General Terms and Conditions
1. Janson Baugniet SC SCRL (hereinafter, "Janson Baugniet") is a professional partnership established under the laws of Belgium taking the form of a limited liability cooperative company, which purpose is the performance of professional legal services.
Janson Baugniet SC SCRL is registered with the Crossroad Bank of Enterprises (Banque-Carrefour des Enterprises / Kruispuntbank Ondernemingen) under number 432.711.951.
2. These General Terms and Conditions apply to all services provided by lawyers of the Janson Baugniet firm to their clients. These General Terms and Conditions are available for consultation by the client on the website :
[www.janson.com/generalconditions]. When a client uses the services of Janson Baugniet, the client is deemed to know and accept these General Terms and Conditions without reservation. Any general terms and conditions of the client contrary to these will only be applicable upon the prior, express and written acceptance of Janson Baugniet. Absent publication or communication of a newer version by Janson Baugniet in any form whatsoever, these General Terms and Conditions will also apply to all future relationships between the parties. Any extension, modification or waiver must be expressly and previously agreed upon in writing by Janson Baugniet.
3. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 3 para. 2, below, all tasks are exclusively accepted and performed by Janson Baugniet, even when the client expressly or tacitly entrusts a task to a partner of Janson Baugniet directly or through an associate. Janson Baugniet is therefore solely and exclusively responsible for the services provided by the lawyers working within the firm and its staff.
Janson Baugniet freely decides on the allocation of the various tasks to a particular lawyer within the Janson Baugniet firm or the replacement of one lawyer with another, without the client being entitled to oppose it. Upon the client's express prior approval, Janson Baugniet can also call upon lawyers outside of Janson Baugniet to perform some specific tasks.
The client may at any time terminate the assignment of Janson Baugniet without penalty. The client, however, remains liable to bear the costs of the services already performed on the agreed-upon basis.
4. Janson Baugniet undertakes to perform its services within a reasonable time. Janson Baugniet cannot in any event be held liable for exceeding the time limits due to the client, third parties or force majeure events.
5. The lawyers and staff of Janson Baugniet are subject to a duty of professional confidentiality. The client undertakes to keep all correspondence, notes, acts of procedures, etc., provided to them by Janson Baugniet confidential.
When responding to public or private tenders for provision of legal services, Janson Baugniet may be led to reveal the name of clients on whose behalf the firm works or has worked on the matter at stake, and the firm can provide information about the cases that are or have been handled related to the subject of the tender offer in strict compliance with the Code of ethics of the lawyer.
The information provided in this context cannot, in any event, relate to client privacy.
The communication of such information will always be subject to the prior approval of the client and is always revocable without justification.
6. The views, opinions, writings, etc., from Janson Baugniet are protected by intellectual property rights and may be used or reproduced only with the express prior written consent of Janson Baugniet.
Any advice given by Janson Baugniet is for the benefit of the client alone and is only issued in respect of the matter at stake. The advices provided by Janson Baugniet cannot be used by third parties and these cannot rely on said advises. The client agrees not to disclose the opinions of Janson Baugniet to third parties without the prior written consent of Janson Baugniet, except, when necessary, to other professional advisers of the client, being understood that said communication does not create any commitment or liability on the part of Janson Baugniet toward these professional advisers. Janson Baugniet has obligations only towards the client and not with respect to third parties unless Janson Baugniet accepts such responsibility expressly and in writing.
7. The liability of Janson Baugniet is limited to the amount which, in the matter at stake, is covered by the professional liability insurances undertaken by Janson Baugniet listed below. If, for any reason whatsoever, these insurances would not provide coverage, the liability would be limited to the total fees generated by the matter, without exceeding €50,000.00. In any event, the right to compensation expires if the claim for compensation has not been notified in writing to Janson Baugniet within the year following the closure of the case.
At the first level, the professional civil liability of lawyers working at Janson Baugniet and registered at a Belgian bar is
overed up to €1,250,000.00 by a group insurance policy issued by the French and German speaking Bars (OBFG) or the Dutch speaking Bars (OVB) with the ETHIAS Assurance insurance company (a mutual insurance association registered under number 0165, with registered office rue des Croisiers, 24, 4000 Liège).
At the second level, this professional civil liability is covered for an amount of €2,000,000.00 with AIG EUROPE LIMITED (CHARTIS)/ETHIAS (which registered office is at 1050 Brussels, Boulevard de la Plaine, 21).
At the third level, this professional civil liability is covered for an amount of €3,250,000.00 from the insurance company HDI GERLING/AIG EUROPE LIMITED (CHARTIS) (whose registered office is at 1150 Brussels, Avenue de Tervuren, 273/1).
At the fourth level, the professional civil liability is covered for an amount of €8,000,000.00 by the AON insurance company (which registered office is at 1160 Brussels, rue Jules Cockx, 8-10).
The coverage offered by these insurance policies covers the entire world with the exception of the United States of America and Canada, subject to the terms and exceptions included in the insurance policies at issue.
The client guarantees Janson Baugniet and the lawyers working within Janson Baugniet or on its behalf, against any claims of a third party arising from the performance by Janson Baugniet of a task on behalf of the client.
