Schelstraete c.s. Advocaten B.V., trading under the name Schelstraete Advocaten, hereinafter referred to as ‘Schelstraete’, is a limited liability company (besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid) established under Dutch law, which has as its objective to carry out the law practise in the broadest sense of the word.
These general terms and conditions apply to all contracts for provision of services between Schelstraete and its clients and to all additional and subsequent engagements by the clients as well as to all legal relationships arising therefrom.
Dutch law governs the legal relationship between Schelstraete and its clients, including any claims for liability. Any disputes between Schelstraete and a client will be exclusively resolved in the first instance by the District Court of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.
- All engagements will be deemed to have been granted to, accepted by and carried out by Schelstraete exclusively, even if the intention is for engagements to be executed by one or more specific person(s) affiliated with Schelstraete. In these General Terms and Conditions, “persons affiliated with Schelstraete” means any legal or natural person that is or has been employed by or on behalf of Schelstraete or one of its group companies, as an employee or otherwise and their legal successors.
- The effect of Articles 7:404, 7:407(2) and 7:409 of the Dutch Civil Code is explicitly and fully excluded.
- An engagement is created by the signing of the contract for provision of services or performing of the agreed-upon services by Schelstraete.
- Engagements given to Schelstraete lead to a commitment to take best efforts (inspanningsverplichting), not to a commitment to achieve a specific result (resultaatsverplichting).
- Unless explicitly agreed in writing otherwise, Schelstraete may decide which person affiliated with Schelstraete executes the engagement granted by a client.
- The client is liable for the accuracy and completeness of the information he provides to Schelstraete.
In addition to Schelstraete all persons affiliated with Schelstraete and all third parties engaged by Schelstraete for the execution of an engagement, or that can or could be held liable in relation thereto, may invoke the provisions of these General Terms and Conditions, including Articles 6, 7, 8 and 9. All that is stipulated in these General Terms and Conditions for the benefit of Schelstraete applies to them as an irrevocable and gratuitously made third-party clause within the meaning of Article 6:253 of the Dutch Civil Code.
Any claims for damages against persons affiliated with Schelstraete are excluded. Damages can exclusively be claimed from Schelstraete as legal entity.
- The liability of Schelstraete is limited to the amount paid out in the specific case under Schelstraete’s professional liability insurance, plus the excess under this insurance.
- The policy may be reviewed upon request at the offices of Schelstraete
- If and insofar for any reason the aforementioned professional liability insurer of Schelstraete declines to pay a claim, Schelstraete’s liability is limited to a maximum amount of € 2,500.00.
Any claim for damages of the client will in any case lapse (vervallen) twelve (12) months after the client becomes aware of the damage or loss resulting directly or indirectly from an event or circumstance for which Schelstraete is or may be liable.
The client agrees that Schelstraete may use digital means of communication and data storage services, whether or not offered by third parties, for the purpose of communication. Schelstraete cannot be held liable for damage or loss ensuing from the use of such services.
- If the client informs a third party of the agreed-upon services carried out by Schelstraete, the client must inform the third party about the applicability of these General Terms and Conditions, including Articles 6, 7, 8 and 9, and see to it that these General Terms and Conditions are accepted by the third party.
- Third parties may not derive any rights from the agreed-upon services carried out by Schelstraete and results thereof.
- The client will hold Schelstraete and the persons affiliated with Schelstraete harmless of claims by third parties alleging to have incurred damages by or in relation to the agreed-upon services carried out by Schelstraete for the client.
- Schelstraete may engage third parties for the performance of the agreed-upon services as it deems necessary for their execution.
- Schelstraete is not liable for any shortcomings and/or mistakes of such third parties, except in the case of intent or gross negligence on the part of Schelstraete.
- By granting the engagement to Schelstraete, the client consents, in the event that the engaged third parties wish to limit their liability in relation to the performance of the agreed-upon services, that Schelstraete accepts such limitation on the client’s behalf as well.
- The client will owe Schelstraete a fee, plus any expenses contingent on the case, such as bailiff costs, court fees, travel and accommodation expenses, plus a surcharge for general office expenses of 7.5% and VAT.
- For each administrative processing and cross-charging of costs of third parties, such as bailiff costs and court fees, Schelstraete will charge the client an additional amount of € 25.00 plus VAT.
- Unless a fixed amount is agreed on in writing, the fee will be calculated on the basis of the hourly rates set by Schelstraete.
- Schelstraete is entitled to adjust its hourly rates. If an increase occurs within three months after the conclusion of the engagement, the client will be entitled to terminate (beëindigen) the agreement within 15 days after the invoice date of the first invoice after the increase. In other cases, payment of the invoice will constitute unconditional agreement to the amount of the adjusted hourly rate, the duration and nature of the agreed-upon services carried out.
- The fees will be charged on the basis of an advance invoice and settled by interim invoice and final invoice.
- Schelstraete may suspend or terminate its services if the client does not pay an invoice on time.
- Payment of an invoice of Schelstraete must occur, without suspension or set-off, within fourteen (14) days after the invoice date, which term is fatal.
- If the payment term lapses, the client will by operation of law be in default and will owe the late payment interest of 1% a month, with part of a month counting as a full month.
- Extrajudicial and judicial costs made by Schelstraete related to the collection of invoices will be at the client’s expense. Extrajudicial costs will be charged to the client at a fixed sum of 15% of the amount to be collected, with a minimum of € 250.00.
- If the client grants an engagement to Schelstraete to provide legal assistance to him and/or a legal entity (or equal entity) wherein he holds a management position (statutory or factual), then the client and the legal entity (or equal entity) are jointly and severally liable for the payment of the invoice directed to the legal entity (or equal entity). This also applies to the situation wherein the client designates the legal entity (or equal entity) as the one who shall pay the invoice for the client.
- Payment of an invoice constitutes unconditional agreement to the amount of the hourly rate and the duration and nature of the agreed-upon services carried out.
- Claims and complaints against the amount and/or nature and duration of the agreed-upon services are solely eligible within the fourteen (14) day payment period for the invoice, by registered mail. Further claims and complaints must be duly substantiated.
- An invoice shall be deemed to be correct and due if the client did not claim or complain against it on time and/or in the prescribed manner.
- A claim or a complaint against an invoice does not release the client from his payment obligation.
- Schelstraete’s records shall constitute full evidence for the amount the client is due to Schelstraete, subject to evidence to the contrary submitted by the client.
Pursuant to applicable regulatory legislation, regulations and rules of conduct, including the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (“Wwft”), Schelstraete is obliged in certain cases to verify the identity of the client, his/her representative(s) and ultimate beneficial owner(s) (“Ultimate Beneficial Owner” or “UBO”) prior to commencing with the business relationship. Under certain circumstances, Schelstraete is obliged to report unusual transactions performed or intended by or for the client to the competent authority. In case of a report of an (intended) unusual transaction, Schelstraete is obliged to observe secrecy and confidentiality, and is prohibited from informing the client about this. If Schelstraete finds the information on the ultimate beneficial owner(s) of the client as registered in the UBO-register to be incorrect or incomplete, Schelstraete is obliged to report this to the Chamber of Commerce. By instructing Schelstraete, the client therewith confirms its awareness of such obligations on the part of Schelstraete and gives its permission thereto insofar as is required.
These General Terms and Conditions were drawn up in Dutch and in English. In the event of a dispute on their contents or intention, only the Dutch version is binding.