General terms and conditions
Oslo, 1 April 2020
The following general terms and conditions apply to all assistance provided by us unless otherwise agreed in writing.
Basis for our services
Our advice and assessments are based on the information and documentation we receive from the client. When preparing assessments and advice, we assume that such information and documentation are correct and complete and do not require further verification.
Our advice and assessments are based exclusively on Norwegian law. They reflect our understanding of applicable rules and regulations at the time the advice and assessments are issued, but this does not preclude the tax authorities from taking a different view, or subsequent amendment or divergent interpretation of rules and regulations. Our legal advice does not alter the client’s disclosure duty in connection with reporting to the tax authorities.
The client is liable to pay fees, expenses and disbursements related to the assignment. Unless otherwise agreed, our fees are based on time spent. We also reserve the right to take account of the complexity of the assignment, our specialist expertise, the value of the assignment and the achieved outcome. Our hourly rates are normally adjusted annually. The client will be informed in advance of any material expenses or disbursements.
We normally invoice on a monthly basis, but reserve the right to issue fee invoices in accordance with the progress of the case. Invoices fall due for payment 15 days after the invoice date.
If the client wishes to cancel the assignment, the lawyer in charge of the matter must be notified immediately. Such notification must, wherever possible, be given in writing. Likewise, we will immediately notify the client if we conclude that we cannot continue to work on the assignment. The client will be sent an invoice in respect of fees, expenses and any disbursements incurred prior to receipt of such notification, as well as any subsequently incurred fees, expenses and disbursements which are necessary for orderly conclusion of the assignment.
If the client has insurance which covers legal fees (such as legal, home, property or travel insurance), or is entitled to legal aid under the Legal Aid Act, this will not reduce the sum payable to the firm unless expressly agreed.
Legal disputes – outcome
The outcome of legal disputes is always uncertain. Accordingly, we are not liable if a case outcome differs from what we have stated.
The client is required to pay the fees we invoice on a matter regardless of whether legal costs are awarded, and irrespective of the awarded amount.
Copyright and/or other intellectual property rights arising in connection with work done on behalf of the client, including ideas, methods and “know how”, belong to us.
We use electronic means of communication, and will not use encrypted email unless explicitly agreed otherwise. We are not liable for the risks associated with such communications, including viruses and non-receipt by the addressee due to virus filters or firewalls.
Duty of confidentiality, personal data, storage of materials
We have a duty of confidentiality in our capacity as lawyers. However, the client accepts that we may pass confidential information on to person within the firm, as well as persons engaged by the client, in the course of the assignment.
Money laundering legislation provides that client due diligence, including an identity check, must normally be carried out. The client is obliged to contribute to the conduct of client due diligence.
Further, the client accepts the processing of personal data, including sensitive personal data, in accordance with the Personal Data Act. Such data will typically stem from the establishment of the client relationship, including the identity check and invoicing, and will include data received or obtained in the course of performing specific assignments. This data will only be shared with other parties, such as opposing parties, the courts and public bodies, when doing so is required for performance of the assignment or compliance with statutory duties. The client is entitled to disclosure of and information about the data, and to claim rectification of incorrect data. The controller pursuant to the Personal Data Act is the law firm, represented by its Managing Partner.
We are subject to a statutory requirement to store documents and information for a period of time following completion of an assignment (normally five or 10 years, depending on the type of documentation). Stored documentation is destroyed or deleted after this period of time without further notice.
Our assistance is provided solely to the client, and within the framework of each individual assignment. We are not liable for other use of the advice we give as part of our assistance, or the use of such advice by third parties. The client shall indemnify us in the event of any such use.
Neither the client nor we are entitled to claim damages in respect of indirect losses, including consequential losses, lost income or lost profits.
Any claim by the client against us may only be addressed to Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS and the partner appointed as the lawyer in charge of the matter in question. Such claims may not be brought against other partners or employees of Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS. Further, such claims may not be brought against sub-contractors of Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS unless Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS has excluded liability in accordance with the next paragraph, or otherwise done so in writing.
Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS and the lawyer in charge of the matter are not liable for any loss of client funds due to circumstances under the control of the relevant bank. Further, Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS and the lawyer in charge of the matter are not liable for
errors committed by advisers to whom we have referred the client or sub-contractors to whom we have assigned aspects of assignment execution pursuant to an agreement with the client.
The overall liability of Advokatfirmaet Harboe & Co AS and the lawyer in charge of the matter is limited to the lower of (i) the client’s documented direct net loss or (ii) five times our fee for the part of the assignment to which liability relates. Liability is capped at NOK 10,000,000 in any event.
The law firm’s liability is governed by the general rules on the professional liability of lawyers, and the firm is in compliance with the statutory security requirement applicable to providers of legal services, which applies without geographical limit.
Right of complaint
The Norwegian Code of Conduct for Lawyers and further information on the complaints mechanism are available on www.advokatenhjelperdeg.no, under “Klage på advokat”.
Choice of law and legal venue
Our assistance and these general terms and conditions are governed by Norwegian law. Legal proceedings concerning the assignment, our assistance and/or the general terms and conditions may only be instituted before Oslo District Court.
Oslo, 1 April 2020