Terms of Business

Standard Terms of Business

1. Introduction

These terms together with any engagement letter provided to you at the commencement of a matter set out the terms on which we accept instructions and charge for our services. If there is any conflict between these terms and the engagement letter, the engagement letter will take precedence. These terms may be updated or amended by us from time to time, and as such together with the engagement letter (collectively, the “contract”) apply to the exclusion of all other oral and written terms in respect of work undertaken by us for you unless otherwise agreed by us in writing. Subject to the foregoing, the contract may not be amended unless agreed by us in writing.

Chinese versions of these terms are available on our website for reference purposes only. In the event of any conflict between the English and Chinese versions of these terms, the English version shall prevail.

In the event that any clause or part of any clause in the contract is found by any court of competent jurisdiction to be void or otherwise invalid or unenforceable for whatever reason then the contract shall be read as if the offending clause or part thereof had been deleted leaving the remainder thereof in full force and effect at all material times.

In these Terms of Business, “we”, “us” or any permutation or combination thereof refers to the entity with which you enter into the engagement letter.

2. Persons Responsible for your Work

If required by applicable laws, rules or regulations, we will inform you of the principal who will be primarily responsible for your matter and any other staff involved. We reserve the right, when we consider it necessary, to assign other fee earners to handle any particular matter for you and will tell you if there is any change.

Such of our resources will be made available to the extent that we think fit so as to handle the matters for which we have been retained.

3. Right to Withdraw Instructions

You have the right to withdraw any matter on which you instruct us by a notice in writing. Please note that a withdrawal of instructions will not relieve you of any liability for fees incurred since the time of our acceptance of your instructions to the time of withdrawal.

4. Acting for Joint Clients

If you instruct us jointly to act for more than one party, your execution of the engagement letter confirms that you wish us to represent all of you and: (i) authorizes us to share any information we obtain from one of you with the others of you; (ii) confirms you understand that we may have to withdraw from representing some or all of you in the event of a conflict between or amongst you, unless the conflict can otherwise be resolved. In those circumstances, we may continue to act for some or all of the other clients; (iv) authorizes us to take instructions from the person authorized to provide us with instructions in the engagement letter or if no such authorization is specified, we will be entitled to rely on instructions given by any one of you on behalf of all of you and without the necessity to confirm such instructions with the each of you.

Where we act for you jointly with others in a matter, we may disclose to all the parties we represent any confidential information we obtain from you and the content of our communications with you. To that extent, the advice we give will cease to be privileged as between you and the other clients.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, you will remain jointly and severally liable for our fees even if you have made different arrangements with the other parties.

5. Third Parties

If we introduce or need to engage other professionals on your behalf (such as barristers, counsel, lawyers, overseas lawyers, accountants, expert witnesses or law costs draftsmen) whether in Hong Kong or abroad we will do so only with your previous approval and as your agent. We are not responsible for any act or omission of any such other professionals. We may also elect to have you retain such other professionals directly.

6. Fees

Our charges are calculated in accordance with the Legal Practitioners Ordinance which allows us to take into account a number of issues, such as the specialized skill and knowledge required; complexity and difficulty of the factual and legal issues involved; number and importance of documents prepared or perused; place and circumstances where business is transacted; time expended; value of the matter; urgency required; seniority of the professional staff engaged and the importance of the matter.

Applicable sales or services taxes will be added to your bill where appropriate.

At the outset of a matter we may agree the basis on which we will charge you. If there are arrangements concerning a fixed fee the same will be set out in our engagement letter. A fixed fee is a proposal by us to deal with a specified matter for a stated fee. If we undertake work outside the agreed scope or in the absence of any other agreement, we will charge you for our work at our prevailing hourly rates. We will provide you with a copy of our hourly rate schedule for our fee earners upon request. Hourly rates vary according to the level of experience and expertise of the lawyer involved in your work. Our hourly rates are subject to change from time to time and will apply to our engagement by you as revised from time to time.

Quotations, if any, are generally estimate of our charges given only on the basis that (i) the information known to us at the time of the estimate; (ii) that there are no unforeseen timing or other developments that require us to undertake work beyond what is presently envisaged; and (iii) if circumstances arise which complicate or increase the complexity of the exercise or if we are required to travel or spend time outside Hong Kong, such estimates may have to be revised. The estimates are not binding upon us. Any fixed fee quoted by us to you shall only be binding on us if included in the engagement letter and shall, in any event, be subject to the terms of the contract.

It is our intention to render statements of account for services rendered and for any disbursements incurred on your behalf on a monthly basis unless the transaction is completed in a shorter time in which event we would render our account on completion of the transaction.

We will not assume any professional duties to anyone else who agrees to pay, or be otherwise responsible for paying, all or part of our bills, unless we agree this in writing. Even if we agree to accept payment from someone else, you will be liable to us for such bill in the event of non-payment.

Should a matter not be carried through to completion, we are entitled to charge you for work that has already been completed including any disbursements incurred.

7. Disbursements

In addition to being responsible for our fees, you shall also be responsible for reimbursement to us of all disbursements incurred on your behalf. In retaining us, you authorize us to incur disbursements which we consider necessary or appropriate for our representation of you. If we need to incur substantial non-routine disbursements such as travel expenses, translation fees, fees for other professionals, we will first seek your approval and consent. Disbursements may be included with our accounts for fees or may be billed for separately.

Routine disbursements include, but are not limited to, long distance telephone charges, deliveries, word processing charges, photocopying, printing, facsimile charges, postage and bank charges, etc. In respect of company searches and other clerical matters, we may render an additional charge per search or other service rendered.

8. Payment of Invoices

Unless otherwise agreed or specified in writing, all invoices will be issued for payment in HK dollars or US dollars and are due on delivery or presentment of the invoice. We will be entitled to charge interest for late payment at one per cent. per month from the due date to the date of full payment.

Where payments have been made by you on dates and in amounts different from those agreed by us, and we suffer exchange rate losses in respect of the sums due, we reserve the right to charge additional amounts to cover our costs.

For the purpose of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, you agree that each particular invoice rendered to you is to be regarded as a separate and distinct invoice, notwithstanding that it may relate to any particular matter that is the subject of on-going instructions from you.

All payments to us shall be free of any deductions, including without limitation any withholding or other taxes or bank charges. Where there are any such deductions, you shall pay such additional amounts so that we receive each payment as if any such deduction had not been made.

Any amount which you may be obliged to pay to any governmental or tax authorities under the laws of the place of your incorporation/registration/business/residence including all and any withholding tax liabilities which may arise from this engagement, are to be paid in full by you and shall be your sole responsibility. We are not responsible for your tax liabilities nor are we responsible for reimbursing you for the same.

9. Payments on Account of Fees and Disbursements

We may require a payment in advance in respect of fees and disbursements. The amount of the payment in advance will be set forth in our engagement letter. If required by applicable laws, rules or regulations, we will place any such payments into a client account and apply them against future bills. We will not be responsible for any loss occurring out of any default on the part of the institution with whom such client account is maintained.

It may be necessary for you to provide and replenish this payment in advance at our request from time to time so that it is sufficient to cover the work which has been done and is not paid for as well as the work which remains to be done. Any unused portion of the payment in advance will be returned to you upon the completion or termination of our services.

Where we have rendered a final bill to you, but still retain money to be applied against future disbursements, we will not account to you for interest on such money. We will not in any event account to you for interest on money placed in any client accounts unless we agree otherwise in writing.

10. Papers Held by the Firm

We keep our files partly in paper form and partly in electronic form. On completion of a matter and the payment of our fees, we will return to you, at your request, any original documents provided to us for the purposes of that matter which have not been filed, delivered or otherwise released on your behalf and any other papers to which you are entitled. We will retain all other papers but cannot undertake to retain files for any specific period of time. We will endeavour to keep all files after the completion of the matter or termination of our retainer. For various reasons, including the minimization of unnecessary storage expenses, we reserve the right to destroy or otherwise dispose of any files or documents retained by us.

If we are required for any reason (whether during the course of a matter or after it has terminated) compulsorily to disclose documents or to give information orally or in writing relating to a matter or your affairs pursuant to a court order, notice or demand served by an entity or person with the authority to compel such disclosure, then we shall comply. We will be entitled to be paid for the costs of such compliance by you at our then existing hourly rates. If any documents or information are subject to professional privilege, we will let you know and advise you of the opportunity to waive privilege. If you decide not to waive privilege and this is challenged, we will be entitled to be paid by you for the costs incurred in preserving privilege on your behalf.

If, after a matter is closed, you ask us to retrieve any material belonging to you from the file, we will do so without charging you the direct cost of retrieval. However, we may charge you for time spent in complying with your request and answering any enquiries from you. We may also charge for delivery to you of any materials.

Unless you expressly ask us not to do so, we may from time to time place material relating to matters on which you instruct us on our knowledge management database, which is accessible only to personnel of our firm.

