GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
VAN DER STEENHOVEN ADVOCATEN N.V.
All professional services agreements between Van der Steenhoven advocaten N.V. (‘Van der Steenhoven advocaten’) and the client, including additional commissions and follow-up commissions, from legal entities/persons that may or may not be affiliated to the client, are subject to these general terms and conditions.
All commissions are accepted and executed exclusively by Van der Steenhoven advocaten, even if the explicit or tacit intention is for a commission to be executed by a certain person. Articles 7:404, 7:407 paragraph 2, and 7:409 of the Dutch Civil Code are also excluded. A professional services agreement is only formed between the client and Van der Steenhoven advocaten by a director or authorised representative of Van der Steenhoven advocaten accepting a commission from a client on behalf of Van der Steenhoven advocaten.
The client will provide Van der Steenhoven advocaten with all the details which are necessary to fulfil the obligation to determine the identity of its clients and related persons. Van der Steenhoven advocaten is obliged to report unusual transactions to the competent authorities in accordance with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act [Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme] (Wwft).
In the event that a commission is issued by various clients, all clients will be jointly and severally liable for the obligations resulting from and/or related to that commission.
Any liability of Van der Steenhoven advocaten, its lawyers and affiliated entities and all persons that are working or have worked for it is limited to the amount paid out on account of the professional liability insurance it has taken out, plus any excess applicable to Van der Steenhoven advocaten for the incident in question. The professional liability insurance of Van der Steenhoven advocaten provides cover up to € 10,000,000. If, for whatever reason, Van der Steenhoven advocaten is not covered by its professional liability insurance, its liability will be limited to € 50,000 or, if lower, the total amount of the invoices (excl. VAT) sent for the commission in question. Any claim for compensation which the client might have against Van der Steenhoven advocaten will lapse six months after the day on which the client became, or could reasonably have become, aware of the loss or damage. In any event the entitlement to compensation lapses 12 months after the event which directly resulted in the loss or damage and for which Van der Steenhoven advocaten is liable, without prejudice to the provisions in Article 6:89 of the Dutch Civil Code.
The client is also obliged to report any shortcoming immediately to Van der Steenhoven advocaten, under pain of cancellation of the right to claim compensation and/or fulfilment. Liability for indirect loss or damage, such as lost turnover and profit, missed savings and/or any other form of consequential damage, is excluded. If the commission has come from various clients, the restriction of liability as included in these terms and conditions applies with regard to all clients jointly and not for each client separately. In the event of liability the clients must decide how they are going to share the amount paid among themselves.
The client indemnifies Van der Steenhoven advocaten, the lawyers it employs and the entities affiliated to it for all loss or damage which they suffer in connection with the execution of a professional services agreement with the client, insofar as the loss or damage is not covered by an insurance policy nor caused by intent or deliberate recklessness on the part of Van der Steenhoven advocaten.
Van der Steenhoven advocaten is authorised to engage third parties in the execution of the professional services agreement in its own name, or as an authorised representative of the client, and to charge the costs of this third party on to the client. Wherever possible Van der Steenhoven advocaten will consult in advance with the client and observe due care when selecting third parties. Van der Steenhoven advocaten is not liable for shortcomings of these third parties. If third parties engaged by Van der Steenhoven advocaten restrict their liability when accepting the commission, Van der Steenhoven advocaten will be authorised to accept that restriction of liability on behalf of the client insofar as necessary. All the stipulations in these general terms and conditions have also been drawn up on behalf of any persons Van der Steenhoven advocaten engages in the execution of the commission.
The issued commission will be executed exclusively on behalf of the client. Third parties cannot derive any rights from the content of the work carried out (for example advice). The client is only authorised to issue details of the contents of the work performed by Van der Steenhoven advocaten to a third party if (i) Van der Steenhoven advocaten has granted prior written permission and (ii) said third party has accepted the applicability of these general terms and conditions vis-à-vis Van der Steenhoven advocaten and the client has informed the third party that the work was performed subject to the applicability of these general terms and conditions.
The client is required to pay Van der Steenhoven advocaten the agreed fee. If no fee has been agreed, the usual hourly rate will be payable that Van der Steenhoven advocaten charges for a lawyer or other legal professional with that number of years of experience, times the number of hours worked. When issuing a commission to Van der Steenhoven advocaten the client accepts that Van der Steenhoven advocaten may review its fees periodically, for example on the basis of any changes in salaries and prices. Disbursements, including but not limited to court registry fees, courier costs and costs charged by the Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency or the Chamber of Commerce, are to be paid by the client.
Van der Steenhoven advocaten will invoice its fee every month, based on payment terms of two weeks. The client is obliged to pay by means of a transfer to the bank account of Van der Steenhoven advocaten, and is not authorised to pay in cash or by means of set-off, barring a written agreement to the contrary. In the absence of payment within the period stipulated, the client will be in default without any further notice of default being required and the client will owe late payment interest at a rate of 1% of the outstanding principal sum per month, whereby part of a month will be charged as a whole month. The client will also owe extrajudicial collection costs at a rate of 15% of the principal sum, plus late payment interest.
In the event of the non-payment or late payment of invoices, irrespective of whether these relate to the case in question, Van der Steenhoven advocaten will be entitled to suspend or discontinue its work, without prejudice to the client’s obligation to settle any outstanding or future invoices. Van der Steenhoven advocaten reserves the right to request an advance for (additional) work. The client is authorised to suspend and/or set off any payment obligation.
If the client does not agree with an invoice sent by Van der Steenhoven advocaten, the client must inform Van der Steenhoven advocaten in writing of its objections within four weeks after the date on which the invoice in question was sent, accompanied by a proper substantiation. If there are no objections, the invoice will be regarded as accepted and the client will not be entitled to dispute the obligation to pay the invoiced amount on any grounds.
Van der Steenhoven advocaten will observe confidentiality with regard to the professional services agreement with the client and everything that is related to it, except if publication is obligatory pursuant to the law, a binding judgement by a judicial authority or a government body, or if publication has to be regarded as reasonably desirable within the framework of executing the commission.
The client can cancel the professional services agreement immediately in writing. Van der Steenhoven advocaten can cancel the professional services agreement in writing with due regard for a reasonable deadline, whereby a period of two weeks is, in any event, considered to be reasonable. In the event of cancellation the client is obliged to pay the fee owed for the work performed by Van der Steenhoven advocaten until the date of cancellation, as well as the work performed since that date in the context of any transfer of the dossier.
The agreement between the client and Van der Steenhoven advocaten and all issues related to the agreement in the widest sense of the word are subject exclusively to Dutch law. Commissions issued to Van der Steenhoven advocaten are subject to the complaints procedure which can be consulted on the firm’s website. If a dispute is not covered by this complaints procedure, the competent court in Amsterdam will have exclusive jurisdiction to entertain disputes between the client and Van der Steenhoven advocaten.
The client acknowledges and accepts the risks associated with electronic communication, including but not limited to interception, manipulation, infection by viruses, wrong delivery/forwarding, including due to viruses and spam filters, delays and mutilations. Van der Steenhoven advocaten and all people and/or entities who work/worked for it are not liable for loss or damage which is the consequence of using these means of communication. The same applies to communication with third parties. If the client is acting in the performance of a profession or business, the applicability of Articles 6:227b, paragraph 1 of the Dutch Civil Code and 6:227c of the Dutch Civil Code is excluded. These provisions relate to the issuing of information and e-commerce transactions and the way in which e-commerce transactions are concluded.
Van der Steenhoven advocaten reserves the right to amend these general terms and conditions.
These general terms and conditions were last revised on 1 January 2022.
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