VISITING A NOTARY PUBLIC AND MY TERMS OF BUSINESS
1. Why a notary? It is almost always the case that you have been asked to see a notary because you have a document that needs to be used abroad. Seeing a notary is never a mere rubber-stamping exercise. The international duty of a Notary involves a high standard of care. This is not only towards the client but also to anyone who may rely on the document and to Governments or officials of other countries. These people are entitled to assume that a Notary will ensure full compliance with the relevant requirements both here and abroad; and to rely on the Notary’s register and records. Great care is essential at every stage to minimise the risks of errors, omissions, alterations, fraud, forgery, money laundering, the use of false identity, and so on.
I offer appointments during business hours and occasionally outside of business hours in exceptional circumstances. I am also prepared to make home visits or visit corporate clients at their place of business. If the notarial appointments take place outside of my office I will make an additional charge to cover travelling time and expenses. Occasionally I may not be able to see you within the timeframe you require, or I may decide that I am not able to act for you in which case I will advise you that that is the case and will provide you with the necessary information to locate an alternative notary.
2. Signatures: The Notary should normally witness your signature. Please do not sign the document in advance of your appointment with me.
3. Papers to be sent to me in advance: It will save time, expense and mistakes if, as long before the appointment as possible, you can let me have the originals or photocopies of:
• The documents to be notarised;
• Any letter or other form of instruction which you have received about what has to be done with the documents;
• Your evidence of identification.
4. Identification: I will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original of (in preferred order):
• Your current passport (or, if not available);
• A current new driving licence (with photo) or national identity card
If neither of the above are available, at least two of the following
• A current government or police issue certificate bearing a photo or other formal means of identification;
• A utility bill, credit card or bank statement showing your current address which should not be more than 3 months old or council tax bill;
You must also bring any other means of ID which may be referred to in the papers sent to you as being required such as a foreign Identity Card. I may also ask to see further evidence of identity such as marriage certificates etc and will advise you of this if necessary.
5. Proof of names: In a case where the name on the document is different from the name you are currently using, or there has been a variation in the form of spelling of the name over the years, please provide me as appropriate with Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Divorce Decree of Change of Name Deed showing all the different names that you use. If there has been a change of name, then I will need to see a copy of the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration which dealt with it.
6. Advice on the document: If you bring a document to me for authorisation as a Notary, I will advise you as to the formalities required for completing it. However, I will not be attempting to advise you about the transaction itself. It is your responsibility to take legal advice on the content and effect of any document you are signing.
7. Written Translations: It is essential that you understand what you are signing.
• If the document is in a foreign language which you do not understand sufficiently, I may have to insist that a translation be obtained. If I arrange for a translation, a further fee will be payable and I will provide you with details of this.
• If you arrange for a professional translation, the translator should add his/her name, address, relevant qualification, and a certificate stating: “Document X is a true and complete translation of document Y, to which this translation is attached.”
8. Oral Interpreter: If you and I cannot understand each other because of a language difficulty, we may have to make arrangements for a competent interpreter to be available at our interview and this may involve a further fee.
9. Capacity: It is important that you have sufficient capacity to understand the nature and effect of any documents being signed by you. If I consider it necessary, I would ask for you to obtain the opinion of a suitable medical professional to confirm capacity. This is to protect you against signing a document which you do not have the capacity to fully understand
10. Companies, Partnerships etc: If a document is to be signed by you on behalf of a company, a partnership, a charity, club or other incorporated body, there are further requirements on which I may have to insist. Please be prepared for these and telephone with any point of difficulty before attending on the appointment.
In each case:
• Evidence of identity of the authorised signatory (as listed above).
• A copy of the current letterhead (showing the registered office if it is a company).
• A Letter of Authority, Minute, Resolution or Power of Attorney, authorising you to sign the document.
Additionally, companies: Certificate of Incorporation and of any Change of Name, A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association Details of Directors and Secretaries. In all instances I will be carrying out various company searches, which will may have an effect on the level of fees charged.
Additionally, partnerships, clubs, etc: A Partnership Agreement; or relevant Trust Deed; or Charter; or Constitution/Rules.
11. Notarial charges and expenses: Details of my charges are set out below. Please note that if I have to make payments on your behalf such as legalisation fees, translator or interpreter fees, or other costs such as travelling expenses, your approval to these will be obtained and you are normally required to make payment in advance of any such amounts.
If the matter is simple I will endeavour to charge a fixed fee to include disbursements such as legalisation fees, postage, consular agent fees, courier fees, travelling expenses, translating costs and so on. I do not charge VAT. I have a minimum fixed fee of £65 and I will advise you if I consider your matter will attract the minimum fixed fee.
For more complicated or time-consuming matters the fee will be based on my hourly rate of £300 subject to a minimum fee of £300, plus disbursements. The fee charged may include time spent on preliminary advice, drafting and preparation time, making and receiving telephone calls, correspondence written and received in all formats, arranging legalisation and record keeping.