11. Files and Documents

We shall not be responsible to you for the retention of the files and documents relating to your matter after our engagement on your matter has concluded, and shall be entitled to dispose of the files and documents without reference to you, subject to our professional and legal obligations. Please request for a copy of any file or document that you wish to retain, prior to the conclusion of our engagement. Depending on the work and costs involved, charges may apply.

12. Our Liability

You agree by engaging us that you will not bring any claim arising out of or in connection with our engagement personally against any of our partners, shareholders, directors or employees.

You also agree that in the particular circumstances of the services to be provided to you, including in particular those described in any engagement letter sent to you at the commencement of a matter together with these terms, our aggregate liability to you for losses for which we are liable at law shall not include any consequential or indirect loss (whether or not it might have been foreseeable at the commencement of the matter).

We do not accept any liability in respect of the advice or services provided to you by other professionals who we introduce to you or instruct on your behalf.

We also do not accept any liability for any loss or damage you or anyone else suffers by any actions we take, or any delay or failure or refusal to act, if done or made in good faith to comply with any anti-money laundering or sanctions law or regulation of any jurisdiction. We may delay or refuse to make any payment or transfer of monies or refuse instructions relating to the same if we determine it appropriate so as to comply with any anti-money laundering or sanctions law or regulation or related investigation. We do not accept any liability for any loss or damage you or anyone else suffers by actions taken by any financial institution with which we deal.

Where we are acting for more than one person, the limit of liability will have to be allocated among you. If this allocation is not expressly stated in the engagement letter, such allocation will be a matter entirely for you. If for whatever reason no such allocation is agreed by you, then you will not dispute the limit of liability on the grounds that no such allocation was agreed.

Our liability to you shall also be limited to that proportion of the loss or damage (including interest and costs) suffered by you which is ordered against us by a Court of competent jurisdiction after taking account of the contribution to the relevant loss and damage of any other person responsible and/or liable to you for such loss or damage.

Our maximum liability to you in any event is limited to the sum of the professional fees paid by you to us, and any legal proceedings arising from, or in connection with, our engagement must be formally commenced by you within one year from the date of the contract. If we are precluded from limiting our liability below an amount equal to the minimum level of insurance cover required from time to time under the Solicitors (Professional Indemnity) Rules, our liability (if any) to you will not exceed that amount.

For the purpose of assessing such contribution of any other person, no account shall be taken of any limit imposed on the amount of liability of such person by agreement made before the loss or damage occurred.

The limitations and exclusions on liability in this section shall have no application to any liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or for any other liability which cannot lawfully be excluded or limited.

13. Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”)

We are subject to various AML laws in Hong Kong, including without limitation the following ordinances:

– The Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance
– The Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance
– The United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance

In addition, The Law Society of Hong Kong has implemented its Practice Direction P with effect from 1st July 2008 in an attempt to counter money laundering and terrorist-related activities and practices through law firms in Hong Kong. Practice Direction P is a set of guidelines and mandatory requirements that all law firms in Hong Kong are required to follow when taking instructions from new and existing clients.

Under money laundering regulations, we are required to put in place procedures to prevent money laundering. In accepting your instructions your attention is drawn to anti-money laundering legislation in Hong Kong, such as the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, and in particular 25A thereof which states that:

“(1) Where a person knows or suspects that any property-
(a) in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceeds of;
(b) was used in connection with; or
(c) is intended to be used in connection with,
an indictable offence, he shall as soon as it is reasonable for him to do so disclose that knowledge or suspicion, together with any matter on which that knowledge or suspicious is based, to an authorised officer….”
If we know or suspect (or have reasonable grounds for suspecting) that a matter or transaction involves money laundering, we may in accordance with our statutory obligations and those procedures, make a notification of our knowledge or suspicions to an Authorised Officer. You should be aware that, depending on the circumstances, we may be precluded from seeking your consent or informing you that we have made a notification. You agree that we may make any notifications which we consider appropriate to comply with money laundering legislation and our anti-money laundering procedures. Provided that we act in good faith, we shall be entitled to do so whether or not we are under a legal duty to make the notifications in question.

The above obligation overrides any legal professional privilege or confidentiality that we may have to you. In such circumstances since we would obviously have a conflict of interest with you and it would be necessary to withdraw from acting for you without being able to give any reason for doing so.

“Authorised Officer” means any police officer; any member of the Customs and Excise Service and any other person authorised by the Secretary of Justice for the purposes of the Ordinances including any officer of the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit, as stipulated by section 2 of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, as well as any member of the Immigration Service and any officer of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, as stipulated by section 2 of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance.

Our Anti-Money Laundering Policy (“AML Policy”) also requires us to conduct verification and “Know-Your-Client” procedures, and specifies how our client account may be used, amongst other things. The above requires us to verify the identity of clients and to conduct other background checks. We are required to retain records of the identification obtained. We may also be required to make detailed enquiries as to the source of funds being used in relation to transactions on which we advise and the beneficial owner of them. Where possible, we try to meet the verification requirements using information from public sources. However, we may need to ask you for (and retain) documents and other information for this purpose. We may delay commencing our work, decline to act or (if appropriate) cease to act if the verification requirements are not met to our satisfaction and within a reasonable period of time.

Any receipts into our client account which are not expected or which do not correspond to the particulars we have been provided may be retained pending further investigation or returned to the sender at our sole option. We may charge you in the normal way for work which we have to do and expenses incurred in relation to such investigations and/or returning of funds to the senders. Therefore we require advance notice of all receipts and the reasons for them.

14. Termination of Instructions

Once instructed, we will normally continue to act for you in the matter until its conclusion. If circumstances arise where it is appropriate for either of us to terminate our engagement, you will be responsible for our fees and disbursements up to the date of termination, and any fees and disbursements necessarily associated with our ceasing to act or the transfer of the work to another adviser of your choice.

In the event that we do not receive sufficient payments on account from you as requested from time to time or in the event that we do not receive prompt payment of our invoices as rendered, we reserve the right to cease acting for you without prejudice to your liability to pay all costs and expenses and disbursements incurred to date.

We will cease acting for you upon reasonable notice to you where there is a good reason to do so. Such reasons would include where it would be unlawful or unethical for us to continue to act or if our invoices have not been settled or any required payment on account has not been made. We are not obliged to disclose to you the reason for terminating the engagement. Examples of such reasons include without limitation:

– If in our opinion a conflict of interest arises;
– If any payment due to us, or reasonably required by us on account of fees or expenses, is not made;
– If we are unable to obtain full or adequate instructions from you;
– If we determine that the relationship of trust and confidence necessary between solicitor and client does not exist; or
– If we consider that it would be inappropriate, in the light of our duties under professional conduct rules, for us to continue to act.

At the time of termination, we are entitled to exercise a lien over all documents and moneys held by us on your behalf until payment in full of all our legal fees, costs, expenses and disbursements is effected.

15. Confidentiality

Information passed to us is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except as authorized by you or required by law. If on your instructions or authority, we work in conjunction with other professional advisers, we will assume that we may disclose any relevant aspect of your affairs to them.

We owe a common law duty of care with respect to confidential information given to us during the course of our engagement and we will not disclose such information except in the circumstances set out in this section. We owe the same duty of confidentiality to others who are, or have been our clients. Accordingly you agree that if at any time we possess information in respect of which we owe a duty of confidentiality to a former or another current client, we may act for you, subject to our rules of professional conduct even though the information may be material to a matter on which we have received instructions from you. You agree that we will not be required to disclose such information or use it on your behalf.

Our duty to keep information relating to you or matters on which we are acting, or have acted, for you confidential is subject to any disclosures we consider in good faith we are required to make to any police, governmental, regulatory or supervisory authority in connection with statutory or regulatory obligations (including those described in our AML Policy) or in accordance with any internal procedures which we have put in place to meet those obligations. You also agree that we may, when required by our insurers, auditors or other advisers, provide to them information relating to you or details of a matter or matters on which we are acting or have acted for you.

You agree that we may disclose confidential information relating to you, or matters on which we are acting for you, to other Hauzen Group entities (the “Hauzen Group”) which have agreed to be bound by the same duty of confidentiality that we have to you in relation to any such information.

Unless you inform us otherwise, you agree that we may include, in a list of matters which we use for promotional and internal purposes, the fact that we represent you, the names of the parties, the dollar value of the matter (if relevant) and a general description in respect of all matters which have been publicly disclosed on which we represent you.

16. Conflicts of Interest

You agree that, without detracting from our duty of confidentiality to you and subject to rules of professional conduct, we may now or in the future without your consent act for your competitors or other clients whose interests are or may be opposed to or in conflict with yours or those of members of your Group including in litigation or other forms of dispute resolution. However, where we are acting for you on a matter, we will not act for another client on the matter unless and to the extent that we are permitted to do so by such rules.

If you become aware of a possible conflict of interest between you and another client for whom we act in a particular matter, you should raise it immediately with us. If a conflict of this nature arises, you agree it will be up to us, taking account of legal constraints, applicable professional rules and your and the other client’s interests and wishes to decide whether we should continue to act for both parties, for one only, or for neither.

