Terms and conditions of the law firm iustica.BE
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the present terms and conditions apply to the relationship between iustica.BE and its clients.
The services of iustica.BE will be invoiced at an hourly rate, ranging from 100.00 € to 300.00 € depending on the seniority and expertise of the handling lawyer.
Depending on the difficulty of the case, the interests at stake, the urgency and the result obtained, the hourly rate may be multiplied by a coefficient agreed upon with the client.
Any other method for determining fees (fixed amount, hourly rate in combination with success fee, …) must be agreed upon in writing.
Administrative and out of pocket expenses will be invoiced as follows:
- Letter, fax, e-mail, incoming and outgoing (per document): 10.00 €
- Word processing (per page): 5.00 €
- Copies (per page): 0.50 €
- Telephone (local, outgoing, per 15 minutes): 1.00 €
- Telephone (international, outgoing, per 15 minutes): 10.00 €
- Consultation legal database (per consultation): 10.00 €
- Car expenses (per km – 0.62 miles): 0.50 €
All other expenses (legal expenses, bailiff, translations, other travelling expenses, downloading …) will be invoiced at cost price.
Lawyer fees and expenses are subject to VAT.
iustica.BE issues invoices (called “statements of fees and costs”) at regular intervals, and may invoice advance payments for services yet to be accomplished.
Subject to prior notice to the client, iustica.BE will subtract invoiced fees and costs from sums recovered on behalf of the client.
Depending on the circumstances, certain costs, indemnities and taxes may be due at different stages of a legal procedure.
Upon the filing of a legal procedure, filing costs will be due, depending on the Court before which proceedings are filed, the nature of the case and the manner in which the claim was filed.
In the case of a civil or commercial procedure, the judicial code provides that the losing party must pay a procedural indemnity to the winning party. The amount of the procedural indemnity depends on the amount of the litigation and is a fixed rate determined by royal decree.
In criminal matters, a procedural indemnity can only be due between the plaintiff and the accused.
No procedural indemnity is due for procedures before an administrative jurisdiction.
The losing defendant will also need to pay the cost for issuing the summons and all other legal costs advanced by the claimant.
At the end of the legal procedure, if a ruling has been rendered, a registration tax will be due by the losing party, at the current rate of 3% of the amount that the losing party is sentenced to pay. It is an indirect tax collected by the state upon registration of a deed or a written document in the register held at the ministry of finance.
The registration tax is due when the ruling carries a sentence and when the total amount of all sentences against any one party exceeds 12.500,00 €.
The winning party may be held to the payment of the registration tax due by the losing party if the latter is unable to do so, and this up to half of the amount actually received by the winning party.
The payment of the registration tax for the registration of a ruling takes priority over the payment of the amount due to the winning party according to the same ruling. This means that the losing party will have to pay the registration tax before paying his debt to the winning party.
- 4. Duty of confidentiality and handling of the case
Within iustica.BE the case will be handled by one or more lawyers.
The consulted lawyer may be substituted, for (part of) the tasks to be accomplished, by another lawyer from iustica.BE, by a member of one of the legal networks of which iustica.BE is a member, or by any qualified lawyer.
iustica.BE will assign to professionals of its choice all tasks not to be accomplished by a lawyer (notary, bailiff, expert, company auditor, accountant, translator etc.).
All lawyers are bound by the ethical duty of confidentiality. The staff of iustica.BE is also contractually bound by a duty of confidentiality.
All document exchanged between lawyers are, in principle, confidential. As the case may be, the client undertakes to respect this confidentiality and not to use in any way the confidential documents that were transmitted to him.
The client agrees that all information and documentation disclosed to iustica.BE during the handling of a case may be stored by iustica.BE, even after the period has ended during which this information must be filed mandatorily.
- 5. Professional rules and conflict management
The profession of lawyer is subject to professional and ethical rules issued by the bar association of the lawyer’s place of practice.
The lawyers working with iustica.BE are member of the Francophone or the Flemish section of the Brussels Bar Association (see tab “team” on iustica.BE’s website).
It is the local bar association that issues the professional and ethical rules to which the lawyer will be subject.
The rules of the Francophone section of the Brussels Bar Association are available in French on the website www.avocats.be. The rules of the Flemish section of the Brussels Bar Association are available and in Dutch on the website www.advocaat.be.
