- These General Conditions apply to each service that Tiberghien provides to a client, except where agreed otherwise in writing between Tiberghien and the client, in which case these General Conditions will only apply to the extent they do not differ from what has been set out under such an agreement.
- These General Conditions have the force of law in the relationship between Tiberghien and the client and are deemed to be accepted by the client if the client makes no objection within a reasonable period after their receipt.
Acceptance of these General Conditions may be inferred from, amongst other things (and not only), the normal continuation of the provision of Tiberghien’s services without the client raising an objection within a reasonable period.
2. Payment of fees
- Our services are charged at an hourly rate depending on the seniority and experience of the lawyers providing them, the complexity of the matter at hand, the degree of urgency of the case and the results achieved. The first consultation will be billed at the same rate.
- The hourly rates include neither VAT nor secretarial services and other administrative costs incurred by Tiberghien. An additional 7.5% of the fees will be billed to cover these services. Any additional fees, costs and expenses (for example, travel and other disbursements) will be invoiced separately.
- Our fees are subject to 21% VAT.
- Unless expressly determined otherwise, fees must be paid no later than thirty (30) days after the invoice date. Fees billed in advance via provisional fee notes must be paid no later than seven (7) days after the billing date.
- Disputes should be reported to Tiberghien as soon as possible, no later than within 3 weeks of the invoice date, in writing, preferably on firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Late payment
- Payments of fees after the deadlines set out above will attract interest at 7% per annum and will be billed in the Notice of Default sent by Tiberghien to the client. In addition, the client agrees to pay compensation of 15% of the outstanding fees to Tiberghien to cover the extra costs incurred due to the late payment.
4. Professionnal liability
- Tiberghien has professional liability insurance to cover both its professional liability and that of its members of staff when they are acting in the framework of a co-operation agreement with Tiberghien.
- The liability of Tiberghien, its Partners and other members of staff (in connection with the services provided in the framework of co-operation with Tiberghien) towards the client will not exceed the cover limit of Tiberghien's professional liability insurance policy.
5. Anti-money laundering legislation and DAC6 Directive
- The client acknowledges that the services could fall within the scope of the Law of 18 September 2017 on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and on the restriction of the use of cash. Pursuant to these regulations, Tiberghien is obliged to impose client identification and due diligence with respect to the client and their ultimate owner(s). The client shall cooperate in this respect and shall provide, at our request, all the required information, corroborated by the required documentation. If the information changes during the term in which services are provided, the client shall forthwith inform Tiberghien thereof. Tiberghien reserves the right to suspend or stop any and all services if the client does not provide any or insufficient information or when doubts arise with respect to the accuracy of the information provided. The suspension or cessation of services entails no liability whatsoever on the part of Tiberghien and in no sense affects the services already performed and billable.
- The client acknowledges that the services that are cross-border in nature could fall within the scope of the DAC6 Directive, under which, as of 1 July 2020, every person that plays a role in advising on or implementing cross- border arrangements can be obliged to disclose information on the arrangement.
The scope of this reporting obligation under the DAC6 Directive is exceptionally broad and targets all cross-border arrangements with the primary (but thus not the 'sole') goal of saving on taxes. The Directive does not define what is to be understood by an 'arrangement', but just provides a list of 'hallmarks' that could indicate the existence of aggressive tax planning. When an arrangement fulfils one of these hallmarks or if one of them is inherent to it, then that arrangement is reportable. Other scenarios are also included that could lead to arrangements being reportable under this Directive.
This reporting obligation applies to every intermediary that is usually involved in advising on, marketing, organising or implementing an arrangement. That means all consultants, lawyers, financial institutions, civil- law notaries and accountants that play a role in such a cross-border arrangement. An intermediary can however be exempted from this reporting obligation if that intermediary is bound under law by professional privilege (such as lawyers). In that event the reporting obligation shall be shifted to the taxpayer, who shall have to report the legal arrangement. The manner in which this shall be implemented in Belgian law is currently the topic of debate.
