1. MY RESPONSIBILITIES
As a Notary Public, my primary duty is to you, as the client, but I also owe a duty of care to any other person or body who may rely on the document (including government bodies and other officials worldwide). I must therefore ensure full compliance with the relevant regulations and requirements, both here and overseas as appropriate.
My responsibilities are to understand the document(s) that you produce to me and the background to the transaction, verify your identity and capacity, understanding of the same, and to ensure that the correct procedure is followed for completion of the document(s). Unless otherwise agreed in writing my duty does not extend to anything beyond this.
2. HOURS OF BUSINESS
My office hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (save for public holidays). Appointments outside these hours may be available but this is strictly at my discretion and subject to availability.
3. FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS
My charges are based on the time I spend in dealing with a matter. My hourly rate is £200. I charge a minimum fee of £75. I also charge out of pocket expenses, for example: fees payable to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, travel costs, interpreter/translator fees, Foreign Embassy or agents’ fees for legalisation of documents, postage or courier charges. I am not registered for VAT.
On receipt of a copy of the document to be notarised, and any accompanying instructions, I will provide an estimate of my fee before commencing work.
My bill must be paid on presentation (usually during our meeting) and payment may be made by cash, cheque or immediate BACS transfer. I regret that I am unable to accept payment by credit or debit card, and I reserve the right to retain documents until my bill has been paid in full.
4. PROOF OF IDENTITY
I am required to verify the identity of all clients. For individuals, I require photographic identification and proof of residence. This is usually by way of a passport, photo driving licence or national identity card and a recent utility bill or bank statement (i.e. from within the last three months). Depending on the nature of the transaction, I may also need to carry out a bankruptcy search.
If I am instructed by a company, I will need to establish the existence and solvency of the company and also ensure that any signatory to the document has the necessary authority to act. The same applies to partnerships and other business entities.
I will provide full guidance on the identity requirements once I have seen a copy of the document to be notarised, and any accompanying instructions.
5. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
I maintain professional indemnity liability cover, which is at least the minimum level of cover specified by the Master of the Faculties (presently £1,000,000). I therefore limit the level of my liability to you to £1,000,000, unless you are injured or die as a result of my negligence, in which case my liability is without limit.
6. WRITTEN TRANSLATIONS AND ORAL INTERPRETERS
It is important that you understand the document you are signing, and that I can verify your understanding. Therefore, in cases where I do not have knowledge of the language in which the document has been written, official translations will be required. Oral interpreters will also be required where you and I cannot understand each other clearly due to language difficulties. In such circumstances, additional fees will be payable.
7. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
As a Notary Public I am regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The address is as follows
The Faculty Office
1, The Sanctuary
If you are at all dissatisfied about the notary service you have received then please do not hesitate to contact me.
If I am unable to resolve the matter you may then complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member. The Notaries Society have a Complaints Procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. This procedure is completely free to use and it is designed to be able 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 address of the Notaries Society as follows
The Secretary of The Notaries Society
Old Church Chambers
23 Sandhill Road
Tel : 01604 758908
If you have any difficulty in making a complaint in writing about the notary service you have receieved then please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society / The Faculty Office for assistance in this matter.
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, if you are not happy with the result. The address of the Legal Ombudsman is as follows
Tel: 0300 555 0333
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.
Under my professional rules I am required to keep a formal register of the main details of your transaction, which will be completed on conclusion of the matter.
I will store, without charge to you, the original of any notarial act in the “public” form as a permanent record. My professional duty is store a record of any act in the “private” form for 12 years, although I expect to retain a copy of the notarial a permanent basis. I will not always keep a full copy of other documents and correspondence but I reserve the right to do so.
If I cease to practise as a Notary Public, my records will be sent to another Notary Public or to an archive designated for the purpose under regulations made by the Master from time to time for safekeeping (as required under my professional rules).
9. DATA PROTECTION
Any personal information collected will be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. I will use the information you provide primarily for the provision of my services to you but also for related purposes to include: updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management of the business, statutory returns and regulatory compliance.
I shall keep your personal information confidential but my records are subject to inspection by my supervisor while I am under supervision and by any inspector appointed by the Master of the Faculties under the Notaries (Inspections) Regulations 2014.
Pursuant to rule 23 of the Notaries Practice Rules 2014 any person or authority having a proper interest in a notarial act may request a copy of my records relating to that act.
10. CEASING TO ACT
You have the right to cancel under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. If you instruct me to start work prior to or during the cancellation period set out in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you will be charged for any work completed and any disbursements incurred on your behalf up to the point at which I receive your cancellation notice.
In some circumstances I may consider that I ought to stop acting for you. For example, if you are unable to give clear or proper instructions on how I am to proceed. In this event I will notify you in writing that I am unable to continue to act. If I decide that I can no longer act for you, you will be liable for my charges and expenses for the work already carried out, as set out earlier.
11. MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST ACTIVITY
I owe a professional duty of confidentiality to you. However, I may sometimes have other duties and obligations which affect my obligations to you. For example, if I am obliged to disclose to the National Crime Agency any suspicions I may have regarding money laundering or terrorist activities, this duty will override my duty to you.
To ensure that I comply with these duties and obligations you acknowledge and agree that I may make all such enquiries as I deem necessary or appropriate in order to comply with my duty and you will provide me with such documents and information as I may request. Your failure to do so will entitle me to terminate my retainer with you and immediately cease acting for you.
 The Master of the Faculties is the Regulator of notarial activities pursuant to the Legal Services Act 2007.