Client service terms

Thank you for choosing Selmer to act as your counsel. Our standard client service terms will apply to any matter in which you engage us, unless otherwise agreed. Selmer is licensed to practice law by the Norwegian Supervisory Council for Legal Practice. Our lawyers are all members of the Norwegian Bar Association and subject to the Association’s Disciplinary Council which handles complaints concerning breaches of regulation. We look forward to working with you.

Updated 15 November 2021.

1. Scope

These general terms and conditions of engagement apply to all engagements related to legal, strategic, financial and investigation services rendered by Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS (“Selmer”). These terms and conditions apply in addition to the terms and conditions stated in the engagement letter for each individual engagement or as otherwise agreed.

In the event of inconsistencies between the provisions in the general terms and conditions of engagement and the terms and conditions stated in the engagement letter for individual engagements or special framework agreements with clients, the two latter will prevail.

2. Engagement

The engagement is described in the engagement letter for each engagement and/or special framework agreement with the client. The engagement may subsequently be amended or broadened by agreement.

3. Responsibility for performance of the engagement

A lawyer or manager will have overall responsibility for each individual matter (engagement responsibility). Other lawyers, associates, advisors, analysts and personnel will assist as appropriate.

4. Confidentiality

The ordinary rules regarding the duty of confidentiality for attorneys apply to all engagements Selmer undertakes.

Confidential information may be divulged to employees of the firm other than the client's contact person, when deemed appropriate for the effective handling of the engagement, cf. clause 3 above.

Due to legally mandated money laundering procedures, cf. the Norwegian Money Laundering Act of 1 June 2018 No. 23, and conflict of interest checks, cf. "Code of Ethics of the Norwegian Bar Association" § 3.2 concerning conflicts of interest, client information will also be used in internal controls.

Once the contents of an assignment have been made publicly available, Selmer retains the right to use information from the assignment in marketing the firm. Selmer also retains the right to use the client's logo in our marketing material.

5. Processing of Personal Data

When working on an engagement, or in connection therewith and in certain other contexts, Selmer will process personal data, including special categories of personal data if necessary. Selmer's processing of personal data is subject to the Norwegian Personal Data Act and other relevant regulations.

Other parties, such as counterparties, courts and public bodies, will only have access to personal data to the extent necessary for the engagement.

Read more about Selmer's processing of personal data here: www.selmer.no.

6. Fees

Selmer's methods for calculating attorney's fees are tailored to comply with the "Code of Ethics of the Norwegian Bar Association".

Selmer's fees are based primarily on the resources that are employed in the engagement, adjusted for the complexity of the case, results achieved, and the interests attended to during the engagement. Our fees are normally calculated based on the hours the individual advisor has spent on the engagement and on the advisor’s current hourly rate. The hourly rates vary according to the qualifications and experience of the individual advisor. Individual hourly rates are used for paralegals and trainees. Selmer records on an on-going basis all time spent on an assignment.

The engagement letter sets out the prices agreed for an engagement. The hourly rates are subject to annual revision and adjusted hourly rates will automaticlly apply unless agreed otherwise.

Value added tax (VAT) and any other government taxes will be added in accordance with the rules in effect at any given time.

Selmer’s fees shall be paid regardless of the outcome of the matter.

Any estimate provided for the total fee of the entire engagement is intended as a budgetary guideline only, and must not be perceived as a fixed price.

7. Costs and expenses

In addition to our fees, clients will be required to pay for any expenses Selmer incurs in connection with the engagement, such as travel expenses, court fees, etc. If the engagement requires extraordinary use of Selmer's personnel, supplies or aids, such as copying, office supplies, use of databases, overtime for office personnel, etc., the client will be charged for these costs.

Selmer will not charge a mark-up on the invoicing of costs or expenses, with the exception of VAT or other government taxes where required.

If Selmer hires consultants, experts, foreign lawyers or other third parties on behalf of clients, we do so in our capacity as the client’s representative, and the client will be responsible for the third party’s fees as well as any related costs or duties.

8. Costs associated with litigation

This clause applies only to cases where there is a legal dispute or potential litigation. Please note that

a) the client is responsible for payment of the full amount of Selmer’s fees, regardless of whether a claim for reimbursement of costs is filed against the opposing party;
b) if the case is lost, it is likely that the client will be ordered to pay the opposing party’s costs, in addition to the client’s own costs; and
c) even if the outcome of the case is successful, the opposing party may not be ordered to pay the costs or may be incapable of doing so, and in either case the client will remain responsible for the payment of Selmer’s fees in full.

9. Advance payment and client accounts

Selmer reserves the right to request advance payment for fees, costs and VAT. A request for advance payment must not be construed as an estimate or ceiling for Selmer’s fees, costs or VAT. Advance payments must be deposited in an interest-bearing client account at Selmer.

Other payments to the client account may be offset against any invoice Selmer has sent to the client, with the exception of instances where payment was made for a different specific purpose.

Selmer does not assume the credit risk for retained funds in the client account.

Pursuant to the Tax Administration Act of 27 May 2016 no. 1 § 10 2 (2) (Nw: Skatteforvaltningsloven), Selmer is obligated to provide information to the tax authorities regarding a client's money transfers, deposits and debt, including the identity of the parties to the transaction relating to the client account.

10. Legal Aid

Selmer requests that the client discloses any legal protection insurance the client holds. The client may also request in writing that Selmer makes the necessary inquiries of whether the client is covered by any legal aid arrangements or legal protection insurance.

11. Invoicing and payment

Unless otherwise specifically agreed, Selmer invoices on monthly basis with a specified invoice. Such invoicing is done without regard to whether or not the assignment has been completed at the invoicing dates. Payments on account may be requested even though this has not been specifically agreed. 

