As part of my initial assessment of your instructions, we will scope and agree your requirements, so that you are provided with a brief outline of the services which I am to provide including the key stages (if more than one) and the likely timescales for each one. Each notarial matter is different and the requirements will vary (for example) according to whether the client is a private individual, a company or an unincorporated body. Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:
- Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions that you may have received
- Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies or authorities to obtain the necessary information to deal with the document (eg 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 relevant 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 all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notaries Practice Rules.
I will wherever reasonably possible quote a fixed fee for your approval prior to acceptance of your instructions. Where a fixed fee cannot be quoted, for example because the work involved is impossible sufficiently to quantify in advance, I will agree with you a transparent basis of charging, for example an hourly rate combined with a maximum fee not to be exceeded without your agreement. I may specify a minimum fee. My fees are not subject to value added tax.
I will also estimate the cost of any disbursements (third party costs, travel costs and photocopying charges) which will be incurred in connection with your matter. Apart from travel costs (where applicable) and photocopying charges, generally these will consist of fees for apostille and legalisation certificates (where applicable) the fees of consular agents (where applicable) translation costs (where applicable) bankruptcy search and/or company search fees and/or Companies House fees (where applicable) postages and/or courier fees. Wherever possible I may encourage you to pay such charges (unless nominal in amount or standard UK postage charges) directly to any third party providers. Whatever the amount, nominal or otherwise, if I agree to incur and pay these expenses on your behalf, I require (understandably I’m sure) reimbursement on demand of these expenses and any value added tax applicable to them. Some disbursements may be subject to value added tax charged by the third party provider.
If I provide services as a commissioner for oaths, for documents used within England and Wales, statutory fixed fees are applicable details of which will be supplied where relevant. Commissioner for oaths services for documents used within England and Wales may also be provided by solicitors qualified in England and Wales.