Subject to rules of professional conduct you agree that where we have information in respect of which we owe you a duty of confidentiality and which is or may be material to a matter on which we have received instructions from another client, we will not be prevented from acting for that other client, nor will we require your further consent to act for that other client, provided we put in place arrangements which are reasonably appropriate in the circumstances to ensure that the confidentiality of the information is maintained.

Hauzen LLP is in Association with AnjieLaw Firm’s Hong Kong office (“Anjie”) pursuant to s.39C Legal Practitioners Ordinance. Hauzen LLP and Anjie are separate legal entities and independent legal practices. Pursuant to Hong Kong Law Society rules, Hauzen LLP and Anjie’s Hong Kong office are required to treat themselves as one firm for the purpose of rules of professional conduct relating to confidentiality and conflicts of interest.

In this section references to “we” or “us” or “our” shall include the other Hauzen Group entities unless you are or become a client of any of another Hauzen Group entity by directly engaging it, in which event the terms of that engagement shall apply to that relationship.

17. Other Services

If you instruct our firm to assist in any matters other than as set out in the engagement letter, extra fees will be charged.

18. Risks Associated with Electronic Communications

Where you provide us with fax or computer network addresses to which material is to be sent, we shall assume, unless you tell us otherwise, that your arrangements are sufficiently secure and confidential to protect your interests. Should you fail to provide us with updated contact information in writing, we shall not be responsible for any resulting loss that you may suffer.

It should be recognized that the Internet is not secure and that there are risks if sensitive information is sent in this manner by you or you request us to use the same system. It should be acknowledged and agreed that email does not have guaranteed delivery times nor does it guarantee receipt by the intended addressee(s). Data sent by us by email is not routinely encrypted and so if you do not want us to use email as a form of communication with you or if you require data to be encrypted then please advise us.

We will use our best endeavours to protect the integrity of computer systems by screening for viruses on email sent or received and would expect you to do the same.

Where we communicate with you by electronic means, we accept no liability for non-receipt, or late receipt, by you of such communications or for any corruption in the information communicated to you or its disclosure to other parties. In particular and without limitation, we accept no liability arising from circumstances where your electronic communications systems are compromised (as a result of email hacking or otherwise). No modifications, alterations, additions, deletions and/or onward transmissions are to be made to or of electronic communications sent by us without our prior written approval.

19. Complaints Procedure

In the event that you have a complaint which you wish to raise, you should do so by notifying us of same in writing. We shall then arrange for an independent client partner of the firm who has not been involved in the matter for which you have provided instructions to the firm. Your complaint will then be investigated as soon as possible by your independent client partner who will have had no substantive involvement in the matter upon which we were instructed. He/she will review your complaint and the file independently of the handling solicitor and/or partner and will, after reviewing this, notify you of his/her conclusions and what, if anything, can be done by us to resolve your complaint.

20. Copyright

Advice given in documents prepared by us to you are for your use only and are intended for use only in the matter on which we are performing services for you. We retain the copyright in all written material provided by us to you.

21. Privacy and Data Protection

We are committed to respecting any of your personal data that we hold. Your personal data will be kept on our database for administration, accounting, billing and AML purposes to enable us to undertake any searches and so that we can send you relevant information on our services and on events which may be of interest to you. We may hold, use and process any data you provide to us to carry out conflict checks, client identification and other client intake and maintenance procedures, comply with statutory and regulatory obligations and our internal procedures, conduct the work in the related matter and update our client databases. The data may be shared with other Hauzen Group entities. The data will not be disclosed to third parties except for the purposes mentioned above. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our use of your data then please address these to one of our partners.

You must make sure that any personal data you provide to us and our use and disclosure of that data in accordance with your instructions does not breach any applicable data protection laws and regulations. We will comply with our duties as a law firm under applicable data protection and privacy laws and regulations.

We have the right, in accordance with the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance, to charge a reasonable fee for processing any data access or correction request.

22. Force Majeure

We shall not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of anything beyond our reasonable control. In the event of such occurrence, we shall notify you as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.

23. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

The contract and the services we provide to you are governed by Hong Kong law. If you are a Mainland China individual or entity, you agree to submit irrevocably to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts in the event of any dispute arising between us. In any other case you agree to submit irrevocably to the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts in the event of any dispute arising between us. You acknowledge that we may bring proceedings against you in any other jurisdictions at our option in relation to any such dispute.

You agree to dispense with personal service and to accept service of any written communication, demand, notice, court process, applications, orders and/or awards made in connection with the engagement letter and/or this document and/or the services provided by us to you at the postal and/or e-mail address stated in the contract or otherwise provided to you by us for any purpose. All such aforesaid communication, demand, notice, court process, application, order and/or award, if delivered in accordance with this provision, shall be unconditionally and irrevocably deemed to have been validly and correctly served by us and received by you.

Copyright © 2021 Hauzen LLP
All rights reserved.

标准商业条款

  1. 引言

本商业条款的款项,连同于工作开始时提供给阁下的任何聘用函,列出我司接受阁下指示的条款及我司收费的准则。如本商业条款与聘用函有任何不一致,概以聘用函为准。除非另有书面约定,本商业条款的款项(经我司不时修订)和聘用函(以下统称“协议”)适用于我司为阁下所做的工作以外的所有其他口头和书面条款。在遵守上述规定的前提下,除非我司和阁下书面同意,否则协议不得修改。

我司的网站上提供了商业条款的中文版本仅供参考。不同版本如有冲突,概以英文版本为准。

如果有任何条款或任何条款之一部分被任何有管辖权的法院因任何原因被裁定为无效或无法执行,那么就视为无效或无法执行的条款或其中的一部分已被删除,协议其余条款仍具有十足效力。

商业条款中包含“我司”“我方”一词所指为阁下签约业务的合同对方。

  1. 负责处理阁下事务的人员

我司会应相关法律法规通知并提供阁下主要负责阁下事务的我方人员及其他参与人员的资料。我司保留权力在必要时指派其他计费人员处理阁下的任何特定事项,如发生任何人员更改,我司会通知阁下。

我司的安排分配按我司认为适当的资源去处理受阁下委托处理的事务。

  1. 撤销指示的权利

阁下有权以书面形式通知我司以撤销阁下曾向我司发出的任何指示。请注意,从我司接受阁下指示至指示撤销期间所产生的费用并不因撤销指示免除,阁下应缴付相关费用。

  1. 同时代表多位客户

如果阁下共同指示我司同时代表多于一名当事方,阁下于聘用函上之签署为确认阁下希望我司代表所有当事方,并且:(i)授权我司与所有当事方分享我司从其中一名当事方所获得的任何信息; (ii)确认阁下了解,如果当事方之间发生冲突,除非可以通过其他方式解决冲突,否则我司将不再代表部分或全部当事方。在这种情况下,我司可继续代表部分或全部当事方; (iv)授权我司遵循于聘用书所列明之获授权人士所发出之指示,或者,如未指明此类授权,我司将有权跟据代表所有当事方之其中一名人士之指示行事,而无需与各当事方确认指示。

如果我司在特定事务上与其他人共同为阁下行事,我司可能会向所有当事方披露我司从阁下处获得的任何机密信息以及我司与阁下的通信内容。就这点而言,我司给予的建议在阁下和其他客户之间将不再享有法律专业特权。

即使阁下与其他当事方有不同的安排,除非另有书面约定阁下仍然对我司的费用承担连带责任。

  1. 第三方

如我司介绍阁下或需要代阁下聘请其他香港或海外的专业人士(如大律师、顾问人员、律师,外国律师,会计师、专家证人或讼费单草拟人员),我司只会在得到阁下的事先批准下才会以阁下的代理人的名义作上述聘请。除非另有书面协议,我司不会为上述任何或其他专业人士的任何行为或遗漏负责。我司亦可要求阁下直接聘请上述专业人士。

  1. 专业费用

我司的收费是根据香港法律执业者条例计算,我司计算考虑的因素例如所需的专业技能和知识;涉及的事实和法律问题的复杂性和难度;准备或阅读文件的数量和重要性;业务交易的地点和情况;时间成本;业务目标;紧急程度;负责的专业人员的资历和业务的重要性。

在适当的情况下,销售或服务税(如有)将被添加到阁下账单中。

在工作开始时我司可与阁下约定我司收费的基础。如有固定收费或收费上限安排,我司将会在聘用函中写明。固定费用是我司对于处理特定事项提出的一个建议特定费用。如果我司在约定的范围之外开展工作或与阁下无其他约定,我司将主要参考人员处理工作所使用的时间来计算收费。阁下如有需求,我司会提供人员工作时间的详细记录副本。小时费率根据参与阁下事务的律师的经验和专业水平而有所不同。我司的小时费率将经我司不时修订及适用于阁下与我司的聘用函经不时修订。

