Terms of agreement

  1. Arcas Advocaten CVBA (“Arcas Advocaten”) is a civil-based company under Belgian law that has the form of a cooperative company with limited liability and whose purpose is to practice the profession of lawyers and cassation lawyers. Arcas Advocaten is registered with the Belgian Crossroads Bank for Enterprises under the number 0644.845.409 – VAT BE 0644.845.409.
  2. These general conditions apply to every service that Arcas Advocaten performs for a client, even if a client delegates its assignment with a view to having it performed by one or more persons. Arcas Advocaten is solely responsible for the service performed by its lawyers and staff. Only Arcas Advocaten has or will have any obligation towards its client or other person with regard to the service performed by its lawyers and staff. The client accepts that it will not pursue any claim against any other person besides Arcas Advocaten concerning the services performed. These general conditions apply to all persons who are involved in the performance of the assignment and/or who are linked with the liability ensued from it or from any other way, including former lawyers and/or staff, as well as their successors.
  3. The general conditions do not apply if—and only under such circumstance—such deviation is expressed in writing and agreed upon between Arcas Advocaten and the client concerned. In such scenario, any clause that is not expressly deviated from remains fully applicable. These general conditions have legal force in the relationship between Arcas Advocaten and the client, and they are considered to be accepted by the client if the client has not objected to them within a reasonable time after they have been brought to its attention. Acceptance of these general conditions follows from payment of outstanding fees and/or instructing Arcas Advocaten for a reasonable period.
  4. The liability of Arcas Advocaten is limited to the amount that, according to the applicable case, Arcas Advocaten benefits from, is covered, and is effectively paid out under the liability insurance. The client indemnifies Arcas Advocaten against all third-party liabilities that are related to or arise out of the client’s assignment and/or activities that were carried out for the client. Such indemnification will cover the costs of defense also. The professional liability of Arcas Advocaten CVBA is insured in the first layer with Amlin Europe NV, Koning Albert II-laan 9, 1210 Brussel.
  5. Arcas Advocaten can, as appropriate, involve third parties when performing services in the name and for the account of the client, and it will exercise due care when doing so. Arcas Advocaten is not liable for any act or omission of such third parties. Arcas Advocaten is moreover authorized on behalf of the client, and without the client’s prior written notice, to accept any limitation of liability of any third party.
  6. Sums of money that Arcas Advocaten receives for its clients and that Arcas Advocaten must keep for them will be kept in an account held in trust, which is selected and opened by Arcas Advocaten at Belgian credit/financial institution. Arcas Advocaten accepts no liability towards its client or any other person if the bank where Arcas Advocaten keeps its money or where money is transferred to becomes bankrupt or is in judicial restructuring or commits negligence. In addition, Arcas Advocaten cannot be held liable to pay or transfer any sums of money that the bank in question cannot pay back or transfer.
  7. Every piece of advice that is given by Arcas Advocaten is for the client’s use and is given in the context of the matter for which it was given. The advice may not be used by third parties. Nor may third parties invoke the legal advice. The client accepts that it will not make Arcas Advocaten’s advice known to third parties without the prior written consent from Arcas Advocaten (unless, if need be, the advice is to be given to other professional advisors of the client but without Arcas Advocaten having any obligation or liability towards them).
  8. The services performed are charged on an hourly basis, unless otherwise agreed upon and with the exception of cassation files, whereby an hourly rate varies depending on the seniority of the lawyer who performed the work. The fees charged exclude Belgian VAT. Specific costs and expenses, such as travel costs, among other things, are separate and are charged including VAT. The performed services are charged monthly, unless otherwise agreed upon or unless Arcas Advocaten decides otherwise. The fees owed are to be paid within ten (10) days from the date of Arcas Advocaten’s statement of fees. Client will owe interest, which will be charged according to the Law on Late Payment and insofar as applicable, on any late payment after Arcas Advocaten has given a notice of default. Any invoice dispute must be submitted in writing within ten (10) days from the date of the statement of fees. Without such written notice of dispute, the statement of fees is considered accepted entirely.
  9. Under applicable deontological rules, Arcas Advocaten may use the client’s name occasionally for marketing purposes and/or in a context that can be considered as advertising placed by lawyers.
  10. If there are discrepancies between the Dutch, French, and English versions of the general conditions, the Dutch version prevails. These general conditions can be consulted free of charge on the website of Arcas Advocaten: www.arcaslaw.be.
  11. If one or more clauses of these general conditions are invalid or cannot be applied, such invalidity or inapplicability may not affect and/or influence the validity and applicability of the other clauses of these general conditions. If this takes place, the invalid or inapplicable clause will be replaced automatically by a valid and applicable clause—and to the greatest extent possible—with an equal effect.
  12. These general conditions and the relationship between Arcas Advocaten and the client are governed exclusively by Belgian substantive law, and, if applicable, with respect to deontological rules of the competent deontological authorities.
  13. Any dispute relating to the relationship between Arcas Advocaten and the client and relating to these general conditions will be exclusively heard and decided by the courts and tribunals of the judicial district of Brussels, and, if applicable, by the competent bodies of the deontological authorities.