
- The costs of carrying out the assignment referred to in Article 5a will in principle be invoiced to the client once a month (in arrears).
- The payment period is fourteen (14) days from the invoice date, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- If payment is not made on time, the client shall be in default by operation of law, without a reminder or notice of default being required, and shall be liable for interest of 1% per month on the outstanding amount. If the client fails to pay in full or on time even after a reminder, the client shall also be liable, in addition to the aforesaid interest, for (extra)judicial costs of 15% with a minimum of € 150 excluding VAT, to be calculated on the principal plus interest. Insofar as the client is not acting in the course of a profession or business, OV Advocaten shall be entitled to an amount equal to the maximum compensation allowed by law in respect of extrajudicial collection costs, as stipulated in and calculated in accordance with the Extrajudicial Collection Costs (Fees) Decree. Judicial costs are not limited to the litigation costs to be assessed but will be borne in full by the client or clients if it/they is/are (predominantly) ruled against.
- The amounts received by OV Advocaten from the client will first be deducted from the costs due, then the interest due, while the remainder will be deducted from the oldest invoice, irrespective of the purpose of the payment stated by the client.
- If an (advance) invoice is not paid within the payment term, the credit risk on the client is assessed as too high or it is deemed insufficiently certain that the client will be able to fulfil its payment obligations towards OV Advocaten, OV Advocaten may suspend its activities without notice of default being required. OV Advocaten shall not be liable for any damages arising as a result of such suspension of work.
Article 7 Client’s funds
- OV Advocaten does not receive third-party funds within the meaning of the Legal Profession Byelaw. OV Advocaten is therefore exempt from the obligation to have a Foundation for Clients’ Funds. If OV Advocaten is nevertheless confronted with clients’ funds, OV Advocaten will ensure that the monies are either transferred directly to the entitled party in accordance with Article 6.19(1) of the Legal Profession Byelaw, or that OV Advocaten joins a foundation for clients’ funds and receives the monies through this foundation. Under no circumstances will OV Advocaten receive clients’ funds into the office account.
Article 8 Complaints and Dispute Resolution Rules
- OV Advocaten shall exercise due care in performing the work. If a client has complaints, OV Advocaten shall endeavour to reach a solution through consultation. For the purpose of careful handling of complaints, OV Advocaten operates an internal complaints procedure, which can be found on OV Advocaten’s website.
- For disputes that do not concern declarations, the complaints procedure of NOvA (Netherlands Bar Association) can be chosen by filing a complaint with the Dean of the Noord-Holland district.
- In the event of mediation by a participant, it is possible to opt for a complaints procedure with the vFAS (Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators) by filing a complaint with the Disciplinary Board of the Stichting Tuchtrecht Scheidingsbemiddeling.
- Complaints should be submitted within six months of the closure of the file.
Article 9 Data storage
- Upon termination of its work for the client, OV Advocaten shall return the original documents and any court documents originating from the client to the client by regular mail and archive the file digitally. The online file will be closed after the expiry of three months.
- OV Advocaten has the right to remove and destroy files and all documents contained therein, including documents owned by the client and/or third parties, if 7 years or more have elapsed since the conclusion of a case that OV Advocaten has conducted, without further notice from the archives.
- The copyright in all works prepared by OV Advocaten and/or provided to the client or third parties is vested exclusively in OV Advocaten.
Article 10 Applicable law and competent court
- This agreement is exclusively governed by Dutch law. Subject to mandatory statutory provisions, only the District Court of Noord-Holland, location Haarlem shall be competent to hear all disputes arising from this agreement. If these general terms and conditions are also drawn up in a language other than Dutch, the Dutch text shall be binding in the event of a dispute regarding the content or purport of these general terms and conditions.
- The general terms and conditions will be sent or made available to the client before the start of the work. These general terms and conditions have been filed at the Registry of the District Court of Noord-Holland and are presented on the website of OV Advocaten.
Haarlem, 15 March 2023