如有任何报价,概为我司根据以下准则以估算收费:(i) 估算时已知的信息;(ii) 没有不可预见之时间安排或其他事情发展要求我司开展超出目前估算的工作;(iii) 如果情况变得复杂或增加了工作的复杂性,或如果我司被要求在香港以外工作,则该估算将会被修改。估算并不具备约束力。我司向阁下所引述的任何固定费用只有在聘用函中包含时才具有约束力,并且始终应受合同条款约束。

我司将每月为阁下提供服务账户说明和为阁下支付的任何支付账单的说明,若交易在较短的时间内完成,在这种情况下我司将在交易完成时提供帐户。

除非我司书面同意,否则我司不会向同意支付全部或部分账单的其他人承担任何专业责任。即使我司同意接受其他人的付款,如果发生不付款的情况,阁下也需要对我司承担付款责任。

如果该特定工作事宜无法成功完成,我司有权向阁下收取已完成工作的费用,包括已产生之任何支出杂费。

  1. 其他费用

阁下除须负责支付我司上述的收费外,亦应向我司缴付我司为阁下垫支的所有支出杂费。当阁下聘用我司时,阁下聘用我司同时,授权我司为工作而产生必要适当的杂费。如我司产生较大数额且非经常的支出,如差旅费、翻译费、聘用其他专业人士的费用,我司将先征求阁下的批准和同意。杂费可能包括在我司的收费账目中,亦可能以单独收取账单。 一般杂费包括但不限于长途电话费、送递费、打字费、外部影印、传真费、邮递及银行收费等。关于公司搜索和其他文书事宜,我司可能会需要阁下提供每次搜索或其他服务的额外费用。

  1. 账单支付

除非另有书面协议和指示,否则所有账单将会显示港币或美元费用,并在发出后或出示账单后立刻缴付。我司有权于账单到期日起计,就逾期超过30天的任何未付金额收取以月息1%计算之逾期付款利息,直至该账单完全付清为止。

如阁下缴付我司账单的时间与数额同我司所同意的不一致,而因此引致我司遭受汇率差额之损失,我司有权向阁下收取额外金额,以弥补我司损失。

为香港法律执业者条例的目的而言,阁下同意每一张由我司向阁下发出的账单均为分开及不同的账单,尽管该账单可能与阁下一直指示我司的任何特别事宜有关。

阁下在支付账单款项时,不得扣除任何扣缴税款或评定税款。阁下负责将所需的扣缴税款汇款给相关当局,并确保我司免受上述扣缴税款影响。

任何根据阁下之公司成立/注册/业务/住所所在地的法律而阁下有义务向任何政府或税务机关支付的款项,包括因聘用我司而可能产生的所有税款或任何预扣税款,阁下需全额负责及支付,并且全属阁下的责任。我司对阁下之税款不承担任何责任,亦不会就阁下之税款进行赔偿。

  1. 专业费用和杂费支付

我司可能要求阁下预付费用及杂费。须预付的费用数额将于我司聘用函中列明。我司会根据相关法律法规将收取的费用存入我司的客户账户,并用作缴付阁下应向我司支付的后续账单。我司将不对与客户账户有关的机构的任何因违约而造成的任何损失负责。

我司可酌情要求阁下追加预付金,以保证数额足以支付我司已产生但未缴的费用以及将会产生的费用。当工作完结或终止服务时,我司会将剩余的预付金退回给阁下。

即使我司已向阁下发出最终账单,我司仍可保留预付金用于缴付可能的杂费,我司将不会向阁下退回该金额所累计的利息。除非我司另有书面约定,否则我司不会在任何情况下向阁下支付任何客户账户中的利息。

  1. 我司保留的文件

我司保留的文件分为纸质形式,部分为电子形式。当工作已完结,阁下已缴付我司的账单后,我司将应阁下要求下退回曾为相关工作原因而提供给我司且未代阁下存档、交付或以其他方式发布的文件的原件,以及阁下权属下的所有其他文件。我司将保留所有其他文件,但并不保证将其保留至某特定期限。在完成工作或终止服务后,我司会尽量保留有关的文件档案。酌情于各种原因,包括为了减省不必要的贮藏费用,我司有权将该等文件档案销毁或以其他方式处置。

不论是在工作中或终止后的时间里,我司因任何原因而被强制性要求披露文件,或以口述或书面形式提供有关事宜及阁下的资料,例如根据法院和由其他权威要求强制披露的机构或人士所发出的法庭命令、通知或要求,我司将服从要求并披露有关的资料。我司将有权向阁下收取产生的相关费用。如任何文件或资料受法律专业保密权所保护,我司将会告知阁下此保密权的存在以及获得豁免的机会。如阁下决定不豁免有关保密权而有人对此提出质疑,我司将向阁下收取有关代阁下维持保密权所招致的费用。

如果在工作结束后,阁下要求我司从文件中找回属于阁下的任何材料,我司将配合阁下且不收取直接的检索费用。但我司可能会向阁下收取在遵守阁下的请求上及回答阁下的问题上所付出的时间收费。我司也可能向阁下收取任何材料的费用。

除非阁下明确要求不保留文件,否则我司可能会不时地将与阁下指示我司的事项有关的材料放在我司的知识管理数据库中,该数据库仅供我司人员使用。

  1. 档案及文件

在我司与阁下聘用之事务完成后,我司将不负责保留与阁下有关的档案及文件,并且我司有权根据我司之专业及法律规定,在不知会阁下的情况下去清除档案及文件。在工作完结前,请向我司索取阁下希望保留之任何档案或文件之副本。根据所涉及的工作和成本,可能会收取费用。

  1. 我司的责任

当阁下聘用我司的同时,已同意不会就聘用直接产生或相关的争议纠纷,对我司的任何合伙人,自然人股东,董事或员工提出针对个人的申索。

阁下还同时同意在我司向阁下提供服务的整个过程中,包括在工作开始时发送给阁下的聘用函和本商业条款的款项内所列的服务,我司对阁下损失的责任限于相关法律规定,且在任何情况下也不会包括任何相应而生或间接的损失,无论损失于工作开始时是否可预见。

对我司向阁下介绍的或我司代表阁下委聘的任何其他专业人士向阁下提供的意见或服务,我司并不负有任何责任。

基于我司真诚地遵守反洗钱或制裁法律或任何管辖权的规定下,对于阁下或任何其他人因我司所采取的相关任何行动、任何延迟或失败或拒绝采取行动而遭受的任何损失或损害,我司并不负有任何责任。在我司认为适当时,会延迟或拒绝支付或转移款项或拒绝进行相关的指示,以遵守任何反洗钱或制裁法律或法规或相关的调查。对于阁下或任何其他人因我司交易的任何金融机构采取的行动而遭受的任何损失或损害,我司不承担任何责任。

我司在代表超过一个当事人时,对阁下的责任限额会因应当事人数目作出适当的分配。如责任限额的分配未于聘用函中明确地说明,有关分配将由阁下全权决定。如阁下因任何原因未能决定有关分配,阁下将不能藉此对责任限额作出任何争议。

我司对阁下的责任只限于由具有管辖权的法院所裁定我司就阁下的损失或损害(包括利息及费用)应对阁下作出的赔偿份额,数额应考虑到其他相关责任的人士所须承担的部分。

在任何情况下,我司对阁下的最大责任仅限于阁下向我司所支付的专业费用之总和,并且任何因聘用我司而产生或与之有关的法律诉讼必须由阁下在签订聘用函日期的一年内正式开展。如果我司未能将我司的责任限制在《律师(专业弥偿)规则》不时要求的最低保险额度或以下的金额,则我司对阁下的责任(如有)将不超过该金额。

在评估任何其他人士对阁下损失所承担的赔偿责任时,毋须考虑在损失或损害发生前以协议附加于该人士的赔偿金额的限额。

在本段所指的责任限制和免除事项,并不适用于任何因我司疏忽而引致的个人伤亡责任,及任何不能合法地免除或限制之其他责任。

  1. 反洗钱

我司受到香港各种反洗钱法例的约束,包括但不限于下列条例:

– “贩毒(追讨得益)条例”

– “有组织及严重罪行条例”

– “联合国(反恐怖主义措施)条例”

此外,香港律师会已于2008年7月1日起实施实务指示P。该文件旨在通过香港律师行打击洗黑钱及与恐怖分子有关的行为活动。该档是一套指引及强制规定,所有律师事务所在接受新老客户的指示时均须遵守。

根据洗钱条例,我司须制定防止洗钱的内部程序。在接受阁下的指示时,须留意香港的反洗黑钱法例,例如“有组织及严重罪行条例”其中条款25A提到:

“(1)凡任何人知道或怀疑任何财产─

(a)全部或部分直接或间接代表任何人的收益;

(b)其使用关联;或者

(c)其使用旨在用于与可予公诉的罪行,

他应当在合理的情况下尽快向获授权人员披露该消息或疑虑,连同以该消息或疑虑为根据的任何事宜向获授权人员披露……“。

如果我司获悉或怀疑(或有合理理由怀疑)涉及洗钱的事项或交易,我司会根据法定义务和程序向授权人员通报。阁下应该意识到,根据具体情况,我司可能无法征求阁下的同意或通知阁下我司已经发出通知。阁下同意我司可以提出任何我司认为适合遵守洗钱法规和我方的反洗钱程序的通知。我司在善意原则下有权这样做,无论我司是否有法定义务提出有关通知。

