General terms of instruction – Law Firm Forsberg DA
These general terms of instruction (hereinafter “the Terms of Instruction”) apply to all instructions that Law Firm Forsberg DA (hereinafter “Law Firm Forsberg”, “we” or “us”) undertakes on behalf of the client (hereinafter “the Client”).
The Terms of Instruction will be made available to the Client by us, normally the first time we are being instructed. The Terms of Instruction shall be considered to be agreed upon by the Client unless the Client as soon as possible after the terms have been made available to him notifies the responsible attorney that they are not accepted. Unless otherwise agree, the Terms of Instruction will apply also to repeated instructions by the Client.
Each instruction will be performed or supervised by a responsible attorney who is certified to practice law in Norway by the Supervisory Council for Legal Practice. Each attorney and assistant attorney who works in Law Firm Forsberg is a member of the Norwegian Bar Association.
We reserve the right to charge a retainer upon being instructed and otherwise during the performance of the instruction.
2. Acceptance of instruction – confirmation of instruction
– responsible attorney
Law Firm Forsberg will send a separate confirmation of instruction to the Client (usually via e-mail) for the first instruction by the Client without undue delay. In the event of repeated instructions by the same client, we may omit sending separate confirmation of instruction confirmation if it appears from e-mail correspondence or other communication that the Client has given the instruction.
When an approach to instruct is made on behalf of a company or another legal person, the approaching individual vouches for having the authority to give an instruction on behalf of the company or the legal person. Law Firm Forsberg will subsequently deal with the individual who gave the instruction, unless we are informed otherwise or it is necessary or appropriate in view of the character of the instruction to deal with one or several other individuals in the organization.
The responsible attorney for the instruction is the attorney who is designated as the responsible attorney in a separate confirmation of instruction or in a letter, e-mail correspondence or other communication with Law Firm Forsberg. Unless otherwise agreed, the responsible attorney can use assistance from other employees in the firm for the performance of the instruction.
Before we undertake an instruction or in the event of accession by new parties to the matter, we will attempt to identify whether or not there is any conflict of interest or other circumstances that prevent us from undertaking the instruction. The Client is obligated to assist in the process. If it is in the best interest of the Client and Law Firm Forsberg does not find it critical, performance of the instruction can be initiated before the conflict identification has been completed. In such cases we may renounce the instruction against settlement of fees and expenses so far. The same applies if Law Firm Forsberg or the Client after an instruction has been undertaken become aware of such circumstances that indicate that Law Firm Forsberg should not undertake the instruction.
Pursuant to the Money Laundering Act we are required to carry out a control of identity of new clients. In the event of suspicion of the existence f transactions that are connected with the proceeds of criminal acts etc., we are required to report the matter to the Norwegian Serious Fraud Office (Økokrim).
In the event of conflict between the Terms of Instruction and terms appearing from a separate confirmation of instruction, the provisions of the separate confirmation of instruction will prevail.
3. Registration, treatment and storage of information
Attorneys and their assistants have a duty of professional secrecy under the Penal Code and the Courts Act in respect of confided secrets and what they otherwise get to know about anyone’s personal affairs or business or operational affairs in connection with performing legal assistance. If necessary for performing the instruction, the responsible attorney or the other employee receiving the information may share it with other employees in the firm.
In connection with the registration and performance of the instruction Law Firm Forsberg will to the extent necessary process personal data, including sensitive personal data, in accordance with the Personal Data Act. When giving the instruction (and any subsequent instructions), the Client agrees to let Law Firm Forsberg process personal data necessary to perform the instruction. The Client has the right to access the information and may demand correction of faulty information.
Electronic data communication (e-mail, fax, etc.) generally suffer from weaknesses which under certain circumstances could involve unauthorized people gaining access to the communication. To the extent that it is necessary for secure communication, certain security measures may be applied (including encryption and censor strips) to prevent unauthorized access to such communication. Unless otherwise agreed or appearing from the confirmation of instruction, the Client accepts that unsecured e-mail may be used in normal communication.
Upon completion of the instruction we will file the documents for at least five years, but usually for 10 years. Copies may be given against a reasonable consideration. Unless otherwise agreed, the documents will be destroyed upon expiry of the filing period.
4. Performance of the instruction
Law Firm Forsberg will promote the Client’s interests by performing the instruction in a professionally justifiable manner, within the framework set by the Terms of Instruction, the Client’s instructions, the Code of Conduct for Lawyers and the attorney legislation in general. Law Firm Forsberg and/or the responsible attorney for the instruction do not guarantee that the performance of the instruction entails the result that the Client expects or wants.
To best promote the Client’s interests, we depend on the Client giving us, as soon as possible after the instruction is given, the best possible information of what the instruction is about and the facts of the matter.
We will clarify with the Client before taking legal action or make any other procedural steps. The same applies to the use of assistance of experts or other third parties. If it is decided to use the assistance of third parties, the Client accepts that Law Firm Forsberg’s employees be exempted from professional secrecy to the extent necessary in relation to such third parties.
Law Firm Forsberg will comply with the instructions the Client provides concerning the performance of the instruction. If the Client’s instructions may result in Law Firm Forsberg or its lawyers acting contrary to the Code of Conduct for Lawyers or if the Client does not wish to follow the advice provided by the responsible attorney concerning the performance of the instruction, we may renounce the instruction against settlement of fees and expenses incurred so far.
