- These general terms and conditions govern the provision of services by K-Legal B.V., a professional limited liability company organized under the laws of the Netherlands, also doing business under the name KerkmanLaw, registered with the Netherlands trade register under number 31144549. (hereinafter: ‘KerkmanLaw’), such to include attorney services, local counsel services, as well as the functions of receiver, administrator, liquidator, executor, arbitrator, advisor with binding authority and mediator. Under exclusion of the Articles 7:404, 7:407 sub 2 and 7:409 of the Dutch Civil Code, all work shall be exclusively accepted and performed by KerkmanLaw. These general terms and conditions also relate to all associates, employees and others who are in whatever way working for or in the employment of or related to KerkmanLaw, and to ‘Stichting Beheer Derdengelden Advocaten in het Arrondissement Amsterdam’, including its statutory directors and employees.
- The performance of the services rendered is exclusively for the benefit of the client. Third parties have no rights or claims whatsoever related to such performance of services.
- Any liability of KerkmanLaw shall be limited to the amount that is paid out in the particular case under the professional liability insurance policy KerkmanLaw has entered into, plus the amount of the deductible that is not payable by the insurers under the conditions of the policy. Professional liability of KerkmanLaw is covered for an amount of € 2,500,000 per claim by HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG. If for whatever reason no amount is paid out under the insurance policy, all liability is limited up to two times the fee amount that KerkmanLaw has received in that particular file, with a maximum of EUR 50.000. Any claim against KerkmanLaw and/or against the parties mentioned in article 1 of these general terms and conditions expires and is waived 12 months after the claimant-party is aware or should have been aware of the fact which caused the damage.
- In connection with its services, KerkmanLaw is authorised to use the services of third parties, such as attorneys-in-fact, local counsel, bailiffs, research companies, collection agencies, accountants, the land registry, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, law firms and/or notary firms etc. KerkmanLaw is not liable for any shortcomings on the part of such third parties. The client herewith holds KerkmanLaw harmless against all claims of third parties, including the related costs incurred by KerkmanLaw, which claims are directly or indirectly related to the services performed by KerkmanLaw, except in case of wilful misconduct or gross negligence by KerkmanLaw.
- The exclusions of liability described in these general terms and conditions also apply without exception to the improper functioning of equipment, software, databases, registers or other means used by KerkmanLaw in the performance of its services as well as to any interception of audio and/or data transmissions by telephone, telecopier or e-mail. All e-mail, data transmissions, audio transmissions, fax and telephone communications are unencoded unless the client explicitly requests such in writing.
- The term of payment shall be 14 days from the invoice date. Payment must be made in the manner stated in the invoice. KerkmanLaw does not accept check payment. Failing payment, the client shall be in default by operation of law and shall owe legal interest equal to the applicable statutory interest. The costs of collection at a minimum of 10% of the outstanding balance shall be charged to the client.
- Prior to or in order to continue delivery of services, KerkmanLaw shall at all times be entitled to demand from the client one or more advance payments. In the event of default of payment of same, and in the event of default of payment of any of KerkmanLaw’s invoices, KerkmanLaw shall be authorised after prior notification to not commence, to suspend, or to cease its services.
- KerkmanLaw is authorised to remove and destroy files and the documents contained therein from its archives without notice, in the event 7 years or more have passed after the relevant case, handled by KerkmanLaw and/or by the parties mentioned in article 1 of these general terms and conditions, has been closed.
- The client shall inform KerkmanLaw immediately in writing of any changes in the client’s address, phone and/or fax numbers and/or e-mail address, and shall provide KerkmanLaw upon its first written request with all identification documents required under applicable ‘Know Your Client’-regulations, failing which KerkmanLaw shall be authorized to suspend or cease its services.
- Pursuant to applicable legislation (including the Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme), KerkmanLaw is obliged to verify the identity of its clients and to report certain unusual transactions to the authorities in certain circumstances. By instructing KerkmanLaw, the client confirms that it is aware of this obligation and gives its permission, insofar as this is required.