上述反洗钱义务优先于我司对阁下的任何法律专业特权或保密性。在这种情况下,我司显然会于阁下有利益冲突,因此我司必要时将退出代理行为且不提供任何理由。

根据“贩毒(追讨得益)条例”第2条的规定,“授权人员”是指任何警务人员,任何香港海关人员及律政司司长为施行条例而授权的人,包括联合财务情报组的任何人员及“有组织及严重罪行条例”,以及入境事务队的任何成员及廉政公署的任何高级人员,均按“联合国宪章”第二条(反恐怖主义措施)条例。

我司的反洗钱政策(“反洗钱政策”)也要求我司进行验证和执行“了解您的客户”的调查程序,并规定如何使用客户账户等等。以上要求我司验证客户身份并进行其他背景调查。我司按要求保留获得的身份证明的记录。我司也可能被要求详细询问我司建议的交易以及其实益拥有者所使用的资金来源。在可能的情况下,我司会尽量使用公共来源的信息来满足验证要求。但我司也可能需要为此请求(并保留)文件和其他信息。如果验证要求不能在合理时间内达到我司,我司可能会延迟开始工作,拒绝采取行动或者(如果适用)停止采取行动。

我司的客户账户中没有预期的任何收据或与我司提供的资料不相符的任何收据可能会被保留,我司将自行决定作进一步调查或退回给寄件人。我司可能会以正常的方式向阁下收取我司所要做的工作以及与调查和/或资金返还发件人有关的费用。因此,我司需要提前通知所有收据及其原因。

  1. 终止服务

当我司收到阁下的指示后,在正常的情况下会为阁下提供服务直到该项工作完结为止。如确有个别情况发生而致使任何一方终止合同,阁下应缴付我司由开始工作至聘用期间终止的服务费用和杂费,并向我司缴付因终止我司服务或把档案移交给阁下选择的其他顾问而引起的任何费用及杂费。

如阁下未能按照我司工作开展后不时要求缴付足够的付款,或当阁下未能按时缴付我司发出的账单时,我司将有权终止为阁下工作,阁下仍有义务缴付我司已产生的所有服务费用、开支和杂费。

在有充分理由的情况下,我司将在合理通知阁下后停止为阁下提供服务。这些原因包括我司继续采取行动是违法的或不道德的、我司的发票没有结清或者阁下没有提供任何必要的付款。我司没有义务向阁下透露终止聘用的理由。终止原因包括但不限于以下情况:

– 我司认为会产生利益冲突

– 我司收费开支或我司合理要求的任何账户付款阁下没有提供

– 我司无法获得阁下的完整或适当的指示

– 我司确定律师和客户之间所需的信任保密关系不存在,或者

– 根据我司的专业操守规则我司不合适继续代表阁下。

在终止聘用我司时,我司有权对由我司代阁下所持有的所有文件和款项行使留置权,直到阁下支付我司的所有法律费用、讼费、支出和杂费为止。

  1. 保密

我司会对阁下提供给我司的资料保密,除非得到阁下授权或根据法律要求,我司不会将这些资料披露予第三方。如在阁下授权下,我司连同其他专业人士向阁下提供服务,我司预设可向该等专业人士披露阁下的相关资料。

我司在聘用期间对于向我司提供的保密信息应当承担普通法的责任,除非在本节列出的情况下,我司不会披露这些信息。我司也有同样的责任对他人保密我司的客户。因此,阁下同意,如果我司在任何时候拥有我司对前任或其他当前客户所应负的保密义务的信息,即使这些信息可能对我司已收到阁下的指示的事务很重要,我司可能会根据我司的职业行为规范代表阁下。阁下同意我司不会被要求披露这些信息或代表阁下使用。

我司有责任保存与阁下有关的信息或我司所代理或已采取行动对阁下保密的事项,我司有义务披露任何我司认为必须向任何警方,政府,监管机构或监管机构有法定或监管义务(包括反洗钱政策中所述的义务),或根据我司为履行这些义务而设立的任何内部程序。阁下也同意,如果有我司的保险公司,审计师或其他顾问要求,我司可以向他们提供与阁下有关的信息或者我司正在为阁下行事或为阁下行事的事项的细节。

阁下同意我司可能会将与阁下有关的保密信息或为阁下代理的事项披露给同意受到我司对阁下的任何此类信息保密的相同义务的其他浩宸集团旗下的公司(「浩宸集团」)。

除非阁下另行通知我司,否则阁下同意我所可以在我所用于推广和内部目的的事项列表中包含我司代表阁下的事实,当事人的名称,事务的目标价值(如相关)并对我司代表阁下公开披露的所有事项进行一般性描述。

  1. 利益冲突

阁下同意,在不减损我司对阁下的保密义务的情况下且遵守我司的职业操守规则,我司现在或将来可能在未经阁下的同意的情况下为阁下的竞争对手或其他利益相抵或相互冲突的客户与阁下或阁下集团的成员包括诉讼或其他形式的争议解决。但是,如果我司已经在某个问题上代表阁下,我司不会就此事为另一个客户行事,除非有规定允许。

如果阁下意识到阁下与我司在特定事务上为其行事的另一客户之间可能存在利益冲突,阁下应立即与我司联系。如果出现这种性质的冲突,阁下同意考虑到法律限制,适用的专业规则以及阁下和其他客户的利益,并决定是否应继续为双方或一方行事。

阁下同意,根据专业操守规则,如果我司所掌握的信息涉及我司对阁下承担的保密义务,并且对于我司收到来自另一客户的指示的事项而言是重要的,我司将不会被阻止代理其他客户,我司也不会要求阁下进一步同意代理其他客户,只要我司在相应情况下采取合理的安排来确保该等信息的机密性。

浩宸律师行有限法律责任合伙根据香港法律执业者条例第39C条与安杰律师事务所香港办事室(「安杰律师事务所」)联营。 两所都是独立的法律实体和独立的法律实践主体。根据香港律师协会的规定,两所都必须以保密和利益冲突相关的职业行为规则为己任。

在本节中,除非阁下直接聘用或成为另一浩宸集团旗下的公司的客户,否则引用“我司”或“我方”应包括任何其他在浩宸集团旗下的公司,聘用条款应同样适用于阁下与其的聘用关系。

  1. 其他服务

如阁下指示我司为阁下提供聘用函所列的事项之外的服务,我司的服务费将另行计算。

  1. 有关电子通讯的风险

当阁下向我司提供传真或电脑网路地址以传送文件,除非阁下另有指示,否则我司默认阁下之安排已有足够保障自身利益的充分的保护和保密工作。如果阁下未能以书面形式向我司提供最新的联系信息,我司将不承担任何由此造成的损失。

阁下须注意网络并非完全安全,因此阁下使用电脑网路方式传输或要求我司使用这种方式传输资料给阁下,将涉及风险。阁下明白也同意电邮不能确保送递的时间,亦不能确保讯息已获预期收件者接收。我司经电邮传输的资料不会定时加密,因此阁下如果不希望我司使用电邮作通讯媒介或阁下要求以电邮传输的资料加密,请通知我司。

我司会对所有收发的电邮进行电脑病毒的过滤,以尽最大努力保持我司电脑网络的完善,我司亦期望阁下同样对所有收发的电邮进行电脑病毒的过滤。在我司以电子方式与阁下沟通的情况下,我司不接受阁下对此类通信的未收或迟迟未收到的责任,也未承诺向阁下传达的信息中的任何损坏或向其他方泄露的信息。我司不承担特别是但不限于因阁下的电子通信系统受到损害而导致的任何责任(由于电子邮件黑客攻击或其他原因)。未经我司事先书面许可,不得对我司发送的电子通讯进行任何修改、变更、增加、删除和/或转发。

  1. 客户投诉

若阁下欲对我司作出投诉,应以书面方式通知我司。我司会安排一名独立合伙律师,该独立合伙律师并无参与处理阁下提供指示的案件事务,阁下的投诉将由独立合伙律师尽快作出调查,其不会实际参与该案件事务。该独立合伙律师将会了解阁下的投诉和在独立于负责该案件的律师和/或合伙人的情况下查阅有关档案,并在事后向阁下交代其调查结果,及我司可以采取的任何行动以解决有关投诉。

  1. 版权

我司向阁下提供意见的所有文件仅限于阁下使用,且仅限用于我司为阁下提供服务的事宜。我司向阁下提供的所有书面材料之版权属于我司。

  1. 私隐及资料的保密

我司承诺尊重由我司代阁下保存的所有资料。阁下的个人信息资料将会就我司行政、会计、计费和反洗钱的用途存放于我司的资料库,以让我司可进行相关资料搜寻,我司可向阁下传送阁下有可能感兴趣的服务和项目资料。我司可能会根据法定和监管义务以及内部程序来持有,使用和处理阁下提供给我司的任何资料,以进行冲突检查,客户身份识别和其他客户的采购和维护程序,并在相关事宜中进行工作并更新客户资料库。资料可能会与其他浩宸集团实体共享。除上述用途外,有关资料将不会披露予任何第三方。如阁下对我司使用阁下的资料有任何问题或顾虑,请向我司的合伙人查询。

