These general terms of business apply to all assignments undertaken and executed by LIGL advokater AS (LIGL) in accordance with the Letter of Engagement. Unless otherwise agreed, these provisions will apply for repeat assignments performed for the Client.
LIGL is a private limited company with registered business addresses in Stavanger and Oslo. Together with the Lawyer in Charge of Case of Case (cf. item 7), the Company is responsible for the performance of the Assignment (cf. item 4).
The provisions stipulated for the Company in these terms and conditions are equally applicable to the Lawyer in Charge of Case, as far as they are relevant.
3. The Client
In these terms and conditions, "Client" means any party that receives legal assistance from LIGL. In case of requests made on behalf of a legal person, the person who contacts LIGL must verify that she/he has the necessary authority to act on matters pertaining to the Assignment. In such cases, the legal person will be considered the Client.
LIGL will deal with the person who contacted the law firm regarding the case, unless otherwise agreed. If the Client is a legal person, LIGL reserves the right to contact the Client's management concerning the Assignment.
Upon request from a minor, the provisions stipulated in the Assignment Description will apply.
4. When has LIGL accepted an Assignment?
LIGL has accepted an Assignment once LIGL has confirmed it in a written letter of engagement (Letter of Engagement). LIGL and the Client have then accepted the Assignment as of the time stipulated in the Letter of Engagement.
LIGL has the right to request advance payment/payment on account as a condition for accepting the Assignment.
Advance payment may refer to legal fees and/or direct costs. If such payment is requested, LIGL has not accepted the Assignment until the Client has paid.
5. The Assignment
An assignment is comprised of, and limited to, the services described in the Letter of Engagement (the Assignment), supplemented by any agreements made in writing or verbally. In the event of significant changes to the Assignment, the Client will receive an updated Letter of Engagement.
LIGL will only provide assistance in legal matters subject to Norwegian law. Unless otherwise agreed in the Letter of Engagement, our advice does not include tax issues.
LIGL will perform the Assignment within a sound professional, financial and timely framework and pursuant to the Norwegian Act relating to the Courts of Justice, the Regulations for Advocates, the Code Of Conduct for Norwegian Lawyers and general legislation. This is contingent upon the Client providing all the necessary information relating to the Assignment as soon as possible after a request from LIGL.
LIGL has the right to request advance payment/payment on account for fees and direct costs during execution of the Assignment as a condition for following it up. If such payment is requested, follow-up of the Assignment can be stopped until the Client has paid.
6. Identity control
In accordance with the Norwegian Anti-Money Laundering Act and as a general rule, we will obtain a company registration certificate or other identifying documentation before the assignment can be commenced. The Client has a duty to cooperate in the identity control process.
The information will be retained and deleted pursuant to regulatory provisions.
If we receive assignments through other parties than the Client, an ordinary statutory identity control of the Client will take place, unless the party we receive the assignment from itself has a reporting obligation pursuant to applicable legislation, and a written agreement is entered into confirming that the party conveying such an assignment will conduct an identity control of the Client on behalf of LIGL.
Please note that if we suspect that a transaction is associated with proceeds from a criminal act etc., LIGL has a statutory duty to report the matter to ØKOKRIM (the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime), without us being obligated to inform the client or third parties of this.
7. Lawyer in Charge of Case. Use of external assistance from LIGL AS or others
The name of the (Lawyer in Charge of Case) will be stated on the Letter of Engagement. The Assignment will be executed by the Lawyer in Charge of Case him/herself, or by another person in LIGL.
In connection with the Assignment it may be necessary to obtain assistance from LIGL AS or to engage advisers outside LIGL, e.g. auditing or legal assistance in other jurisdictions. LIGL will discuss this with the Client if the situation arises, including who is to be engaged. The Client himself will have the status of client vis-à-vis any advisers external to LIGL, and such external advisers will themselves be responsible to the Client.