Unless otherwise specifically agreed, the payment terms are 10 days from the date of invoice. If the payment due date is not met, Selmer reserves the right to
a) demand late payment interest pursuant to the Act relating to interest on overdue payments etc. of 17 December 1976 No. 100, from the due date until payment is made, plus any collection or recovery costs,
b) cease any performance of engagements, both the engagement in question and other engagements, and
c) exercise a possessory lien on the case documents, files, etc., received

12. Relation to third parties

Selmer only has obligations to the client named in the engagement letter or otherwise, and no liability is owed to any third parties. If agreed, at the request of the client, that a third party may rely on a document obtained from or advice rendered by Selmer, such reliance shall not alter or give rise to any further liability on the part of Selmer. Nor shall such reliance give rise to a client relationship between Selmer and such third party.

13. Conflict of interest

Within the framework of current legislation and ethical codestandard for Norwegian lawyers and subject to Selmer’s duty of confidentiality with regard to documents and information received, the following applies:

  • In the same matter and at the same time, Selmer only acts on behalf of one client (or for a group of clients with aligned interests). This does not apply to matters where Selmer explicitly has reserved the right to assist on a non-exclusive basis for the client concerned.
  • An engagement for a client in one matter does not prevent Selmer from accepting engagements against the same client in another matter, unless this would be inappropriate.
  • Engagement for one client does not prevent Selmer from accepting engagements from other clients whom the client perceives to be competitors.
  • If the client presupposes that with regard to the conflict of interest rules, we shall consider several or all companies in a group as a client, this and the scope of relevant group companies must be agreed separately with Selmer before Selmer undertakes the engagement.

14. Electronic communication

We reserve the right to use unencrypted electronic communication (e.g., e-mail, SMS) in relation to clients, opposing parties, and others being involved in a matter, unless the client explicitly requests that communication will not be conducted electronically, or that all electronic communication must be encrypted. We renounce any liability for economic damages, loss of data or similar, that arise from the use of unencrypted electronic communication, technical issues, viruses and similar. We do not assume any liability for communication transmitted in error.

15. Document and files

Files and documents associated with the client’s case will be stored electronically or using image processing programs. Selmer does not assume any responsibility for proper storage, and the client should retain originals or copies of all documents provided by Selmer.

Documentation received in connection with engagements will be stored for as long as Selmer deems suitable (usually 10 years). The documentation will be destroyed/deleted thereafter without giving advance notice or informing the client

16. External advisors

Selmer’s engagement is limited to advice and assistance based on Norwegian law. Should the need arise; Selmer will assist in establishing contact with counsel abroad who can advise on foreign law. Selmer can handle all communication with the foreign lawyer concerning the scope and performance of the portion of the engagement relating to foreign law. However, Selmer requires that any engagement agreement is entered into directly between the client and the foreign lawyer, and that accounts are settled directly.

Selmer will not engage other advisors in the matter without the client’s approval. Selmer is not liable for services or advice rendered by consultants, experts, foreign lawyers or third parties, even if they have been chosen by or instructed by us on behalf of the client

17. Termination of engagement

The client is at any time free to terminate Selmer’s engagement, unless otherwise agreed, expressly or implied, in the individual matter. Selmer is entitled to terminate an engagement in accordance with the provisions in Section 3.1.6 of the "Code of Ethics of the Norwegian Bar Association". Selmer shall provide reasonable notice prior to such termination. The client is obligated to pay Selmer’s fees, costs and expenses, as well as the VAT accrued until the termination of the engagement and any work that is necessary thereafter, regardless of who terminated the engagement. If an engagement is terminated and a fixed fee has been agreed on for the engagement, Selmer reserves the right to invoice the number of hours spent on the engagement. Selmer has a possessory lien on all of the documents and any items of value we are in possession of pending payment of a claim against the client.

18. Liability insurance

Certain guarantees and liability insurance must be provided in connection with the practice of law to cover any liability for damages incurred in this context. Selmer’s liability insurance coverage is significantly broader than the minimum requirements applicable to lawyers.

19. Limitation of liability

Selmer shall always appoint one of Selmer's lawyers as responsible for each engagement for the practice of law, or several lawyers as responsible for certain parts of the engagement pursuant to Section 232, first to fourth paragraphs of the Courts of Justice Act of 13 August 1915 No. 5. The client shall be informed of the appointed lawyer(s).

Selmer’s potential liability for damages, including liability for the lawyer responsible for the engagement and any other employees, is limited to the lesser of 20 times the size of the fee and NOK 20 million. Selmer, the lawyer responsible for the engagement and any other employees are not, under any circumstances, liable for any form of indirect or consequential losses, including operating losses, loss of earnings, loss of goodwill, etc.

20. Right of appeal

Selmer’s lawyers are subject to the "Code of Ethics of the Norwegian Bar Association". Clients may appeal to the Norwegian Bar Association’s disciplinary panels for an assessment of whether Selmer’s work and fees are in accordance with the Code of Ethics. Additional information may be found at www.advokatforeningen.no under “Advokatetikk”.

21. Acceptance and amendments

These terms and conditions are assumed to be accepted unless the client promptly objects to the lawyer responsible for the engagement. Selmer reserves the right to reject an engagement if such an objection is made.

Selmer reserves the right to amend or supplement these general terms and conditions of engagement, either on a general basis or in relation to an individual matter. The most current version is available on Selmer's website www.selmer.no.

22. Choice of law rules and court of venue

Any contractual relationships between Selmer and its clients (and any entities within the same group of companies) concerning the services rendered, and any lawsuits or claims that are related to Selmer's work, shall be regulated in full by Norwegian law.

Oslo District Court is the court of venue for any dispute arising from the contractual relationship between Selmer and the client.