1. GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
1. Van den Herik & Verhulst Advocaten N.V. (“Van den Herik & Verhulst”) is a limited liability company (“naamloze vennootschap”) incorporated under the laws of The Netherlands, with its registered office at Rotterdam (listed in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce number 24452478). A list of the shareholders in Van den Herik & Verhulst or the persons holding shares in Van den Herik & Verhulst through their respective holding companies - which persons are referred to as “partners” - will be provided on request. A partner is also the person who received the title of partner, without being a shareholder.
2. The provisions in these general conditions shall apply to each instruction, follow-up instruction, modified or supplemental instruction, accepted by Van den Herik & Verhulst, as well as to all other services (“Instruction”).
3. Instructions to Van den Herik & Verhulst or to any of the partners and/or employees constitute instructions accepted and carried out exclusively by Van den Herik & Verhulst. The applicability of Article 7:404 BW, 7:407(2) and 7:409 BW is excluded. This shall also apply if the instructions were explicitly or implicitly intended for a particular person.
4. Van den Herik & Verhulst will not be liable for any shortcoming of whatever nature of third parties engaged by them in relation to an Instruction and will without prior consultation and also on behalf of the client be entitled to accept a limitation of liability on the part of third parties which it has engaged.
5. All Instructions shall be performed on the basis of a fee agreed on in writing, or, in absence of this, a reasonable fee, which, in principle, shall be determined on the basis of the hours worked multiplied by the hourly or other rates set annually by Van den Herik & Verhulst, increased by a fixed surcharge determined by Van den Herik & Verhulst to defray office facility costs.
6. As a rule, a client will be invoiced on a monthly basis for the work carried out. Invoices have to be paid within 14 days after the invoice date, without suspension, reduction or set-off. If this period is exceeded, the client shall be in default by operation of law.
7. The liability on the part of Van den Herik & Verhulst and each of the persons referred to in clause 10, for any ground whatsoever, shall be limited to the amount paid out under the professional liability insurance policy taken out by Van den Herik & Verhulst, plus the amount of any deductible (“own risk”) sum. At the client’s request, Van den Herik & Verhulst shall provide information on the extent of the cover under the professional liability insurance.
8. Should no insurance payment be made, for whatever reason, the liability on the part of Van den Herik & Verhulst shall be limited to a sum equal to the amount of fees invoiced by Van den Herik & Verhulst in the matter concerned in the relevant year, subject in any event to a maximum of € 100.000,--.
9. All causes of action and other rights vis-à-vis Van den Herik & Verhulst on whatever basis which the client can rely on with respect to Van den Herik & Verhulst lapse if they have not been submitted to Van den Herik & Verhulst in writing and accompanied by reasons within one year of the date on which the client became aware, or could reasonably have become aware of the facts on which its claim is based.
10. All provisions in these general conditions are also as third party clauses, made irrevocably and for no consideration, made for the benefit of the shareholders and the partners, the former shareholders and former partners of Van den Herik & Verhulst and all (legal)persons engaged by Van den Herik & Verhulst in relation to or concerned with the carrying out of Instructions (including without limitation employees of Van den Herik & Verhulst) and all persons for whose acts or omissions Van den Herik & Verhulst might be liable.
11. Dutch law shall apply to the Instructions. All disputes arising from or related to Instructions, including all invoice disputes, will be settled in accordance with the Legal Profession Disputes Committee Rules. Notwithstanding the above, Van den Herik & Verhulst shall have the right to institute proceedings in the competent court in Rotterdam.
12. These general conditions have been drawn up in Dutch and English. In the event of a dispute regarding the content or intent of these general conditions, the Dutch version shall be binding.
13. This general conditions have been filed at the Court Registry of the Court of First Instance in Rotterdam under registration number AL 18/2017 and appear on Van den Herik & Verhulst’s website at www.herikverhulst.nl.
2. Internal Complaints Handling Procedure
1. Internal Complaints Handling Procedure
Van den Herik & Verhulst Advocaten N.V., hereinafter referred to as ‘Van den Herik & Verhulst’, endeavours to provide first-class, reliable, effective and dedicated service. If for some reason you are not satisfied with the work conducted by a lawyer on behalf of Van den Herik & Verhulst, or with an invoice sent to you by Van den Herik & Verhulst, please notify us of your complaint. We will handle your complaint in accordance with the procedure set out in the following Internal Complaints Handling Procedure and will strive to resolve it within a reasonable period. This Internal Complaints Handling Procedure applies to all assignments accepted by Van den Herik & Verhulst.