8. Janson Baugniet is entitled to use non-lawyer third parties (such as bailiffs, technical advisors, etc.) for the performance of its activities. Janson Baugniet undertakes to choose such third
parties with care but is in no event liable for any act or omission of such parties.
Janson Baugniet is authorised by the client to accept on its behalf any liability limitations of these third parties.
9. The fees are calculated based on the number of hours worked multiplied by the agreed upon hourly rates and which varies depending on the seniority and specialisation of the participating lawyers. The fees are annually adjusted according to changes in the consumer price index. Janson Baugniet reserves the right to require payment of a retainer fee before completion of any service.
Fees may be charged from the first verbal or written consultation.
Requests for retainer fees or intermediate fees may be made according to the status of the file.
The fees may be established also taking into account other usual criteria in this area, including the significance of the case, the duties to be performed, the complexity of the matter, the reputation of the lawyer and the client's financial capacity.
A contingent fee (success-related fee) will be applied particularly in the event of contentious cases, and will be determined according to the following percentages and conditions :
At the end of his/her involvement, regardless of when it occurs, Janson Baugniet will take a contingent fee into account based on the obtained result in the event of success in the litigation or at the conclusion of an agreement negotiated for the client. If the litigation is lost, the final amount of the fees will be limited to that resulting from the time spent on the case and any emergency services performed, in accordance with Article 446b of the Judicial Code.
When the stakes are financially assessable, the contingent fee is determined on the basis of the following
tapering scale of rates depending on the stake ranges:
- on the amount of €10,000 to €50,000 : 15% (which represents €7,500 for €50,000)
- on the amount of €50,001 to €100,000 : 12.5% (which represents €13,750 for €100,000)
- on the amount of €100,001 to €500,000 : 10% (which represents €53,750 for €500,000)
- on the amount of €500,001 to €1,000,000 : 7.5% (which represents €91,250 for €1,000,000)
- on the amount of €1,000,001 to €2,500,000 : 5% (which represents €166,250 for €2,500,000)
- on the amount over €2,500,000 : 3%.
The amount to be considered for the calculation of this contingent fee is :
• either the amount obtained and collected by the client as petitioner after negotiations or proceedings;
• or the amount saved by the defending client in relation with what is actually at stake in the litigation, i.e. the amount reasonably claimed by the opposing parties (claim and cross-demand) irrespective of whether this saving arises from the procedure or negotiation.
The result is only considered if the gain or savings reach at least €10,000.
The fee is calculated on the amount of the principal amount of the result, interests and related charges of any kind.
The contingent fee will be halved, but not below the amount of the base fees, which serve as a minimum, if without any prior negotiation, payment occurs after sending a letter of formal notice or after summons prior to the introductory hearing, and for the portion of the debt awarded by judicial decision but which cannot be recovered.
The base fees already paid will be deducted from this success-related fee. If the contingent fee is inferior to the base fees, only such base fees will be due.
In the event of a favourable outcome in other cases, the hourly rates may be increased by a maximum of 100%.
10. The costs and expenses advanced by Janson Baugniet for the client are charged separately. The general office costs (such as postage, telephone, fax, photocopies, etc.) are calculated using either a percentage of the fees or a flat-fee by type of expense.
11. All amounts are exclusive of VAT and any tax, surcharge or similar increase which is to be paid by the client on the basis of applicable legislation.
12. The invoices of Janson Baugniet are immediately due and payable, and without discount, at the registered office of Janson Baugniet or on the indicated bank account. In the event of late payment, default interests will be due at a rate determined in accordance with the Belgian Act of 2 August 2002 from the date of the first reminder letter. Any transaction or exchange costs are to be paid by the client. Any complaint regarding an invoice must be addressed to Janson Baugniet within 15 days of the sending of the invoice. Otherwise, the invoice will be considered accepted.
13. If, after the conclusion of the contract, unforeseen circumstances arise that make its performance by Janson Baugniet more difficult or more expensive, Janson Baugniet is entitled to adapt its obligations to the new situation.
14. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 3, these general terms and conditions not only apply to Janson Baugniet, but also to its partners and associates, and all of their successors by way of universal transfer.
15. The legal relationship between Janson Baugniet and the client is subject to internal Belgian law exclusively. In the event of disputes, the courts of Brussels
have exclusive jurisdiction, but Janson Baugniet reserves the right to bring the case before the court of the domicile or registered office of the client.
In case of a dispute between Janson Baugniet and a consumer, the latter can appeal to the ombudsman service, Ligeca, of the Flemish Bar Association. A complaint is submitted to this service by letter, to Ms Isabel Goris, Ombudsman Service for Consumer Disputes relating to the Legal Profession, Staatsbladsstraat 8, 1000 Brussels, by fax, to Ms Isabel Goris, Ombudsman Service for Consumer Disputes relating to the Legal Profession, + 32 (0)2 307 72 21 or finally online using the complaint form available on the website http://oca.ligeca.be/.All information on the operating procedure of this service is available on abovementioned website.
Janson Baugniet reserves the right to refuse the appeal to this type of extrajudicial dispute resolution depending on the nature of the dispute.
16. The invalidity of any clause or part of any clause of these general terms and conditions does not affect the validity of the other provisions.