阁下必须确保阁下提供给我司的任何个人资料以及我司根据阁下的指示使用和披露该数据不会违反任何适用的资料保护法律和法规。根据适用的资料保护和隐私法律法规,我司将遵守作为律师事务所的职责。

我司有权根据香港个人资料私隐条例收取合理费用处理任何数据查阅或更正的要求。

  1. 不可抗力

如果因为超出我司合理控制的任何其他事情导致我司不能向阁下提供服务, 我司并不因此而负上责任。如果该等事情出现, 我司将会合理可行地尽快通知阁下。

  1. 规限法律和司法管辖区

本协议及我司向阁下提供的服务受香港法律监管。如阁下为中国内地之个人或实体,则阁下同意同与我司发生任何争议时,会不可撤回地接受香港的法院的专有司法管辖权。在任何其他情况下,阁下同意不可撤回地接受香港的法院的司法管辖权。阁下知悉在我司的选择下,我司可在任何其他司法管辖区就相关争议对阁下提起法律诉讼。是严格基于阁下同意就委聘我司引起的任何事宜仅在香港提起法律诉讼而非提交其他任何司法管辖区法院的基础上同意为阁下提供服务的。

阁下同意免除面交送达,并接受与聘用函及/或本文件及/或我司提供的服务有关的任何书面通讯、要求、通知、法庭程序、申请、命令及/或裁决的送达通过聘用函中列明的邮寄及/或电子邮件地址发送给阁下,不论任何目的。如果按照本规定进行了上述所有此类通讯、要求、通知、法院程序、申请、命令及/或裁决,则应无条件且不可撤销地视为我司已经有效且正确地送达并由阁下收到。

 

© 2021浩宸律师行有限法律责任合伙

版权所有,侵权必究

標準商業條款

  1. 引言

本商業條款的款項,連同於工作開始時提供給閣下的任何聘用函,列出我司接受閣下指示的條款及我司收費的準則。如本商業條款與聘用函有任何不一致,概以聘用函為准。除非另有書面約定,本商業條款的款項(經我司不時修訂)和聘用函(以下統稱“協議”)適用於我司為閣下所做的工作以外的所有其他口頭和書面條款。在遵守上述規定的前提下,除非我司和閣下書面同意,否則協議不得修改。

我司的網站上提供了商業條款的中文版本僅供參考。不同版本如有衝突,概以英文版本為准。

如果有任何條款或任何條款之一部分被任何有管轄權的法院因任何原因被裁定為無效或無法執行,那麼就視為無效或無法執行的條款或其中的一部分已被刪除,協議其餘條款仍具有十足效力。

商業條款中包含“我司”“我方”一詞所指為閣下簽約業務的合同對方。

  1. 負責處理閣下事務的人員

我司會應相關法律法規通知並提供閣下主要負責閣下事務的我方人員及其他參與人員的資料。我司保留權力在必要時指派其他計費人員處理閣下的任何特定事項,如發生任何人員更改,我司會通知閣下。

我司的安排分配按我司認為適當的資源去處理受閣下委託處理的事務。

  1. 撤銷指示的權利

閣下有權以書面形式通知我司以撤銷閣下曾向我司發出的任何指示。請注意,從我司接受閣下指示至指示撤銷期間所產生的費用並不因撤銷指示免除,閣下應繳付相關費用。

  1. 同時代表多位客戶

如果閣下共同指示我司同時代表多於一名當事方,閣下於聘用函上之簽署為確認閣下希望我司代表所有當事方,並且:(i)授權我司與所有當事方分享我司從其中一名當事方所獲得的任何信息; (ii)確認閣下了解,如果當事方之間發生衝突,除非可以通過其他方式解決衝突,否則我司將不再代表部分或全部當事方。在這種情況下,我司可繼續代表部分或全部當事方; (iv)授權我司遵循於聘用書所列明之獲授權人士所發出之指示,或者,如未指明此類授權,我司將有權跟據代表所有當事方之其中一名人士之指示行事,而無需與各當事方確認指示。

如果我司在特定事務上與其他人共同為閣下行事,我司可能會向所有當事方披露我司從閣下處獲得的任何機密資訊以及我司與閣下的通信內容。就這點而言,我司給予的建議在閣下和其他客戶之間將不再享有法律專業特權。

即使閣下與其他當事方有不同的安排,除非另有書面約定閣下仍然對我司的費用承擔連帶責任。

  1. 第三方

如我司介紹閣下或需要代閣下聘請其他香港或海外的專業人士(如大律師、顧問人員、律師,外國律師,會計師、專家證人或訟費單草擬人員),我司只會在得到閣下的事先批准下才會以閣下的代理人的名義作上述聘請。除非另有書面協議,我司不會為上述任何或其他專業人士的任何行為或遺漏負責。我司亦可要求閣下直接聘請上述專業人士。

  1. 專業費用

我司的收費是根據香港法律執業者條例計算,我司計算考量的因素例如所需的專業技能和知識;涉及的事實和法律問題的複雜性和難度;準備或閱讀文件的數量和重要性;業務交易的地點和情況;時間成本;業務標的;緊急程度;負責的專業人員的資歷和業務的重要性。

在適當的情況下,銷售或服務稅(如有)將被添加到閣下帳單中。

在工作開始時我司可與閣下約定我司收費的基礎。如有固定收費或收費上限安排,我司將會在聘用函中寫明。固定費用是我司對於處理特定事項提出的一個建議特定費用。如果我司在約定的範圍之外開展工作或與閣下無其他約定,我司將主要參考人員處理工作所使用的時間來計算收費。閣下如有需求,我司會提供人員工作時間的詳細記錄副本。小時費率根據參與閣下事務的律師的經驗和專業水準而有所不同。我司的小時費率將經我司不時修訂及適用於閣下與我司的聘用函經不時修訂。

如有任何報價,概為我司根據以下準則以估算收費:(i) 估算時已知的資訊;(ii) 沒有不可預見之時間安排或其他事情發展要求我司開展超出目前估算的工作;(iii) 如果情況變得複雜或增加了工作的複雜性,或如果我司被要求在香港以外工作,則該估算將會被修改。估算並不具備約束力。我司向閣下所引述的任何固定費用只有在聘用函中包含時才具有約束力,並且始終應受合同條款約束。

我司將每月為閣下提供服務帳戶說明和為閣下支付的任何支付帳單的說明,若交易在較短的時間內完成,在這種情況下我司將在交易完成時提供帳戶。

除非我司書面同意,否則我司不會向同意支付全部或部分帳單的其他人承擔任何專業責任。即使我司同意接受其他人的付款,如果發生不付款的情況,閣下也需要對我司承擔付款責任。

如果該特定工作事宜無法成功完成,我司有權向閣下收取已完成工作的費用,包括已產生之任何支出雜費。

  1. 其他費用

閣下除須負責支付我司上述的收費外,亦應向我司繳付我司為閣下墊支的所有支出雜費。當閣下聘用我司時,閣下聘用我司同時,授權我司為工作而產生必要適當的雜費。如我司產生較大數額且非經常的支出,如差旅費、翻譯費、聘用其他專業人士的費用,我司將先徵求閣下的批准和同意。雜費可能包括在我司的收費帳目中,亦可能以單獨收取帳單。 一般雜費包括但不限於長途電話費、送遞費、打字費、外部影印、傳真費、郵遞及銀行收費等。關於公司搜索和其他文書事宜,我司可能會需要閣下提供每次搜索或其他服務的額外費用。

  1. 帳單支付

除非另有書面協定和指示,否則所有帳單將會顯示港幣或美元費用,並在發出後或出示帳單後立刻繳付。我司有權於帳單到期日起計,就逾期超過30天的任何未付金額收取以月息1%計算之逾期付款利息,直至該帳單完全付清為止。

如閣下繳付我司帳單的時間與數額同我司所同意的不一致,而因此引致我司遭受匯率差額之損失,我司有權向閣下收取額外金額,以彌補我司損失。

為香港法律執業者條例的目的而言,閣下同意每一張由我司向閣下發出的帳單均為分開及不同的帳單,儘管該帳單可能與閣下一直指示我司的任何特別事宜有關。

閣下在支付帳單款項時,不得扣除任何扣繳稅款或評定稅款。閣下負責將所需的扣繳稅款匯款給相關當局,並確保我司免受上述扣繳稅款影響。

任何根據閣下之公司成立/註冊/業務/住所所在地的法律而閣下有義務向任何政府或稅務機關支付的款項,包括因成立聘用我司而可能產生的所有稅款或任何預扣稅款,閣下需全額負責及支付,並且全屬閣下的責任。我司對閣下之稅款不承擔任何責任,亦不會就閣下之稅款進行賠償。

