These notes are not exhaustive but are a preliminary guideline only. They interrelate with the accompanying notes: “General Guidance Notes For Notarial Appointments“.
My current hourly rate is £225.00 + VAT. My present minimum fee for a brief matter is normally £90.00 + VAT. I reserve the right to vary the rate, particularly in respect of extremely urgent and/or onerous or unusual matters.
I am registered for VAT. My VAT number is 341920714.
Notarial charges are normally payable upon signature/release of the notarised documentation, although subsequent work may remain to complete the matter. Payment should be by bank transfer, cash or cheque or debit card.
Additionally, clients are responsible for all disbursements, including such of the following as are applicable:
- Legalisation fees payable to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and/or Embassies, etc;
- Translators’/interpreters’ fees;
- Companies registry fees;
- Agents; Travelling expenses, where applicable;
- Couriers’ and/or other transmission costs.
Notary Public fees: special factors
Quite often, one appointment suffices, but fuller details emerging at the appointment may necessitate one or more further meeting(s), possibly the same day in cases of real urgency. There are a number which may affect the fee rate e.g.
- Complexity, difficulty or novelty;
- Skill, labour, specialised knowledge and responsibility;
- Number and importance of documents prepared or perused;
- Place and circumstances in which the business or any part is undertaken;
- Value of any money or property involved;
- Importance of the matter to the client;
- Urgency, disruption, dislocation/re-arrangement of other work;
- Work unavoidably undertaken out of office hours.
Place of attendance
Your personal attendance at my office is usually essential since my photocopying and typing facilities are available as required.
I do visit organisations with photocopying and typing facilities. I also visit e.g. in cases of incapacity. Neverthless, this inevitably increases time and expense.
This applies to all work undertaken from start to finish, including taking preliminary details and giving advice, preparing documents, attendances, drafting documents, phone calls, correspondence, faxing, legislation and final work including writing up the Notarial Register and Protocol.
- The consideration and/or drafting and/or engrossment of documents before, during or after interviews;
- Checking and dealing with:
- Any instructions accompanying the documents;
- Missing data; Vital accuracy of names/addresses and any variations;
- Any special requirements/formalities of the foreign country;
- Obtaining all requisite verifications.
Urgency and/or expense must not override essential accuracy and validity.
Your professional advisers
Have you taken advice about this matter from:
- Your own English lawyer(s); and/or
- Relevant foreign lawyer(s), and/or
- Other competent professional advisers, here or in the relevant country?
- Are you taking the potentially huge risk of relying on documents prepared by another party or its adviser(s), without yourself taking independent legal or other competent professional advice?
- Do you want, expect or hope that the notary public will do this for you?
- Are you trying to save time and/or money by attempting to cut corners?
Individual notaries do not write the rules but have to follow internationally recognised and acceptable procedures. Also, professional requirements in the U.K. have become more stringent and onerous through progressive assimilation of European notarial standards, and global developments affecting notarial practice.
Anyone who has dealings with a Notary Public in the USA may be surprised at the different formalities and cost over here. The role and responsibility of the Notary Public in the United States is very different.
Whether you, your agents or other parties wish it or not, the notary as an independent scrutineer has to insist on satisfactory compliance with and/or reliable proof of all appropriate matters relating to:
- Your identity;
- Your legal capacity/authority;
- Your comprehension and approval;
- Documentary objective;
- Form and substance;
- Voluntary act/undue influence;
- Prescribed formalities both at home and abroad;
- Due signature(s);
- Observance of other specified formalities at home and abroad;
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office and/or Consular legalisation.
FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (FCO) APOSTILLE AND/OR CONSULAR LEGALISATION:
Legalisation is the process by which the signature and seal of the notary are authenticated by the Foreign Office and the Foreign Embassy.
Some countries require notarised documents to receive further certification termed “Apostille”
Register & Protocol
Once the matter is concluded, then:
- A formal register entry has to be made by the notary as a permanent record,
- A protocol copy of the notarised documentations is customarily kept.
Frequently, a fully executed set of duplicate originals is required, or advisable, to be retained by the notary.
Sometimes, the notary may retain the original and issue a certified copy.