COLIN BURDETT LLB (Hons) NOTARY PUBLIC
Milford & Dormor Solicitors,45 Fore Street, Chard,Somerset,TA20 1PT
Tel: (+44) 01460 61000 Fax: (+44) 01460 65319
Notaries Society Coat of Arms
CLIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET AND TERMS & CONDITIONS
PRELIMINARY GUIDANCE: These notes are not exhaustive but are preliminary guidelines only, to save expensive explanatory time both for you and me.
1. TERMS OF BUSINESS: BASIS OF THE RETAINER: I contract only on the basis of these conditions. To follow professional rules I practice as a notary on my own account, and not as part of Milford & Dormor Solicitors.
2. NOT JUST A SIGNATURE!: The international duty of a notary involves a high standard of care, not only towards you as the client, but particularly to the transaction itself, and as to other parties, the governments or official of other counties. This is because they are all entitled, to assume that a notary will ensure due compliance with the relevant local and foreign requirements, whether or not specifically requested to do so, and to rely on the notary’s register and records. Clients are requested to be mindful that individual notaries do not write the Rules, but have to follow internationally recognised and acceptable procedures. Also, professional requirements in the UK have become more stringent and onerous through progressive assimilation with European notarial standards, and global developments affecting notarial practice.
3. YOUR SIGNATURE: Your signature should normally be witnessed by the notary – please do not sign documents before our meeting.
4. PREVIEW OF DOCUMENTATION AND E-MAIL: It can save time, expense and mistakes if you send to me, before the appointment by e-mail, the originals or full photocopies of each document to be notarised and any covering correspondence and instructions from the destination country. My direct e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is my policy to use e-mail wherever possible. Where a client has provided me with an e-mail address, e.g. by sending me an e-mail, I will assume that I may use that address for the sending of unencrypted, sensitive or confidential correspondence or documents to the client. I may also, during the course of a matter, send unencrypted, sensitive or confidential information to other persons involved, unless specifically requested by them or the client not to do so.
5. CURRENT IDENTIFICATION: When you attend to sign the document you will be asked to provide for each signature a current passport or photocard driving licence and, a utility bill or other statement or account giving the full UK address, and you will be asked to provide me with a specimen signature. I am required to keep a copy of your ID documents for anti-money laundering purposes.
6. PROOF OF STATUS, VARIANT NAMES: You may be asked to provide evidence of any name changes, or variations of the spellings, or of the sequence of your names; or of any alternative names used by you for professional or other purposes. Originals of all other relevant official documents should also be produced. If in doubt, bring your certificates of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, examinations,
qualifications; and any other deed poll or statutory declaration made on change of name. If you are acting for somebody else I will need to see the power of attorney or other authority.
7. FALSIFICATION ETC.: Notaries need to guard against the increasing trends of impersonation and falsification of documents. I may need to check certificates or other documents with their originators.
8. NOTARIAL INDEPENDENCE: is paramount, in the interests of all concerned. The notary’s duty extends to everyone who may rely on the notarised document. If I am not satisfied that I have been able to verify all necessary facts or information I will not be able to deal with the document. I do not just witness signatures. You do not need a notary for that.
9. INCOMPLETE/INEFFECTIVE DOCUMENTS: Every notary has to check that each document to be notarised is fully and duly completed. I cannot deal with incomplete documents. If I am not sure that you understand the document I will not deal with it until I know that you have received any legal advice that you ought to have and/or that you have seen a reliable translation. Without these I cannot certify that you understand the meaning and effect of the transaction and have agreed to be bound by it.
10. TRANSLATIONS: Where a document is in a foreign language I will normally ask you to prepare it and sign it in English so that it may be properly translated in the country to which it is to be sent. Similarly arrangements may have to be made for a competence professional interpreter to be available at the interview.
11. SEPARATE ENTITIES: In the case of a company, partnership, society, club or similar entity I will need to make detailed enquiries about the organisation as well as about is representative.
12. YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS: It is not my responsibility to give you legal advice concerning the document. My role is to be satisfied that you understand the content of the document and that you intend to be bound by it. You are advised to seek first the advice of your own independent legal or other competent professional advisor who practises in, or is skilled in the law of the jurisdiction to which the document will be sent. I do not advise on foreign law. I act in an evidential, authentication capacity.
