Advocatenkantoor De Groot Law Firm B.V.
T +31 (0)20 470 2610
M +31 (0)6 21542389

Terms & Conditions of Business

Version 01-301215

  1. Advocatenkantoor De Groot Law Firm B.V. (“DGLF”) is a private limited liability company under Dutch law. The company’s stated purpose is to conduct a law practice, with a particular focus on commercial arbitration. “DGLF Affiliated Persons” are Mr T.D. de Groot (“DGR”), lawyer and director/sole shareholder of DGLF, as well as all employees and other persons who provide legal, administrative, or secretarial support in the performance of an engagement by DGR, and also including DGR’s co-director of Stichting Beheer Derdengelden Advocatenkantoor De Groot Law Firm (“SBD”), the escrow account firm affiliated with DGLF.
  1. These Terms & Conditions apply to all instructions given by a client to DGLF and all legal relationships formed as a result of or in connection with those instructions. These Terms & Conditions may also be relied on by or on behalf of DGLF Affiliated Persons, DGR in his capacity as director and shareholder of DGLF, and any subcontractors who may be retained by DGLF or who may become liable to any of DGLF’s clients in the performance of an engagement, as well as all of their legal successors. The applicability of the client’s general terms and conditions is hereby expressly excluded.
  1. DGLF will confirm the client’s instructions in an engagement letter, which describes the scope of the engagement. Where an engagement letter contains provisions that deviate from these Terms & Conditions, those deviating terms of engagement will prevail. DGLF is not responsible for any advice or legal representation that falls outside the scope of the engagement as described in the engagement letter.
  1. Legislation may change after an engagement has been performed. Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing, DGLF will not be required to give its client, or former client, notice of any such legislative changes.
  1. Only DGLF is deemed to have accepted and performed an engagement, even in cases where it is the express or implied intention for the engagement to be carried out by DGR. DGLF Affiliated Persons are not personally bound or liable to a client. Any personal liability on their part is hereby expressly excluded.
  1. Applicable legislation governing law practices requires of DGLF that it: (i) establish the identity of each client on acceptance of an engagement; (ii) verify the absence of reasonable suspicion that the engagement serves to prepare, support, or conceal any illegitimate activity; and (iii) report any unusual transactions, whether intended or executed, to the competent authorities without informing the client. By signing the engagement letter, the client confirms to DGLF that he or she is familiar with these rules and will supply all necessary information and documentation to DGLF on first request.
  1. Engagements are carried out exclusively for the client. Without the express prior written consent of DGLF, no third party may rely on legal advice provided to a client and no such advice confers any rights on third parties.
  1. The client authorises DGLF for purposes of account management or otherwise to process personal and other data in connection with the engagement. The client also authorises DGLF to communicate with the client and third parties by using current means of communication, including email.
  1. To facilitate a proper performance of the engagement, the client agrees to always and promptly provide DGLF with current, accurate and full information.
  1. All information supplied by the client to DGLF in the context of an engagement will be treated with strict confidentiality and will not be used for any purpose other than the engagement’s performance; this may on occasion involve disclosure to other parties. Without prejudice to this duty of confidentiality, DGLF may from time to time share confidential information with its professional indemnity insurer or a lawyer designated by that insurer or with DGLF’s auditor/accountant, the client’s external auditor (if requesting a lawyer’s letter in the context of an audit with the client’s permission) or third parties, including supervisory authorities, if and when disclosure is required under any legislation governing law practices. DGLF may also use personal data – including, if the client is a legal entity, the personal data of directors, other officers, ultimate beneficiaries, or owners – to check the creditworthiness or verify the identity of a client.
  1. DGLF is permitted to retain the services of third parties in carrying out an engagement and to accept the contractual terms governing the relationship with those third parties, specifically any limitations of liability. DGLF may rely on any such contractual terms towards the client as far as it concerns the part of the engagement carried out by that third party. DGLF will select third parties with all due care. DGLF is not liable for errors or shortcomings by third parties in the performance of their part of the engagement. If DGLF is nonetheless held liable by a court of law, its liability is limited to the amount of compensation which the client could have received from the third party concerned if the client had sued that third party directly.
  1. Save in the event of gross negligence or intent on the part of DGLF, the client indemnifies and holds DGLF and all DGLF Affiliated Persons harmless against any and all claims and actions asserted or filed by any third parties against DGLF or a DGLF Affiliated Person as a result of or in connection with DGLF’s engagement by the client or its performance of that engagement. This indemnity also covers all losses and costs incurred by DGLF or any DGLF Affiliated Person as well as all legal fees reasonably incurred in that regard. The client agrees to reimburse DGLF or a DGLF Affiliated Person for these losses and costs on first demand.
