N o t a r y P u b l i c
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
- BASIS OF THE RETAINER
I contract only on the basis of these Conditions.
- FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS
Whenever possible, before undertaking the notarial work, I use my best endeavours to clarify the nature and amount of the charges, including payments to be made on your behalf, so that there is no misunderstanding between us. Sometimes the actual requirements of the notarial client only become apparent during or at the end of our first meeting which is why clients are asked to read these Terms and Conditions at the start of the meeting.
In most of the cases that I deal with that do not require any further document preparation on my part I charge a fixed fee of £105 plus VAT per document for the first or only document, and a fixed fee of £55 plus VAT for each associated or related document. This fee covers the time spent in the first meeting during which we clear the I.D. requirements, deal with the notarisation work and, later, the completion of my notarial records. I also charge for out of pocket expenses, for example for telephone calls, copying fees, postages and/or courier charges.
Other more complex and perhaps more formal matters requiring the preparation and drafting of notarial documents, or, for example, investigation into jurisdiction or domicile, justify the calculation of fees based on the time taken for the whole matter (including travelling or waiting time), at the rate of £195 per hour plus VAT, as an alternative and in substitution for the fixed fee. As before, telephone calls, copying fees, postages and/or courier charges are added if appropriate.
It is a condition of my retainer that my fee, including any payments made by me at the request of or on behalf of the client, is discharged before the notarised document or documents are delivered to the client.
If legalisation is required, either at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and/or one of the embassies or consulates I charge £75.00 plus VAT for dealing with this. I use the services of a specialist legalisation firm as my agent who charge £14.50 plus VAT per document which will be payable by you. In addition you will also have to pay the FCO prescribed fees ranging from £30.00 to £75.00 according to the speed of service required (as to which see below), and postage costs. The fees payable to the embassies and consulates vary greatly, as to both amount and method of payment.
Please note that documents will not be processed or released until my bill has been paid, which can be settled by cheque or card (subject to a 2½% service charge when paid by credit/debit card).
The Legalization Department of the FCO has moved from London to Milton Keynes.
The current FCO fee is £30.00 for documents legalized in Milton Keynes, but the FCO has retained a presence in the centre of London for urgent matters requiring a turn-around time of a few hours, where fees will rise to £75. The service to and from Milton Keynes will necessarily be a slower 24/48 hour service.
- CLIENTS MONEY
If I am asked to hold client’s money I will 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, 2003 and 2007, 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 which I have not been able to verify the document may become useless or of less benefit to the Client and I will not accept liability if this is the case.
- CEASING TO ACT
In some circumstances I may consider that I ought to stop acting for the Client. For example, if the Client cannot give clear or proper instructions on how I am to proceed. I may decide to stop acting only with good reason, for example, if the matter on which I am instructed involves fraud or violence, or if the Client does not pay a bill.
- STORAGE OF DOCUMENTS
I will store without charge to the Client the original of any notarial act in the ’public’ form and a copy of every act in the ‘private’ form as a permanent record. I will not always keep a full copy of the Client’s own document but I reserve the right to do so.
- REGULATORY GUIDANCE
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 number 0207222538; e-mail email@example.com.
If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me. If we are unable to resolve the matter you may then complain to The Secretary of The Notaries Society, Old Church Chambers, 23 Sandhill Road, St James, Northampton NN5 5LH; Telephone number 016047758908; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; who have a complaints procedure, approved by the Faculty Office. At the end of the above process you may or after eight weeks from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, Bakerville House, Century Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2ND Telephone number 0300555033; email@example.com, if you are not happy with the result. If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman within six months from the conclusion of the complaint process.
- LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
I maintain professional indemnity insurance in the sum of £2 million. Save as provided under the Unfair Contract Terms Acts 1977, my liability 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 such sum in respect of any one claim or series of related claims (save in the case of fraud, where no such limit shall apply).