While the reporting obligation shall only take effect as of 01 July 2020, it shall be retroactively in force with respect to all arrangements as of the date that the Directive itself took effect, being 25 June 2018.
At present it is not yet sufficiently clear how the reporting obligation under the DAC6 Directive shall be interpreted in concrete and practical terms, and in particular which arrangements will be defined as 'aggressive cross-border tax arrangements'.
The client acknowledges this potential reporting obligation and consents thereto. Should it emerge that Tiberghien may not – within the context of professional privilege – perform the reporting, the client shall perform the steps required. Tiberghien cannot be held liable in either case for fulfilling or not fulling the reporting obligation.
6. Applicable law & jurisdiction
- These General Conditions and the relationship between Tiberghien and the client are governed by Belgian law and, to the extent applicable, by the professional rules of conduct issued by the Dutch and French Bars of Brussels as well as by the Antwerp Bar, the Ghent Bar and the Bar of Hasselt.
- Any dispute arising out of, or in connection with, the relationship between Tiberghien and the client or these General Conditions will be exclusively settled before the courts of the Brussels judicial district and, to the extent applicable, the competent bodies of the Dutch and French Bars of Brussels or as by the Antwerp Bar, the Ghent Bar and the Bar of Hasselt.
Article 1 - Scope
1.1. Present general conditions apply to each performance of Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. to a client, except where agreed otherwise in writing between Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. and the client, in which event present general conditions only apply to the extent they do not differ from what has been stipulated in such agreement.
1.2. Present general conditions have force of law in the relation between Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. and the client and are deemed to be accepted by the client if he has made no objections within a reasonable term upon their receipt. Acceptance of present general conditions may be inferred from amongst other things, however not exclusively, a normal continuation of performances by Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. without opposition of the client within a reasonable term.
Article 2 - Payment of fee notes
2.1. Our services are charged on a hourly basis of which the rate varies according to the experience of our colleague, the complexity of the matter at hand, the degree of urgency of the case and the achieved results. The first consultation will be charged according to the same criteria.
2.2. The hourly rates do not include VAT nor secretarial services and small office costs made by our firm. An additional 7,5% on the fees will be charged to cover those services. Special costs and expenses (such as for example travel and other disbursements) will be invoiced separately.
2.3. Our fees are subject to 17% VAT.
2.4. Unless expressly determined otherwise, fees due by the client for performances shall be paid no later than thirty (30) days following the date mentioned on the Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. statement of fees related to the performances. Advance fee notes shall be paid no later than seven (7) days following the date mentioned on the statement of fees.
Article 3 - Late payment
3.1. In the event of a late payment, an annual default interest of 7% shall be due by the client, after Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. has formally served a notice of default payment of the statement of fees from the client whereby the latter is informed that a default interest shall be charged. Furthermore, in such event a fixed compensation amounting to 15% of the outstanding fees must be paid by the client to compensate the costs caused by the late payment.
Article 4 - Professional liability
4.1. Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. has subscribed a professional liability insurance to cover its possible professional liability, as well as that of its partners, each lawyer, associate or trainee, acting in the framework of a cooperation agreement with Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l.
4.2. The liability of Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. vis-à-vis the client, as well as that of its partners, each lawyer, associate or trainee, in connection with performances in the framework of the cooperation with Tiberghien, shall always be limited to an amount covered by Tiberghien Luxembourgs S.a r.l.'s professional liability insurance.
Article 5 - Applicable law and jurisdiction
5.1. These general conditions and the relation between Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. and the client are governed by Luxembourg law and, to the extent applicable, by and taking into account the professional rules of conduct issued by the Luxembourg Bar.
5.2. Any possible dispute arising out of or in connection with the relation between Tiberghien Luxembourg S.à r.l. and the client or these general conditions shall be exclusively settled before the courts of the Luxembourg judicial district and, to the extent applicable, the competent bodies of the Luxembourg Bar.