Guidance on notarial services
1. NOTARIAL FEES
Please enquire for full details of our charges. As indicated in our Terms of Business these charges may be subject to variation.
2. NOTARIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Notarial acts require a high standard of care, as reliance on such acts is made by clients, third parties and foreign governments and officials. The Notary has a responsibility to protect against error, omission, alterations, fraud, and forgery.
Notarial acts are not rubber stamping exercises and the requirements of accuracy and validity cannot be overridden by urgency or expense.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing Notarial responsibility is limited to the Notarial formalities and does not extend to advice on or drafting of documentation or on the matter under consideration.
3. PROOF AND IDENTIFICATION
In order to meet the high standard of Notarial acts, the Notary is required to obtain proof (to his discretion and satisfaction), of identity, any represented legal capacity and authority, clients understanding of documentation, interpretation/or translation into or from other languages, effectiveness of documentation, validity, signature and witnessing, observance of required formalities both in England and abroad, and the requirements of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or any relevant consular or similar authorities.
In the case of individuals, proof may be required, with production of appropriate certificates where applicable, of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, deed poll on change of name, or statutory declaration. Identification of individuals will be required.
In the case of companies, details of the proof and information required, depending on the circumstances and service required, should be discussed in advance with the Notary. Notarial attendance at a company board meeting may be required in some cases. This may be arranged at our offices if required.
Company searches may be required in support or proof of certain corporate acts. It is required that these are obtained direct from Companies House by the Notary, at the cost of the client. Time should be allowed to obtain these in advance of any personal attendance.
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office endorsement (and/or the endorsements of the relevant High Commission/Embassy/Consulate of the country in which it is proposed to use the document the subject of a Notarial act), is required in some cases for use abroad, as an additional authentication to notarised documents. This is usually obtained by the Notary at the expense of the client and is usually applied for by post. In urgent cases clients may have to attend in person or incur despatch/courier charges.
Preparation of documentation for Notarial action is formal and prior preparation of documents or draft documents may be required.
Early discussion of outline requirements with the Notary is advised.
Time, expense, and error, may be saved if clients, or their advisors, provide, in advance of any personal consultation, the originals or exact and complete photocopies of:-
- all documents to be notarised
- covering correspondence or forms of instructions from the country to which the documentation is to be provided that relate to that act
- client identification evidence
Copies of documents produced ancillary to or in support of Notarial acts may be required for retention, as will copies or original duplicates of Notarial acts, to form part of the required Notarial register/record.
Documents to be notarised should not be bound, as the Notary may have to re-bind them with a covering Notarial Certificate.
Translations may be required of documents before and/or after or as part of a Notarial act. The Notary can usually arrange or advise on this aspect if required.
An initial appointment and an appointment to finalise the Notarial act may be required, particularly if documentation has to be prepared in formal style.
Personal attendance at our office will usually be required to ensure all necessary secretarial facilities are available. However, in exceptional cases, attendance arrangements out of the office can be made.
Travelling and travelling time will incur additional expense to the client.
6. DATA PROTECTION ACT
Details of clients of the practice and matter references will be stored on computer for archive and retrieval purposes and may be used to mail client communications.