Conditions générales

The French version prevails.

1. Object

1.1 The contract that binds the client (hereinafter referred to as “the principal”) is a mandate contract. The contract is concluded between the principal and an individual (hereinafter referred to as “the agent”) alternatively and individually among Eigenmann Avocats SA, Me Cotti, Me Chapus-Rapin, Me Beuchat, and Me Monnard Séchaud (hereinafter referred to as “the Agent”), exceptionally with an independent collaborator, and not with Eigenmann Associés as such, which has no legal personality, or with all the partners. However, the partner may be replaced under his own responsibility.

1.2 The General Terms and Conditions apply to each mandate concluded with the respective Agent and to any extension of the initial mandate or additional mandate, unless expressly agreed otherwise.

2. Agent’s Obligations

2.1 The agent undertakes to carry out his activity with care and diligence. The mandate is a best-effort contract; the agent does not guarantee the occurrence of a specific result, particularly the outcome of a legal procedure.

2.2 The agent undertakes to regularly inform the principal of the progress of the mandate and the various steps taken.

2.3 The agent is entitled to collect all payments related to the execution of the mandate. The agent undertakes to deposit the funds received on behalf of the principal into a client funds account, i.e., an account for the funds of all the agent’s clients.

2.4 The principal’s funds do not accrue interest. Any potential negative interest is borne by the principal.

2.5 The agent hands over to the principal the amounts received on his behalf upon request, excepted in cases where the agent is entitled to offset them against his fees, expenses, or other charges plus VAT.

2.6 After a period of ten years from the sending of his final fee note, the agent is entitled to destroy the principal’s documents in his files.

2.7 The agent undertakes to process the principal’s personal data in accordance with the data protection declaration accessible at the following link (the French version prevails): Déclaration de protection des données

3. Principal’s Obligations

3.1 The principal undertakes to provide the agent, initially and in case of subsequent changes, with his domicile address and all contact details (email address, phone number, etc.).

3.2 The principal will inform the agent of any questions regarding the progress of the mandate and of any potential dissatisfaction. In case of uncertainty, the principal will spontaneously request explanations from the agent.

3.3 When his approval is required, the principal undertakes to answers to message as quickly as possible. The principal is aware that the agent depends on his promptness.

3.4 In the event that the principal cannot be reached, and urgent intervention is required, the agent is hereby authorized to act without instructions in the manner he deems most appropriate to protect the principal’s interests, provided that the agent is financially covered for both expenses and fees.

3.5 The principal undertakes to provide the agent with all documents useful for the completion of the mandate and to disclose all information necessary to the agent’s activity. The principal is aware and acknowledges that the agent depends on timely information and documents provided by the principal and undertakes to communicate truthful information and documents.

3.6 The principal, insured under legal protection insurance, informs the agent and authorizes him to provide the insurance with oral or written information about the mandate. For this purpose, the principal waives the professional secrecy of the agent’s and his employees.

4. Remote communications methods

4.1 The principal and the agent have agreed to use the following main remote communication methods: telephone calls, postal mail, and electronic communication means, particularly faxes and emails.

4.2 The principal is aware of the risks associated with remote communications methods, especially electronically, namely the possibility that an unauthorized third party may access the data, misuse it, or that the transfer may be defective. Nevertheless, the principal wishes to prioritize this mode of communication without defining an encryption procedure. The principal explicitly authorizes the agent to use unencrypted data, fully aware of the risks.

4.3 The principal has been informed that such messages may be lost, modified, or falsified, with or without the intervention of a third party. Ordinary emails are not protected against third-party access, and consequently, their confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The agent cannot be held responsible for the completeness of communications and will not grant any compensation for any damages resulting from such circumstances. The principal is aware that messages may end up in the spam filter. In case of emergency, the principal undertakes to use other means of communication to contact the agent.

4.4 If, despite the measures taken, a virus or another intrusion were to penetrate the principal’s operating system through an email from the agent, the agent disclaims any responsibility for potential damages resulting from it.

5. File keeping

5.1 The agent is free to decide of the manner he keeps the principal’s file. The agent may create computerized files accessible to all his employees.

5.2 The principal is solely responsible for keeping the original documents or copies that have been given to him. Once these documents are handed over, the principal cannot demand their surrender, keeping, or archiving. The originals of the documents are photocopied and returned to the principal. The principal retains them and is aware that judicial authorities may request to inspect the originals at any time.

