The following rules are applicable when Portico’s services are enlisted. These rules are transparent and purport to increase the quality of our services.
Services – Portico provides its services to the best of its abilities. Unless explicitly agreed otherwise in writing, Portico will not commence its services until the cost and fee advance have been fully defrayed.
Response delays – Portico takes is due diligence and communication duties seriously, and will respond to client questions within a reasonable term, in accordance with the customs that characterize the legal profession.
Liability and Insurance
- Portico is a limited liability company (see above). Each of its partners is and will remain covered by a professional liability insurance. The particular terms and conditions at made available to clients at first request. Portico’s liability is limited up to the coverage amount (1st and 2nd rank). Any damages beyond that amount cannot be claimed (2.500.000 Eur, in first rank ; 2.500.000 Eur, in second rank).
- Advances – In principle, each opened dossier gives rise to an advance, which is payable before any service is provided.
- Attorney fees – Without prejudice to any specific agreement to the contrary, the fees are calculated in terms of the time spent on any dossier, in accordance with the hourly rate agreed upon before services are initiated, or determined at the first invoicing.
- Costs – Internal costs (such as copies, mail, …) and external costs (such as costs pertaining to summons, the court registry, legal experts, replacements at a local bar, travel costs and accommodation expenses, special deliveries, technical counsel, …) are invoiced at the real cost. Costs for travel by car are invoiced at a rate per kilometer.
- Invoicing – Fees and costs are charged through an invoice, accompanied by a detail of services and costs. The amount is increased by the VAT tariff as applicable on the date when the invoice is issued. The invoice is payable within 30 days after the date of sending. Invoices are sent electronically, unless a hard copy version is explicitly requested.
- Overdues – Each overdue payment gives us the right to suspend the provision of our services, until full payment has been received. Each unpaid invoice automatically gives rise to conventional interest, discounted at 12% per annum.
- Closing – When the dossier or dossiers in which advances have been paid are closed, the advance will be used for the (partial) clearance of outstanding fees and costs and, if applicable, to the payment of unpaid invoices. The client will be reimbursed should a positive balance remain.
- Applicable law - Portico-client relationships are exclusively governed by applicable Belgian law.
- Unpaid invoices – Each invoice that has not been formally disputed within 30 days, which can exclusively occur in writing and elaborating in depth the reasons for such dispute, are deemed to be accepted.
Should an invoice be disputed in time, an attempt is undertaken to settle the issue either with OCA, other instances provided for by the Bar, or in front of the competent judge.
With respect to any suit lodged, pertaining to fees and costs charged by Portico, the Dutch speaking Brussels courts will exclusively have jurisdiction.