Fixed Fees for Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney
I also prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. My current charge for a simple Will is £175 and simple mirror Wills £300. Where asset protection is required then a Trust Will is from £500 each. Lasting Powers of Attorney are currently £300 for one Lasting Power of Attorney and £500 for two. A Couple making two Lasting Powers of Attorney each would be £700.
All fee estimates will be provided in advance and agreed prior to any appointment. I reserve the right to review the fee at the appointment if more work is required than anticipated taking into account the information provided by a client in advance of the appointment.
Disbursements: Some documents require legalisation before they will be accepted for use in the receiving jurisdiction by obtaining an apostille through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and, for some countries, additional legalisation is required through the relevant embassy or consulate. The cost of legalisation in this matter, including agent’s fees and postage to and from the legalising authority will be provided in advance and agreed prior to the appointment. The cost of posting the documents to you/another person by Royal Mail special delivery will be £10. Travelling fees will be on a time basis.
Payment can be made by cash, personal debit card or /bank transfer. Payment of my fee and disbursements is due when the document has been prepared which I may retain pending payment in full.
Occasionally unforeseen or unusual issues arise during the course of the matter which may result in a revision of my fee estimate. Examples of this could include where additional documents are required to be notarised, additional translations or legalisations are needed to meet the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction, third party fees are adjusted to reflect external factors such as fuel price changes and so on. I will notify you of any changes in the fee estimate as soon as possible.
12. Typical Stages of a notarial transaction: Each notarial matter is different and the requirements will vary according to whether the client is a private individual or a company. Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:
• Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions you may have received
• Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. information from Companies House or foreign registries, powers of attorney etc)
• Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who is to sign the document
• If a document is to be certified, checking with the issuing authorities that the document/award is genuine. In the case of academic awards, this would entail checking with the appropriate academic institutions.
• Meeting with the signatory to verify their identity and to ascertain that they understand what they are signing and that they are doing so of their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly
• Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document
• Arranging for the legalisation of the document as appropriate
• Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019
13. Notarial Records and Data Protection: When I carry out my work for you, I am required to make an entry in a formal register, which is kept by me as a permanent record. I will retain a copy of the notarised documentation with that record. My practice is a registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Personal data received from clients is held securely and not capable of being accessed externally. Data collected as part of notarial records is used solely for the purposes of meeting our professional legal responsibilities as Notaries Public. For full details of the DATA PROTECTION POLICY please click on the link on the home page
14. Insurance: In the interests of my clients I maintain professional indemnity insurance at a level of at least £1,000,000.00 per claim.
15. Termination/ Your Right to Cancel: You may terminate your instructions to me at any time by giving me reasonable written notice. All fees and disbursements incurred up to the date of termination will be charged .
Consumer Cooling Off Cancellation Period –Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (“CCR”):
Where the CCR apply (typically where you are an individual consumer and my contract with you was concluded either at or following a meeting with you or by a form of distance communication) you have a cancellation period of 14 days after the date you sign my retainer letter or the date on which you continue to give me instructions, whichever is earlier.
You can cancel your contract within the cancellation period by giving me a clear statement and I will reimburse all payments received from you by the same method that you used, at no cost to you, without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which you inform me of the cancellation.
If you ask us to begin work during the cancellation period, you can still cancel but you must pay me an amount in proportion to the work which I have performed and this proportion will not be reimbursed to you.
16. Termination by me: I reserve the right to terminate my engagement by you if I have good reason to do so, for example, if you do not pay a bill or comply with my request for a payment on account or you fail to give me the co-operation which I am reasonably entitled to expect.
17. Complaints: My notarial practice is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:
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 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.
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
Northampton. NN5 5LH
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.
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 6 months from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman*, 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 of receiving a final response to your complaint and
• Six years from the date of act/omission; or
• Three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (only if the act or omission took place more than six years ago)
The act or omission, or when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5th October 2010.
*certain kinds of commercial entities are not eligible to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman – please refer to the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules or consult the Faculty Office.
I hope that these notes are of help to you in understanding what is expected of each of us.
18. Additional Terms and Conditions
Joanne L Orbell (hereinafter referred to as ‘the notary’)
The notary will witness my signature and affix her seal of office at her sole discretion.
If the notary prepares any documents she will rely on information I give her. I am responsible for all errors and omissions in that information.
