General terms and conditions of Vernia Advokatbyrå
The general terms and conditions apply to all services provided by Vernia Advokatbyrå and apply equally to all clients.
1.1 About the terms and conditions
The general terms and conditions apply to all services provided by Vernia Advokatbyrå and apply equally to all clients. Should the terms and conditions change, such changes shall apply only to assignments that begin after the change is published on Vernia Advokatbyrå’s website. The terms and conditions shall begin to apply when the customer signs a power of attorney or assignment confirmation. In addition to its general terms and conditions, Vernia Advokatbyrå follows the guidelines on good legal practice of the Swedish Bar Association.
For some types of assignment, the client must provide identification in order for us to be able to undertake and perform the assignment. We need personal data and contact details before we can commence an assignment. We never disclose personal data to any third party without the consent of the client. On our website, you will find our policy on the processing of personal data.
3.1 Acceptance of assignments
Each case is handled by the lawyer engaged by the client. This lawyer is responsible for the case. With the consent of the client, a case can be transferred to another lawyer at the law firm. If there are several lawyers working on the same case, the lead lawyer shall have contact with the client.
Contracts for assignments are entered into between the client and Vernia Advokatbyrå AB. The lead lawyer handles the case and is responsible for contact with the client. The lead lawyer works in accordance with our general terms and conditions and follows the guidelines on good legal practice. The law firm is the contracting party and is responsible for the client.
We are not obliged to undertake assignments and we do not need to give a reason, but we must make it clear to the client that we have not accepted an assignment.
3.2 Termination of assignments
The Client is entitled to cancel the assignment at any time without needing to provide a reason for doing so. If the client wishes to end the assignment, they must provide written notification of the revocation of power of attorney.
The lawyer may withdraw from an assignment in those situations specified in the guidelines on good legal practice of the Swedish Bar Association. The client shall be given the opportunity to rectify the matter before the lawyer withdraws from the assignment.
4.1 General payment information
When the assignment begins, the lead lawyer shall clarify the payment terms for the assignment. We will provide a fee estimate at the request of the client. For certain types of assignment we can agree a predefined budget, fixed price for the assignment or other fee arrangement. We do not undertake assignments that involve payment as a percentage of the outcome in a dispute. Payment is accepted only in the form of money and by ordinary means of payment. We cannot accept payment form anyone other than the client.
Unless specifically agreed otherwise, we charge per hour worked. The hourly rate may vary depending on the nature and complexity of the assignment. Remuneration shall be reasonable, in accordance with the guidelines on good legal practice.
The client shall usually pay an advance before the assignment begins. This amount shall be determined by the lead lawyer. The advance is held separately from the law firm’s funds in a special client account. The advance paid belongs to the client. The lead lawyer may raise funds as compensation for fees and expenses by issuing an invoice to the client. The client is entitled to receive, on request, information about the balance of the client account. If there is a surplus on the client account when a case is concluded, this shall be refunded to the client immediately.
In addition to the fee, the client may be charged travel expenses and other expenses. Usually, limited costs are charged in arrears. At the request of the lawyer, expenses may be invoiced in advance or by forwarding the invoice for the expense to the client for payment. Vernia Advokatbyrå may not charge the client for fees paid to an expert or to another lawyer unless this is made clear to the client in advance.
In ongoing cases, the client may be partially invoiced for work completed, earned legal aid contribution and earned legal aid fee as agreed with the lead lawyer.
If payment is not made as contractually agreed with the lawyer, the latter is entitled to suspend work until such payment has been received. If payment is not made following a reminder, the lawyer shall be entitled to withdraw from the assignment.
4.3 Payment terms
Once an assignment is completed, a final invoice will be sent. This must be paid within 30 days of its date of issue. If payment is not made, a reminder will be sent. If the amount remains unpaid 15 days after the reminder, the claim shall be passed to debt recovery.
An agreement may be reached with the lead lawyer on the payment of the final bill of costs in instalments. Such agreement shall be confirmed by E-mail. The client will not receive a separate invoice for this and partial payment shall be made in accordance with the agreement until the amount is settled. If a partial payment is not made, the entire outstanding debt shall become due for payment immediately.