8. Use of e-mail and security
Please note that the use of electronic data communication in general poses a significant risk of unauthorised persons gaining access to the communication in certain circumstances. Unless otherwise agreed, we use e-mail for written communication with the Client when sending drafts for outgoing correspondence and other documents. E-mails will be addressed to the person who contacted LIGL, unless otherwise agreed.
If you have special security requirements with respect to specific communication, this must be agreed specifically.
9. Processing of personal data
To the extent necessary for fulfilment of the Assignment, the Client agrees to LIGL processing personal data voluntarily provided by the Client, including sensitive personal data, in accordance with the provisions in the Personal Data Act. LIGL will only share such data with other parties, such as opposing parties, courts of law and public bodies, to the extent that this is necessary to perform the Assignment. The Client may access and request information about the data processed and has the right to request that any incorrect information be corrected.
LIGL will send e-mails to the Client containing invitations to courses, newsletters and other information about LIGL's activities that we believe will be relevant for the Client. The Client can unsubscribe from such e-mails by clicking on a link provided in the e-mail.
LIGL, the Lawyer in Charge of Case and other staff/assistants in the law firm, have a statutory duty of confidentiality regarding the information they receive. Information that is not subject to a duty of confidentiality will be handled with discretion.
If external assistance is used, cf. item 7, the Client will exempt LIGL, the Lawyer in Charge of Case and other employees/assistants from their duty of confidentiality and discretion to the extent it is necessary for the performance of the Assignment, unless the Client provides explicit notification to the contrary. The Client will exempt LIGL, the Lawyer in Charge of Case and other LIGL employees/assistants from their duty of confidentiality and discretion to the extent communication with public authorities or other external parties is necessary for the performance of the Assignment.
The duty of confidentiality and discretion has no time limit.
11. The Client's special duty to report payment issues
The Client has a duty to immediately report any payment problems, or risks of future payment problems, to LIGL so that we may consider if, and if so, on what terms we will continue to carry out the Assignment. Notification of such issues must be emailed to the Lawyer in Charge of Client, cf. Item 18.
12. Conflicts of Interest
If, due to information emerging in the case after LIGL has undertaken the Assignment, a conflict of interest arises concerning LIGL's other clients or associates, LIGL may withdraw from the Assignment, stating only that a conflict of interest has arisen.
13. Fees, costs, value added tax and invoicing. Decisions relating to costs
Our fees are determined on the basis of the nature of the assignment at hand, including its size, complexity, need for specialist expertise, the amounts involved, the results achieved, and time spent. Registration of time spent involves recording the actual time spent working on the Assignment, charged in increments of 0.25 hours.
The hourly rate given for an Assignment can be amended once a year in connection with LIGL's annual price adjustment. The new hourly rate will be stated on the invoice.
Direct costs incurred in connection with the Assignment such as costs relating to fees, expert statements, travel, accommodation, per diems, courier services, major copying expenses, postal deliveries and international telephone calls, will be charged to the Client in addition to the regular fee.
Value added tax is calculated in addition in accordance with the applicable rules. All fees stated to or agreed with other clients than private individuals, are exclusive of value added tax.
Invoices will be issued monthly for fees and direct costs incurred in connection with the Assignment for the relevant period. Invoicing may take place less frequently for smaller amounts and may be more frequent in the case of larger assignments and/or in exceptional circumstances. Direct costs may be invoiced when incurred. Direct costs exceeding NOK 2000 may be invoiced in advance. All invoices must be paid within 10 days.
The invoice must specify how the fees have been calculated. The invoice must also specify direct costs charged. Such specification may be sent as an enclosure, in a cover letter or on the invoice itself.
If invoices are not paid, LIGL has the right to cease all further work for the Client, both the current Assignment and other assignments for the Client. LIGL may also invoke the right of retention of received case documents, files etc.
If invoices are not settled on the due date, LIGL will demand penalty interest pursuant to the Act pertaining to Interest on Delayed Payments. The above will also apply if the Client does not pay interest on overdue payments.
