The services we propose are provided within a framework that we strive to make foreseeable, especially thanks to these general conditions of intervention which set the framework and the conditions of our services and undertakings.
In granting instructions to Ulys, the client admits these general conditions being applied, to the exclusion of all others.
They may be modified at all times and do not grant any right outside a contractual bond already in existence.
Ulys is a legal practice (hereafter « Ulys » or « the practice »).
It is a civil company in the form of a SCRL (cooperative limited liability company) under Belgian law, enrolled with the RC Brussels 5316 (civil companies) identified for VAT under the number BE 0476 702 936. The registered office is established at 224, avenue de la Couronne, 1050 Brussels.
Ulys has a branch office in France at 33, rue Galilée, 75116 Paris (toque R 296).
LICENCE FOR USE
Ulys entrusts to its clients documents of all kinds (statutes, contracts, written consultations, conclusions, etc., hereafter the <>) of which its members are the authors. These latter have transferred to the practice all rights of intellectual property concerning them.
The clients of Ulys benefit from a right of licence limited to the use of the document in compliance with the customs applying in the profession of lawyer.
Remuneration for this licence is included in the price for the services as invoiced by Ulys; this licence is at all times subject to actual payment occurring in respect of said services. In the event of failure to pay, the client must cease all use of the document upon first demand, even if the document has been used within the framework of judicial proceedings.
PHYSICAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES
The practice puts into operation the physical and human resources that it deems useful for achieving its instructions. It proceeds if the case warrants this, upon its own initiative and under its own liability, to engaging any collaborators or assistants. It will solicit all providers upon its own imitative and under its own and full liability. The practice is to decide alone in respect of internal attribution of instructions awarded by its clients. In general terms, the practice is to be the sole judge of physical and human resources put into operation in the carrying out of its instructions. The client may not challenge an invoice nor withhold payment by reason of being dissatisfied in respect of the manner in which the practice organises its physical and human resources
FEES AND INVOICING
The lawyer may demand preliminary payment of an advance to be set against their expenses and fees.
By default, fees are determined on the basis of the time devoted to the case. In waiver, flat fees may be agreed by means of prior, written agreement with the practice.
The hourly rate is to be set for the case on the basis of usual criteria, espe-cially: its complexity; the significance of the interests concerned; its urgen-cy, its notoriety, the qualifications, seniority, experience and specialisation of the lawyer and the practice in general; special situations of the client, etc.
The hourly rate applicable is to be set in principle at the outset and advised to the client. However, if it is difficult to establish this hourly rate at the outset of the case, the practice may notify it later. Once they have been informed of the hourly rate applicable, the client is deemed to have accepted it if they continue in relations with the practice. In respect of those cases that extend over a number of years, the client accepts the principle of an adjustment of the hourly rate year by year.
If no hourly rate is specified, the rate is set by default in 300 € per hour provided per person (rate current since 1 January 2014).
Unless specified otherwise in writing at the beginning of the case the rate may be revised in good faith by way of increase at the end of the case, based on the advantages and/or the favourable result obtained for the benefit of the client (success fee).
By way of reminder, a lawyer may not set their fees by way of a pact de quota litis, that is to say an agreement reached between a lawyer and their client before a final judicial decision is handed down and setting the entirety of their fees based exclusively on the judicial result of the business, whether these fees consist of a sum of money or any other good or utility.
If a premium for result has been agreed and the lawyer is discharged from the case before the event bringing about to the right to the premium arises, the practice is to have grounds for reviewing the bases for invoicing retroactively and claiming a complement in respect of fees, in good faith.
EXPENSES AND DISBURSEMENTS – COMPENSATION
General expenses. In addition to fees, the practice is to invoice a flat sharing in its general expenses. This sharing is on a reducing scale and is applied on the sums paid by way of fees (in principle: fees up to 3,000 €: 20%; on the tranche from 3,000 to 4,000 € : 15%; on the tranche from 4,000 to 6,000 €: 10% on the tranche beyond 6,000 €: 5 %) Alternatively, where nothing is specified at the opening of the case, it is set in a flat and irrevocable sum of 5% of the amount invoiced by way of fees.
Advance expenses. The practice is to re-invoice at cost price, expenses relating to cases advanced on behalf of the client: transport, hotels, documentation, outside suppliers, express post, registered letters, etc.
Disbursements. Invoices for disbursements are to be in principle raised directly in the name of the client by the supplier; payment in this case is to be made by the client (e.g. accountant, expert, etc.). If the practice has advanced these, the disbursements are to be re-invoiced at cost price.
All invoices raised by Ulys are payable in cash, immediately upon receipt, unless otherwise agreed previously and in writing. Interest at the legal rate increased by five points is due in full upon failure to pay one month after the date of invoice.
In default of payment, a lawyer may suspend their services, ceasing to deal with the business or withdrawing. The client may in no event attribute any adverse consequences for them from suspension of service or ceasing to deal with the business against the practice, if this event is due to default n payment on their part.
The client authorises Ulys to offset all sums that the practice holds or re-ceives on their behalf for any cause whatsoever – including therein the sums entered in respect of third party/carpa account of the association, those that fall due to the client or fees received in excess in other cases that the client has entrusted to the association – with all unpaid invoices, even if challenged
All sums indicated are to be understood as being before tax and are to be increased if the case applies by VAT at current rates.
CHALLENGES – APPLICABLE LAW AND JURISDICTION OF CONCERN
Ulys is a company under Belgian law.
From the civil/contractual standpoint, the relationship between a client and a lawyer of the practice (and the practice itself) concern is of Belgian law, the solely law applicable. All disputes, difficulties of execution or interpretation and in a general manner all differences of opinion – in this including all disputes in respect of fees and unpaid invoices – is the exclusive concern of the courts and tribunals of Brussels, even if the lawyer who has dealt with the case belongs mainly to a bar other that the Order of lawyers of the bar of Brussels.
From the standpoint of deontology, the rules applicable to cases are to be those of the bar of the associated lawyer responsible for said case (in the event of this associate being a member of a number of bars, the rules are to be those of the bar where they mainly practise).
This text is a translation of the original French version. This translation is provided for the ease of the reader; in case of contradiction between the two versions, the French text shall prevail.