FENCER BV – FENCER BV is the exclusive contracting party for all services performed by its lawyers, paralegals and other non-lawyer professionals. FENCER BV (‘Fencer’) is a limited liability company with registered offices at 1020 Brussels, Esplanade 1, box 5 and company registration number (‘KBO’) 0748.445.862. Its partners and associates are attorneys at law (‘advocaten’) registered with the Brussels bar. The code of conduct can be consulted online on the website of the Orde van Vlaamse Balies.
General – Unless agreed otherwise in writing, these terms and conditions apply to all services performed by Fencer’s lawyers, paralegals and other non-lawyer professionals. The application of the client’s general terms and conditions is excluded.
Fees for professional services – Unless otherwise agreed, Fencer’s fees for legal services rendered are based on an hourly billing rate. VAT (21%) will be added separately on invoices. Fencer’s hourly rates may vary depending on the experience and qualification of the lawyer in question and may be adjusted from time to time. Where appropriate, Fencer may request an advance payment, which will be set off against the final invoice.
Costs and expenses – Costs and expenses incurred by Fencer on the client’s behalf will be invoiced to the client. These costs include, but are not limited to, courier charges, travel expenses, court- and bailiff costs, (court-appointed) expert costs, official taxes, costs and fees of professional third parties and foreign correspondents, as well as reimbursements for other specific costs, such as part of computerized subscriptions for translation and research software. Fencer does not apply a surcharge to cover general office expenses. Estimates and quotes may be provided upon request, it being understood that these are non-binding and that variations may occur as a result of the growing complexity of the case, unforeseen circumstances or claims, changes in official taxes, changes in fees of professional third parties and foreign correspondents, of fluctuations in exchange rates etc.
Invoicing – Fencer may issue invoices covering fees for professional services and costs and expenses either on a monthly basis or from time to time whenever a specific service has been provided or completed. Each invoice is due and payable within fifteen days of the invoice date. In the event of untimely payment, Fencer is entitled to charge legal interests in accordance with the Belgian Act of 2 August 2002 and an administrative fee of 100 EUR per official reminder. Costs and expenses made in relation to recovery of unpaid invoices will be charged to clients. In the event of late payment, Fencer reserves the right to postpone or defer providing further services, or discontinue the representation, after having notified the client. Clients should promptly discuss any questions or concerns they have about invoices with the member of Fencer in charge of the representation. Any question or concern should be raised in writing or by email within fifteen days of the invoicing date.
Limitation of liability – Fencer’s obligations towards the client are not obligations of results (“resultaatsverbintenissen” / “obligations de résultat”) but obligations of means (“middelenverbintenissen” / “obligations de moyens”). If, in the context of the performance of any services by Fencer, an event occurs which leads to its liability, then such liability will be limited to the amounts to which the professional liability insurance taken out by Fencer provides coverage including the deductibles which Fencer carries in connection with such insurance. A copy of the terms of this insurance will be sent to the client upon request. If, for whatever reason, the insurance does not provide coverage, Fencer’s liability is limited to (i) cases of gross negligence and intentional fault and (ii), in case of gross negligence, to the amount of fees invoiced by Fencer for services in the matter and in the month in which the event or action causing liability has occurred.
Conflicts – Fencer retains the right to discontinue representation where a conflict occurs between its services for the client and its services for other companies, or between its own interests and the client’s interests. If the client is aware of a possible conflict, it should notify Fencer immediately thereof. Subject to Fencer’s compliance with legal and professional rules of conduct, Fencer is not prevented or restricted from advising or representing companies who are active in the same business of the client, and whose interests, apart from those in any specific matter, may be adverse to the interests of the client.
Archiving and cloud services – Fencer uses secured cloud services to store and keep documents and files. Clients accept the use of such services, including for documents and files covered by professional privilege.
Copyrights – Fencer will retain copyright subsisting in all documents or other communications drafted and produced for account of the client.
Applicable law and jurisdiction – The relationship between Fencer and its clients is exclusively governed by Belgian laws. Disputes will be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dutch-speaking enterprise court of Brussels (Nederlandstalige Ondernemingsrechtbank van Brussel).