General Terms and Conditions

for providing legal services

Adopted and published on January 31st 2022

These General Terms and Conditions of the Bozhikov & Vatev Law Firm (hereinafter referred to as “The Law Firm”) for the provision of legal services regulate and apply to the relations between The Law Firm and the Client on consultative, general legal projects and litigation cases after their acceptance by the Client by signing a contract for legal protection and assistance confirming the receipt of these General Terms and Conditions by the latter.

1. Conditions for the provision of legal services

1.1. The signing by The Law Firm of the respective contract for legal defense and assistance is carried out only after an inspection for the presence of a conflict of interest and such signing is a confirmation on behalf of The Law Firm that it is not in conflict of interest in view of the Client and the legal services and work assigned by him.

1.2. The scope of assignment of The Law Firm does not include issues that are not explicitly agreed between the parties in the respective contract for legal protection and assistance, as well as representation in civil, commercial, administrative, criminal, and other penal proceedings. Such can be assigned only with explicit written assignments.

1.3. The respective contracts for legal protection and assistance, together with the present General Terms and Conditions, regulate the relations between the Client and The Law Firm only with regard to the scope and term of engagement for legal services and work specifically assigned by said contracts for legal defence and assistance. Unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing, the signed contracts for legal defence and assistance do not replace, have no supremacy over, do not alter, change, amend, supplement, or violate in any way the relationship between The Law Firm and the same Client or its divisions, created on the basis of other contracts for legal protection and assistance.

1.4. Legal advice and services are provided only after the explicit order of the Client or to individuals / legal entities specified by the Client.

1.5. After receiving a request from a client, The Law Firm shall respond, as far as possible depending on the nature of the work, within the period required by the client.

1.6. The Law Firm is obliged to provide legal advice and services in the manner and in the format required by the Client. Communication with the Client is done in Bulgarian or English, unless specifically agreed otherwise.

1.7. The Law Firm is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of legal advice and services in relation to Bulgarian legislation and practice of state and municipal authorities, the Bulgarian state courts, and arbitration courts.

1.8. The relations and correspondence between The Law Firm and the Client are strictly confidential and constitute attorney-privileged information. The Law Firm undertakes not to disclose to third parties any information and documents about the work assigned by the Client, its subject and scope, as well as the goals and plans of the Client, which became known in connection with the provision of legal services.

1.9. The client is obliged to present The Law Firm with all the information, documents and assistance necessary for the proper and timely provision of services by The Law Firm.

2. Attorney’s fees. Other expenses

2.1. The attorney’s fees of The Law Firm as an external consultant of the Client are determined by the contract for legal defence and assistance. They are paid via bank transfer upon submission of the relevant invoice to the attention of the Client. Attorneys’ fees do not include state, municipal, court or arbitration fees, tax, and VAT costs. Unless explicitly agreed otherwise in the relevant contract for legal defence and assistance, attorneys’ fees for hourly or subscription services are charged and paid monthly until the fifth day of the following month. Invoices or requests for payment provided by The Law Firm, unless disputed by the Client within five working days of their provision to the Client, serve as proof of acceptance of the services provided at the expense of the Client.

2.2. If the maximum amount of subscription fee has been agreed with the Client, then, regardless of the fact that payments have been made up to this amount, The Law Firm shall promptly and with due care continue to provide and complete the services provided and under the conditions specified in the respective contract for legal defence and assistance. The Law Firm undertakes to perform with due care all services and activities included in the defined scope of work and necessary for the completion of the assigned work, regardless of the fact that the maximum number of hours presented to the Client has been reached and regardless of the number of hours accumulated in excess and subject to charging.

2.3. If a fixed remuneration is agreed, it is due in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the relevant contract for legal defence and assistance with the Client, regardless of the number of hours and team members required to provide legal services and perform the work assigned to The Law Firm.

2.4. The hourly rates are agreed in the respective contract for legal defence and assistance with each Client. Work reports shall be attached to the relevant invoice. These reports should be considered accepted, unless there are objections against them within five working days from their sending to the Client.

2.5. In case of delayed payment for more than 2 (two) months, as of the respective date of maturity of the payment, The Law Firm has the right to unilaterally terminate the established contractual relationship with the Client and does not owe further provision of legal services to the Client or its affiliated group of companies.

2.6. In case of assigned procedural representation (before state (civil or administrative) courts or arbitration courts), The Law Firm may apply a payment structured in two parts: (i) a fixed fee specified in the contract for legal defemce and assistance and (ii) success remuneration in case of a favourable outcome of the case for the Client. The remuneration for a fixed amount is due for each court instance and is payable within 5 (five) workdays, as of the assignment of the work for each respective court instance. The amount of the remuneration must be fair and justified and may not be lower than the amount provided for the respective type of work or case under Ordinance № 1/2004 on the minimum amounts of attorneys’ fees adopted by the Supreme Bar Council. The remuneration for success is agreed as a percentage of material interest, subject of the dispute and is payable within 5 (five) working days from the signing / confirmation of out-of-court / court settlement for the assigned case.

