General Terms and Conditions
2. These general terms and conditions shall apply to all assignments accepted by Pharumlegal and to all services rendered to its clients by its lawyers, employees and personnel on its behalf, provided and to the extent that the terms and conditions are not explicitly modified in the engagement letter or in any other written agreement concluded with the client. Any conflicting conditions proposed or purportedly imposed by the client shall only be applicable with the prior written and explicit consent of Pharumlegal. Entrusting an assignment to Pharumlegal implies the client’s acceptance of these general terms and conditions for the assignment at issue as well as for any other assignment which the client will assign to Pharumlegal at a later stage. Pharumlegal reserves the right to amend these general terms and conditions at any time, of which the client will be informed in an appropriate manner.
3. Pharumlegal is the exclusive contracting party with the client for all services performed by its lawyers, employees and staff. Only Pharumlegal has or will have any obligation towards the client regarding these services and only Pharumlegal has or will have any liability for the services its lawyers, employees and staff provided on behalf of Pharumlegal. The client accepts not to pursue any claim against any other person than Pharumlegal relating to these services.
4. Any and all liability of Pharumlegal in respect of any service rendered by or on behalf of Pharumlegal shall be assessed against best efforts and shall be limited to the amount paid out to Pharumlegal under the applicable professional liability insurance policy in the matter concerned. The client may request to obtain a certificate of insurance. Pharumlegal’s liability, as limited, excludes any personal liability of its lawyers, employees and staff. In any event a liability claim is unenforceable if Pharumlegal is not given written notice within one year after the discovery of an event or circumstance that gives or may give rise to a liability claim.
5. If third parties are called upon to provide services in connection with the work assigned to Pharumlegal, Pharumlegal will, to the extent appropriate, consult with the client in advance and will observe due care in its selection of such third parties. Pharumlegal is not liable for any acts or omissions of third parties called upon who are not operating under the Pharumlegal name (e.g. bailiffs, auditors, accountants, notary publics, etc.). When calling upon such third parties the client authorizes Pharumlegal to accept, on behalf of the client, any limitation of liability stipulated by any such third party.
6. Monies received by Pharumlegal by or on behalf of the client, with the exception of monies received as payment of its invoices, shall be placed in a third-party bank account opened with a financial institution of Pharumlegal’s choice. The amounts received on behalf of the client shall be transferred to the client within the shortest possible time.
7. Any advice, contract, memorandum, procedural document or other document that is made by Pharumlegal, including all information provided by the client in this framework, whether written or oral, is covered by our duty of professional secrecy. Where applicable, documents made by Pharumlegal are also covered by legal professional privilege. Any product of Pharumlegal’s services released to you in any form or medium is for the benefit and information of the client only. These documents may not be copied, communicated, or disclosed, in whole or in part (except for the client’s own internal purposes), without Pharumlegal’s prior written consent unless such communication is required by law or by a competent regulatory authority (in which case the client agrees to inform Pharumlegal in advance unless such informing is prohibited by law).
8. To the extent allowed by the ethical rules and the rules on avoiding conflicting interests, and subject to strict compliance with the rules of professional secrecy Pharumlegal may accept assignments for other clients whose activities could be competing with those of the client. Pharumlegal may also represent other clients (whose interests might conflict with those of the already existing client) in matters where the latter does not regularly consult Pharumlegal.
9. Unless explicitly agreed otherwise, the fees for services provided by Pharumlegal are calculated based on the number of hours worked, multiplied by the hourly rates that were communicated upon commencement of the provision of services. These fees will be increased with court fees and procedural costs where applicable. These fees may also be increased with other extraordinary or particular costs (e.g. travel costs, courier expenses or translation costs). Pharumlegal reserves the right to change its hourly rates or fee structure at any time, of which the client will be informed in an appropriate manner.
10. All services provided by Pharumlegal are subject to 21% VAT.
11. Unless you have specifically objected to this, invoices will be sent to you by Pharumlegal electronically. Invoices sent by Pharumlegal to its clients have to be paid within 30 days of the invoice date. If the invoice is not paid in time, Pharumlegal is authorized to charge, in addition to the principal amount, interests at the statutory rates and an additional fixed payment of 10% of the principal amount to cover the administrative costs.
12. The law obliges Pharumlegal to archive all files once the matter is closed and keep the files for a period of five years as from their closing dates. The original evidence or documents that have been entrusted to Pharumlegal will be returned to the client upon request. Pharumlegal is entitled to destroy any files, evidence and documents after the five-year retention period without having to notify the client first.
13. Pharumlegal is under a duty to comply with the laws and regulations concerning the prevention of the use of the financial system for laundering money and funding terrorism. If any money laundering or terrorism financing is suspected, Pharumlegal must report it to the President of the Bar Association who can inform the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit about the facts of the suspicious matter or transaction. The client is therefore requested to provide all information and documentation asked for by Pharumlegal in this respect, including information about the client’s identity. This includes, if the client is a legal entity, the entity’s articles of association or charter and the composition of the entity’s board of directors.
14. If any provision of these general terms and conditions is judged to be void or unenforceable, the remaining provisions continue to be valid and enforceable.
15. The legal relationship between Pharumlegal and its clients is exclusively governed by Belgian law. This encompasses all disputes arising from or in connection with (i) the work performed by or on behalf of Pharumlegal and/or (ii) the legal relationship between Pharumlegal and the client or other third parties involved in the client’s matter. Any dispute shall be brought exclusively to the competent court in Brussels.