All communication to and from the opposing party shall be clarified with or go through Law Firm Forsberg. The Client and Law Firm Forsberg shall keep each other informed about communication that takes place with the parties involved.
5. Calculation of fees, invoicing and liability for costs
Unless otherwise agreed, we will normally invoice monthly for performed work at the beginning of the following month. As the main rule we will invoice for accrued time. At the final stipulation of the fee, however, we reserve the right in exceptional cases to adjust the total fee up or down in relation to accrued time if in our discretion invoicing in accordance with accrued time will not give a correct level. The hourly rate for the responsible attorney will appear from the Confirmation of Instruction for the matter or from the agreed fee for the previous matter if a separate Confirmation of Instruction is not sent for the matter in question. Our other hourly rates will be given upon request.
The minimum unit of time is 0.25 hour (15 minutes). Work of shorter duration than whole quarters will be rounded up to the nearest whole quarter. This includes telephone conversations, unless it concerns brief messages via telephone. In addition to our fee claim, we will invoice the Client for any disbursement which we cover in connection with the performance of the instruction, including charges, experts` statements gathered by us and costs related to travel and food etc.
In connection with lawsuits the Client may be liable wholly or partly be responsible for the legal costs of the opposing party if the Client loses the case. If the Client wins the case, he will as a main rule be entitled to full coverage of his legal costs from the opposing party. When the court awards a winning party coverage of his legal costs in a lawsuit, the court may still limit compensation for legal costs to the amount the court deems reasonable and necessary for the opposing party to cover. Regardless of whether or not the Client is awarded costs from the opposing party, the Client is accountable to Law Firm Forsberg for payment of all assistance aid and all expenses incurred in connection with the instruction.
Statutory limitations in the Client’s right to claim compensation for legal costs from the opposing party do not limit Law Firm Forsberg’s fee claim against the Client. Such limitations shall apply i.a. in cases before the Conciliation Board and in small-claims procedure.
In the event of delayed payment default interest will incur pursuant to the Default Interest Act. If a fee or an expense through an error has is not been charged with value added tax, we reserve the right to issue a post-payment invoice for the VAT.
6. Legal aid
In certain cases the Client may be entitled to free legal advice and /or free litigation from the Government or from insurance companies or through membership in associations etc. The right to free legal aid from the Government follows from the Act relating to Free Legal Aid. Further information about free legal aid can be obtained from us or the county administration. Right to legal assistance from insurance companies or associations etc. follows from the terms governing the legal aid scheme in question.
If the Client is in doubt as to whether he is entitled to legal aid coverage, the Client is encouraged to take the issue of legal aid coverage up with the responsible attorney for a concrete assessment. It is a prerequisite for such an assessment that the Client promptly provides necessary information on his income and property situation and insurance coverage.
The Client himself is responsible for any individual share or difference between Law Firm Forsberg’s claim for fees and disbursements and the amount covered by the legal aid scheme. Law Firm Forsberg is in any event entitled to payment from the Client, regardless of whether or not the Client is entitled to legal aid coverage from others.
7. Intellectual property right
Law Firm Forsberg has copyright to all material prepared in connection with an instruction. The Client can use such material as far as necessary in order to meet the needs that have caused the Client to give the instruction to Law Firm Forsberg. Otherwise, Law Firm Forsberg has exclusive rights to copying, reproduction and distribution of such material, but only to the extent permitted by the rules of professional secrecy for attorneys.
8. Limitation of liability
In the event of liability-inducing errors made by Law Firm Forsberg and /or the individual lawyer which inflict a financial loss on the Client, the liability of Law Firm Forsberg and /or the individual lawyer is limited to NOK 8 million for each occurrence of loss.
Law Firm Forsberg’s attorneys are covered by the statutory provision of security by surety for the performance of legal assistance. Our suretyship provider and insurer is IF Skadeforsikring.
Law Firm Forsberg and its lawyers are in any event not liable for indirect loss, including loss of profits.
9. Complaints and disputes
If the Client is dissatisfied with the performance of the instruction or the calculation of fees, the Client is encouraged to take the matter up with the responsible attorney first. The complaint will then be reviewed with a response to the Client within reasonable time.
If the Client disagrees with the response to the complaint, the Client can file a complaint with the Disciplinary Council for the district of Oslo of the Norwegian Bar Association. The Client may also complain directly to the Disciplinary Council without first having complained to the responsible attorney or Law Firm Forsberg. As a principal rule, a time limit of six months applies for complaints from the time the complainant became or should have become aware of the basis for the complaint. The Disciplinary Council’s decision can be appealed to the publicly appointed Disciplinary Committee. The Code of Conduct for Lawyers and details of the complaints scheme can be found on the Bar Association’s website www.advokatforeningen.no.
Disputes relating to instructions shall be resolved by Norwegian law and may only be brought before Norwegian courts with Oslo District Court as the exclusive legal domicile.
10. Revisions in the Terms of Instruction
The Terms of Instruction will be revised when needed. Changes in disfavour of the Client that are not necessary on account of mandatory legislation, may only be applied upon two weeks’ notice.
Oslo, 17. mars 2017