General terms and conditions
1.1 VANDIJK Lawyers is the trade name of Ms. M.S. van Dijk B.V. established in Rotterdam.
1.2 The clauses in these General terms and conditions have also been established on behalf of the Director(s) at VANDIJK Lawyers, as well as those who work or worked for VANDIJK Lawyers, as well as third parties referred to under 2.3
1.3 These General terms and conditions apply to and form a whole with all the contract agreement concluded or to be concluded between VANDIJK Lawyers and the Customer (client).
1.4 These General terms and conditions may only be deviated from in writing by means of an agreement signed by the Parties.
1.5 The Dutch version of these General terms and conditions take priority above the versions of these General terms and conditions compiled in English or another language.
2.1 All contracts with VANDIJK Lawyers are only accepted and executed by VANDIJK Lawyers by overruling articles 7:404 and 7:407 paragraph 2 of the Civil Code. Unless expressly agreed upon otherwise, VANDIJK Lawyers may determine which lawyer will execute a contract.
2.2 These General terms and conditions also (exclusively) apply to follow-up and or supplementary contracts with the client.
2.3 VANDIJK Lawyers may engage third parties in the execution of the contracts on behalf of and for the account of the client. When engaging third parties, VANDIJK Lawyers will conduct as much advance consultation as possible with the client and take the necessary care when selecting the third parties. VANDIJK Lawyers is not liable for mistakes by or shortcomings of these third parties and VANDIJK Lawyers is entitled to, without prior consultation with the client and also on behalf of the client, accept a possible liability restriction on the part of the third parties engaged by it.
2.4 Each of the parties can terminate the agreement with immediate effect if so desired. The client is responsible for paying the fees and the costs for the work performed up to the time of the termination.
3.1 Every liability of VANDIJK Lawyers is limited to the amount paid out and to which it can lay claim under the professional liability insurance concluded by it plus the excess under the insurance. The limit does not apply in case of intent or deliberate recklessness on the part of VANDIJK Lawyers or one of its employees. A copy of our professional liability insurance is available for inspection at our offices. If and insofar, for whatever reason, no payment should be made under the insurance referred to, every liability is limited to the fee charged by VANDIJK Lawyers in the case concerned.
3.2 The liability on the part of VANDIJK Lawyers lapses if the client did not, within 1 year of the client becoming aware of the event the led to (possible) damage, hold VANDIJK Lawyers, or those that work or worked for VANDIJK Lawyers, liable in writing.
3.3 VANDIJK Lawyers cannot guarantee the confidentiality of (electronic) means of communication. The Client could (within due time) request to use the existing electronic safety features at VANDIJK Lawyers prior to sending any particular message. VANDIJK Lawyers is not responsible for incorrect or incomplete transmission of information or delays in the receipt of e-mails and other forms of data traffic. VANDIJK Lawyers is also not liable for damage resulting from the use of electronic means in respect of non-delivery, interception or manipulation of electronic messages or in respect of software/equipment used for electronic communication and transmission of viruses and other malicious software.
4.1 Unless agreed upon otherwise, the fee will be calculated by using the number of hours worked multiplied by the hourly rates set annually by VANDIJK Lawyers. VANDIJK Lawyers reserves the right to annually adjust its hourly rates in accordance with the (social) price developments. This could lead to the hourly rates of current contracts being adjusted. The client is informed in writing of the hourly rates to be adjusted, or these are announced via the website of VANDIJK Lawyers.
4.2 The client can dissolve the contract agreement if the basic fee increases by more than 10% at once, or within three months of the commencement of the contract. The right to do so lapses after the expiration of the payment period of the first statement after the increase in the basic hourly fee
4.3 The client should also pay disbursement costs (among others, filing fees, bailiff’s fees, travel and subsistence costs as well as – if applicable – costs of third parties, including attorney’s fees). A percentage of 5% of the fee is charged to cover general office expenses such as postage, telephone, fax, e-mail and copying costs and the like.
4.4 VANDIJK Lawyers could require an advance payment prior to the commencement of the contract or require a further advance when dealing with the contract. Only after the receipt of the (further) advance will VANDIJK Lawyers commence or continue with its work. An advance is deducted from the final settlement for the contract.
4.5 VANDIJK Lawyers does not take any responsibility for the consequences (procedural sanctions) of the client not paying the court fees (in time).
4.6 In case of the client being eligible for legal aid (addition), VANDIJK Lawyers may also require an advance on the own contribution and the costs to be incurred. The size of the final own contribution is determined by the Legal Aid Board. If the application for legal aid is refused, the contract of client will, insofar as this contract has not been withdrawn by the client within two weeks of the refusal of the legal aid, be continued at a basic hourly rate of the lawyer to whom the contract was assigned. The client should retroactively pay VANDIJK Lawyers for the work at the basic hourly rate of the attending lawyer in case of the Legal Aid Board, in the result of its assessment after termination of the legal aid, has withdrawn the addition with retroactive force. VANDIJK Lawyers is not liable for the incorrect or late submission of the data requested by the Legal Aid Board in order to become eligible for legal aid.
5. Payment of the statements
Other payments must be made within fourteen days from the invoice date without suspension or settlement. Should payment not be forthcoming on the due date, VANDIJK Lawyers may suspend its work on behalf of the client without further notice of default. The client should then pay 1% of the statement amount per month as well as penalty interest, in addition to the statutory interest, as well as the collection costs with a minimum of € 250.- for every outstanding claim.
In case of private individuals, it applies that collection costs are charged pursuant to the Collection Costs Act with a minimum of € 40.- for each outstanding claim.
6. Third party funds
Third party funds are the monies received by the VANDIJK Lawyers Third party funds Foundation for the client in account 126.96.36.1990, administered by ABN AMRO Bank in Rotterdam. The interest received on the money by the foundation, if the funds had been outstanding for more than 14 days, accrues to the person entitled, minus any bank costs incurred and a fee (account charges) to the amount of a quarter percent of the amount concerned, calculated on an annual basis.
In principle, all files are archived electronically. The file will be stored in the digital archive system for five years. The file is automatically destroyed after five years.
Depending on the size of the file, VANDIJK Lawyers can, after finalising the contract, store the file with an external archive company. The files stored with the external archive company are also destroyed automatically after five years.
Before the files goes to a(n) (digital) archive, VANDIJK Lawyers will forward the original procedural documents to the client. VANDIJK Lawyers may charge costs for retrieving the files and/or documents from the (digital) archive.
8. Choice of law and applicable forum
Dutch law governs the legal relationship between VANDIJK Lawyers and the client, as well as those who use its services. Disputes will exclusively be settled by the Competent Court in Rotterdam.
9. Amending and location of the terms and conditions
These terms and conditions are filed at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce in Rotterdam under number 24334983. The last version filed, or the version that prevailed at the time when the agreement(s) was/were concluded, always applies.