General Terms and Conditions of Appointment of Kathmann & Gebhard (Office)
(1) These General Terms and Conditions of Appointment apply for the entire business relationship between the Office and the clients, including the following tasks, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
(2) Should the client use general terms and conditions, the contracting parties agree that they will not apply with regards to the advisory services of the Office. These General Terms and Conditions of Appointment therefore also apply if the Office unreservedly performs the service for the client in the knowledge of contradictory terms and conditions, or terms and conditions which differ from these Terms and Conditions, of the client.
2. Contract partner
Unless otherwise agreed explicitly and in writing, the appointment will be issued to the Law Office “Kathmann & Gebhard” in the form of a partnership under civil law (artificial partnership). The issuing of an appointment between the lawyers of the Law Office is subject to the decision and responsibility of lawyers Ralf Kathmann or Robert Gebhard, in accordance with the internal organisation and partitioning of the subject areas. Wishes of the client are hereby considered, but the client has no entitlement to be advised and represented exclusively by a certain lawyer, with the exception of criminal cases and administrative offence proceedings.
3. Origination of the assignment
The assignment becomes effective upon receipt of the declaration of acceptance of the assignment by the client. The Office is also free to reject an offered assignment. The countersigning of a power of attorney, liability limitation agreement, or remuneration agreement by the lawyer is the equivalent of acceptance.
4. Subject matter of the legal advice and representation
(1) The legal advice and representation by the Law Office refers exclusively to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany. There is no obligation to provide tax advice. Should the legal matter concern foreign law, the Law Office will inform the client. The client must arrange the review, by a competent third party, of tax effects of civil law arrangements itself.
(2) If the Law Office is tasked to involve an expert third party in order to work on an assignment, the resulting costs will be agreed in advance with the client.
5. Remuneration, assignment
(1) The applicable lawyer fees are calculated based on the object value and the regulations of the Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz (RVG – Act on the Remuneration of Lawyers – http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/rvg/) in the respective valid version, unless a different written remuneration agreement in accordance with § 4 RVG has been entered into. Unless otherwise agreed, the Law Office will be entitled to the reimbursement of expenses and the statutory value-added tax, in addition to the remuneration claim.
(2) In employment law disputes, there is no entitlement to the reimbursement of lawyer fees or other costs in the case of extrajudicial representation and in the first instance. In such proceedings, each party will bear its own costs. The same applies in principle for costs in voluntary jurisdiction proceedings.
(3) The Law Office is entitled, when an assignment is issued, to request a suitable advance payment equivalent to the expected remuneration and expenses, and to make the commencement or continuation of activity dependent on the payment of the advance amount. This also applies if a remuneration agreement exists or if there is an entitlement to the reimbursement of costs from a legal protection insurance policy, the opposing party, or third parties.
(4) All remuneration owed will be due upon invoicing, payable immediately with no deductions.
6. Liability and liability limitation
(1) The liability of the Law Office for the reimbursement of damages caused by simple negligence is limited, by a separate liability limitation agreement, to four times the minimum insured sum in accordance with BRAO, currently limited to EUR 1,000,000.00.
(2) All lawyers at the Law Office currently have a liability insurance policy covering more than the statutory minimum insured sum of EUR 250,000.00, depending on the insurance claim covering up to EUR 1,000,000.00 with a maximum of two insurance claims per year.
(3) Should it be possible that further risks exist, the Law Office recommends taking out an additional insurance policy beyond the above-mentioned maximum amount. At the request of the client, the Office can also ask its insurance provider to draft a quote.
7. Legal assessment
The Law Office is obliged to carry out meticulous contract management. It will inform its clients appropriately to the respectively requested extent about the course of its work.
(1) The lawyers of the Law Office are professionally and legally obliged to maintain confidentiality. This obligation relates to everything that they are entrusted with by the client or which otherwise becomes known to them as part of the assignment. In this respect, the lawyers have a right to refuse to give evidence. This confidentiality obligation will continue to exist after the end of the client-lawyer relationship. The same applies for all employees of the Law Office.
(2) The lawyer may only inform third parties, especially authorities, about the existence of an assignment and anything to do with the assignment, if the client has released him/her from his/her non-disclosure obligation beforehand. The lawyers of the Law Office are released from their confidentiality obligation if they are obliged to cooperate and provide information accordingly pursuant to the terms and conditions of insurance of their liability insurance policy covering financial damage.
9. Safeguarding of funds
The objective of the Law Office is to not receive funds on behalf of the clients, but to always arrange payments to the accounts of the clients. Should this be unavoidable, funds received on behalf of the client will be safeguarded in an escrow account (giro account), the client will be informed about the receipt of the funds, and the funds will be paid at the written request of the client to the place specified by the client. Any fees incurred for the safeguarding and forwarding of the funds may be deducted from the amount paid out.
