AGP Advokater AS' ("AGP") work is governed by the engagement letter and these terms and conditions (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Terms and Conditions"), unless otherwise agreed in writing. The Terms and Conditions are provided to the client together with the engagement letter and considered accepted by the client, unless the client within a reasonable amount of time notifies the attorney in charge that the Terms and Conditions are not accepted.
The Terms and Conditions apply to all engagements for the same client, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
AGP's aim and obligation is to promote the client's interests in the best possible way, within the framework established by the Terms and Conditions, the Norwegian Act Relating to the Courts of Justice, the regulations for attorneys, AGP's internal code of conduct and internal guidelines, as well as other relevant laws and regulations.
All attorneys and associates working at AGP are licensed or authorized to work as attorneys/associates in Norway by the Norwegian Supervisory Council for Legal Practice. All attorneys and associates in AGP are members of the Norwegian Bar Association and thus subject to the Bar Association's requirements relating to obligatory post graduate training and disciplinary actions.
2 The engagement
The engagement will be carried out as agreed, but may be amended as it progresses. The description of the engagement will normally be included in the engagement letter and supplemented by any agreements made in our correspondence with the client.
All engagements are assigned to an attorney in charge at AGP. Such attorney may be assisted by other employees of AGP in work on the engagement.
Unless explicitly agreed in the engagement letter, our work will not involve tax, VAT or accounting issues that may arise or become relevant to the matters comprised by the engagement.
Our advice is provided by attorneys that are formally qualified to provide legal advice on Norwegian law matters and our advice is thus limited to legal issues subject to Norwegian law. Any statements concerning foreign law matters from AGP are therefore only made on the basis of general experience and is not qualified legal advice. We are happy to put our clients in contact with foreign legal experts in our network.
Before an engagement is confirmed, AGP will need to assess whether there is any conflict of interest or other circumstances that may entail that AGP cannot or should not accept the engagement. The client is obliged to contribute in this assessment. The same assessment will be made whenever any new physical or legal person becomes a party to an existing engagement. If it is in the best interest of the client, and doing so is unobjectionable, work on the engagement may begin before the assessment is completed. AGP may, however in such circumstances at a later stage unilaterally resign from the engagement due to conflict of interest.
To be in a position to best promote the client's interests, AGP is dependent on the client providing complete information on the facts and circumstances of the engagement, and the result the client wishes to accomplish, as soon as possible.
All correspondence to and from counterparties shall be discussed with or channeled via AGP. AGP and the client shall keep each other apprised of the communication between involved parties.
The Norwegian Money Laundering Act requires that AGP obtains and controls information about the client's and its owners' and relevant representatives' identities. The client is obliged to assist AGP in these control measures. If AGP does not receive the required information, AGP may be hindered from accepting or continuing the engagement. The client shall, without being asked, provide AGP with updated information if the client understands that the information provided to AGP in the identity control has changed. If AGP suspects that a transaction involves proceeds from a criminal action or similar, AGP is obliged to notify the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, without any obligation to notify the client or third parties.
3 AGP is the client's contract counter party
All engagements are undertaken by AGP, even if the engagement explicitly or presumptively shall be carried out by one or several named persons at AGP. AGP is a limited liability company with reg. no. 923 559 841 and owned by the firm's partners.
The aforementioned does not change the responsibility allocation and liability limitations arising from AGP's appointment of an attorney in charge for each engagement, cf. section 232 of the Norwegian Act Relating to the Courts of Justice.
The partners of the law firm are not jointly liable for any liability incurred by AGP in the course of its legal practice pursuant to the partnership agreement. This also applies if one of the attorneys employed by AGP is jointly and severally liable together with AGP pursuant to section 232 first through fourth paragraph of the Norwegian Act Relating to the Courts of Justice.
The liability of AGP is limited to NOK 20 million per engagement, or the aggregate fees paid to AGP for the engagement in question, if higher.
AGP, its partners and employees are in no circumstances liable for indirect or consequential loss, including operating losses, loss of income, loss of goodwill etc.
Unless otherwise agreed, AGP will normally send a specified invoice in arrears each month. Smaller amounts may be deferred to the following month.
Due date is 14 days from the date of the invoice. The invoice must be paid by the due date at the latest.
If there are questions relating to an invoice, any unobjectionable amounts shall in all circumstances be paid by the due date at the latest.