5.3 The principal has been informed that the maintenance and operation of the agent’s computer systems are outsourced, and he gives his consent to this.

6. Fees and expenses

6.1 The principal undertakes to reimburse all expenses advanced by the agent and to pay his fees and expenses.

6.2 Fees are determined based on the circumstances of the specific case, the difficulty and importance of the matter, the principal’s interest, the lawyer’s experience, practices, urgency, and the outcome of the procedure. If circumstances change, particularly on the first of January of each year, the fees and expenses may be adjusted by the agent.

6.3 Upon opening any new file, the agent is entitled to a CHF 100 fee for opening the file.

6.4 The agent may issue interim fee notes on his own initiative or upon request. Interim fee notes and final fee notes are due within 10 days from the date of the invoice.

6.5 Invoices include fees, expenses, and other amounts paid by the agent in the course of his mandate, plus VAT at the applicable legal rate.

6.6 Travel time is counted as working time, increased by the actual cost of the means of transport used.

6.7 Accommodation costs incurred in the execution of the mandate are borne by the principal.

6.8 Other expenses are fixed at 5% of the fee note.

6.9 The principal expressly releases the agent from professional secrecy in the event of non-payment or partial payment of an interim or final fee note to the extent necessary for the recovery of his claim, especially vis-à-vis the debt enforcement office or the competent authority.

7. Judicial or Administrative fees

7.1 Judicial or administrative fees are the responsibility of the principal and are not advanced by the agent. The principal assumes full responsibility and has been informed of the consequences of late payment or non-payment. If, by exception, the agent agrees to make this payment, he is entitled to claim reimbursement.

8. Claims against the Principal

8.1 The agent is entitled to offset any claims he holds against the principal (such as a final or interim fee note) with the values or assets he has received from the principal or on behalf of the principal.

9. Retainer

9.1 The principal undertakes to pay the agent all retainers for the execution of the mandate. Retainers do not accrue interest. Retainers are due within 10 days from the date of the invoice. The principal is advised that the reainers may remain in the hands of the agent until the end of the mandate; the retainer will be deducted from the final fee note.

10. Legal Aid

10.1 The principal acknowledges being informed of the possibilities of seeking legal aid.

10.2 If the principal benefits from legal aid, he nevertheless undertakes to pay the fees and expenses usually charged by the agent for all actions taken before he qualifies for legal aid.

10.3 The agent is entitled to claim from the principal the amount corresponding to the fees and expenses usually charged by the agent if the principal becomes solvent during or at the end of the legal proceedings.

10.4 The agent is entitled to collect all costs. When costs awarded by the judge are lower than the fees provided, the agent is entitled to demand the difference, subject to the mandatory provisions of legal aid.

11. Liability

11.1 The agent has an obligation of means, not of result.

11.2 Liability is excluded in the case of slight negligence. In the case of gross negligence, it is limited to the double of the amounts of fees received by the agent for the specific case but not exceeding CHF 2,000,000.

11.3 When the agent is Eigenmann avocats SA, no lawyer, administrator, director, or employee of the agent can be held responsible for any loss or damage in connection with the execution of the mandate. The principal expressly waives the right to take action against any lawyer, administrator, director, or employee working within Eigenmann avocats SA.

11.4 If the principal has used certain assistants and entered into separate contractual relationships with them, the agent’s liability for these individuals is excluded. This also applies to all external specialists hired by the agent on behalf of the principal.

12. Term

12.1 Both parties can terminate their relationship at any time, except for termination at an inappropriate time. Termination is not considered at an inappropriate time if justified by the non-payment or only partial payment of the agent’s retainers or fees.

13. Jurisdiction and Applicable Law

13.1 For all disputes or conflicts arising from this mandate, the principal expressly accepts the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Lausanne, subject to any mandatory contrary law, and the application of Swiss substantive law and Vaud law, regardless of conflict of law rules.

14. Adoption and Amendment of Contractual Conditions

14.1 These general terms and conditions are occasionally amended or updated. They will be published on the website. They are considered accepted by the principal who is also informed of their existence when sending a retainer or a fee note upon payment of the retainer or fees, or within 20 days from the date of sending the request for a retainer or fee note, unless contested.

15. Final Provisions

15.1 The attention of the principal has been drawn to the fact that the mandate binds him exclusively to the agent, excluding the lawyer who, by a separate act, has received the power to represent him in court and against whom he cannot make any claims related to the mandate.

15.2 The attention of the principal has been drawn to the fact that the French version of the general terms and conditions prevails.