On final invoicing, the client has the right to request a work report from the lead lawyer.
4.4 Legal expenses cover
In some cases, compensation for legal costs may be partially covered by legal expenses cover under a home insurance or business insurance policy. The client must inform the lead lawyer if there is an insurance policy that can be used. In such cases, the lawyer has a duty to examine whether the legal expenses insurance applies to the case.
If there is valid legal expenses cover, the client shall be issued an invoice, with a copy to the insurance company at the same time. Remuneration shall be paid to Vernia Advokatbyrå by the insurance company. The difference between what is paid by the insurance company and what is invoiced shall be paid by the client, following a request for payment being sent to the latter.
4.5 Legal aid
If the client has no legal expenses cover and has an annual income of less than SEK 260,000, part of the legal fee may be covered by legal aid. The lawyer sends a bill of costs and is paid by the legal aid authority. The client pays a legal aid fee determined on the basis of their income. The legal aid fee shall be paid following a request for payment being sent to the client.
5.1 Liability for errors
The advice shall be adapted to the assignment and given on the basis of the information provided to the lawyer. We are liable for damages resulting from incorrect or negligent advice provided in the assignment.
Vernia Advokatbyrå is not liable for advice that is used for any situation or for any purpose other than those for which it was provided. We are not liable for damages suffered by a third party as a result of the advice. The advice relates only to Swedish law.
We are not liable for advice provided by other advisers and professionals engaged for the assignment. This applies irrespective of whether these report to the client or to us.
5.2 Limitation of liability
Our liability for damages resulting from incorrect or negligent advice is limited to SEK 3 million. Our liability shall be reduced by any amount that can be recovered under any other insurance arranged for the client.
We are not liable for damages caused by circumstances beyond our control and which we could not reasonably have foreseen when the assignment was accepted.
Vernia Advokatbyrå shall have no liability for damages resulting from the suspension of the assignment due to circumstances attributable to the client or due to obligations under the guidelines on good legal practice.
If a lawyer leaves Vernia Advokatbyrå and the client leaves with the lawyer, we are not liable for incorrect or negligent advice that has been provided after the lawyer’s employment with us has terminated.
Claims for compensation on the grounds of incorrect or negligent advice shall be submitted to the lead lawyer within three months of the error being discovered.
Vernia Advokatbyrå holds liability insurance appropriate for the business.
Unless agreed otherwise, written communication between the client and the lead lawyer shall take place by E-mail. If the client wishes communication to take place in any other way, the client shall inform the lead lawyer accordingly. Important E-mails shall be followed up with a telephone call.
7.1 Intellectual property rights
Vernia Advokatbyrå owns the copyright and other intellectual property rights to the results produced in an assignment. The client has the unrestricted right to use the result of the work for the purposes for which it was developed.
8.1 Handling of materials and documents
Vernia Advokatbyrå is responsible for all documents we receive during the assignment. Documents and information provided to us are subject to confidentiality in accordance with the guidelines on good legal practice. Confidentiality shall continue to apply after the assignment has been completed. We archive documents or return them to the client on completion of an assignment. We may retain documents for our own files. The client is always entitled to receive copies of its documents. If the material is extensive, a copying fee may be charged in some cases.
9.1 Applicable law and forum for dispute resolution
All disputes arising in connection with the assignment shall be governed by Swedish law.
In all cases, an attempt shall be made to reach an agreement with the client before any other action is taken.
Disputes arising from an assignment or in connection with our general terms and conditions shall be finally settled through arbitration in accordance with the rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The seat of arbitration shall be Stockholm.
Notwithstanding the above, Vernia Advokatbyrå shall always be entitled to apply for an order to pay, to apply for execution and to initiate proceedings for overdue claims at a general court.
9.2 Consumer disputes
If the client is a consumer and the value of the dispute exceeds SEK 1,000 and is less than SEK 200,000, the client is entitled to have the dispute examined by the Swedish Bar Association’s Consumer Disputes Committee.
You can read more about the Swedish Bar Association’s Consumer Disputes Committee here.
You can read more about the guidelines on good legal practice here.