If due amounts are not paid by the due date, AGP may inter alia demand default interest pursuant to the Norwegian Act relating to Interest on Overdue Payments until payment is made, with the addition of fees and costs relating to costs of collecting payment, abort work on the engagement and/or exercise its right to withhold documents, files etc.
If the client enters into bankruptcy, or debt settlement proceedings, all amounts due to AGP will fall due immediately, regardless of the agreed due date. In the event of bankruptcy, AGP has a right to set off any amount owed to AGP by the client against any client funds deposited on an AGP client account.
5 Fees and costs
AGP's fees are in principle based on the nature, size and complexity of the engagement, as well as time spent. Where fees are calculated based on time spent, AGP's at all times applicable hourly rates are used, unless otherwise agreed. Our hourly rates are included in the engagement letter and will also be provided to you upon request.
We register time spent on the engagement. The minimum time unit is 15 minutes. Travel time necessary for the engagement is invoiced on a time spent basis, unless otherwise agreed.
Costs incurred in connection with an engagement are invoiced explicitly in addition to our fees. Reinvoiced costs may entail that VAT is added to the cost.
Prepayments or on-account payments may be required even if this has not been agreed to in advance. Prepayments are netted against the last invoice for the engagement.
Our hourly rates are adjusted 1 January each year. Additionally, hourly rates for named employees may be adjusted in case such employee's position at AGP changes. New hourly rates will apply as per the date they are made effective. This also applies to on-going engagements.
Any fee estimates are merely estimates of what the engagement in likelihood will incur in terms of fees (exclusive of VAT and costs) and are non-binding. Estimates do not constitute fixed price or fee cap agreements.
VAT will normally be added as per the at all times applicable legislation. Hourly rates and fee information provided to clients that are not private persons, are always exclusive of VAT.
The client is responsible for court fees, costs for expert witnesses and other costs incurred in judicial processes. The client is also responsible for the counterparty's costs if so ruled by the court. Costs will often, but not always, be charged to the party in whose favor the court does not rule.
AGP's claim for its fees paid are not limited by e.g. the client being awarded a smaller amount of its costs paid by the counterparty than the costs actually incurred by the client.
Legal limitations to the client's right to have its costs covered for judicial processes do not limit AGP's claim for fees against the client. Such legal limitations include e.g. cases tried in the Court of Conciliation and as small claims procedures.
6 External coverage of fees
The client's judicial process insurance, property insurance, travel insurance or other insurances may cover costs for legal assistance in certain types of judicial processes, depending on the terms on the insurance agreement. The client shall provide AGP the information necessary in order for AGP to assess the coverage under the insurance agreement. The client is responsible to pay any deductible as well as any part of AGP's fee claim that is not covered by insurance.
7 AGP's liability
AGP is responsible in accordance with general rules concerning the professional responsibilities of lawyers and is covered by the statutory security for the exercise of advocacy, which applies without geographical limitation. AKP's safety locker is WR Berkley (https://www.berkley.com/).
AGP is not liable for indirect or consequential loss, including operating losses, loss of income, loss of goodwill etc.
AGP is not liable for any advice provided, or mistakes made, by advisors AGP has referred any matter to or for any sub-contractors that have carried out any part of the engagement pursuant to agreement with the client.
AGP is not liable for loss incurred if the result of an engagement does not correspond to such potential results envisioned by AGP in advance.
AGP is not liable for loss of client funds in its custody due to the bankruptcy of the bank or other similar circumstances that cause AGP to lose control of and/or access to the funds. AGP would like to expressly notify you that the banks' guarantee fund does not guarantee for any amount above NOK 2 million per customer (law firm) per bank. AGP will only implement measures to increase the level of guarantee for a client upon explicit agreement.
8 Information, PERSONAL INFORMATION and Communication etc.
Attorneys at AGP are prohibited from wrongfully disclosing secrets entrusted to them. Additionally, the attorneys are obligated to treat other information confidentially. There are certain exemptions to the aforementioned obligations as determined by law.
Unless otherwise agreed, AGP's attorneys may share information with other employees of AGP to the extent necessary. AGP's other employees are subject to the same confidentiality obligations as the attorneys.