2. Definition of terms
the lawyer affiliated with Van den Herik & Verhulst or the person working under the responsibility of the lawyer in question.
the client, or their representative, who has reported a complaint.
Internal Complaints Handling Procedure:
the current scheme, which sets out the procedure for handling a complaint within the meaning of the Regulations for the Legal Profession.
any written expression of dissatisfaction from or on behalf of the Complainant towards the Lawyer or the person/persons working under their responsibility regarding the formation and execution of a services agreement, the quality of the services or the invoice amount, not being a complaint within the meaning of paragraph 4 of the Counsel Act.
C. van den Bergh, LLM or a replacement appointed by Van den Herik & Verhulst if C. van den Bergh is absent, substantively involved in the service which is the subject of the Complaint and/or unavailable for some other serious reason.
3. Submitting a Complaint
3.1 The Complainant must submit their Complaint within three months of the time at which they became aware or could reasonably have become aware of the act or omission of the Lawyer who gave rise to the Compliant. The Complaints Officer may decide not to handle a Complaint submitted after the expiry of the three-month period referred to above. In this event, the Complaints Officer will inform the Complainant in writing whether or not the Complaint will be handled as soon as possible after receiving the Complaint.
3.2 The Complainant must submit the Complaint in writing to Van den Herik & Verhulst for the attention of the Complaints Officer. The Complainant must provide at least the following information:
(i) the name and address details of the Complainant
(ii) the name of the Lawyer against whom the Complaint is directed
(iii) a description of the act or omission of the Lawyer, or of the invoice, which has
led to the Complaint
(iv) the file number to which the Complaint is related
(v) a statement requesting that the Complaint be handled
through the Internal Complaints Handling Procedure
(vi) the date of submitting the Complaint and their signature.
3.3 If the Complaint does not comply with the requirements referred to in article 3.2, the Complaints Officer will inform the Complainant thereof upon receipt of the Complaint and the Complainant will be given the opportunity to supply the missing information. If they fail to do so, the Complaints Officer will not handle the Complaint. In the latter event, the Complaints Officer will inform the Complainant in writing that the Complaint will not be handled.
4. Confirmation of receipt of a Complaint
Upon receiving a complete complaint, the Complaints Officer will send confirmation of receipt to the Complainant. The Complainant will also be given the Complaint Officer's contact details and information on the subsequent course of the procedure in line with the Internal Complaints Handling Procedure.
5. Handling a Complaint
5.1 The Complaints Officer will inform the Lawyer against whom the Complaint has been made as soon as possible in writing and will give the Lawyer the opportunity to respond to the Complaint in writing.
5.2 The Complaints Officer will obtain the information necessary in order to properly handle and assess the Complaint. The Complaints Officer will give the Complainant and the Lawyer the opportunity to offer further explanation and may ask for additional information.
5.3 If the Complaints Officer considers it necessary, or if one or both parties so wish, the parties will be invited to discuss the matter together at a place, date and time stipulated by the Complaints Officer.
5.4 The Complaints Officer may propose a solution to the complaint on the basis of the information obtained.
5.5 Complaints will be handled with the utmost care and confidentiality.
6. Time Frame
Within one month of receiving a complete Complaint, the Complaints Officer will inform the Complainant and the Lawyer in writing, stating reasons, of their decision as to whether or not the Complaint is well-founded. This may be accompanied by recommendations. If, for whatever reason, this period is exceeded, the Complaints Officer will notify the Complainant and the Lawyer, stating reasons for the delay and the period within which a decision will be issued.
The Complaints Office will ensure that all Complaints are registered internally.
8. The Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession
If a Complaint cannot be resolved by the handling procedure, it may be submitted to the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession, unless Van den Herik & Verhulst chooses to have it settled by the competent court in Rotterdam.
The Complainant will not be liable for any payment to Van den Herik & Verhulst for the costs of handling the Complaint in accordance with this Internal Complaints Handling Procedure. Each party will bear their own expenses.