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Terms of Business

1. Introduction

A Notary Public is a qualified lawyer, a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. We are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties. I practice as an independent Notary.

2. Basis of my work for you

These conditions govern my professional relationship with you as a client. I can therefore only act for you on the following basis and when you have had sight of these conditions. By instructing me to act you are accepting my Terms of business.

3. Accepting Instructions

I can only accept instructions that comply with the Notarial Practice Rules 2014 and my Notarial Oath given on my appointment as a Notary Public.

I will decline to accept instructions or conclude a matter on your behalf where I have reason to believe that there is any fraud, violence, illegality or lack of free will involved in the matter.

I may also be unable to proceed if you cannot give me clear or proper instructions.

4. My Fees

My fees are bases on the time taken to deal with the whole matter, and are charged at my hourly rate of £250. My minimum fee for a brief matter is £100.00.  I reserve the right to vary the rate, particularly in respect of extremely urgent and/or complex or unusual matters or those that require particular expertise.

I am not registered for VAT.

Disbursements

In addition to my fees, you are responsible for all disbursements, including such of the following as are applicable:

(1) legalisation fees payable to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and/or Embassies etc;
(2) translators'/interpreters' fees;
(3) Companies House search fees;
(4) Agents;
(5) travelling expenses where applicable;
(6) couriers fees; transmission fees / postage or special delivery costs.

Payment

My fees are payable upon signature/release of the notarised documentation, although subsequent work may remain to complete the matter. I will require money on account of any disbursements or fees payable to third parties which must clear my account before I can make any payment on your behalf. 

I accept cash payments up to £500 and payment by cheque with a valid bank card. I do not accept payment by debit or credit card.

If you have negotiated a regular invoice account with me, I will issue my invoice to you with the completed documentation, for payment within seven days.

Any queries concerning an invoice should be raised immediately upon receipt.

In the event of payment not being made as requested, I reserve the right to decline to act any further on your behalf and/or to exercise a lien on any papers or documents which are in my possession, until payment has been made.

In the event of payment not being made as requested, Interest is chargeable from 7 days following the date of the invoice at a rate of 4% per annum above Lloyds TSB Bank Base Rate from time to time in force.

5. Quotations & Estimates

Every effort will be made to provide you with a quotation for the total cost of undertaking the work on your behalf. Except in the most routine cases, it may be difficult to estimate how many hours of work will be required to complete a matter, bearing in mind the variety of circumstances that may arise. However, guidance as to likely costs will be given, where possible, on request. Any estimates given will be based on the information available to me at the time and, although given in good faith, will not be binding. Variations in the instructions given, including requests for additional work or unexpected developments and/or inexperience, incompetence or lack of co-operation on the part of other parties or their Advisors may increase costs.

6. Special Factors

Some factors may affect my fees for example:-
(1) complexity, difficulty or novelty;
(2) skill, labour, specialised knowledge and responsibility;
(3) time;
(4) number and importance of documents prepared or perused;
(5) place and circumstances in which the business or any part is done;
(6) value of money or property involved;
(7) importance of the matter to the client;
(8) urgency, disruption, dislocation/re-arrangement of other work;
(9) work unavoidably undertaken outside of my usual office hours.

7. Time Charged

This applies to all work undertaken from start to finish including preliminary details and advice, preparation, attendances, drafting, phone calls, correspondence, fax, legalisation and record keeping requirements, including updating my Notarial Register and Protocol.

8. Place Of Attendance

Your personal attendance at my office is preferable where my own photocopying and experienced secretarial facilities are available as required. Arrangements can be made for me to attend your place of business or home. In cases justifying attendance at your own address, for example, in the event of incapacitation; special arrangements can be made.

9. Foreign Law

I do not advise on foreign law but act in an evidential, authentication capacity.

10. Your Own Professional Advisers

In relation to certain transactions, I will expect you to have obtained advice from your own English lawyer(s) and/or relevant foreign lawyer(s), and/or other competent professional advisers. You may potentially be taking a huge risk relying on documents prepared by another party or its adviser(s), without taking independent legal or other competent professional advice. Depending upon the circumstances I may be unable to act for you until you have done so.

Part of my role is to verify the facts in the documents. This may involve obtaining evidence or proof from sources independent of you. If required, I will need your co-operation and authorisation. If I have to add disclaimers to document/s about facts I am not able to verify, the document/s may not be acceptable for the purpose required, or be of less benefit. I will not accept any liability if this is the case.

Urgency and/or expense must not override essential accuracy and validity.

11. Standards

It is important for you to be aware that English Notaries have to comply with and follow internationally recognised and acceptable procedures. Professional requirements in England and Wales have become more stringent and onerous through progressive assimilation with European Notarial standards, and global developments affecting Notarial practice.

12. Professional Responsibilities

When acting as a Notary Public I must insist on satisfactory compliance with and/or reliable proof of all appropriate matters, including but not limited to the following:-

(1) your identity,
(2) your legal capacity/authority, 
(3) your comprehension and approval, 
(4) interpretation/translation, 
(5) documentary objective, 
(6) form and substance,
(7) voluntary act, free of undue influence,
(8)alterations in the document, 
(9) due signature(s),
(10) witnessing formalities,
(11) observance of other stipulated formalities at home and abroad,
(12) Foreign & Commonwealth Office and/or Consular legalisation.

