Visiting a Notary

  1. Why a notary?  It is almost always the case that you have been asked to see a notary because you have a document that needs to be used abroad. Seeing a notary is never a mere rubber-stamping exercise. The international duty of a Notary involves a high standard of care.  This is not only towards the client but also to anyone who may rely on the document and to Governments or officials of other countries.  These people are entitled to assume that a Notary will ensure full compliance with the relevant requirements both here and abroad; and to rely on the Notary’s register and records. Great care is essential at every stage to minimise the risks of errors, omissions, alterations, fraud, forgery, money laundering, the use of false identity, and so on. We offer appointments during business hours and occasionally outside of business hours upon prior arrangement. We are also prepared to make home visits or visit corporate clients at their place of business. If the notarial appointments take place outside of our office, we will make an additional charge to cover travelling time and expenses. Occasionally we may not be able to see you within the timeframe you require, or we may decide that we are not able to act for you in which case we will advise you that that is the case and will provide you with the necessary information if available to locate an alternative notary.
  2. Signatures: The Notary should normally witness your signature. Please do not sign the document in advance of your appointment with us.
  3. Papers to be sent to us in advance: It will save time, expense and mistakes if, as long before the appointment as possible, you can let us have the originals or photocopies of:
    • The documents to be notarised;
    • Any letter or other form of instruction which you have received about what has to be done with the documents;
    • Your evidence of identification;
    • Supporting documentation in relation to the documents to be notarised.
    • Identification: We will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original of one (in preferred order):
    • Your current valid passport (or, if not available);
    • A  valid photocard driving licence or valid photocard national identity card.
  4. If neither of the above are available, at least two of the following:
    • A current government or police issue certificate bearing a photo or other formal means of identification;
    • A utility bill, credit card or bank statement showing your current address which should not be more than 3 months old or council tax bill;
    • Proof of address: In addition to the above proof of identity, we will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original of one (in preferred order):
      • Valid Photocard driving licence (if this is not used as proof of identity already)
      • Postal utility (WiFi, Gas, Electricity, Water, Phone) bill or Council Tax bill dated no earlier than three months before the meeting for signature before the notary.
      • Postal bank or credit card statement (or printout stamped by bank branch, or downloaded in the notary’s presence and emailed to the notary), dated no earlier than three months before the meeting for signature before the notary and showing more than a £0 balance.
  5. You must also bring any other means of ID which may be referred to in the papers sent to you as being required such as a foreign Identity Card. We may also ask to see further evidence of identity such as marriage certificates etc and will advise you of this if necessary.
    • Proof of name (changes): In a case where the name on the document is different from the name you are currently using, or there has been a variation in the form of spelling of the name over the years, please provide us as appropriate with Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Divorce Decree or Change of Name Deed showing all the different names that you use.  If there has been a change of name, then we will need to see a copy of the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration which dealt with it or for you to swear an affidavit (a declaration on oath) detailing the circumstances of your name change.
    • Advice on the document: If you bring a document to us for authentication as a Notary, we will advise you only as to the formalities required for completing it (e.g. signature, initialling pages and witnessing). However, we will not advise you about the legal transaction itself.
    • Written Translations: It is essential that you understand what you are signing. 
    • If the document is in a foreign language which you do not understand sufficiently, we may have to insist that a translation be obtained. If we arrange for a translation, a further fee will be payable, and we will provide you with details of this.
    • If you arrange for a professional translation, the translator should add his/her name, address, relevant qualification, and a certificate stating: “Document X is a true and complete translation of document Y, to which this translation is attached.”
    • Oral Interpreter: If you and we cannot understand each other because of a language difficulty, we may have to instruct a competent, qualified interpreter to be available at our interview and this may involve a further fee.
    • Companies, Partnerships etc: If a document is to be signed by you on behalf of a company, a partnership, a charity, club or other incorporated body, there are further requirements on which we may have to insist.  Please be prepared for these and telephone with any point of difficulty before attending on the appointment.
    • In each case:
      • Evidence of identity of the authorised signatory (as listed above).
      • A copy of the current letterhead (showing the registered office if it is a company).
      • A Letter of Authority, Minute, Resolution or Power of Attorney, authorising you to sign the document.
  6. Additionally, companies: Certificate of Incorporation and of any Change of Name, a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Details of Directors and Secretaries.  In all instances we will be carrying out various company searches, which may have an effect on the level of fees charged.
  7. Additionally, partnerships, clubs, etc: A Partnership Agreement; or relevant Trust Deed; or Charter; or Constitution/Rules.
    • Notarial charges and expenses: Details of our charges are set out below. Please note that if we have to make payments on your behalf such as legalisation fees, translator or interpreter fees, or other costs such as travelling expenses, your approval to these will be obtained and you are normally required to make payment in advance of any such amounts.
  8. Charges: If the matter is simple notarisation, we will endeavour to charge a fixed fee to include disbursements such as legalisation fees, postage, consular agent fees, courier fees, travelling expenses, translating costs and so on. VAT is payable on our fees as per the Annex below.
  9. For more complicated or time-consuming matters, the fee will be based on an hourly rate of £150 plus disbursements/VAT. The fee charged may include time spent on preliminary advice, drafting and preparation time, making and receiving telephone calls, correspondence written and received in all formats, arranging legalisation and record keeping.
  10. Disbursements: Some documents require legalisation before they will be accepted for use in the receiving jurisdiction by obtaining an apostille through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and, for some countries, additional legalisation is required through the relevant embassy or consulate. As different Consulate have different fees, we will advise you according to your specific requirements.
  11. Payment can be made
    • by cash or
    • you can pay online on the following link
  12. Payment of our fee and disbursements is due when the document has been prepared which we may retain pending payment in full.
  13. Occasionally unforeseen or unusual issues arise during the course of the matter which may result in a revision of our fee estimate. Examples of this could include where additional documents are required to be notarised, additional translations or legalisations are needed to meet the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction, third party fees are adjusted to reflect external factors such as fuel price changes. Another example may be adjusting fees for time spent on preliminary advice, drafting and preparation time, making and receiving telephone calls, correspondence written and received in all formats, administrative work out of the ordinary. We will notify you of any changes in the fee estimate as soon as possible.
    • Termination / Your Right to Cancel: You may terminate your instructions to us at any time by giving us reasonable written notice. All fees and disbursements incurred up to the date of termination will be charged.
  14. Consumer Cooling Off Cancellation Period –Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (“CCR”):
    1. Where the CCR apply (typically where you are an individual consumer and my contract with you was concluded either at or following a meeting with you or by a form of distance communication) you have a cancellation period of 14 days after the date you sign my retainer letter or the date on which you continue to give us instructions, whichever is earlier.
    2. You can cancel your contract within the cancellation period by giving us a clear statement and we will reimburse all payments received from you by the same method that you used, at no cost to you, without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which you inform me of the cancellation.
    3. If you ask us to begin work during the cancellation period, you can still cancel but you must pay us an amount in proportion to the work which we have performed, and this proportion will not be reimbursed to you.
      • Termination by us: we reserve the right to terminate our engagement by you if we have good reason to do so, for example, if you do not pay a bill or comply with our request for a payment on account or you fail to give us the co-operation which we are reasonably entitled to expect.