  1. 專業費用和雜費支付

我司可能要求閣下預付費用及雜費。須預付的費用數額將於我司聘用函中列明。我司會根據相關法律法規將收取的費用存入我司的客戶帳戶,並用作繳付閣下應向我司支付的後續帳單。我司將不對與客戶帳戶有關的機構的任何因違約而造成的任何損失負責。

我司可酌情要求閣下追加預付金,以保證數額足以支付我司已產生但未繳的費用以及將會產生的費用。當工作完結或終止服務時,我司會將剩餘的預付金退回給閣下。

即使我司已向閣下發出最終帳單,我司仍可保留預付金用於繳付可能的雜費,我司將不會向閣下退回該金額所累計的利息。除非我司另有書面約定,否則我司不會在任何情況下向閣下支付任何客戶帳戶中的利息。

  1. 我司保留的文件

我司保留的文件分為紙質形式,部分為電子形式。當工作已完結,閣下已繳付我司的帳單後,我司將應閣下要求下退回曾為相關工作原因而提供給我司且未代閣下存檔、交付或以其他方式發佈的文件的原件,以及閣下權屬下的所有其他文件。我司將保留所有其他文件,但並不保證將其保留至某特定期限。在完成工作或終止服務後,我司會儘量保留有關的文件檔案。酌情於各種原因,包括為了減省不必要的貯藏費用,我司有權將該等文件檔案銷毀或以其他方式處置。

不論是在工作中或終止後的時間裡,我司因任何原因而被強制性要求披露文件,或以口述或書面形式提供有關事宜及閣下的資料,例如根據法院和由其他權威要求強制披露的機構或人士所發出的法庭命令、通知或要求,我司將服從要求並披露有關的資料。我司將有權向閣下收取產生的相關費用。如任何文件或資料受法律專業保密權所保護,我司將會告知閣下此保密權的存在以及獲得豁免的機會。如閣下決定不豁免有關保密權而有人對此提出質疑,我司將向閣下收取有關代閣下維持保密權所招致的費用。

如果在工作結束後,閣下要求我司從文件中找回屬於閣下的任何材料,我司將配合閣下且不收取直接的檢索費用。但我司可能會向閣下收取在遵守閣下的請求上及回答閣下的問題上所付出的時間收費。我司也可能向閣下收取任何材料的費用。

除非閣下明確要求不保留文件,否則我司可能會不時地將與閣下指示我司的事項有關的材料放在我司的知識管理資料庫中,該資料庫僅供我司人員使用。

  1. 檔案及文件

在我司與閣下聘用之事務完成後,我司將不負責保留與閣下有關的檔案及文件,並且我司有權根據我司之專業及法律規定,在不知會閣下的情況下去清除檔案及文件。在工作完結前,請向我司索取閣下希望保留之任何檔案或文件之副本。根據所涉及的工作和成本,可能會收取費用。

  1. 我司的責任

當閣下聘用我司的同時,已同意不會就聘用直接產生或相關的爭議糾紛,對我司的任何合夥人,自然人股東,董事或員工提出針對個人的申索。

閣下還同時同意在我司向閣下提供服務的整個過程中,包括在工作開始時發送給閣下的聘用函和本商業條款的款項內所列的服務,我司對閣下損失的責任限於相關法律規定,且在任何情況下也不會包括任何相應而生或間接的損失,無論損失於工作開始時是否可預見。

對我司向閣下介紹的或我司代表閣下委聘的任何其他專業人士向閣下提供的意見或服務,我司並不負有任何責任。

基於我司真誠地遵守反洗錢或制裁法律或任何管轄權的規定下,對於閣下或任何其他人因我司所採取的相關任何行動、任何延遲或失敗或拒絕採取行動而遭受的任何損失或損害,我司並不負有任何責任。在我司認為適當時,會延遲或拒絕支付或轉移款項或拒絕進行相關的指示,以遵守任何反洗錢或制裁法律或法規或相關的調查。對於閣下或任何其他人因我司交易的任何金融機構採取的行動而遭受的任何損失或損害,我司不承擔任何責任。

我司在代表超過一個當事人時,對閣下的責任限額會因應當事人數目作出適當的分配。如責任限額的分配未於聘用函中明確地說明,有關分配將由閣下全權決定。如閣下因任何原因未能決定有關分配,閣下將不能藉此對責任限額作出任何爭議。

我司對閣下的責任只限於由具有管轄權的法院所裁定我司就閣下的損失或損害(包括利息及費用)應對閣下作出的賠償份額,數額應考慮到其他相關責任的人士所須承擔的部分。

在任何情況下,我司對閣下的最大責任僅限於閣下向我司所支付的專業費用之總和,並且任何因聘用我司而產生或與之有關的法律訴訟必須由閣下在簽訂聘用函日期的一年內正式開展。如果我司未能將我司的責任限制在《律師(專業彌償)規則》不時要求的最低保險額度或以下的金額,則我司對閣下的責任(如有)將不超過該金額。

在評估任何其他人士對閣下損失所承擔的賠償責任時,毋須考慮在損失或損害發生前以協議附加於該人士的賠償金額的限額。

在本段所指的責任限制和免除事項,並不適用於任何因我司疏忽而引致的個人傷亡責任,及任何不能合法地免除或限制之其他責任。

  1. 反洗錢

我司受到香港各種反洗錢法例的約束,包括但不限於下列條例:

– “販毒(追討得益)條例”

– “有組織及嚴重罪行條例”

– “聯合國(反恐怖主義措施)條例”

此外,香港律師會已於2008年7月1日起實施實務指示P。該文件旨在通過香港律師行打擊洗黑錢及與恐怖分子有關的行為活動。該檔是一套指引及強制規定,所有律師事務所在接受新老客戶的指示時均須遵守。

根據洗錢條例,我司須制定防止洗錢的內部程式。在接受閣下的指示時,須留意香港的反洗黑錢法例,例如“有組織及嚴重罪行條例”其中條款25A提到:

“(1)凡任何人知道或懷疑任何財產─

(a)全部或部分直接或間接代表任何人的收益;

(b)其使用關聯;或者

(c)其使用旨在用於與可予公訴的罪行,

他應當在合理的情況下儘快向獲授權人員披露該消息或疑慮,連同以該消息或疑慮為根據的任何事宜向獲授權人員披露……“。

如果我司獲悉或懷疑(或有合理理由懷疑)涉及洗錢的事項或交易,我司會根據法定義務和程式向授權人員通報。閣下應該意識到,根據具體情況,我司可能無法徵求閣下的同意或通知閣下我司已經發出通知。閣下同意我司可以提出任何我司認為適合遵守洗錢法規和我方的反洗錢程式的通知。我司在善意原則下有權這樣做,無論我司是否有法定義務提出有關通知。

上述反洗錢義務優先於我司對閣下的任何法律專業特權或保密性。在這種情況下,我司顯然會於閣下有利益衝突,因此我司必要時將退出代理行為且不提供任何理由。

根據“販毒(追討得益)條例”第2條的規定,“授權人員”是指任何警務人員,任何香港海關人員及律政司司長為施行條例而授權的人,包括聯合財務情報組的任何人員及“有組織及嚴重罪行條例”,以及入境事務隊的任何成員及廉政公署的任何高級人員,均按“聯合國憲章”第二條(反恐怖主義措施)條例。

我司的反洗錢政策(“反洗錢政策”)也要求我司進行驗證和執行“瞭解您的客戶”的調查程式,並規定如何使用客戶帳戶等等。以上要求我司驗證客戶身份並進行其他背景調查。我司按要求保留獲得的身份證明的記錄。我司也可能被要求詳細詢問我司建議的交易以及其實益擁有者所使用的資金來源。在可能的情況下,我司會儘量使用公共來源的資訊來滿足驗證要求。但我司也可能需要為此請求(並保留)檔和其他資訊。如果驗證要求不能在合理時間內達到我司,我司可能會延遲開始工作,拒絕採取行動或者(如果適用)停止採取行動。

我司的客戶帳戶中沒有預期的任何收據或與我司提供的資料不相符的任何收據可能會被保留,我司將自行決定作進一步調查或退回給寄件人。我司可能會以正常的方式向閣下收取我司所要做的工作以及與調查和/或資金返還寄件者有關的費用。因此,我司需要提前通知所有收據及其原因。

  1. 終止服務

當我司收到閣下的指示後,在正常的情況下會為閣下提供服務直到該項工作完結為止。如確有個別情況發生而致使任何一方終止合同,閣下應繳付我司由開始工作至聘用期間終止的服務費用和雜費,並向我司繳付因終止我司服務或把檔案移交給閣下選擇的其他顧問而引起的任何費用及雜費。

如閣下未能按照我司工作開展後不時要求繳付足夠的付款,或當閣下未能按時繳付我司發出的帳單時,我司將有權終止為閣下工作,閣下仍有義務繳付我司已產生的所有服務費用、開支和雜費。

