Terms of Business
Introduction & Important Points:
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.
I offer appointments during business hours and occasionally outside of business hours in exceptional circumstances. I am also prepared to make home visits or visit corporate clients at their place of business. If the notarial appointments take place outside of my office I will make an additional charge to cover travelling time and expenses. Occasionally I may not be able to see you within the time frame you require, or I may decide that I am not able to act for you in which case I will advise you that that is the case and will provide you with the necessary information to locate an alternative notary.
The Notary should normally witness your signature. Please do not sign the document in advance of your appointment with me.
Papers to be sent to me in advance:
It will save time, expense and mistakes if, as long before the appointment as possible, you can let me 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.
I will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original of (in preferred order):
- Your current passport (or, if not available);
- A current new driving licence (with photo) or national identity card
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;
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. I may also ask to see further evidence of identity such as marriage certificates etc and will advise you of this if necessary.
Proof of names:
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 me 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 I will need to see a copy of the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration which dealt with it.
Advice on the document:
If you bring a document to me for authorisation as a Notary, I will advise you as to the formalities required for completing it. However, I will not be attempting to advise you about the transaction itself.
It is essential that you understand what you are signing.
- If the document is in a foreign language which you do not understand sufficiently, I may have to insist that a translation be obtained. If I arrange for a translation, a further fee will be payable and I 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.”
If you and I cannot understand each other because of a language difficulty, we may have to make arrangements for a competent 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 I 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.
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 I will be carrying out various company searches, which may have an effect on the level of fees charged.
Additionally, partnerships, clubs, etc:
A Partnership Agreement; or relevant Trust Deed; or Charter; or Constitution/Rules.
Notarial charges and expenses:
Details of my charges are set out below. Please note that if I 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.
If the matter is simple I 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.
For more complicated or time-consuming matters the fee will be based on my hourly rate of £250 subject to a minimum fee of £60, plus disbursement. 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.
Payment can be made by cash or bank transfer]. Payment of my fee and disbursements is due when the document has been prepared which I may retain pending payment in full.
Occasionally unforeseen or unusual issues arise during the course of the matter which may result in a revision of my 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 and so on. I will notify you of any changes in the fee estimate as soon as possible.
Typical Stages of a notarial transaction:
Each notarial matter is different and the requirements and timescales will vary greatly according to whether the client is a private individual or a company and in particular according to the processing times of third parties such as the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, legalisation agents, translating agencies and couriers, etc . Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:
- Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions you may have received
- Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. 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 appropriate 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 copies of all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019.
1. Your instructions
- You will need to provide me with clear instructions.
- You will provide me with a copy of any documents and instructions that have been produced for you before our appointment and will bring the originals to the appointment.
- I will wherever possible provide you with a fixed fee for my work in advance of our appointment. Where this is not possible the fees will be calculated by reference to all relevant matters including the time needed to carry out the work, the value and importance of the matter, its complexity and the urgency.
- The minimum fee payable is £60.
- Fees are payable in advance and no later than at the appointment.
- I reserve the right to retain any documents until I have been paid the full amount of any fees.
- The fees will need to include payment for any preparatory and drafting work, correspondence, meetings and attendances, travel, administration, record keeping and any other relevant matters.
- If your instructions are terminated at any time and for any reason, fees will be payable for all work undertaken up to the time of such termination.
3. Payments to third parties
- If there are fees to pay to third parties and you request me to deal with these on your behalf, you will need to pay me the relevant amounts in advance.
- This might include, for example, the fee payable for legalisation or to obtain an apostille; if I use an agent or incur other costs in relation to these services, you will be responsible for those amounts also.
4. Quality of service
- I aim to provide a good and efficient service in all cases. If you are dissatisfied in any way with my services you should let me know immediately.
- The body that regulates notarial services has prescribed certain information relating to complaints and this is set out in the Complaints Procedure link at the bottom of this website.
- I use email for communications wherever possible. If you provide me with your email address you will be deemed to have consented to this.
- You may terminate my retainer at any time by giving me reasonable written notice. All fees and disbursements incurred up to the date of termination will be charged. Consumer Cooling Off Cancellation Period –Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (“CCR”): 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 me instructions, whichever is earlier. You can cancel your contract within the cancellation period by giving me a clear statement and I 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. If you ask us to begin work during the cancellation period, you can still cancel but you must pay me an amount in proportion to the work which I have performed and this proportion will not be reimbursed to you.
- I may terminate my retainer or decline to act any further if you do not comply with these terms of business or if a conflict of interest arises that prevents me from acting under the professional rules that I have to comply with. Another good reason to do so, for example, if you do not pay a bill or comply with my request for a payment on account or you fail to give me the co-operation which I am reasonably entitled to expect.
7. Anti-Money Laundering compliance
- I am required to comply with all relevant legislation and regulations including the anti money laundering laws.
- You will be required to provide me with sufficient and appropriate evidence of your identity. You consent to me copying your passport and other identification documents and retaining them as required.
8. Responsibility and limitations on liability
- I will not provide you with legal advice; my role is that of Notary Public, not Solicitor.
- I shall have no liability in relation to the actions or omissions of others, including postal services and couriers, agents, government bodies and agencies and your own advisors.