If the Client's litigation costs are reduced in a decision against the opposing party in a court case etc., the Client is still liable to pay the entirety of the fees and direct costs to LIGL.
14. Advance payment/payment on account
Advance payments/payments on account must not exceed what is deemed sufficient to cover fees and direct costs associated with the Assignment. Advance payments/payments on account must be made to LIGL's client account. Upon invoicing, any Client funds in the client account will be set off against the total invoice amount. Upon completion of the Assignment, and after the fees and all direct costs incurred have been paid, any excess funds will immediately be transferred to the Client.
15. Liability for the result achieved. Limitation of liability
LIGL does not guarantee that the performance of the Assignment will lead to the result anticipated by the Client.
LIGL and the Lawyer in Charge of Case are jointly and severally liable to the Client for executing the Assignment in accordance with general rules. If the total fee invoiced to the Client for the Assignment is based solely on the number of working hours, the total liability for LIGL and the Lawyer in Charge of Case is limited to three -3- times the invoiced fee for the individual Assignment. The total liability for LIGL and the Lawyer in Charge of Case is in any case limited to NOK 20 000 000 for each Assignment. LIGL and the Lawyer in Charge of Case are in no circumstances liable for indirect or consequential loss, including loss of earnings, operating or trading loss, loss of goodwill, etc.
LIGL is not liable for any loss of client funds as a result of the bank’s insolvency or other issues. Please note that the Norwegian Banks' Guarantee Fund will only cover a limited amount per depositor per bank – and that, in this connection, LIGL is considered one -1- depositor. LIGL will only take steps to increase the guaranteed amount of Client funds after a special agreement.
LIGL is not responsible for mistakes made by LIGL AS or external advisers that the law firm has referred the Client to, nor for any subcontracted work that the law firm, upon agreement with the Client, has assigned work to in connection with the Assignment.
16. The right to retain written material – intellectual property rights
LIGL will retain all rights, including intellectual property rights, to all written material, unless otherwise agreed in writing. The Client can only make use of such material in connection with the Assignment.
The Client may complain if it is felt that the execution of the Assignment does not satisfy professional or ethical requirements, if the Client does not agree with the calculation of fees or charging of direct costs or is dissatisfied with the way the Assignment has been followed up, or with the treatment the Client has received from LIGL in general. Such complaints should be raised with the Lawyer in Charge of Case.
The Norwegian Bar Association's Disciplinary Committee deals with complaints in cases where a Lawyer in Charge of Case may have acted in breach of the Code Of Conduct for Norwegian Lawyers, or if a lawyer has charged excessive fees. The complaint must as a main rule be submitted within six months of the date the Client knew or ought to have known about the issues the complaint relates to. The Disciplinary Committee has authority to criticise or reprimand the lawyer or issue a warning, and to reduce the fee charged to the Client. The Disciplinary Committee's decision can be appealed to the Disciplinary Board. For more information contact the Norwegian Bar Association's secretariat or visit the Bar Association’s website.
18. Choice of law, legal venue and dispute resolution
Any dispute or disagreements between LIGL and the Client that cannot be solved by contacting the Lawyer in Charge of Case, will be sought resolved by the lawyer who has general responsibility for following up the client relationship (Lawyer in Charge of Client) or the General Manager. The name of the Lawyer in Charge of Client will be stated on the Letter of Engagement.
The Assignment, the Letter of Engagement and the business terms and conditions are subject to Norwegian law. Any disputes relating to the Assignment will be governed by Norwegian law, with Oslo District Court as the exclusive legal venue. However, LIGL reserves the right to bring an action in the Client’s ordinary court of domicile.
19. Changes to the terms of business
LIGL is at any time entitled to change these terms of business with future effect. Changes that are unfavourable for the Client, and that are not caused by a change in the binding regulations, can only take effect after one
- 1 - month’s notice.