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Assignment Conditions

General Assignment Conditions

Last revised: 23.09.2014

1. Introduction

Advokatfirmaet Helland Ingebrigtsen’s objective is to protect the client’s interests in the best possible way.

In order to ensure this, all assignments are carried out in accordance with the Code of Ethics for Lawyers, and the Norwegian Bar Association’s guidance. The Code of Ethics for Lawyers is included in the Regulation pertaining to Lawyers, passed by Royal Resolution of 8 March 2002.

2. General and Special Assignment Conditions

These General Assignment Conditions apply if nothing else is agreed in the individual case. In addition to these General Assignment Conditions, Special Assignment Conditions shall be drawn up which will take precedence over the General.

3. Establishment of the assignment

Before any assignment is established, investigations will be carried out to find out if there are any conflicts of interest, or other circumstances present that indicate that we cannot, or should not, undertake the assignment. If there are, or such circumstances were to arise during the progress of the case, please be advised that it may be necessary for us to refuse / withdraw from the assignment.

Please also be advised that the Act relating to money laundering orders us to undertake identification controls of the clients.

4. Performance of the assignment

All assignments are entered into with a named advocate who is responsible for the case.

The advocate in question will ensure that the work is performed in the best manner in which to serve the client. The advocate is free to delegate the work in whole or in part to another advocate or trainee advocate.

5. Finalisation of the assignment

It is an assumption that the advocate shall work with the assignment until it is completed. The client can terminate the assignment at any time. The Advocate can withdraw from the assignment if the client is not willing to follow the Advocate’s advice, if the client does not pay the amounts that are required to cover the fee, advance or outlays, or if there otherwise arises such situation that the Advocate, pursuant to the rules in the Code of Ethics is entitled to withdraw from the assignment.

6. Fee

Our fee is calculated in accordance with the Norwegian Bar Association’s guidelines, and is based on factors such as the complexity of the assignment, intensity, degree of difficulty, values involved, time spent, and the result that was achieved.

Most of our assignments will be settled mainly based on time spent, calculated on the basis of each quarter that is started.

For assignments that are invoiced according to time spent, we have the following recommended hourly rates:

 Excl. VATIncl. VAT
Advocate 1 700 - 3 500 2 125 - 4 375
Trainee Advocate 1 200 - 2 500 1 500 - 3 125

There are separate rates for cases which are paid from public funds.

General adjustments of our hourly rates can be undertaken without notice.

If an estimate has been provided of Advocate expenses and outlays for the case, it is emphasised that this is only intended to be a recommendation. In some cases, advance payment will be requested.

The client will also be invoiced for the outlays the Advocate has had. Value added tax can be charged on outlays.

We are entitled to set off our fee and our outlays against any contents of the client bank account.

7. Invoicing and payment

The client will normally receive an invoice every second month, but more frequent and less frequent invoicing can take place.

The client can request a specification of the basis for each invoice.

8. Legal Aid

In certain types of cases, the client will be entitled to legal aid, i.e. legal assistance provided by an advocate paid from public funds on the basis of certain fixed rates. This is regardless of the clients income of economic status.

In other cases the client may be entitled to free legal aid, provided that the client's income is less than the limit set in the Law of Free Legal Aid. The maximum income is for the time being NOK 246.000 pre Year for single people, and NOK 369.000 for spouses or others living together with a joint economy. The wealth limit is NOK 100.000.

If the client is of the opinion that he or she is entitled to legal aid, clarification of this must be done quickly, since we only accept legal aid cases pursuant to special agreement.

The County Governor will also be able to give further information regarding the entitlements to legal aid, individual share, etc.

9. Legal protection insurance

In some cases the client will be able to claim parts of his or her advocate fees paid under his or her legal protection insurance. Introductorily we will seek to clarify whether such insurance is applicable.

Including when the client is entitled to such legal aid, our work will be settled according to the general fee calculation principles contained in the General or Special Conditions which are applicable to the assignment.

The client is therefore fully responsible for our fee, and our claim is not limited to the amount that the insurance company finds it can cover.

10. Case follow-up

The Advocate will keep the client informed on a continuous basis regarding the development of the case and will routinely send the client copies of outgoing and incoming correspondence in the case. Usually the client will also be informed of important telephone conversations.

All enquiries to and from the other party shall take place via us, and the client must inform us immediately of any direct enquiries to and from the other party or the other party’s advocate.

11. Case result, case costs

Even though we have indicated our opinion of a case, it does not mean that we have accepted the liability for the achievement of the result. If a court case is lost, the losing party can risk being ordered to pay the other party’s case costs in whole or in part.

If a court case ends with the other party being ordered to pay case costs, but the amount is set lower than the fee we have claimed / will claim from the client, the client will be liable to the responsible advocate for the excess amount.

12. Confidentiality

Unless something else is stated in an Act or Regulation with the statutory basis in an Act, the Advocate and all employees at the office are subject to confidentiality.

13. Complaints

If the client has objections to the fee which has been claimed, or is otherwise dissatisfied with the work that has been carried out, the case can be brought before the Disciplinary Committee of the Norwegian Bar Association. Such complaint must be submitted within 6 months.

The rules in the Code of Ethics and further information regarding the complaints procedure can be found on the home pages of the Norwegian Bar Association: www.jus.no

14. Liability insurance

We have insurance guarantees and a liability insurance which covers any liability we may incur.

Under no circumstances is the responsible Advocate liable for loss exceeding NOK 2 mill., cf. also Section 2.5, subsection five, of the Regulation relating to lawyers. Under no circumstances is the responsible Advocate liable for indirect or unforeseen losses.

15. Amendments

These conditions are subject to continuous evaluation and may be changed without notice.