  1. SBD may hold funds of third parties in escrow as provided in Clause 6.19 of the Dutch Rules for the Legal Profession (Verordening op de advocatuur). The client indemnifies and holds SBD, DGLF and all DGLF Affiliated Persons harmless against any and all claims arising from any insolvency or default by the financial institution with which SBD has opened the escrow account. Except where expressly agreed otherwise in writing considering the amount to be held in escrow or the expected length of the escrow, no interest will be paid on any of the client’s funds held in escrow.
  1. Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing, DGLF will calculate the fees charged to the client on the basis of the number of hours worked multiplied by the agreed hourly rate, also taking into account the mitigation and other factors generally applied in legal practice. DGLF reserves the right to adjust the agreed hourly rate once a year, i.e. in the month of January of each calendar year, based on the consumer price index published by the CBS.
  1. Expenses paid by DGLF to third parties on behalf of the client (disbursements) will be charged separately. General office expenses, such as regular postage, costs of domestic telephone calls and electronic communications, as well as reasonable and customary costs of copying and creating documents, are included in the agreed hourly rate.
  1. All amounts payable by the client, with the exception of tax-free disbursements, are subject to the applicable value-added tax due.
  1. DGLF may ask the client to make advance payments from time to time to cover fees due to DGLF as well as specific expenses paid or payable to third parties, including, in particular, fixed court fees and/or administrative charges of courts or arbitration institutes, the costs of experts, translators, or interpreters, and the travel and hotel expenses incurred by DGR on international business trips. DGLF will give the client notice of any such expenses in advance.
  1. Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing, DGLF will send bills for fees, costs, and disbursements on a monthly basis. Payment must be made within 14 days of the billing date, failing which DGLF may claim legal interest on any outstanding amount as of the 15th day after the billing date without prior notice of default being required. If the client fails to pay a bill after the deadline for payment has expired, DGLF may suspends its work on the engagement.
  1. DGLF may provide the client with a cost estimate if so requested. Cost estimates are given with due observance of applicable standards of reasonableness and due care, but they are not in any way binding except where agreed otherwise in writing.
  1. DGLF and DGR reserve all copyrights, database rights and other intellectual and other property rights in their work, including working documents, reports, opinions, and contracts.
  1. DGLF digitally archives all documents issued in the performance of an engagement. All digital document files (case files) are kept on archive for five years after completion of an engagement. The administrative case files (also in digital form) are kept on archive for seven years after completion of an engagement. Original documents (hard copies), such as documentary evidence, litigation papers, and correspondence, are supplied to the client after completion of the engagement or are destroyed with the client’s consent.
  1. Any and all liability arising for DGLF from or in relation to its performance of an engagement is expressly limited to the amount paid out to DGLF under the terms of its professional indemnity insurance, plus deductible. If no such insurance money is paid for whatever reason, DGLF’s liability is expressly limited to the amount of fees charged to the client in the relevant calendar year, subject to a maximum of EUR 50,000. All of the client’s claims and other rights expire one year after the day that the client becomes aware or should be aware of the existence of said claims and rights or, if earlier, two years after completion of the engagement.
  1. Subject to the laws and regulations in force, including implementing rules or directions issued by a professional organisation or supervisory authority, DGLF reserves the right to terminate an engagement, and cease to represent the client’s interests, if circumstances justify any such decision in DGLF’s judgment, for example if a client fails to meet his or her obligations or becomes involved in insolvency proceedings, or if there is a conflict of interests which makes it inappropriate for DGLF or DGR to represent the client’s interests, or if there is no longer a basis of trust and confidence between DGLF or DGR and the client.
  1. The contract for services between the client and DGLF and all ensuing or related legal relationships that may be formed between them are governed by Dutch law. The provision of services by DGLF is also subject to the Internal Complaints Procedure adopted by DGLF. Any and all disputes between the client and DGLF, including its directors and shareholders, or any of the DGLF Affiliated Persons will be submitted exclusively to the competent court in Amsterdam.
  1. These Terms & Conditions have been drawn up in the Dutch language. This document is the English translation. In case of any dispute about the provisions of this English translation or their interpretation or in case of any inconsistency between the two versions, the Dutch version will prevail.