(English translation from Dutch)
Pursuant to Section 6.28 of the Legal Profession Regulation (Dutch: “Verordening op de advocatuur”) Codex Mulder B.V. has implemented the following complaints handling procedure (Dutch: “Kantoorklachtenregeling”).
Complaints handling procedure of Codex Mulder B.V. (“Codex Mulder”)
For purposes of this complaints handling procedure:
Complainant means any former or current client or third party, or their legal representative, who makes a Complaint known to Codex Mulder;
Complaint means any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of a former or current client or (interested) third party about Codex Mulder.’s, an Employee’s, or a Former Employee’s conduct in the conclusion or performance of a contract for services, or about the quality of the services provided or the amount or breakdown of an invoice, all this with the exception of complaints as referred to in Section 46c of the Dutch Lawyers Act (Dutch: “Advocatenwet”);
Complaints Form means the standard form for filing a Complaint as sent upon request;
Complaints Officer means the lawyer whom Codex Mulder has charged with the task of
handling a Complaint;
Employee means any of the lawyers of Codex Mulder or any person working at Codex Mulder under their supervision;
Former Employee means any lawyer who used to work for Codex Mulder or any person who used to perform work at Codex Mulder under the supervision of one of its lawyers;
Parties means the Complainant and the Subject of a Complaint or, for purposes of Clause 6, the Complainant and Codex Mulder;
Subject of a Complaint means the Employee or Former Employee against whom a Complaint has been filed;
Voda means the Regulation for the Legal Profession (Dutch: “Verordening op de advocatuur)” of 4 December 2014.
2.1 As regards lawyers of Codex Mulder and those working under their supervision, this complaints handling procedure is a complaints procedure as defined in Sections 6.28 ff. of the Voda.
2.2 This complaints handling procedure is applicable to all contracts for services entered into by Codex Mulder and a client.
2.3 If the Complainant so wishes, this complaints handling procedure will be declared applicable to the Complaint of a third party.
2.4 Each and every employee must ensure that Complaints are handled in full compliance with this complaints handling procedure.
The purpose of this complaints handling procedure is to ensure that Complaints are handled efficiently, effectively, and constructively within a reasonable period of time. In the light of Codex Mulder’s endeavour to improve its services and establish long-lasting relationships with its clients, a proper complaints handling procedure is essential.
4. Information at the Outset of the Service Provision
At the start of the service provision, the Employee concerned must inform the client about the existence of this complaints handling procedure and confirm in writing that this procedure is also applicable to the services provided to the client. Clients will be sent a copy at their written request.
5. Complaints procedure
5.1 The Complaints Officer decides how a Complaint will be handled and informs the Parties of the progress made in his or her handling of the Complaint.
5.2 If a Complainant informs Codex Mulder or an Employee of a Complaint, the person so informed will immediately forward the Complaint to the Complaints Officer. A Complainant may also, at his or her sole discretion, file a Complaint directly with the Complaints Officer.
5.3 The Complaints Officer reports to the Subject of the Complaint that a Complaint has been made against him or her and invites the Complainant to explain the Complaint in greater detail in writing if he or she so wishes. If the Complaint is directed against Codex Mulder. or concerns a Former Employee, the Complaints Officer will designate an Employee to speak on behalf of the Subject of the Complaint in the complaints handling procedure.
5.4 The Complaints Officer invites the Subject of the Complaint to express his or her views on the Complaint in writing.
5.5 Where relevant, the Complaints Officer then affords the Parties an opportunity to reach an amicable settlement.
5.6 Having heard both Parties and (where applicable) having allowed the Parties to explore possibilities for an amicable settlement, the Complaints Officer will render his written decision on the Complaint and its merits. The Complaints Officer may attach recommendations to the decision. The decision completes the internal complaints procedure.
5.7 The Complaints Officer endeavours to handle Complaints within four weeks of receipt. If that deadline is impossible to meet, the Complaints Officer will send the Parties a written, reasoned notification informing them when the Complaint will be decided.
6. Expert determination procedure
6.1 If a Complainant does not accept the Complaints Officer’s decision, the Complaint will be submitted to an expert for binding expert determination (Dutch: “bindend advies”) at the Complainant’s written request.
6.2 The Parties jointly appoint an expert.
6.3 The binding expert determination procedure of Section 7:900 of the Dutch Civil Code serves as the dispute resolution mechanism referred to in Section 6.29 of the Voda.
6.4 The expert must be independent and impartial and must have demonstrable experience and knowledge in the field of corporate legal practice.
6.5 Codex Mulder B.V. supplies the Complainant with a list of experts who are considered suitable.
6.6 The Complainant may nominate an expert from the list referred to in Clause 6.5. The nomination is binding and will qualify as a joint appointment by the Parties.
6.7 If the Parties cannot reach agreement about the appointment, either Party may ask the President of the Dutch Bar Association in Amsterdam to designate an expert. That designation will qualify as a joint appointment by the Parties.
6.8 The expert decides how the dispute submitted to him or her will be handled.
6.9 The expert endeavours to resolve disputes submitted to him or her by issuing a binding determination within two months of his or her appointment. If that deadline is impossible to meet, the expert will send the Parties a timely reasoned notification in wiring informing them when he or she will issue the binding determination.
6.10 A binding determination is issued in writing.
6.11 The expert will also issue a cost award (including the reasonable costs of legal assistance) as part of the binding determination.
6.12 The Parties may agree on the expert settling the dispute other than in monetary terms.
6.13 The expert sees to it that copies of all documents are sent to the Complaints Officer without delay.
6.14 This article 6 shall not affect the right of Codex Mulder to collect payment of its invoices through the competent court.
7.1 The Complaints Officer is responsible for handling Complaints.
7.2 The Complaints Officer keeps a register of Complaints as well as files on all internal complaints and expert determination procedures.
7.3 Complaints about the Complaints Officer may be filed with the Board of Codex Mulder.
The Complaints Officer must periodically report to the Board of Codex Mulder about the Complaints handled. He or she may make recommendations to prevent Complaints or improve the complaints handling procedure.
9. Confidentiality and Personal Data Protection
9.1 Complaints are handled confidentially.
9.2 All personal data are processed in full compliance with the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act (Dutch: ”Wet bescherming persoonsgegevens”).
9.3 Personal Data will be shared with third parties only with the express and written consent of the Subject of the Complaint or if there is another legitimate legal basis for sharing such data.
10. No fees
Codex Mulder does not charge the Complainant with any fees for having the Complaints Officer handle a Complaint.
11. Decisive text
In case of the Dutch text of this Complaints Handling Procedure being at variance with or being capable of interpretation in a different way than this English translation, then the Dutch text and/or the interpretation to be given to the Dutch text shall be decisive.