10. Data privacy
The data privacy information provided at www.wireka.de/en/legal-notice/ applies.
11. Cooperation obligations of the client
(1) The client will inform the Law Office about all circumstances related to the client assignment fully and truthfully, and send to the Law Office all documents and information related to the assignment, in an orderly manner, and without being requested to do so. For the duration of the assignment, the client will only contact courts, authorities, opposing parties or other involved parties in coordination with the lawyer.
(2) The client will inform the Law Office immediately of changes to its address, telephone or fax number, email address, other contact details, and longer-term absences or other circumstances resulting in the client being temporarily unreachable.
(3) Consequently, the client will immediately and carefully check any correspondence or legal documents it receives from the Law Office to make sure the information about the situation is truthful and complete. The client will immediately inform the Law Office about any mistakes.
(4) The client is not entitled to forward any work results of the Office, especially contracts, contract templates, reports etc. to third parties without the prior written permission of the Law Office.
12. Legal protection insurance cover
(1) Extrajudicial correspondence with the client’s insurance provider which provides cover against legal protection costs in principle represents an independent matter for the client, which will incur costs not covered by the legal protection insurance policy. Activities conducted with the legal protection insurance provider, in particular obtaining coverage enquiries, may therefore be charged separately.
(2) Should the Law Office also be tasked with conducting correspondence with the legal protection insurance provider, the Law Office will be explicitly released from its confidentiality obligation in relation to the legal protection insurance policy. In this case, the client will ensure that the insurance policy contract will continue to exist with the legal protection insurance provider, there are no outstanding contributions, and no other lawyers are or were tasked with the same matter.
13. Informing the client via fax and email
(1) Should the client provide the Law Office with a fax connection, it revocably consents, at any time, to the Office sending it assignment-related information via this fax connection. The client will ensure that only it or persons appointed by it have access to the fax device, and that incoming faxes are regularly checked. The client is obliged to inform the Law Office if there are any constraints.
(2) Should the client provide the Law Office with an email address, it revocably consents, at any time, to the Office sending it assignment-related information via this email address. Paragraph 1 also applies accordingly. The client is aware that no confidentiality is guaranteed with unencrypted emails. Should the client wish to take part in a signature and encryption process offered and recommended by the Law Office, it will inform the Law Office in writing.
14. Termination of the assignment
(1) The assignment will end upon the achievement or ultimate failure of the agreed objective, without termination being required.
(2) The client may terminate the assignment at any time. The assignment may also be terminated by the Law Office, but not at an inopportune moment. This does not apply if the relationship of trust necessary to work on the assignment is disturbed in a lasting manner, and continuation of the assignment is therefore unreasonable to the Law Office. The right to extraordinary termination for cause is hereby not affected.
(3) In the case of termination, the Law Office is entitled to remuneration for the services provided until that point in time.
(4) If the Law Office is not tasked separately with the enforcement of a title, the client must monitor the statute of limitation on its claims itself.
15. Extrajudicial dispute resolution procedures
The competent consumer arbitration body is the Schlichtungsstelle der Rechtsanwaltschaft (mediation board for attorneys) of the Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer (Federal Chamber of Lawyers), Littenstraße 9, 10179 Berlin (http://www.brak.de). The Law Office is not obliged to take part in a dispute resolution procedure and is only prepared to do so on a case-by-case basis, upon prior consultation.
16. File storage and destruction
(1) The copies of its own letters, and documents of clients, authorities, courts and other third parties, made by the Law Office for its files, remain the property of the Office. This also applies for multiple copies. The client will receive the original of any correspondence that the Law Office received from third parties.
(2) Original letters and documents that the Law Office receives on behalf of the client, original documents which the client has left with the Law Office but not with the intention for them to remain there, and writs of execution, will be forwarded to the client after the end of the assignment at the latest. The Law Office will endeavour to return original documents of the client, immediately after the production of copies for the files of the Law Office.
(3) After the end of the client assignment, the Law Office is entitled to destroy its paper files.
17. Final provisions
(1) The legal invalidity of a provision will not affect the legal validity of the other parts of the contract. The contracting parties will be obliged to replace an invalid provision with an effective provision that comes as close as possible to the economic outcome, and that corresponds the best to the purpose of the contract.
(2) Deviations from the Terms and Conditions of Assignment require written confirmation in order to be effective. This also applies for waivers of the written form requirement.
18. Place of performance and jurisdiction
(1) The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies.
(2) To the extent legally permitted, the exclusive place of performance and jurisdiction for all claims resulting from the client relationship between the client and the Office is Karlsruhe.