13. Recipient's Requirements

If the foreign country/authority/ party with whom you are dealing stipulate that documents are to be notarised, then they will not settle for less. Short cuts should be avoided to ensure that the document is accepted and not rejected by the recipient country/authority. The cost of rejection is delay, missing a vital deadline, possible financial loss to you or others and having to start all over again, at greater expense/loss of time to you.

14. Foreign & Commonwealth Office And/Or Consular Legalisation

Most countries require notarised documents to receive further certification (usually termed "an Apostille") by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office; and/or legalisation by the relevant High Commission/Embassy/Consulate. Usually I arrange this by post; however it may be necessary for me to instruct an agent to deal with this, if the matter is urgent.

15. Register & Protocol

At the closing of the transaction, a formal register entry has to be made by me as a permanent record; and a protocol copy set of the notarised documentation is customarily kept. Frequently, a fully executed set of duplicate originals is required, or advisable, to be retained by me, as per the Notarial Practice Rules and at my discretion. In some instances, I may retain the original and issued a certified copy.

16. Data Protection

I comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. I am required to maintain personal data for regulatory and insurance purposes for a period of time after conclusion of provision of services to you.

17. Force Majeure

I will not be liable for any loss or damage arising as a direct or indirect result of the supply of services being prevented, hindered, delayed or rendered uneconomic by reason of circumstances beyond my control, including but not limited to Act of God, war, riot, strike, lock out, trade dispute or labour disturbance, accident, breakdown of machinery, fire, flood, storm or difficulty or increased expense in obtaining information or services of any description

18. Disclaimer Of Liability to clients

In any event, no liability whatsoever will be accepted on my part, agents or staff where such liability either arises from any instructions or information given by the client or by any third party being incomplete, inaccurate or incorrect; or where such liability is for any indirect, economic or consequential loss or damage, costs, expenses or other claims for consequential compensation whatsoever or howsoever caused which arise out of or in connection with the services provided by the firm or for loss of profit, loss of business, loss of data, depletion of goodwill or loss occurring in the normal course of business or otherwise.

19. Professional Indemnity, Limitations On Liability

No liability for loss (including, but not limited to, damages, costs and interest) to clients or other parties, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise will be accepted by me, my agents or staff in relation to any matter in the absence of specific written agreement to the contrary referring to this term and signed by me in excess the amount of my professional indemnity insurance cover from time to time. The present cover is for not less than £2,000,000. Specific cover for higher limits may be obtained in certain circumstances, at the expense of the client.

20. Jurisdiction

English law shall be the applicable law in relation to any dispute in relation to these terms and conditions, and the English courts shall have sole jurisdiction. If any provision of these terms is held by any court or other competent authority to be void or unenforceable in whole or part, these terms shall continue to be valid as to the other provisions thereof and the remainder of the affected provision.

21. Confidentiality

I attach great importance to dealing with clients' affairs in strict confidence. However, The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury the professional body regulating Notarial practice has rights of inspection to ensure good practice and conduct.

22. E-mail

It is my policy to use e-mail wherever possible. Where a client has provided me with an e-mail address, e.g., by sending me an e-mail, I will assume that I may use that address for the sending of unencrypted sensitive or confidential correspondence or documents to the client. I may also, during the course of a matter, send unencrypted sensitive or confidential information to other persons involved, unless specifically requested by them or the client not to do so. All e-mails sent and the attachments thereto should be scanned for viruses by the recipient.

23. Money Laundering Requirements

I operate anti-money laundering reporting procedure as required by law whereby, in the event of any suspicion as to money laundering, information will be revealed to the appropriate authorities without notice to you or any third party. All payments to me must be made via a UK clearing bank. All clients will be required to provide satisfactory proof of identity and full details of the source and proposed destination of funds (if applicable). Pending this, funds may be frozen and I will not accept any responsibility/liability for loss or delay caused by the failure of clients to provide such information promptly, or if delays are caused to your transaction owing to any report made by me as above.

24. Complaints

1. My Notarial practice is regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

The Faculty Office
1, The Sanctuary
Westminster
London
SW1P 3JT
Telephone: 020 7222 5381
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.facultyoffice.org.uk

2. If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me.

3. If we are unable to resolve the matter you may then complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a Complaints Procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute.

4. In that case please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to :-

The Secretary of The Notaries Society
Old Church Chambers
23 Sandhill Road
St James
Northampton. NN5 5LH
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel : 01604 758908

If you have any difficulty in making a complaint in writing, please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/the Faculty Office for assistance.

5. 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 you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, ( please note that certain kinds of commercial entities are not eligible to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Please therefore refer to the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules or consult The Faculty Office); if you are not happy with the result:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton  WV1 9WJ

Tel: 0300 555 0333
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

6. If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman :-

- within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
- six years from the date of act or omission; or
- three years from when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint (only if the act or omission took place more than six year ago)

The act or omission, or when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5th October 2010.