Notary Terms of Business:
- BASIS OF THE RETAINER I contract only on the basis of these terms and conditions.
- FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS I charge fees based on the time taken for the whole matter (including but not exclusively making the appointment, travelling or waiting time and the time needed to maintain my records) at the rate of £250 plus VAT per hour. I also charge for out of pocket expenses, for example, fees payable to the Foreign Office, Foreign Embassies or agents dealing with the legalisation of documents or postage or courier charges. My bill must be paid at our meeting and documents will not be released until it has been paid. The basis of the calculation for my fees is a combination of the time incurred by me, the nature and complication of the transaction and amount of the documentation and by taking into account any additional factors such as the need for legalisation or a translation.
- CLIENT’S MONEY I do not hold client’s monies and there is usually no need to so. If I am asked to hold client’s money I will only do so in accordance with the relevant Notaries’ Practice and Accounts Rules paying interest when required to do so by the Rules. To comply with my obligations under the Criminal Justice Act 1993, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 1993, 2001 and 2003, I reserve the right to ask for evidence of the source of any funds provided to me or involved in the transaction.
- VERIFICATION OF FACTS Part of the Notary’s role is to check the facts in the documents he notarises for his clients, and this sometimes involves obtaining evidence or proof from sources independent of the client. In this I need the client’s full co-operation. If I have to add disclaimers to the document to make it clear that there are facts I have not been able to verify, the document may become ineffective or of less benefit to the client and in such cases I shall not have any responsibility or liability for the document’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness.
- IDENTIFICATION Unless I already have such proof, if a client is to sign a document before me, I will need to see proof of the client’s personal identity. Where a client is signing on behalf of an organisation such as a company, I will additionally require evidence of the company’s existence as well as proof of the client’s capacity to sign on its behalf – for example, a board resolution confirming authority to sign on behalf of the company.
- CEASING TO ACT In some circumstances I may consider that I ought not to act or ought to stop acting for a client. For example, if the client cannot give clear or proper instructions on how I am to proceed, if the matter on which I am instructed involves fraud or violence, if I decide that a client has insufficient capacity or if the client does not pay a bill.
- STORAGE OF DOCUMENTS I will store without charge to the client the (unless instructed otherwise) original of any Notarial act in the ‘public’ form and a copy of every Notarial act in the ‘private’ form as a permanent record. I will not always keep a full copy of the client’s document(s) but I reserve the right to do so.
- PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY I maintain professional liability insurance policy for claims up to £1,000,000 (one million pounds). Save as provided under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, my liability (directly or indirectly) arising from my retainer/instruction to the client for any loss, injury or damage of any nature whatever whether direct or consequential, including without limitation in respect of negligence or breach of my duty to the client, is hereby limited to the sum of One Million Pounds (£1,000.000) in respect of any one claim or series of related claims (save in the case of liability for personal injury or death where no such limit shall apply).
- DATA PROTECTION I hold personal data relating to clients I meet and act for and am registered to do so with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Complaints Handling Procedure:
Should you be unhappy about my services you should write to me in the first instance and I will seek to resolve any issues or complaints that you may have. Alternatively you can complain to the Notaries Society direct. Please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to:
Secretary of the Notaries Society
Old Church Chambers
23 Sandhill Road
Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure you may at the end of that procedure or after a period of eight weeks from the date of making your complaint to me, make your complaint direct to the Legal Ombudsman (whose contact details are set out below) if the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction: