general terms and conditions

1. Scope of application

These general terms and conditions apply to the contractual relationship between the client and Markato-Law (enterprise n° 0778.916.136) for the services provided by Markato-Law, its associates and employees and by all persons working with Markato-Law or for whom Markato-Law is liable.

These general terms and conditions are deemed to be accepted by the client as from the moment the client entrusts Markato-Law with an assignment.

These general terms and conditions are based on the model contract of the Flemish Bar Association. The client may, if he wishes so, at any time request that a contract be signed in accordance with that model contract. If the client does not so request, only these general terms and conditions will apply.

2. Information

Markato-Law will keep the client promptly informed of the execution of the assignment and the progress of the case. The client shall provide Markato-Law, promptly and throughout the duration of the engagement, with all useful information, if requested by Markato-Law.

If the client fails to co-operate with the Markato-Law in a timely manner, or fails to co-operate as agreed, Markato-Law is free to stop working for the client and withdraw from the case. Markato-Law shall not be liable for any damages arising from such withdrawal.

3. Appeal on third parties

3.1 In addition to the usual tasks performed in the law firm, the client agrees that Markato-Law, under its responsibility, may call upon other lawyers for specific assignments.

3.2. If the execution of the assignment requires the services of a bailiff or translator, the client will leave the choice to Markato-Law.

3.3. Markato-Law will only call upon other third parties, such as notaries, experts or accountants, chosen in consultation with the client, with the client's express consent.

4. Prevention of money laundering and fight against terrorism

When Markato-Law assists a client in the preparation or execution of transactions in connection with the purchase or sale of real estate or businesses, the management of money, securities or other assets, the opening or management of bank accounts, savings accounts or securities accounts, the organization of contributions necessary for the establishment, the operation or the management of companies; the establishment, operation or management of companies, trusts, fiduciaries or similar legal entities, or when acting in the name and for the account of his client in any financial or real estate transaction, Markato-Law is obliged to strictly comply with the legislation and bar regulations on money laundering and anti-terrorist financing. In accordance with the applicable rules, Markato-Law is primarily required to identify and monitor its client. This procedure requires the cooperation of the client and obliges clients who operate through a corporate structure in accordance with the law of 18 September 2017 to inform Markato-Law of the identity of the beneficial owner of the company or series of companies and to inform Markato-Law of any changes in this situation. If, within 2 weeks of being requested, the client refuses to provide the information that Markato-Law is obliged to request, Markato-Law is entitled to terminate its intervention in application of article 2.10 of the Regulations of the OVB dated 21 December 2011. In addition, anti-money laundering legislation requires Markato-Law in certain circumstances to report potential money laundering and terrorist financing operations in which the client is allegedly involved to the President of his/her Bar.

5. Liability

5.1 Markato-Law, its partners and associates and all persons working with Markato-Law or for whom Markato-Law is liable, are insured for their professional liability by the professional liability insurance taken out with MS Amlin by the Order of Flemish Bars (“l'Ordre des Barreaux néerlandophones”) for an insured amount of 2.5 million euros per claim in first grade ("in eerste rang"). This insurance has been completed by Markato-Law with second tier insurance through a collective insurance policy taken out with AG Insurance by the Order of Flemish Bars (“l'Ordre des Barreaux néerlandophones”) for an insured amount of 5 million euros per claim.

5.2 Markato-Law's liability is limited to the amount insured under the professional liability insurance policies taken out by Markato-Law and to the amount, that, in the event of a claim, is covered by the insurer(s) and actually paid out by the insurer(s). The insured amount is currently 7.5 million euros.

Upon explicit request of the client, insurance for a higher amount may be taken out for a specific case, provided that the client pays the additional premium.

Unless expressly stated otherwise, Markato-Law is not liable for services provided by third parties on which it appeals.

6. Fees

6.1 The fee is the remuneration for the services provided by Markato-Law.

In principle, Markato-Law works at an hourly rate about which the client is informed before giving an assignment to Markato-Law. The client is requested to confirm in writing his/her agreement to the hourly rate and the general terms and conditions.

The hourly rates include general office expenses.

