The cost of my notarial services is based upon time spent at my hourly rate of £180 per hour with a minimum fee of £90 with the right to vary the rate in respect of work carried out urgently or at weekend at your request, in which case an uplift percentage will apply to charges but not disbursements (disbursements are expenses incurred on your behalf such as apostille and legalisation fees or courier fees).
In most instances, I will be able to offer a fixed fee. Where a fixed fee is agreed with you, the right is reserved to renegotiate my fee or charge at my hourly rate if matters develop unforeseen complications such as more documents, more complex documents or more persons involved in the transaction or if you require additional services from me.
Expenses incurred on your behalf
You are responsible for all expenses incurred on your behalf, such as fees due to the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) or foreign embassies, courier’s fees, legalisation agent’s fees, Companies House charges, special postage charges or search fees in registries where needed.
I am required by law to retain details of the transaction including a copy of the Notarial Act and copies of your personal identification documents in some circumstances indefinitely. It is my policy to retain all such documentation for all Notarial Acts indefinitely. You have been provided with a copy of my Data Protection Policy in relation to retention of personal and special category personal data. Agreement to this forms part of the contractual agreement between us.
Where you act a consumer, you have certain legal rights to cancel, where a contract is classed as an “off-premises” contract. This includes a 14 day “cooling off period” within which you are able to cancel your instructions. Should you require me to undertake the notarial services before the expiration of this 14 days period, you will be required to waive these rights in writing prior to any services being provided.
Payment of fees is usually due upon presentation of the notarised document, or on presentation of my bill.
Calculation of Time
Time will be charged as recorded including all work on the matter from start to finish, including preliminary details and advice, preparation and upon your or others on your behalf, attendances, drafting time, phone calls, correspondence (including e-mails, copying, faxes and letters) and completion as professionally required of my register and protocol. Letters, phone calls and e-mails are charged at multiples of unit time-cost of 6 minutes per item, with a minimum charge of 6 minutes.
This includes (non-exhaustively) all checking or work upon any document presented by you, taking instructions either from you or written by you or others, consideration, drafting, liaising with foreign legal advisers, completion of part prepared documents, binding and or sealing of any document and time taken in ensuring compliance with requirements of any foreign jurisdiction.
My responsibility is to the integrity of the Notarial Act performed by us on your behalf. My obligation to you is confined to ensuring you understand the nature and purpose of the content of the document concerned and that you intend to be bound by it. It is not my responsibility to provide legal advice as to the effect of the document, in relation to this, you must place reliance upon such advice as may be provided by your own professional advisers either here or in the foreign jurisdiction concerned.
Integrity of the Act
In order to discharge my obligation, I have to be satisfied as to your identity, your capacity, understanding and intent legally to perform it and, in some circumstances, I shall have to insist upon there being a translation. While I shall endeavour to ensure your document in its form and content is fit to achieve its purpose, I am not liable to you if it does not. I must also be satisfied the act is your voluntary act, that there is no fraud, violence or duress involved. If I am not satisfied as to any of the matters referred to in this paragraph, I am obliged to refuse to complete the matter.
Anti-Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Terrorism Legislation
I am required by law to ensure that I assess each transaction in relation to the possibility of money laundering, proceeds of crime and terrorism. To enable us to do this I will need to check your identity, address, the source of funds, their destination and the nature of the transaction. I am not able to simply “certify your signature” on a document.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office and/or Consular Legalisation
Some countries require a document to be “legalised”. This is the process by which the relevant state agency confirms that my seal and signature are those of an appropriately qualified and authorised Notary Public for England and Wales. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office attach an apostille to the document. Sometimes the document then has to go to the London Embassy of the country to where the document will be sent. The Embassy will then attach its own certificate to the document. The FCO and Embassies charge fees for their involvement and you are responsible for payment of such fees. Your lawyer may advise you of the need for legalisation. If not, you should ask him or her about it. I am able to obtain the necessary legalisation, providing you have provided the funds to enable me to do so, and I shall discuss with you the timescale and whether I should use legalisation agents or couriers if speed is required. However, you may arrange legalisation yourself if you wish.
All notaries are required to maintain a record of transactions completed by them. I shall also retain a copy of any notarised document and evidence of your identity in my protocol.
To the extent that I am permitted by law to do so, but not further, I limit my liability to you to the amount of my account for professional services. In no case shall my liability to you exceed £1,000,000.00. If you request that I post documents on your behalf you accept that I am not responsible for their loss, or other direct or indirect losses that you may incur, as a result of them going missing, being damaged or being delayed whilst in transit.
The relevant law governing my contract with you is the law of England and Wales; any dispute shall be decided by the courts of England and Wales.