In case of a problem with a lawyer, member of the Francophone section of the Brussels Bar Association, the client may contact the office of the president of this Bar Association (the “permanence du bâtonnier”) by arranging an appointment with the secretariat: Palais de Justice, Place Poelaert- B-1000 Brussels (tel : +32 2 508 66 59). Further information may be found on the website of the francophone section of the Brussels Bar Association (www.barreaudebruxelles.info).
In case of a problem with a lawyer, member of the Flemish section of the Brussels Bar Association, the client may contact the president of this Bar Association to report the issue. Correspondence may be addressed to “Stafhouder van de balie Brussel, Gerechtsgebouw-Poelaertplein, B-1000 BRUSSELS (tel : +32 2 508 67 62, e-mail email@example.com). Further information may be found (in Flemish) on the website of the Flemish section of the Brussels Bar Association: www.advocaat.be.
However, effective client-lawyer communication being essential to conflict resolution, the client is invited to report to the lawyer any issues he may have with the services rendered before initiating proceedings before the Bar Association.
- 6. Obligation to disclose - deadlines
The client undertakes to disclose to the lawyer - on his own initiative or at the lawyer’s request - all required and useful information and documentation.
The client is liable for all damages or inconveniences that may result from a late, incorrect or incomplete disclosure of information or documents.
In this respect, the client expressly discharges the handling lawyer and iustica.BE from any liability.
If the client has or should have knowledge of a deadline or an important date, he is under the obligation to inform the lawyer handling the case immediately and to disclose all documents and all information in this respect.
The lawyer handling the case verifies that all legal deadlines are respected.
If a client wishes for a case to be handled within a certain period, this should be expressly agreed upon.
The client can terminate the mandate of the lawyer at any time. The Lawyer will endeavour to terminate his intervention and to issue a final statement of fees and costs as soon as possible after the unequivocal instruction from the client terminating the mandate of the lawyer.
- 7. Limitation of liability
Lawyers of iustica.BE that are member of the Francophone section of the Brussels Bar Association have taken out professional liability insurance with the insurance company ETHIAS at B-4000 Liège. Their liability is limited to a maximum of EUR 1.250.000,00 per claim with geographic coverage throughout the world except for the USA and CANADA.
Lawyers of iustica.BE that are member of the Flemish section of the Brussels Bar Association have taken out professional liability insurance with the insurance company “Amlin” at B-1210 Brussels. Their liability is limited to a maximum of EUR 1.250.000,00 per claim with geographic coverage throughout the world except for the USA and CANADA.
- 8. Payment terms and conditions
iustica.BE’s statements of fees and costs are due to be paid within 30 days as from their date.
In case of a late payment, interest at the applicable statutory rate will be due without prior reminder or notice.
In case of late payment, a fixed indemnity equal to 10% of the invoiced amount will be due, with a minimum of 500.00 €, without prejudice to any indemnity for legal expenses which may be attributed in case of legal proceedings.
In case of late payment, iustica.BE reserves the right to suspend its services.
The client will be liable for any damages that may result from such suspension.
- 9. Jurisdiction – applicable law
In case of a dispute between iustica.BE and the client, the Brussels courts will have exclusive jurisdiction. iustica.BE reserves the right to bring the client before the courts of his place of residence.
Only Belgian law will apply, including the professional ethics code to which the lawyers of iustica.BE are subject.
- 10. Specific consumer information
When iustica.BE is mandated by a consumer (according to art. I.1, 2° Belgian Economic Code, "a natural person acting for purposes outside his trade or profession") by means of a distance contract or a contract concluded away from the premises of iustica.BE’s offices, the client is granted a right of withdrawal during 14 days as from the day of conclusion of the contract with the lawyer. If the consumer wishes iustica.BE to initiate its mission before this term of 14 days is terminated, he must explicitly instruct iustica.BE to do so.
People with limited financial resources may resort to the system of legal aid, (entirely or partially) assisting them to meet the cost of legal representation or proceedings. Further information on the conditions for access to legal aid and the designation of a pro bono lawyer, can be found on the website of the “Bureau d’aide juridique” as well as on the contact list of the different bureaus in Belgium: www.aidejuridiquebruxelles.be, www.avocats.be, www.baliebrussel.be)