General Terms and Conditions

1.  All our invoices are payable in cash. In the event of non-payment within 30 days of the invoice date, interest shall be payable, automatically by operation of law and without the requirement for notice of default to be given, in accordance with the Act on Combating Late Payments in Commercial Transactions. In the event of non-payment on the due date fixed-sum compensation of 10% of the outstanding invoice amount shall be payable. 

2.  Any complaints must be sent in writing within 14 days. 

3. Trust account: 

a)  Mertens & De Paepe pays all amounts that it receives for the client to its client within the shortest possible time.
b)  Mertens & De Paepe may withhold sums from amounts that it receives for the client's account to cover outstanding advances and statements of account for costs and fees. The client will be informed about this in writing. 

4.  Liability: 

 Mertens & De Paepe has taken out professional liability insurance for itself and its employees for a total amount of € 19,500,000.00. The policy conditions will be sent on request. 

 The client considers this insurance to be sufficient and accepts that compensation for loss incurred as a result of a professional error by Mertens & De Paepe or one of its lawyers shall be limited to the amounts for which the professional liability insurance offers cover. If the professional liability insurer does not cover the loss, without Mertens & De Paepe or one of its lawyers being at fault for this, the compensation on the grounds of a professional error by the law firm and/or the lawyer handling the case shall be limited to the fees that have been paid as regards the principal, costs and interest. 

5.  Termination of the agreement: 

 The client may terminate the agreement with Mertens & De Paepe at any time by informing it thereof in writing, without any compensation being payable. In the event of termination all the services provided up to that time must be paid. Mertens & De Paepe shall return the documents in the case file to the client on request or send these to its successor.
 
 The office may terminate the agreement at any time by informing the client thereof in writing. In this regard the office shall take account of the possibility of obtaining the necessary assistance from another lawyer for the client in due time. 

6. Mertens & De Paepe will retain all relevant documents in relation to the case - unless these have been returned earlier to the client - for five years after the case has been closed. After this Mertens & De Paepe will destroy the stored documents, unless explicitly agreed otherwise. 

7.  Our agreement shall be governed exclusively by Belgian law at all times. 

8.  The courts of Ghent, Ghent Division, shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear any disputes.