I confirm that I have read and understood all the documents that I will sign and that by signing them I intend to give them legal effect
I acknowledge that the notary is acting as a witness only and is not providing any legal advice and is not responsible for the legal affect, content or validity of the document. I acknowledge that I have represented myself to the notary as having read and understood the content and the legal effect of the documents being signed by me and I have been advised to take independent legal advice before signing the documents. The notary is not party to any transaction, the notary accepts no legal responsibility or otherwise whatsoever for any delays loss omissions, costs, claims or damages arising out of his notarisation of any of the documents
I verify that all documents and the facts contained in them are true and authentic and are not made as part of, or as a plan for any illegal act against the laws of any country in the world
I shall and hereby agree to indemnify the notary from and against any claims, losses, demands, actions, liabilities, fines, penalties, reasonable expenses, damages and settlement amounts (including reasonable legal fees and costs) incurred by the notary arising out of or in connection with any breach by me of the warranties included in paragraph 9 of the data protection privacy notice (DPPN), which can be found at www.joanneorbell.com
I accept that if I require the notary to forward or e-mail any documents after completion to me or any other person, then this will be at my risk and I accept that e-mail is not always a secure method or transmitting information of documentation and is at risk of a security breach
19. Approved Complaints Procedure
The Notaries Society
Approved Complaints Procedure
1.1 The Notaries Society intends that this procedure will enable the resolution of complaints made against General Notaries who are members of The Notaries Society.
2. Making a complaint
2.1 The complaint should be made to the Secretary of The Notaries Society at the following address:-
The Notaries Society,
Old Church Chambers, 23 Sandhill Road,
St James Northampton NN5 5LH.
Email : email@example.com
Tel :01604 758908
2.2 The Complainant shall provide the Secretary with full details of the complaint together with copies of any documents or correspondence.
2.3 If the Complainant has any difficulty in making the complaint in writing he/she should contact the Secretary for assistance.
3. Action by the Secretary
3.1 The Secretary will write to the Complainant asking whether he/she is willing for the complaint to be considered by the President and Vice-President within the Approved Complaints Procedure if that agreement has not already been obtained.
3.2 The Secretary will prepare copies of all the papers and deliver them with his own report (if necessary) and a summary to the President and the Vice-President of The Notaries Society
3.3 It is anticipated that the parties will cooperate to assist the Secretary in facilitating the Approved Complaints Procedure.
4.1 The President and Vice President will consult together and will propose a conclusion which in their judgement is fair to both parties. A written record of the conclusion will be sent to the Secretary who will then inform both parties and the Faculty Office. At the same time the Complainant will be informed of his/her right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman the timeframe for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman.
4.2 The conclusion is to be notified to both the Complainant and the Notary no later than 8 weeks after the date of which the Complainant complained. After this period the Complainant may complain to the Legal Ombudsman whether or not a conclusion has been notified to him/her.
5. Effect of conclusion
5.1 It is expected that the Notary will implement any remedy (if any) which is recommended at the conclusion. Nothing in this clause prevents the Notary from providing an alternative remedy but the Faculty Office will consider it to be a serious matter of concern if the Notary does not abide by the conclusion without reasonable cause.
5.2 Nothing in this procedure prevents a party from pursuing their case with the Faculty Office (in cases involving misconduct), the Legal Ombudsman or the civil courts or as may be appropriate.
6. Additional notes
6.1 The Secretary when preparing the documentation provided for in clause 3.2 may ask for further information from either or both parties
6.2 The President and the Vice President may ask for further information from either or both of the parties before they can reach a conclusion.
6.3 The Complainant is not required to provide further information as specified in 6.1 and 6.2 above but it is anticipated that the Complainant will provide information relevant and necessary for the resolution of the complaint.
6.4 If the nature of the complaint indicates that there may have been ‘notarial misconduct’ the Secretary shall notify the Faculty Office but this in no way prevents the operation of the Approved Complaints Procedure in the resolution of the complaint.
6.5 The Notaries Society cannot consider any complaint if it is or becomes the subject of any Court proceedings (other than proceedings in the Court of Faculties).
6.6 Original documents and correspondence should not be sent to the Secretary unless specifically requested.
6.7 The expression ‘President and Vice President’ shall include such other members of the Council of The Notaries’ Society as shall be nominated by either the President or the Vice President to act in their place
6.8 The Secretary may depart from these rules only in cases where reasonable to ensure the effective and timely resolution of complaints and will have regard to any guidance issued by the Faculty Office or Legal Services Board when doing so.
DATA PROTECTION NOTICE
As Secretary of the Notaries Society I will use any of the information that you give to me to investigate your complaint. I will not use such information for an unconnected purpose without your permission. I will have to reveal your information to the President and Vice-President of the Notaries Society who will be adjudicating on your complaint, and in addition to the Notary about whom you have complained.
I may also have to reveal such information to :-
1. The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury who is the Regulator for Notaries; and any other Approved Regulator under the Legal Services Act who in my opinion may have an interest in your complaint; and
2. Law enforcement authorities generally.
To help me maintain a record of the professional details of Notaries I will have to keep any information supplied to me after your complaint has been dealt with by the President and Vice-President under the Approved Complaints Procedure.
By submitting your personal date and accepting this procedure you have consented to me processing that information under the Data Protection Act 2018.
You can exercise your rights as a data subject in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Please see our Privacy Notice at https://www.thenotariessociety.org.uk/pages/privacy-notice