Business terms

1. Purpose

The purpose of this agreement is to establish the terms and conditions of work by the Axten Avocats law firm (hereinafter the “Firm”) within the scope of the mission of advice, assistance and/or representation (hereinafter the “Mission”) which is conferred on it by the client, a natural or legal person with capacity for such purpose (hereinafter the “Client”).

This agreement is supplemented, if applicable, by the mission letter prepared by the Firm (hereinafter “Engagement Letter”), all of these documents constituting, subject to their acceptance by the Client, the entire agreement between the Firm and the Client (hereinafter the “Parties”) regarding their purpose (hereinafter the “Agreement”), excluding any other document and, specifically, any general and/or specific conditions of the Client.

2. Mission

The nature, scope and terms and conditions of performance of the Mission are set forth in the Engagement Letter, the Firm remaining free to reject any mission that the Client plans to confer on it, specifically in case of conflict of interests.

The Client agrees to send to the Firm all information and documents necessary to carry out the Mission.

3. Fees
3.1 Détermination

Fees covering the foreseeable services and actions in the scope of the Mission, and the various costs and expenses foreseen, are set forth in the Engagement Letter based on one of the invoicing methods below. If not, fees are invoiced to the Client based on time spent which constitutes the usual invoicing method.

The firm’s fees mean excluding taxes and do not include the costs and expenses referred to in Article 3.6.

3.2. Time spent

Unless otherwise provided, fees are established based on time spent by the various participants and based on the hourly rates in effect when the services and actions concerned are performed:

Participant typeRange of hourly rates (€ excluding taxes)
Legal assistant110-180
Junior lawyer (one to two years’ experience)170-190
Experienced lawyer (three to five years’ experience)210-225
Senior lawyer (more than five years’ experience)230-270
Partner310-390

Upon request, the Firm periodically sends to the Client a statement of the services and actions performed within the scope of the Mission, such statement showing the time actually spent by the various participants concerned.

3.3. Lump Sum

When it considers that the nature and scope of the Mission allows it, the Firm may propose to the Client to invoice the Client on a lump sum basis. In this case, the Engagement Letter states the lump sum amount of the fees, and the scope of the services and actions included and not included in the lump sum.

Unless otherwise provided, all services and actions the necessity, scope or duration of which are not under the exclusive control of the Firm (specifically meetings or telephone conferences organised at the Client’s request and negotiation and expertise stages) are expressly excluded from the lump sum.

All services and actions not included in the package are invoiced in addition to the Client based on time spent.

3.4. Service contract

When the Mission is based on the performance of recurrent services and actions, the Firm may propose that the Client sign a service contract for a periodic term (monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual as applicable).

The Engagement Letter states the lump sum amount of the service contract, including the lump sum hourly volume, the consequences of exceeding it, and the scope of the services and actions included and not included.

3.5. Performance fees

When it considers that the nature of the Mission allows it, the Firm may propose that the Client fix in part its fees based on the result obtained, such fees based on results being determined in the Engagement Letter.

3.6. Cost and expenses

Costs and expenses necessary to perform the Mission are not included in the amount of the Firm’s fees and remain borne exclusively by the Client. These costs and expenses particularly include:

  • All costs specifically borne by the Firm for performing the Mission and which are re-invoiced Euro for Euro to the Client, such as, in particular, postage, travel and clerk of the court’s costs;
  • The fees and compensation of outside participants which are, unless otherwise provided, invoiced directly to the Client by such participants (specifically, solicitors, legal advisers, bailiffs, notaries, experts and translators).
3.7. Invoices and payment of fees

In case of invoicing in arrears, fees are invoiced monthly to the Client, unless otherwise provided in the Engagement Letter. In other cases, fees are invoiced in accordance with the provisions in the Engagement Letter.

When the Engagement Letter provides it, the Firm’s fees are subject to one (or more) request(s) for services in accordance with the provisions of the letter.

All invoices issued by the Firm are payable upon receipt.

In case of late payment:

  • Any professional Client is automatically liable to the Firm, without prior notice, for late penalties in an amount equal to three times the legal interest rate in effect, and the lump sum payment for collection costs of €40 set forth by Article D. 441-5 of the Commercial Code;
  • In every case, the Firm reserves the ability to suspend performance of the Mission, the Firm agreeing, in this case, to inform the Client of any consequences of such suspension.
4. Liability

Within the scope of performance of the Mission, the Firm is obligated to provide means, in strict compliance with regulatory and ethical obligations applicable to the lawyer’s profession.

The Firm’s advice within the scope of performance of the Mission being provided is based on specific facts prevailing at a specific time, thus the Firm cannot be held liable for the application or re-use of such advice in another context, whether it is by the Client or by any third party.

Furthermore, because any legal proceeding is subject, by nature, to a random event, the Firm cannot be held liable for any harmful consequences for the Client of such random event.

5. Application law and disputes

The Contract is governed by French law.

Any dispute relating the Firm’s fees shall be settled, if there is no agreement between the Parties, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 174 et seq. of Decree No. 91-1197 of 27 November 1991 organising the lawyer’s profession.

Version dated 23 January 2019