The terms of use of the HUGO.legal platform for the providers of legal aid service

  1. General provisions

The web platform HUGO.legal is administered by the OÜ HUGO, registry code 12821618, address Endla tn 15, 10122 Tallinn (hereinafter HUGO).

The HUGO.legal platform is an online service that mediates legal services to providers of legal aid. The HUGO.legal platform also allows you to store files related to the provision of legal services and to pay for legal aid.

HUGO is a provider of information society services and does not provide legal services. HUGO.legal mediates the provision of legal services between a lawyer and a customer. The lawyer provides legal services to the customer in the conformity with an authorization agreement and acts independently in his economic or professional activities. The conditions for providing legal services are determined by the lawyer. HUGO does not specify the time, place or cost of providing legal services.

There is no employment relationship between the customer and HUGO nor HUGO and the lawyer establish a legal partnership. HUGO acts as an economic agent for both the lawyer and the client. The lawyer authorizes HUGO to act as an economic agent with limited rights, which collects from the customer a fee for the provision of legal services. Payment for legal services from the customer to the lawyer is only made through the HUGO.legal platform. HUGO submits invoices for legal services to customers on behalf of a lawyer.

  1. Requirements to the lawyer

The lawyer providing the legal service must register the HUGO.legal platform account. If the legal service is provided through a legal entity, each lawyer must register a separate account.

When providing legal services through a legal entity, the service may be provided personally by a lawyer appointed through the HUGO.legal platform. When providing legal services through a legal entity, a legal service may be assigned to another lawyer if the customer has given his consent.

Via the HUGO.legal platform, a legal service may be provided by a natural person who has acquired at least a nationally recognized master’s degree in the field of law, a corresponding qualification within the meaning of the Republic of Estonia Education Act or a corresponding foreign qualification, and possesses the skills and knowledge that enable him to provide legal services.

When registering as a legal service provider, it is necessary to complete the registration application and to submit a copy of the document certifying higher education; in case the higher education was acquired at a foreign university, also the evaluation of the qualification by the Estonian ENIC / NARIC Centre (Academic Recognition Information Centre).

After filing the application for registration, the lawyer candidate will be interviewed to assess his / her experience and areas of specialization. HUGO shall conduct a candidate background survey using publicly available databases and common media.

If a candidate for the lawyer is suitable, the candidate will receive a confirmation and the profile of the lawyer will be disclosed on the HUGO.legal platform.

In the case of providing legal services through the HUGO.legal platform, the legal service may be provided in a capacity of a natural person, a sole proprietor, through a legal entity or through an enterprise account.

  1. Obligations of the lawyer

When using the HUGO.legal platform, the lawyer undertakes

to disclose honest and thorough information about their previous work experience and skills, to enable customers to provide the best quality legal services;

to disclose true personal data;

to provide legal services to the customer in accordance with the terms of the authorization agreement;

keep your HUGO.legal account username and password secure and confidential;

refrain from disturbing or damaging the HUGO.legal platform, software or service provided on it;

refrain from activities that would allow the provision of services to customers without payment of a commission to HUGO, including the provision of legal services mediated by the HUGO.legal platform to a client outside the HUGO.legal platform.

The lawyer may not represent or protect two or more clients in the same matter or provide them with other legal services if their interests are in conflict. If a conflict of interest arises, the lawyer is obliged to reject the order. The lawyer may provide legal services to several persons in the same matter as long as no conflict of interest occurs.

The lawyer may not act as an employee, agent or representative of HUGO or enter into contracts on behalf of HUGO. If, due to applicable laws or case law, the lawyer is considered an employee or contractor of HUGO, the lawyer waives any claims against HUGO that may arise in connection with such legal relationship.

  1. Mediation of legal service between the lawyer and the customer

The HUGO.legal platform selects the legal service provider for the customer considering the legal area, experience and hourly rate of fee of the lawyer. The legal service is provided under the terms and conditions set forth in the authorization agreement and on the HUGO.legal platform.

A lawyer who has joined the HUGO.legal platform must monitor order notifications and accept orders placed through the HUGO.legal platform.

If a lawyer does not wish to provide legal services through the HUGO.legal platform, he / she must indicate that he / she is inactive. If the lawyer has not declared himself inactive, the lawyer is deemed to receive orders and the lawyer is obliged to provide legal services to the customers.