The hourly rates are exclusive of specific case-related costs and travel expenses which are charged at 50 ct per kilometre. Third party costs (bailiffs, substitutes, translators, experts, accountants, legal fees such as court registry fees, docket fees, etc.) are not included in the hourly rates. In principle, they are not advanced by Markato-Law and must be paid directly by the client. If, exceptionally, Markato-Law advances these costs, they will be charged to the client on their next invoice.

Markato-Law's fees are exclusive of VAT. Please note that since 1 January 2014, lawyers' fees are subject to a VAT rate of 21%.

Markato-Law reserves the right to index the rates in the month of January each year on the basis of the evolution of the consumer price index according to a formula established from time to time by Markato-Law.

6.2 Markato-Law's services are invoiced periodically. However, Markato-Law may request one or more advance payments prior to the commencement of its services and during the course of the case. An advance payment is a fixed amount paid by the client to Markato-Law prior to receipt of a detailed invoice for fees and expenses. In the case of advance billing, the advance payment is deducted from the amount of fees and expenses billed in the final invoice.

7. Payment of invoices

7.1 Advance invoices and Markato-Law invoices are payable within 8 days of receipt. Markato-Law may set a shorter payment term if required for proper service delivery.

7.2 If the client does not agree with the amount of the requested advance payment, or the invoice or fee statement, he must protest this in writing within 8 days of receipt under penalty of cancellation. From the due date of the invoices, interest shall be due by operation of law and without notice of default, calculated at the legal interest rate (if applicable, in accordance with the Late Payments Act). In the event of late payment, compensation for collection costs equal to 10% of the principal amount shall also be payable.

8. Third-party funds

8.1. Markato-Law shall transfer all sums received for its client to the client within the shortest possible time. If Markato-Law is unable to transfer an amount immediately, it shall notify the client of the receipt of the amount and inform the client of the reason why the amount cannot be transferred. Markato-Law's third party account is mentioned on this website under the heading "contact".

8.2. Markato-Law may withhold from amounts received on behalf of the client sums to cover outstanding advances or invoices for costs and fees. It will inform the client of this in writing. This provision is without prejudice to the client's right to contest the lawyer's fee invoices and to claim payment of these retentions.

8.3. Markato-Law shall immediately transfer to third parties all sums received from the client for the account of such third parties.

9. Termination of the Agreement

Either party may terminate the agreement at any time provided prior written notice is given to the other. Markato-Law may terminate its services provided that it gives the client the opportunity to obtain the necessary assistance from another lawyer in a timely manner. Markato-Law will in such case send its final invoice to the client, taking into account the services provided up to the termination of the agreement, without being entitled to claim any compensation from the client for the termination of the agreement. Upon first request, Markato-Law shall return the original documents of the file to the client.

10. Applicable law and competent court

10.1 Belgian law shall apply.

10.2 The parties shall endeavour to settle amicably any disputes they may have. Before commencing legal proceedings, they shall preferably have the matter referred to them for amicable settlement before the court or before a competent body of the Bar Association.

10.3 Markato-Law is subject to the extrajudicial settlement of disputes provided for in Book XVI of the Code for Economic Law.

If the client has a complaint or a grievance about a contract already concluded with Markato-Law, he can, in accordance with Title 2, Book XVI of the Code for Economic Law, file a complaint with our office, which can be reached by telephone on 0032 16 79 30 75 or by e-mail advocaten@markato-law.be.

If this complaint does not lead to a solution, the client may, in accordance with Title 4 Book XVI of the Code for Economic Law, submit an application or a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman for Consumer Disputes in the Legal Profession (hereinafter "OCA"), the qualified entity competent for the out-of-court settlement of disputes between consumers and lawyers.

The OCA is included in the list of qualified entities that can be consulted on the website of the F.O.D. Economy, SMEs and the Middle Classes.

The OCA is competent for complaints relating to the services provided by the lawyer. Complaints should preferably be submitted online using the electronic complaint form available at http://oca.ligeca.be/nl/. Additional information on the OCA can be found via this link. http://oca.ligeca.be/nl/Additional information on the OCA can be found via this link.

The OCA is located at Rue de la Loi 8, 1000 Brussels.

10.4 The lawyer is also subject to extra-judicial dispute resolution as provided for in the Rules of the Leuven Bar Association of 21 November 2016.

10.5 Only the courts of Leuven have jurisdiction, without prejudice to Markato-Law's right to take legal action before the courts of the client's jurisdiction.