Terms of Business
1. MY PRACTICE
My practice is that of a notary public admitted in England and Wales. My name is Steven Graham Rae and my address is 49, Burn Bridge Oval, Burn Bridge, Harrogate, HG3 1LP. My telephone number is 07583-672813 and my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I see clients by appointment only. My normal hours of business are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, although appointments can be made outside those hours if required. Appointments can also be made at your home or office or at the weekend, but this will involve an additional charge.
2. REGULATION OF MY PRACTICE
My practice is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Faculty Office can be contacted in writing at 1, The Sanctuary, London, SW1P 3JT. Its website address is www.facultyoffice.org.uk. It can be contacted on 020 7222 5381 and email@example.com. Details of the professional rules applying to my practice can be supplied on request.
3. MY FEES
My fees are based on an hourly rate of £150.00 with a minimum fee of £60.00. I reserve the right to vary the hourly rate in the case of work carried out as a matter of urgency or work carried out at your request in the evening or at the weekend.
4. FIXED FEES
In most cases I will be able to agree a fixed fee for the work beforehand. However, if the work proves to be more complicated than originally envisaged, whether by virtue of more complex documentation, involvement of additional persons, your requirement of additional services or otherwise, I reserve the right to renegotiate the fee or charge you at my hourly rate.
5. VALUE ADDED TAX
My fees are not subject to Value Added Tax at the present time.
6. MY SERVICES AND THEIR TIMESCALE
I can carry out all permitted notarial activities including notarising powers of attorney, affidavits and other documents for use anywhere in the world. I also, where appropriate, arrange legalisation of documents (see paragraph 13 below) and arrange for them to be sent to their final destination. Generally I will be able to see you within four days of your instructing me, or where relevant within four days of the documents being agreed in their final form. Where appropriate any documents requiring legalisation will be sent to my legalisation agents within two days after our meeting, or where relevant within two days after the notarised documents have been approved by the foreign lawyer. Documents which have been legalised will generally be returned by my legalisation agents or sent by them to their final destination within approximately three days thereafter, but I cannot guarantee this timescale as it is not within my control.
7. EXPENSES INCURRED ON YOUR BEHALF
You are responsible for all payments incurred by me on your behalf, such as fees due to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, foreign embassies and other bodies, legalisation agents’ fees, fees payable to Companies House, translation fees, couriers’ fees, special postage charges and search fees. You will be advised of the amount of these before they are incurred.
Payment of my fees is due prior to your appointment with me by bank transfer. I may at my discretion accept payment in cash up to a maximum of £200.00. If exceptionally payment cannot be made in advance it is due on your signing of or other completion of the notarised document. Until such time as payment has been made in full I am entitled to retain the document.
9. CALCULATION OF TIME SPENT
Time spent for the purposes of my hourly rate includes all work undertaken on your matter from start to finish, including taking initial instructions, preparation, attendances, drafting, correspondence and e-mails, telephone calls and completion of my notarial records. Preparation includes checking and dealing with documents, liaising with foreign lawyers, agreeing amendments where necessary and completing any blanks and considering any relevant requirements of foreign jurisdictions.
Letters, telephone calls and e-mails are charged according to the time taken with a minimum of six minutes per item.
10. PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
It is not my responsibility to provide you with legal advice relating to the document to be notarised, as I am not qualified to do so. My function is to satisfy myself that you understand the document and intend to be legally bound by it. You are advised to take appropriate legal or other advice from your own professional advisors either in the United Kingdom or in the relevant foreign jurisdiction. It is your responsibility with the help of your own advisors to ensure that the document to be notarised complies with any relevant foreign law and meets the requirements of the foreign jurisdiction.
11. MY RESPONSIBILITIES
I must be satisfied as to your identity, your legal capacity and your authority where relevant, and that you are entering into the document of your own free will, without any fraud, duress or undue influence. It may be necessary for me to obtain independent verification of the circumstances or document involved. If the document is in a foreign language it may be necessary for you to obtain a translation at your cost, and confirm to me that it is adequate at your appointment, failing which I may need to arrange a translation at additional cost (as to French language documents see paragraph 14 below). If I am not satisfied on any of the above points I may decline to proceed with the matter, or may limit my notarial certificate, which may mean that it is not acceptable or of less benefit to you. Whilst I will do my best to ensure that the document is acceptable in the foreign jurisdiction I do not accept any liability to you if it is not.
12. THIRD PARTIES
If you present or sign the document on behalf of a third party, such as a company, partnership, trust or charity, you warrant that you are authorised to sign that document on behalf of that organisation and that it accepts these terms of business.