The HUGO.legal platform mediates standard terms and conditions of the legal service authorization agreement to the customer and the lawyer. The lawyer and the customer must not agree on terms and conditions that conflict with the standard terms of the HUGO.legal platform authorization agreement.

The authorization agreement is concluded in a format that can be reproduced in writing. The customer’s offer (offer) for the conclusion of an authorization agreement is deemed to have been given the moment the HUGO.legal platform offers the client a lawyer. The lawyer’s consent (acceptance) of an authorization agreement is deemed to have been given the moment the order of the HUGO.legal platform is forwarded to the lawyer. The customer and the lawyer do not need to carry out any additional actions for the conclusion of the agency agreement.

If it becomes apparent from the circumstances of the order that the lawyer is unable to perform the task, the lawyer may cancel the authorization agreement extraordinarily within three calendar days. The lawyer must notify HUGO of the extraordinary cancellation of the agency agreement. The lawyer does not have the right to demand from the customer a fee for legal services that were performed before the extraordinary cancellation.

If, in the course of providing legal services, the lawyer is required to produce a document certifying his mandate or authorization, the lawyer must formalize the authorization and ask the customer for a signature to confirm the authorization.

The lawyer and the customer have the option of depositing the files on the HUGO.legal platform. HUGO can offer electronic payment solutions for legal services.

The lawyer is responsible for the withholding and payment of labour taxes or other taxes and payments accompanying the provision of legal services. The lawyer must choose a form of enterprise for the provision of legal services, in which the client and HUGO do not have to withhold or pay labour taxes for the lawyer. If the lawyer providing legal services on the HUGO.legal platform has not paid national taxes, then HUGO may suspend or close the lawyer account.

  1. Provision of legal service

The lawyer provides the service in areas of specialization and to the extent that the client has ordered through the HUGO.legal platform. The availability of a lawyer service depends on circumstances such as the specialization of a lawyer, assessment of the lawyer’s service and demand. HUGO.legal does not guarantee the lawyer constant orders and the lawyer is aware that HUGO cannot influence the number of customers or the content of the orders. HUGO has the right to limit the number of orders to a lawyer if it turns out that the amount of work sent to a lawyer exceeds a reasonable limit.

The lawyer undertakes to follow the instructions of the customer when providing legal services and to provide legal services at the level and the quality of generally recognized professional skills that can be expected from a lawyer who is normally active in the same field.

The lawyer is required to ensure the availability of the necessary tools for providing legal services. The lawyer must pay all the costs related to the provision of legal services, including the costs of work equipment, communication equipment, office space. HUGO may offer the lawyer the opportunity to use tools, the terms and conditions for the use of which are published on the HUGO.legal platform.

  1. Legal service fee

The lawyer provides legal services based on the hourly rate, which depends on the lawyer’s qualifications and previous work experience. The cost of the legal service provided by the lawyer shall be determined during the interview, on the grounds of the price categories of the HUGO.legal platform.

The lawyer shall note down the time spent for the provision of a legal service and its description on the HUGO.legal platform. The customer shall pay the lawyer a fee according to the time spent on providing legal services. The legal service fee is calculated with a 15-minute accuracy.

The lawyer may ask the subscriber to prepay for legal services in order to cover costs related to the legal service if this is necessary for the provision of the legal service. The lawyer may incur costs associated with the provision of legal services (e.g. state fees, transport, translation, etc.) if the customer has given its consent. The consent must be confirmed by a lawyer.

The lawyer does not have the right to demand from HUGO additional remuneration or reimbursement for the provision of legal services.

HUGO will invoice the Customer for the legal services provided in the previous calendar month unless otherwise agreed between the Lawyer, HUGO and the Customer. If the VAT is added to the legal service of the lawyer, the VAT will be added to the invoice.

The term for payment of the legal service fee is indicated on the account mediated via HUGO.legal platform. The Customer’s payment obligation to the lawyer shall be deemed to have been fulfilled upon a receipt of the fee on the HUGO bank account.

The legal service fee is transferred to the lawyer account once a calendar month.

If the customer submits a claim for legal fees, HUGO will suspend payment to the lawyer until the dispute is resolved.