- The maximum amount of my liability to you shall not exceed £2,000.
- My retainer is with you and only you; no third party shall have any rights in respect of it.
- I shall have no liability for any loss of profit, revenue, goodwill or data or for any indirect or consequential loss.
- I will witness your signature and affix my seal of office at my sole discretion, you should read and understand all the documents that you sign and by signing them you intend to give them legal effect. You also confirm that the contents of the documents are true and authentic and are not part of any illegal act or plan against the laws of any country in the world.
- If I prepare any document I will solely rely on the information that you give me, please note that you will remain responsible for all errors omission in that information. I am acting as a witness only and I am not a party to any transaction. I do not accept any legal obligation arising out of the notarisation or legalisation of any of the documents and liability and delays omissions errors loss costs claims or damages.
- You will indemnify me against all claims, losses, costs and expenses connected with this matter unless they arise from my personal fault.
9. Confidentiality, Records and Data Protection
- I will respect the confidentiality of the information you provide. However, some authorities and other bodies have the right to require me to disclose information to them and I will have to comply with those rights.
- I am required to keep records of the work I carry out for you.
- I will use your personal data only in connection with the provision of notarial services and will not pass it to any other person.
10. Law and Jurisdiction
- These terms of business and the relationship between us will be governed by English law.
- We agree that the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all matters relating to these terms of business and our relationship including contractual and non contractual matters.
White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public
96 White Horse Lane
London E1 4LR
Private Car Park Bays for clients at the rear of our Office
The 25, 309 and 205 buses run closest to our Office
Nearest Tube Station:
Stepney Green Underground tube station – (District Line) – (1 minute walk to our Office)
Mile End and Whitechapel Underground Tube Station – (Central Line) – (7 – 10 minutes walk to our Office)
Muhammad Karim is both a qualified Solicitor & Notary Public. Muhammad Karim qualified as a Solicitor in 2012 & was awarded the post graduate Diploma in Notarial Practice from the University College London (UCL) & qualified as a Notary Public in 2015.
A Notary Public (also referred to as a ‘Public Notary’ or simply as a ‘Notary’ is a public officer & is a specialist lawyer authorised to witness, authenticate or certify documents for use in countries around the world. Solicitors & Barristers in the UK owe a duty of care towards their clients. In contrast a Notary Public owes a duty of care to the document he is notarising.
The short answer is yes. In certain instances it may be necessary to change a lettered translation of the document into English. Our Notary Public can advise you on whether this is required – If this is required the Notary can assist with obtaining a certified translation. If you do require notarisation of a document which is in a foreign language, please do contact our Notary Public & he will be happy to explain any specific requirements.
We provide notarial services to both our individual & business clients. We have years of experience in accommodating the needs of both of our individual & corporate institutions. Please visit our pages for ‘Services for Individuals’ & ‘Services for Businesses’ for more details.
An Apostille is a certificate issued by the foreign or commonwealth office in the UK & is the authentication of a document for use in another country.
The Apostille certificate confirms the signature, seal & stamp of the Notary Public to be genuine so that it is accepted when presented in another country outside the UK. The Apostille assures that any documents fraudulently ‘notarised’, purporting to be a Notary Public is not recognised & therefore reduces the risk of fraudulent documents being circulated around the world.
If the document being notarised is to be received by a country that is a signatory to the Apostille convention of 1961 – it is likely that you will require an Apostille. The purpose of the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961 is that once the country becomes a member/signatory there should no longer be any requirement for separate consular or embassy legalisation as long as the document has been notarised and apostilled. Our Notary Public will be happy to advise you on whether the recipient of the document will require an Apostille. If an Apostille is required, our Notary Public can advise you on the process of obtaining one, the cost & can arrange this for you.
We cater for all your urgent notarial needs & have a robust system in place to cater for your urgent needs. Our in-house courier will ensure that if required with an additional fee, the Apostille is obtained on the same day & country specific consular or embassy legalisation is obtained the next day if this is applicable.
Although many countries have become members/signatures to The Hague Apostille convention of 1961 – there still remains many countries around the world that are not signatures/members of the convention. This means that if your document is being received in a country who is not a signature/member is it likely that further legalisation of the document will be required by the consular or embassy of the receiving country.
Our Notary Public has comprehensive knowledge of the legalisation requirements for all the countries around the world & will be happy to advise you accordingly in relation to your specific requirements.
To comply with money laundering regulations, a Notary Public must confirm your identity. Our Notary Public would expect you to bring with you your current unexpired passport or your full photo card driver’s license as a proof of identification. You will also be expected to produce proof of residency which is no more than 3 months old – this can be by way of bank statement or utility bill issued to you.
For more information on specific identification requirements please check our ‘Identification’ page
The cost will depend on the number of documents you require notarising. Our charge for notarising one document is £50. We do not charge VAT & there are no hidden charges. If you require an Apostille, consular or Embassy legalisation, the cost will depend on the number of documents & how quickly you require the documents to be apostilled &/or legalised.
Our Notary Public offers home or office visits & out of hours service (including weekends) by prior appointment. This service will incur on additional charge. Please do let us know if you require our out of hours/office service.