- The provision of services by KerkmanLaw shall be exclusively governed by Dutch law. Complaints shall be handled in accordance with KerkmanLaw’s Rules of Complaint (Klachtenregeling), which will be made available to the Client upon the Client’s first written request. Disputes shall be exclusively resolved by the competent Dutch court, without prejudice to the authority of the Dutch Bar Association.
- These general terms and conditions have been drafted in the English and French languages and have been deposited with the Amsterdam District Court. The English text of the terms and conditions shall prevail over the French text. These general terms and conditions are also available for inspection at the reception desk of the offices of KerkmanLaw in Amsterdam at 3051 Strawinskylaan and shall be sent upon request. These general terms and conditions are also available on www.kerkmanlaw.com.
Rules of Complaint KerkmanLaw
Article 1 definitions
In this office complaints procedure, the following definitions shall apply: – Complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client against the lawyer or the persons working under his or her responsibility about the conclusion and the performance of a contract for professional services, the quality of the services or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Dutch Law on Advocates; – Complainant: the client or his or her representative who makes a complaint; – Complaints officer, the lawyer in charge of complaint management;
Article 2 scope of application
- This office complaints procedure applies to every contract for professional services between KerkmanLaw and the client.
- All lawyers at KerkmanLaw are responsible for handling complaints in accordance with this office complaints procedure.
Article 3 objectives
The objective of this office complaints procedure is:
a. to establish a procedure for handling clients’ complaints constructively and within a reasonable time;
b. to establish a procedure for determining the causes of clients’ complaints;
c. to maintain and improve current relationships by way of good complaints management;
d. to train staff to respond to complaints in a client-oriented manner;
e. to further improve the quality of the services based on complaints management and complaints analysis.
Article 4 information at the start of services
- This complaints procedure has been made public via the website of KerkmanLaw. Prior to or on the commencement of the contract for professional services the lawyer draws the client’s attention to the fact that the office has an office complaints procedure and that this applies to the services.
- Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this office complaints procedure that have not been resolved after handling will be submitted to the competent court.
Article 5 internal complaints procedure
- If a client submits a complaint to the office the complaint is forwarded to Mr. L.S. Kerkman, who will handle it as complaints officer.
- The complaints officer informs the person to whom the complaint relates about the complaint that has been submitted and gives the complainant and the person to whom the complaint relates the opportunity to provide an explanation of the complaint.
- The person to whom the complaint relates and the client seek to resolve the complaint together with or without the mediation of the complaints officer.
- The complaints officer handles the complaint within four weeks of the complaint being submitted or informs the client that this term will be deviated from, stating reasons and the term within which an opinion will be given regarding the complaint.
- The complaints officer informs the complainant and the person to whom the complaint relates in writing about the opinion regarding the merits of the complaint, possibly attaching recommendations. If the complaint is resolved satisfactorily the complainant, the complaints officer and the person to whom the complaint relates sign the opinion regarding the merits of the complaint.
Article 6 confidentiality and handling complaints free of charge
- The complaints officer and the person to whom the complaint relates observe confidentiality when handling complaints.
- The complainant is not required to reimburse the cost of handling the complaint.
Article 7 responsibility
- The complaints officer is responsible for the prompt handling of the complaint.
- The person to whom the complaint relates keeps the complaints officer informed about any contact and a potential solution.
- The complaints officer keeps the complainant informed about the handling of the complaint.
- The complaints officer updates the complaints file.
Article 8 complaints registration
- The complaints officer keeps an overview of all complaints that are submitted, stating the subject of the complaint.
- A complaint can be divided into multiple subjects.
- The complaints officer periodically reports on the processing of the complaints and makes recommendations concerning the avoidance of new complaints and concerning the improvement of procedures.
- At least once a year the report and recommendations will be discussed and submitted for decision making.