Terms and conditions
We take great care of our clients and thank you for your instructions. We look forward to (further) working with you and assisting you to achieve your commercial and business interests in the most efficient manner. We will treat your continuing instructions as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
Unless agreed otherwise in writing, the following terms and conditions apply to all services rendered by collaborators of Billiet & Co towards clients of Billiet & Co:
1. Client care
The lawyer will regularly update the client on the progress of various matters he/she is dealing with unless the client instructs otherwise. The lawyer relies on the client to provide him/her with all relevant information in a timely manner and to tell him/her promptly of any change in circumstances which could affect his/her instruction.
1.2 Work management
The team for instructed work will be structured in a manner ensuring the provision of highest quality legal services in the most cost efficient and timely manner.
1.3 Applicable Code of Conduct
The lawyer’s instructions are at all times subject to the Brussels Bar Code of Conduct that may be amended from time to time. The Code of Conduct deals with matters such as conflicts of interest, confidentiality, payment of our fees and disbursements, limitation of liability, etc. If you have any questions about these matters, please let us know.
2. Recourse to third parties
Outside of the usual tasks fulfilled within the law firm, the client agrees that the lawyer can, under the supervision of the latter, take recourse to other lawyers for specific assignments to exercise its task.
If, for the execution of the task, it is necessary to take recourse to a bailiff or a translator, the client leaves the choice of these to the lawyer.
Only with the express consent of the client does the lawyer call upon the services of other professionals, such as notaries, experts or accountants, chosen in consultation with the client.
Where professional or service providers are engaged on behalf of the client, the lawyer does not accept liability for the advice or other services provided by them.
3. Costs and fees
The lawyer’s bill for costs and fees contains two elements:the costs of the lawyer and lawyer fees, as explained below.
3.1. Costs of the lawyer
These are the expenses incurred by the lawyer and/or Billiet & Co on the account of the client directly or indirectly in relation to an assigned task.
3.2. Lawyer fees
Lawyer fees are the basis on which the lawyer is reimbursed for the services he has rendered.
Our firm applies a standard hourly fee. This hourly fee can be reduced or increased, depending on urgency and the matter at hand, by means of a written agreement with the client.
Lawyer fees are calculated on the basis of the number of hours the lawyer(s) has/have worked on the case. This includes client meetings, drafting of documents, telephone calls, analysing incoming letters, sending, scanning, study of files, travelling, court proceedings, etc.
4. Advance payments (provisions)
Prior to working on the assigned task and in the course of the case, the lawyer may ask for one or more advance payments. An advance payment is a fixed amount that the client pays to the lawyer, prior to receipt of a detailed bill of costs and fees.
In the bills of costs and fees the advance payments are deducted from the total amount.
5. Payment obligations
The client pays the advance payments and the bills of costs and fees of the lawyer at latest fifteen days after the date of the invitation to pay. The lawyer can, if this is necessary for rendering good services, stipulate a shorter term of payment.
If the client does not agree with the requested advance payment or the bill of costs and fees he/she must protest against these in writing within fourteen days after receiving them.
After a written reminder for payment of unpaid bills for costs and fees and in the absence of a justified objection, the client owes interest on the outstanding balance equal to the legal interest rate as from the date of the reminder.
Besides interests, outstanding payments are automatically increased with a forfeit equal to 15 % with a minimum of 250 EUR to cover internal administration and follow-up of outstanding payments.
6. Client monies
The lawyer will transfer all money he/she receives on behalf of his client on to the client. If the lawyer cannot transfer an amount, he/she will notify the client of the receipt of the amount and he/she will inform the client about the reason he/she cannot transfer the money onwards.
From the money the lawyer receives on behalf of the client, he/she can keep sums to cover unpaid deposits or bills of costs and fees. He/she will notify the client about this in writing. This provision does not affect the right of the client to contest the lawyer’s bill and to demand payment of these withheld amounts.
No cash deposits will be accepted by the lawyer nor will the lawyer remit funds from the account in any circumstances except in connection with a transaction where the lawyer is instructed.
The lawyer is insured for his/her professional liability.For handling a specific case that forms the subject of the agreement, a higher insurance can be taken out upon payment of an additional fee and following request from the client.
The client agrees that the standard insurance of the lawyer is sufficient and accepts that the compensation for the damage he/she suffers due to any professional error of the lawyer will be limited to the amount for which the lawyer is insured. This restriction does not apply in case of intent or gross negligence by the lawyer.
8. Termination of the agreement
The client can terminate the agreement at any time by notifying the lawyer in writing. The lawyer will deliver to the client his/her final bill for costs and fees, taking into account his/her performances up to the termination of the agreement. The lawyer cannot request any damages.
The lawyer can at any time terminate the agreement by notifying the client in writing.
At first request the lawyer will return the client the documents of the file.
9. Legal Aid
The client acknowledges that it/he/she has been informed of the conditions on which legal aid (pro bono) services (link available on Billiet & Co website) can be provided and that it/he/she has decided not to request and make use of such services.
10. Data privacy
The information provided by the clientwill be integrated into Billiet & Co’s file management database and will be processed in order to manage the client file.
This information cannot be accessed by third parties. The client may write to Billiet & Co and require correction or deletion of the data held by Billiet & Co in accordance with the requirements of the Law of 8 December, 1992.
11. Applicable law and disputes
Belgian Law is applicable to the lawyer-client relationship.
The parties shall preferably settle their disputes outside of court. Prior to any procedure they will preferably have the case summoned for conciliation before the court or other competent instance of the Bar.
Client-consumers can submit a complaint to the Ombudsman Service for Consumer Disputes relation to the Legal Profession (OCA), free of charge, in one of three ways: online using the complaints form; by letter, to Ms Isabel Goris, Ombudsman Service for Consumer Disputes relating to the Legal Profession, Staatsbladsstraat 8, 1000 Brussels or by fax, to Ms Isabel Goris, Ombudsman Service for Consumer Disputes relating to the Legal Profession, + 32 (0)2 307 72 21. More information can be found on www.ligeca.be.
12. Anti-money laundering legislation
By engaging the lawyer’s services, the client certifies that the funds in its possession to finance the litigation and / or operations, for which legal advice is sought from the lawyer are not from a source that is considered illegal under the anti-money laundering laws of 11.01.1993, 22.03.1993, 06.04.1995, 12.01.2004 and 18.01.2010, as may be amended from time to time.
The anti-money laundering legislation requires a lawyer to report his client to the President of his Bar Council if he suspects that the client is guilty of money laundering in connection with certain activities and especially for financial transactions, real estate and transactions related to companies and other legal persons. Where applicable, the lawyer will be forced to cease representation without informing the client.
As part of the lawyer’s anti-money laundering compliance requirements, the client shall provide the lawyer, with the following documents:
- An up-to-date copy of the company statutes including in particular the clauses concerning who has the power to sign on behalf of the company;
- A copy of the client’s passport or identity card; and/or a copy of the passport or identity card of the Executive Manager and/or executive directors of the company (showing family name, first name, date and place of birth and home address);
- The list of company managers / administrators as published in the official registers. N.B. This list should be updated at least annually;
- The list of beneficial owners (if a corporation, any individual who ultimately owns or controls directly or indirectly more than 25% of the shares or voting rights in that company).