在有充分理由的情況下,我司將在合理通知閣下後停止為閣下提供服務。這些原因包括我司繼續採取行動是違法的或不道德的、我司的發票沒有結清或者閣下沒有提供任何必要的付款。我司沒有義務向閣下透露終止聘用的理由。終止原因包括但不限於以下情況:

– 我司認為會產生利益衝突

– 我司收費開支或我司合理要求的任何帳戶付款閣下沒有提供

– 我司無法獲得閣下的完整或適當的指示

– 我司確定律師和客戶之間所需的信任保密關係不存在,或者

– 根據我司的專業操守規則我司不合適繼續代表閣下。

在終止聘用我司時,我司有權對由我司代閣下所持有的所有文件和款項行使留置權,直到閣下支付我司的所有法律費用、訟費、支出和雜費為止。

  1. 保密

我司會對閣下提供給我司的資料保密,除非得到閣下授權或根據法律要求,我司不會將這些資料披露予協力廠商。如在閣下授權下,我司連同其他專業人士向閣下提供服務,我司預設可向該等專業人士披露閣下的相關資料。

我司在聘用期間對於向我司提供的保密資訊應當承擔普通法的責任,除非在本節列出的情況下,我司不會披露這些資訊。我司也有同樣的責任對他人保密我司的客戶。因此,閣下同意,如果我司在任何時候擁有我司對前任或其他當前客戶所應負的保密義務的資訊,即使這些資訊可能對我司已收到閣下的指示的事務很重要,我司可能會根據我司的職業行為規範代表閣下。閣下同意我司不會被要求披露這些資訊或代表閣下使用。

我司有責任保存與閣下有關的資訊或我司所代理或已採取行動對閣下保密的事項,我司有義務披露任何我司認為必須向任何警方,政府,監管機構或監管機構有法定或監管義務(包括反洗錢政策中所述的義務),或根據我司為履行這些義務而設立的任何內部程式。閣下也同意,如果有我司的保險公司,審計師或其他顧問要求,我司可以向他們提供與閣下有關的資訊或者我司正在為閣下行事或為閣下行事的事項的細節。

閣下同意我司可能會將與閣下有關的保密資訊或為閣下代理的事項披露給同意受到我司對閣下的任何此類資訊保密的相同義務的其他浩宸集團旗下的公司(「浩宸集團」)。

除非閣下另行通知我司,否則閣下同意我所可以在我所用於推廣和內部目的的事項清單中包含我司代表閣下的事實,當事人的名稱,事務的標的價值(如相關)並對我司代表閣下公開披露的所有事項進行一般性描述。

  1. 利益衝突

閣下同意,在不減損我司對閣下的保密義務的情況下且遵守我司的職業操守規則,我司現在或將來可能在未經閣下的同意的情況下為閣下的競爭對手或其他利益相抵或相互衝突的客戶與閣下或閣下集團的成員包括訴訟或其他形式的爭議解決。但是,如果我司已經在某個問題上代表閣下,我司不會就此事為另一個客戶行事,除非有規定允許。

如果閣下意識到閣下與我司在特定事務上為其行事的另一客戶之間可能存在利益衝突,閣下應立即與我司聯繫。如果出現這種性質的衝突,閣下同意考慮到法律限制,適用的專業規則以及閣下和其他客戶的利益,並決定是否應繼續為雙方或一方行事。

閣下同意,根據專業操守規則,如果我司所掌握的資訊涉及我司對閣下承擔的保密義務,並且對於我司收到來自另一客戶的指示的事項而言是重要的,我司將不會被阻止代理其他客戶,我司也不會要求閣下進一步同意代理其他客戶,只要我司在相應情況下採取合理的安排來確保該等資訊的機密性。

浩宸律師行有限法律責任合夥根據香港法律執業者條例第39C條與安傑律師事務所香港辦事室(「安傑律師事務所」)聯營。 兩所都是獨立的法律實體和獨立的法律實踐主體。根據香港律師協會的規定,兩所都必須以保密和利益衝突相關的職業行為規則為己任。

在本節中,除非閣下直接聘用或成為另一浩宸集團旗下的公司的客戶,否則引用“我司”或“我方”應包括任何其他在浩宸集團旗下的公司,聘用條款應同樣適用於閣下與其的聘用關係。

  1. 其他服務

如閣下指示我司為閣下提供聘用函所列的事項之外的服務,我司的服務費將另行計算。

  1. 有關電子通訊的風險

當閣下向我司提供傳真或電腦網路位址以傳送檔,除非閣下另有指示,否則我司默認閣下之安排已有足夠保障自身利益的充分的保護和保密工作。如果閣下未能以書面形式向我司提供最新的聯繫資訊,我司將不承擔任何由此造成的損失。

閣下須注意網路並非完全安全,因此閣下使用電腦網路方式傳輸或要求我司使用這種方式傳輸資料給閣下,將涉及風險。閣下明白也同意電郵不能確保送遞的時間,亦不能確保訊息已獲預期收件者接收。我司經電郵傳輸的資料不會定時加密,因此閣下如果不希望我司使用電郵作通訊媒介或閣下要求以電郵傳輸的資料加密,請通知我司。

我司會對所有收發的電郵進行電腦病毒的過濾,以盡最大努力保持我司電腦網路的完善,我司亦期望閣下同樣對所有收發的電郵進行電腦病毒的過濾。在我司以電子方式與閣下溝通的情況下,我司不接受閣下對此類通信的未收或遲遲未收到的責任,也未承諾向閣下傳達的資訊中的任何損壞或向其他方洩露的資訊。我司不承擔特別是但不限於因閣下的電子通信系統受到損害而導致的任何責任(由於電子郵件駭客攻擊或其他原因)。未經我司事先書面許可,不得對我司發送的電子通訊進行任何修改、變更、增加、刪除和/或轉發。

  1. 客戶投訴

若閣下欲對我司作出投訴,應以書面方式通知我司。我司會安排一名獨立合夥律師,該獨立合夥律師並無參與處理閣下提供指示的案件事務,閣下的投訴將由獨立合夥律師儘快作出調查,其不會實際參與該案件事務。該獨立合夥律師將會瞭解閣下的投訴和在獨立於負責該案件的律師和/或合夥人的情況下查閱有關檔案,並在事後向閣下交代其調查結果,及我司可以採取的任何行動以解決有關投訴。

  1. 版權

我司向閣下提供意見的所有檔僅限於閣下使用,且僅限用於我司為閣下提供服務的事宜。我司向閣下提供的所有書面材料之版權屬於我司。

  1. 私隱及資料的保密

我司承諾尊重由我司代閣下保存的所有資料。閣下的個人資訊資料將會就我司行政、會計、計費和反洗錢的用途存放於我司的資料庫,以讓我司可進行相關資料搜尋,我司可向閣下傳送閣下有可能感興趣的服務和專案資料。我司可能會根據法定和監管義務以及內部程式來持有,使用和處理閣下提供給我司的任何資料,以進行衝突檢查,客戶身份識別和其他客戶的採購和維護程式,並在相關事宜中進行工作並更新客戶資料庫。資料可能會與其他浩宸集團實體共用。除上述用途外,有關資料將不會披露予任何協力廠商。如閣下對我司使用閣下的資料有任何問題或顧慮,請向我司的合夥人查詢。

閣下必須確保閣下提供給我司的任何個人資料以及我司根據閣下的指示使用和披露該資料不會違反任何適用的資料保護法律和法規。根據適用的資料保護和隱私法律法規,我司將遵守作為律師事務所的職責。

我司有權根據香港個人資料私隱條例收取合理費用處理任何資料查閱或更正的要求。

  1. 不可抗力

如果因為超出我司合理控制的任何其他事情導致我司不能向閣下提供服務, 我司並不因此而負上責任。如果該等事情出現, 我司將會合理可行地儘快通知閣下。

  1. 規限法律和司法管轄區

本協議及我司向閣下提供的服務受香港法律監管。如閣下為中國內地之個人或實體,則閣下同意同與我司發生任何爭議時,會不可撤回地接受香港的法院的專有司法管轄權。在任何其他情況下,閣下同意不可撤回地接受香港的法院的司法管轄權。閣下知悉在我司的選擇下,我司可在任何其他司法管轄區就相關爭議對閣下提起法律訴訟。是嚴格基於閣下同意就委聘我司引起的任何事宜僅在香港提起法律訴訟而非提交其他任何司法管轄區法院的基礎上同意為閣下提供服務的。

閣下同意免除面交送達,並接受與聘用函及/或本文件及/或我司提供的服務有關的任何書面通訊、要求、通知、法庭程序、申請、命令及/或裁決的送達通過聘用函中列明的郵寄及/或電子郵件地址發送給閣下,不論任何目的。如果按照本規定進行了上述所有此類通訊、要求、通知、法院程序、申請、命令及/或裁決,則應無條件且不可撤銷地視為我司已經有效且正確地送達並由閣下收到。

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