13. SPECIFIC GUIDANCE: If there are any specific requirements that your advisor or the recipient authority requires, such as signing in a particular colour ink, or having a number of independent witnesses other than myself as Notary Public, then it is your responsibility to ascertain these and let me know prior to or at the meeting. Otherwise I will simply death with witnessing your signature, after verifying you have the capacity, intention and understanding of the document, and verifying your identity. You are required to check all is as you wish with the notarised documents before leaving the meeting, as any repeat work will be charged for.
14. POWER OF ATTORNEY, DEEDS, AFFIDAVITS, LETTERS & OTHER DOCUMENTS: It is recommended in all cases that you have the document you require to be notarised to be prepared by a lawyer in the country where the document will be used. Where I am instructed to prepare such a document, I cannot guarantee that the document will be prepared in accordance with the laws of the country where it will be used. If a document prepared is rejected, you will not be compensated for this as you have had notice of the risk.
15. FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE AND/OR CONSULAR LEGISLATION: Most countries require notarised documents to receive further certification (usually termed “an Apostille”) by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office; and/or legislation by the relevant High Commission/Embassy/ Consulate. Usually I arrange this by post; but clients may if they prefer deal with it themselves or by courier – especially if the matter is extremely urgent. Members of the public can only lodge applications for legalisation by completing the prescribed form.
16. FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS: You will be personally responsible for my fees and I will ask you to pay them before you take your document away. They will not necessarily be the same as the fees charged by another notary even if they are dealing with another person’s signature on the same document. My fees are based on the amount of time taken in arranging the interview, travelling and/or waiting time, considering the documents, attending the interview itself, dealing with the document, and obtaining any Foreign Office or further legalisation that may be needed and in making and keeping my statutory records.
I charge a minimum fixed fee of £70 per document/signature. I charge £5 to provide further independent witnesses (per witness), where this is required. There may also be consular fees to pay and there may be copying expenses and other out of pocket expenses, such as postage or courier fees. I reserve the right to vary the rate in respect of extremely urgent work or work done outside ordinary office hours or at the weekend. Fees are payable by cash or cheque; I do not take plastic. Fees for Saturday appointments or home visits must be paid in advance of the meeting.
17. VAT: I am currently not registered for VAT.
18. CONFIDENTIALITY: A notary is a public official. My documents and records including the copies of documents you bring to me for authentication are open to inspection by anyone who has a proper interest in them. I will not always keep a full copy of your document, but reserve the right to do so. Nothing that you say to me is entitled to the protection of legal privilege.
19. REGISTER & PROTOCOL: At the end of the matter, I make a formal entry of the main details in my register and I keep copies of the notarised document and proof of identity in my protocol.
20. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: I maintain professional indemnity insurance. Save as provided in the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, my liability to you for any loss, injury, or damage of any nature whatever whether direct or consequential, including without limitation in respect of negligence to you, is hereby limited to the sum of £2 million in respect of any one claim or series of related claims (save in the case of fraud, where no such limit shall apply). I do not accept liability for loss of documents in the postal systems, whether I have sent the documents or whether an agent has sent the documents, and so you will need to make your own arrangements for postage etc. of documents if you do not accept these terms. I do not accept liability for late receipt of documents by any recipient authority/jurisdiction/individual.
21. PLACE OF ATTENDANCE: Your personal attendance at my office is preferable where my own photocopying and experienced secretarial facilities are available as required. Arrangements can be made for me to attend your place of business. In cases justifying attendance at your own address – e.g. in the event of incapacitation – subject to my sole discretion, special arrangements can be made, but this inevitably increases time and expense.
22. MANDATORY INFORMATION:
1. My notarial practice is regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:
The Faculty Office
1 The Sanctuary
London SW1P 3JT
Telephone: 020 7222 5381
2. If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me.
3. If we are unable to resolve the matter you may then complaint 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.
4. 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
Telephone: 01604 758908
If you have difficulty in making a complaint in writing, please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/the Faculty Office for assistance.
5. 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 six 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:
PO Box 6806
6. 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.