It may be a requirement of the relevant foreign jurisdiction that a document be legalised. This involves the confirmation by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that I am a recognised notary. This entails the attaching of a certificate known as an “apostille” to the notarised document. In some cases the document then has to be further certified by the embassy of the country to which it is to be sent, and occasionally by other bodies such as the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. The fees payable to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the relevant embassy or other body are payable by you. Your legal advisor should advise you as to whether legalisation is required, and if not you should ask him about it. Where legalisation is required I can arrange this through my legalisation agents, although you can deal with it yourself if you so wish.
14. FRENCH LANGUAGE DOCUMENTS
French language documents are often provided in French only, with no English translation. Unless you can demonstrate to my satisfaction that you have sufficient knowledge of French to understand a legal document, a translation will be required. In some cases the French notary who prepared the document may be able to provide a translation if requested to do so. If not I am in addition to being a qualified notary an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and as such am qualified to translate French documents. I can therefore provide a translation for you, although in the case of a very long document it may be quicker and more convenient to have it translated by a translation agency.
Any translation I provide for you will be the subject of a separate translation invoice, the amount of which will be agreed before commencement of any work. In carrying out translations I am governed by the CIOL Code of Professional Conduct, a copy of which can be supplied on request. The professional rules applying to notaries do not apply to any work that I carry out as a translator, but I carry professional indemnity cover of £1,000,000 in respect of my translation work. Please note that the fact that I translate a document does not mean that I am giving legal advice as to its contents, as I am not qualified to do so. For more information please visit my translation website at www.stevenraetranslation.com.
15. INTRODUCTIONS AND REFERRALS
I do not receive any commission from any introducer or referrer of notarial work to me. I have an arrangement with Newtons Solicitors Limited whereby I pay them a commission of 5% on all notarial work introduced or referred by them to me. This does not affect my ability and duty to advise you independently. You give your consent to this by your signature of a copy of these terms of business.
16. DATA PROTECTION
I am required to abide by the provisions of the data protection legislation in force from time to time. In particular I am obliged to retain copies of your identity documents and the notarised document. Some notarised documents have by law to be retained indefinitely, and the remainder for at least twelve years. My policy is to retain all such documents indefinitely, in some cases to comply with legal requirements, and in other cases for your convenience and to ensure you retain access to the document. You give your consent to this by your signature of a copy of these terms of business. If you wish to withdraw your consent to my retaining for more than twelve years any document which does not have to be retained indefinitely, you may notify me to that effect. My data protection policy is available on my website.
17. CONSUMER PROTECTION
The characteristics of the services provided by me and their cost are as set out above. The contract between you and me is for the provision of notarial services relating to the matter on which you instruct me (and where relevant for the provision of associated translation services). The services will be delivered when the notarised document is completed and sent to the appropriate destination, after the completion of legalisation where required.
Where you are acting as a consumer you have a “cooling-off period” of 14 days in which you have the right to cancel the contract with me, if the contract is an “off-premises” or “distance” contract, i.e. one not made at my premises. Where this applies full details are set out in the notice which is sent with these terms of business. If you wish me to provide notarial or translation services before the expiry of the 14 day period you must confirm in writing or by e-mail that this is your wish and that you waive the 14 day cooling off period. If you subsequently cancel the contract before the expiry of the 14 day period but after I have undertaken work on your behalf you will have to pay the reasonable cost of the work I have undertaken for you.
18. ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING, PROCEEDS OF CRIME AND ANTI-TERRORISM LEGISLATION
I am required by law to ensure that I assess each transaction to ensure that it does not involve any breach of the above legislation. To enable me to do this I need to check your identity and address, the nature of the transaction and where relevant the source of any funds which may be involved. I am not able to simply certify your signature without performing these checks.
19. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
A copy of my complaints procedure may be found on my website. A notice giving details of this is sent with these terms of business.
20. NOTARIAL RECORDS
All notaries have to keep records of matters completed by them. I will retain copies of your identification documents and the notarised document in my protocol. Notarial records (including notarised documents) may be inspected at any time by you and anyone else who has a proper interest in them. You authorise the disclosure of that information to any such parties, including the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Notaries Society, HM Revenue & Customs, the police and other regulatory bodies.
I am required to maintain professional indemnity insurance to the amount of £1,000,000. and my liability to you in respect of any one transaction shall not exceed this sum to the extent permitted by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I will not be liable to you for delays in legalisation or non-delivery of or delays in delivery of items by courier or post, these matters being outside my control.
22. APPLICABLE LAW
My contract with you is governed by the law of England and Wales and any disputes arising out of it shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.