  1. Legal platform fee

The lawyer pays a commission for mediation of the legal service according to the HUGO price list. HUGO may deduct the fee of the HUGO.legal platform from the fees of the legal service mediated by the lawyer.

The fee paid to a lawyer for the provision of legal services is the fee paid by the customer to the HUGO payment account less the service fee of the HUGO.legal platform and the cost of the services provided to the lawyer.

  1. Assessment to a lawyer

The customer may assess the legal service provided by the lawyer on the HUGO.legal platform. The rating and comments given to the lawyer are public on the HUGO.legal platform. HUGO has the right to determine the terms and conditions for publishing the reviews and to revise them.

Assessment to a lawyer on the HUGO.legal platform is based on the customer reviews. The lawyer is prohibited to refer to the assessment published on the HUGO.legal platform as a confirmation of the legal service quality, or otherwise refer to the fact that the HUGO.legal or third parties have assessed the legal service provided by a lawyer. The assessment given to a lawyer is only used on the HUGO.legal platform for mediating orders to a lawyer.

The HUGO.legal may diminish the lawyer’s assessment in the case of:

  • failure to provide legal services;
  • shortcomings in legal services;
  • late delivery of legal services;
  • violation of these terms.
  1. Settlement of disputes

Disputes arising from or related to the provision of legal services shall be settled between the customer and the lawyer. HUGO may settle the dispute between the customer and the lawyer with regard to legal fees and offer compromise solutions.

  1. Formalizing and storage of documents

The lawyer must use the HUGO.legal platform letterhead when formalizing documents to the customer via the HUGO.legal platform.

The lawyer may record documents accompanying the provision of legal services on the HUGO.legal platform. If the lawyer cancels the authorization agreement, violates the terms of use of the the HUGO.legal platform or the obligations under the authorization agreement of the lawyer and the customer, HUGO may grant the access to the documents to another lawyer with the consent of the client. The customer agrees that the documents will be used in the machine-learning program of the HUGO.legal platform. The processing of personal data in the machine-learning program takes place in the anonymised form.

  1. Database

The HUGO.legal platform is a database of individuals, lawyers, materials and documents regarding parties that wish to order legal services. It is a database within the meaning of the Copyright Act, and the exclusive rights of the creator of the database belong to HUGO. Using the HUGO.legal platform, the lawyer will only be entitled to use the database to the extent necessary for providing a legal service through the HUGO.legal platform. The lawyer may not copy the databases without the relevant consent of HUGO.

  1. Liability

The HUGO.legal shall not be held liable for:

  • the correctness of data submitted by the customer;
  • the solvency and payment discipline of the customer;
  • execution of the authorization agreement;
  • compliance with lawyer’s tools, including occupational health and safety requirements;
  • damages to a lawyer arising from the provision of legal services;
  • damages to the lawyer arising from the use of the platform;
  • preservation of documents stored on the platform;
  • technical failures, faults and interruptions on the platform. Relevant circumstances shall not be considered a breach of the terms.

The HUGO.legal platform is offered under the technical conditions as they are at the moment of use. The HUGO.legal is not obliged to develop the HUGO.legal platform according to the customer needs but may take into the account the client’s suggestions for developing the HUGO.legal platform.

HUGO shall be liable to the customer for any damage caused by gross negligence or intentional act. The maximum amount of damage compensated by HUGO is EUR 500. The lawyer must submit a claim for damages within 12 calendar months of becoming aware of the damage.

  1. Suspension of access to the platform

HUGO may suspend the customer’s right to use the platform if the lawyer violates these terms of use, a legal service provided by the lawyer fails to comply with the generally recognized level of professionalism, the lawyer violates the agency agreement, or if the lawyer has acted inappropriately against the customer and / or HUGO.

  1. Other provisions

HUGO may amend the terms of use of the platform without the consent of the lawyer. If the lawyer does not agree to amendments, he must stop using the HUGO.legal platform. If the lawyer continues to use the HUGO.legal platform, the lawyer is deemed to have accepted the terms of use.

The laws of the Republic of Estonia shall apply to these terms and to any rights and obligations arising therefrom or related thereto.

Disputes arising from or related to the terms of use are resolved by negotiation. If the dispute cannot be resolved by negotiation, the dispute will be settled in Tallinn Courthouse of the Harju County Court.