1. Taffijn – De Smet – Bergmans is a civil law partnership incorporated under Belgian law with as object the practising of the profession of lawyer. Taffijn – De Smet – Bergmans is registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises under number 0542.794.083 and is affiliated to the Dutch-speaking Law Society with the Bar Council of Brussels.
2. The general terms of business hereafter are applicable to any services the lawyers of law firm Taffijn-De Smet-Bergmans and which are listed on this website furnish their clients with. Any client who calls on the services of one of these lawyers shall be deemed to have taken cognizance of and to unreservedly accept the present general terms of business. Any conflicting terms and conditions operated by the client shall apply only if they have been expressly accepted by the lawyer in writing.
3. Agreements concluded between clients and one of our lawyers shall entitle the lawyer in question to assign assignments and cases to any of the lawyers forming part of the firm.
4. Agreements shall be deemed to have been concluded at the lawyer’s normal place of practice.
5. On no account shall the lawyers be held accountable for an exceedance of deadlines attributable to the client, third parties or events of force majeure.
6. The firm’s professional liability is covered by NV Amlin Europe with registered office in the Netherlands, Amstelveen, commercial register number 33055009 and with branch in Belgium under Register for Legal Persons (RPR) number 0416.056.358. Policy number LXX034899. Cover: EUR 1,250,000 per lawyer and per claim This cover extends to any work performed from Belgium, throughout the world, with the exception of claims filed in the US or Canada or which come under the jurisdiction of the US or Canada.
7. In principle, agreements are concluded for an indefinite period of time. Clients are entitled to terminate the agreement at any moment in time by notifying the lawyer to that effect in writing. Where applicable, the lawyer shall furnish the client with a final expenses and fees statement, with due regard for the services that were performed up to the moment the agreement came to an end. Lawyers are not entitled to claim damages. On request, the lawyer shall return the file documents to the client. The lawyer is also entitled to terminate the agreement at any moment in time by notifying the client to that effect in writing.
8. To simplify payment of the final expenses and fees statement and so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises, clients are asked for advances or fees on the basis of fee invoices. A final statement is compiled at the end of every file.
9. Any request for fees, including the final statement, shall be settled at the firm within 8 calendar days of the date of the request. Thereafter, moratorial interests at the rate of 10 % per annum as of the date of the request and fixed penalties of 10 % with a minimum of EUR 250 shall automatically and without prior formal notice be due as compensation for any extra-judicial expenses, administrative costs, loss of time and correspondence. Said compensation shall be due without a prior reminder or formal notice having been issued and without prejudice to the principal, interests and procedural costs, where applicable.
10. Any dispute regarding a request to settle fees or the final statement shall be put in writing and forwarded within 8 days of the invoice date or the invoice in question shall be deemed to have been irrevocably accepted.
11. Requests for payment that have not been acted on within 8 calendar days shall automatically render all other requests for payment instantly payable and on the understanding that the lawyer is not obliged to furnish any other services, under any agreement whatsoever, until such time as the requests for payment have been complied with.
12. Within the framework of legal proceedings, the Court of First Instance in Brussels, the Commercial Court in Brussels and the Justice of the Peace Court of the Canton of Lennik shall have exclusive jurisdiction to take cognizance of any contestation or dispute. Solely Belgian law shall prevail. If extra-judicial dispute settlement is opted for, the arbitration rules of the Bar Council of Brussels shall apply, as provided for in the 2012 NOA Codex.
13. The fact that one of the provisions or part of the present general terms of business are declared null and void or unenforceable shall not in any way affect the validity of the other provisions.