To the extent necessary for the completion of the engagement, AGP may process personal data, including special categories of personal data if necessary, in accordance with the Norwegian Act relating to Personal Data and other applicable regulations. Other parties, such as counterparties, courts and governmental authorities, will only be given access to personal data to the extent required to complete the engagement. The client has a right to access the personal data and information on the processing of data, as well the right to require inadequate information to be corrected. Personal data can be transferred and provided to AGP's collaborators if necessary to complete the engagement. Such collaborators may reside outside of the EU/EEA.
Unless otherwise agreed with the client, AGP has a right to use the client's name and list our contact person with the client as a reference in the marketing of AGP to bureaus that conduct surveys of legal practices, in connection with tenders or similar. Further, AGP has in its marketing the right to inform about AGP's assistance in already public engagements, including use of the client's logo, provided that AGP does not provide any information that is not publicly known.
The client accepts that AGP uses e-mail in its work on the engagement, also for transmission of confidential information. The client accepts that there always will be a certain security risk when using e-mail. AGP uses external suppliers of IT services, and electronic communication will take place in accordance with the security and encryption solutions used by the suppliers.
AGP is obligated to retain copies of certain documents and information after the conclusion of the engagement. Normally, case documents received or drafted by AGP are retained physically or electronically for 10 years after an engagement is concluded. Originals will in principle only be retained as scanned copies. Following the lapse of the retainment period, documents will be shredded or deleted without any prior warning or notification to the client. If explicitly agreed, the client can receive case documents after an engagement is concluded, both originals (if any) and copies.
If the client is dissatisfied with the work performed on the engagement, or the fee calculation, the client is encouraged to bring this to the attention of the attorney in charge or CEO immediately. AGP will without delay address the complaint.
The Bar Association's disciplinary committee deals with complaints that the lawyer should have acted in violation of the rules of good legal practice or should have demanded too high fees. As a general rule, the complaint must be made within six months of the complainant becoming aware of or should have become aware of the circumstances on which the complaint is based. The disciplinary committees have the expertise to provide criticism, rebuke and warning to the lawyer, and to reduce the fee claim against the client. The disciplinary committee's decision can be appealed to the Disciplinary Board. More information can be provided by contacting the Bar Association's secretariat or on the internet: http://www.advokatenhjelperdeg.no/
10 Use of external advisors
In connection with each engagement, it may become necessary to engage advisors outside of AGP, e.g. auditor assistance or the assistance of lawyers in other jurisdictions. The client will in such circumstances be the principal to such advisors, also if these advisors for practical reasons address their invoices to AGP. Such external advisors are themselves responsible towards the client, and AGP accepts no liability for such advisors or advice based on the advice of such external advisors.
AGP retains copyright to materials (documents, files and other materials protected by copyright) prepared by AGP for the client. As of payment to AGP of its fees, the client acquires a royalty free right to use the materials prepared by AGP as further agreed or intended. If the client wishes to market AGP as its legal advisor or collaborator, the contents of such marketing shall be agreed with AGP in advance. The client is not permitted to use AGP's logo or trademarks without AGP's consent.
12 Client account
Funds in AGP's custody on behalf of the company's clients will be placed on client accounts in accordance with rules applicable to Norwegian law firms.
13 Choice of law, jurisdiction and dispute resolution
In the event clarification of the Terms and Conditions is needed, or in the event of a dispute between AGP and a client relating to an engagement, this should be addressed with the attorney in charge or the CEO.
The Terms and Conditions are governed by Norwegian law. Disputes pertaining to the Terms and Conditions are subject to the jurisdiction of Norwegian Courts with Oslo as exclusive legal venue. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, AGP may choose to file suit at the client's ordinary legal venue.
14 Newsletter and marketing material
The client consents to AGP sending the client newsletters and other marketing material per mail and e-mail. If the client does not wish to receive newsletters and marketing material, the client may opt to not receive this by informing AGP by e-mail as further stipulated in the newsletter or marketing material. Newsletters and other marketing material is not legal advice from AGP to any client and AGP is not liable for any of the contents of such material.
15 Amendment of terms and conditions
The contract terms are normally revised once a year and otherwise when a need arises. Updated version of the assignment terms will be made available on the AGP's website: www.agpadvokater.no. Changes to the disfavor of the client, which are not required due to binding regulations, can only be made after one month's notice. The contract terms have been last modified in January 2020.