2.7. In case of unjustified withdrawal of the powers in any given court or out-of-court case, The Law Firm is entitled to full remuneration. In this case, if the remuneration has already been paid by the Client, it is not refundable.

2.8. Expenses related to the provision of the assigned services (such as, but not limited to, expenses for travel outside Sofia, translation fees, expenses for external experts and consultants, notary fees, state fees, etc.) are reimbursed by the Client. The Law Firm and the Client should determine the maximum budget after a preliminary assessment of the respective costs. The costs are reimbursed after the submission of the relevant supporting documents together with the work report. The Client is offered to use a special client bank account of The Law Firm, where the Client may, at its discretion, provide current funds to be used to cover fees and expenses related to the provision of legal services assigned to The Law Firm.

2.9. All monetary obligations owed to The Law Firm for remuneration or reimbursement / provision of funds for expenses necessary for the provision of legal services and assigned work shall be paid in the agreed currency or in its equivalent in Bulgarian leva at the official exchange rate of the BNB as of their negotiation. All payments are considered completed from the moment when the respective funds are available on the bank accounts of The Law Firm.

3. Assigned team

3.1. In order to provide legal consultations and services, The Law Firm shall form a working team consisting only of employees of The Law Firm, unless explicitly and in advance agreed with the Client.

3.2. The Law Firm undertakes that all members of the assigned team are obligated by legally binding instruments to observe confidentiality of the Client’s information to which they are granted access.

3.3. The Law Firm may not reassign services or activities assigned by the Client in connection with a project to third parties without the prior written approval of the Client. In case of reassignment of legal services to third parties, The Law Firm continues to be responsible to the Client for the good quality and correctness of the reassigned services.

3.4. Any additional non-legal work required to provide the services is assigned by The Law Firm only to its own employees (secretaries, paralegals or other supporting staff), obliged to observe confidentiality of the information to which they have access.

3.5. When the service is provided by a working team, The Law Firm will specify a team leader and / or a project manager from the highest level of the internal organization of The Law Firm and having the relevant experience, which will mainly communicate with the Client.

3.6. The Law Firm undertakes that upon receipt of an assignment from a foreign client, all members of the team set aside to perform the work assigned by the Client are fluent in English.

3.7. The client can contact a member of the team at any time during the standard working day in Bulgaria, i.e., every working day in Bulgaria between 9 am and 6 pm Bulgarian time.

3.8. The Law Firm may divide among the members of the assigned team the activities related to the provision of the respective services. Regardless of the internal distribution of work between the members of the work team, The Law Firm is responsible for the good quality and timely provision of assigned services.

3.9. The Law Firm may change the members of the working team at any time. Any changes in the work team during the provision of legal and consulting services should be notified to the Client in a timely manner.

3.10. The Law Firm has professional liability insurance. The total coverage of the professional liability insurance and the coverage for one case is communicated to the Client upon request. All members of the team of The Law Firm fall under the scope of this insurance. Upon request, the Client could receive a copy of the relevant insurance policy.

4. Measures against money laundering

4.1. As an obligated person within the meaning of the Anti-Money Laundering Measures Act (AMLMA) and pursuant to the Uniform Internal Rules of the Supreme Bar Council for Control and Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (“Internal Rules”), The Law Firm is obliged to identify its client and to perform a comprehensive inspection and constant vigilance with regard to its business relations with the Client and with regard to his actions. In order to comply with the complex inspection of transactions and business relationships, The Law Firm may consult with the relevant databases in order to obtain information about the Client or request information from him or others.

4.2. The Law Firm may require the Client and other relevant persons to identify themselves with valid and official documentation and provide the former with all information on the beneficial owners of the company with which The Law Firm is in contractual relations.

4.3. After the completion of the initial identification of the Client, the latter is obliged to inform The Law Firm about any change in the established information and facts and must immediately submit The Law Firm with the documentation regarding said change.

4.4. In case of detection of suspicious economic activity or conduct during the process of complex inspection or in the course of the maintained business relations, The Law Firm is obliged to immediately report it to the competent authorities.

5. Final provisions

5.1. By signing the respective contract for legal defence and assistance, the Client agrees that legal and contractual relations have been established between the Client and The Law Firm in view of the respective task, and they will be regulated in accordance with current Bulgarian legislation. and in particular in accordance with the provisions of the Bar Act, as well as in accordance with the present General Terms and Conditions.

5.2. All disputes related to the conclusion, interpretation, application, performance, and non-performance of the contractual relationship established by the contract for legal protection and assistance shall be resolved through negotiations between the parties. If no agreement is reached through negotiations, the dispute shall be resolved by the generically competent Bulgarian court in Sofia, for which this provision has the force of a written agreement to determine local jurisdiction within the meaning of Art. 117, para. 2 of the Civil Procedure Code.

5.3. The conditions specifically agreed in the respective contract for legal protection and assistance shall take precedence over these General Terms and Conditions.

5.4. These General Terms and Conditions have been adopted by the managing partners of The Law Firm by way of decision of 31.01.2022 and shall enter into force on the date of their adoption. They may be amended by subsequent decisions of the managing partners, the latest version of the general terms and conditions being published on the law firm’s website and indicated at the beginning of the document, with which all its clients are considered informed.