1. SCOPE OF APPLICABILITY
1.1 Menno van Gaalen Family Law is the trade name of Advocatenkantoor M.S. van Gaalen B.V. (hereinafter referred to as ‘the law firm’), with its registered office in Amsterdam. The purpose of the law firm is to conduct the practice of (litigation) lawyer and mediator, such in the broadest sense of the word.
1.2 These General Terms and Conditions apply to every engagement awarded to the law firm, including all follow-up engagements or amended engagements.
1.3 These conditions also apply for the benefit of every person active at the law firm (as a shareholder or on the basis of an employment contract) or otherwise affiliated with the law firm, any person engaged by the law firm (including in any event the employees of EBC Amsterdam), and any person for whose acts or omissions the law firm is or could liable.
2. THE ENGAGEMENT
2.1 Engagements are accepted exclusively by the law firm. The applicability of Sections 7:404, 7:407(2) and 7:409 of the Dutch Civil Code (BW) is excluded.
2.2 The law firm carries out the engagement to the best of its abilities and in accordance with the knowledge, case law and science at the time of performance. The contract for services is laid down by the law firm in letter of engagement issued to the client.
2.3 When carrying out the engagement, the law firm uses the secretarial services of Euro Business Center Amsterdam (EBC), with its registered office at Keizersgracht 62 – 64 in (1015 PV) Amsterdam. The EBC employees have signed a non-disclosure agreement with respect to all information from the client and have declared that they will observe confidentiality in respect thereof. The law firm has also made and laid down agreements with EBC regarding the processing of client data and agreed in this connection that EBC will not approach the client(s) of the law firm for marketing or any other purpose.
2.4 The client and the law firm each have the right to terminate the engagement at any time they desire. The law firm is obliged to continue looking after the interests of the client in case the engagement is terminated insofar as this is required for the handling of the engagement and until another lawyer continues this handling, unless the client
expressly wishes otherwise or announces such in writing or electronically. The client is obliged to compensate to the law firm for the activities performed until the moment of termination and possibly thereafter.
3. OBLIGATIONS OF THE CLIENT
3.1 The client indemnifies the law firm and its auxiliary persons against claims from third parties that allege to have sustained damage as a result of or in connection with the activities performed by the law firm for the client, and against the costs incurred by the law firm in connection with conducting a defence against such claims.
3.2 Payment of invoices from the law firm must take place within 14 days of the invoice date, without suspension or setoff, unless a different payment term has been agreed in writing. In the absence of payment within this term, the client will be in default by operation of law and the client will be liable for payment of statutory interest as referred to in Section 6:119 BW as well as all costs incurred by the law firm in connection with collection. Invoices will submitted to the client on a monthly basis.
3.3 Any payment made by the client will first be deemed for the settlement of any outstanding collection costs and statutory interest before being deducted from the outstanding invoices.
4. ENGAGING THIRD PARTIES
4.1 The law firm is free to engage third parties in the performance of the engagement. The choice of the third parties to be engaged by the law firm will be made in consultation with the client. The law firm is not liable for failures on the part of these third parties, with the exception of intent or gross negligence on the part of the law firm.
4.2 In the event these third parties wish to limit their liability in connection with the performance of an engagement of the client, the client hereby declares in advance that the engagement it awards to the law firm also comprises the authority and approval of the client vis-à-vis the law firm to accept such limitation of liability.
4.3 The client grants the law firm approval in advance to provide to third parties with the data concerning the client that are necessary for them to perform their activities for the client properly. The aforementioned authority also means that the law firm is authorised to conclude a processing agreement as provided for in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on behalf or for the benefit of the client.
5.1 Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing, the fee will be calculated on the basis of the time spent and the hourly rate that applies to the engagement. The applicable hourly rate will be laid down in the letter of engagement. The law firm has the right to adjust the applicable hourly rates on 1 January of every year. The new rates will also be charged in ongoing cases from the moment the new rates become effective.
5.2 The disbursements paid by law firm for the benefit of the client, such as (but not limited to) travel expenses, court fees, bailiff costs, courier costs, travel costs, will be charged to the client.
5.3 The law firm reserves the right at all times to accept engagements exclusively on an advance basis or only continue performance of engagements already awarded if the client pays disbursements to be determined by the law firm within reason in order to cover payable fees in the future. The amounts paid in advance will be set off against the final bill.
In the event any advance remains after performance of the engagement and setoff, the law firm will refund this amount to the client.
6. MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS
6.1 The conditions together with the letter of engagement, including any follow-up engagement or amended or supplement engagement, form the entire agreement between the law firm and the client. Any prior agreements, schemes, arrangements or statements will lapse as a result.
6.2 Changes to these conditions or the letter of engagement are only possible and effective insofar as all parties have agreed thereto in writing or electronically.
6.3 The law firm has the right to amend these general terms and conditions. The amended conditions will be deemed to have been accepted if the client has not objected to the amended conditions within 14 days of the amended conditions being sent to it or being made known to it.
7.1 If performance of an engagement by the law firm leads to liability, such liability will always be limited to the amount that is paid under the law firm’s applicable liability insurance in the relevant case. The content and conditions of the professional liability insurance exceed the requirements imposed in this connection by the Netherlands Bar Association with its registered office in The Hague. A summary of cover and a certificate of insurance will be sent free of charge.
7.2 In the event no payment is made under the insurance referred to in 7.1 for any reason whatsoever, any liability is limited to the fee charged by the law firm or paid by the client in the relevant case, subject to a maximum of €50,000.
7.3 The engagement granted is performed exclusively for the client. Third parties cannot derive any rights therefrom.
7.4 Claims for payment of compensation lapse as a result of the expiry of one year after the day on which the client became aware of the loss and the law firm’s possible liability for that loss.
7.5 The client indemnifies the law firm against all third-party claims, including the reasonable costs of putting forward a defence against such claims, which are in any way related to the activities that were performed for the client, unless such claims result from gross negligence or intent on the part of the law firm.
8. APPLICABLE LAW AND CHOICE OF FORUM
8.1 The legal relationship between the client and the law firm is governed by Dutch law.
8.2 Disputes will be settled exclusively by the District Court of The Hague.