Contact Me 07884 254 380
Cotswolds Notary

Terms of business

1. Instructions

Clients are to supply clear instructions, including all relevant background information, at the outset of a matter. Clients are required to continue to communicate and correspondence as the matter continues. Corporate commercial clients should nominate one individual who is authorised to give instructions on the business’s behalf in relation to each matter.

2. Charges

Fees are charged on a fixed fee basis. No VAT is charged. The fixed fee will reflect time spent on the matter, as well as other factors including value, importance, speed, complexity or special skills. Costs include preparatory and drafting work, correspondence and attendance. If instructions are terminated for any reason, a charge will be made for all work carried out to date. Separate charges are made for any disbursements or expenses incurred on behalf of clients, which are charged gross.

3. Estimates

The fixed fee quote takes into consideration an estimate of how many hours of work will be required to complete a matter. Fixed fee estimate is based on the information available at the time of the instructions. A revised cost estimate will be issued if the initial instructions change, requests for additional work are made or unexpected developments arise.

4. Insurance

Clients should ascertain whether they are covered by any relevant insurance in respect of either liability or legal expenses. If so, they should notify the insurers of the possible claim and of my professional involvement as soon as possible. Insurance policies commonly provide that a delay in informing the insurers of a potential claim on the policy invalidates the insurance policy.

I maintain professional indemnity cover via a policy up to an indemnity level of £ 1 million per claim (plus any costs which the insured is liable to pay). Claims and costs are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.

5. Funds on account

I reserve the right to ask for money to be paid on account of work to be done, disbursements to be made or expenses to be incurred. Such funds are held in my office account until such time as an invoice is submitted or a payment made on a client’s behalf. Credits to the office account should be made in sufficient time to allow for bank clearance before they are required.

6. Invoices

Fees are due for settlement on completion of work and prior to release of completed documentation. Invoices are delivered where required for work carried out, expenses incurred and disbursements made during the conduct of a matter. Invoices must be settled within 7 days or, if requested, immediately if further work on the matter is required. Any queries concerning an invoice should be raised immediately upon receipt. In the event of payment not being made as requested, I reserve the right to decline to act any further on behalf of the client and/or to exercise a lien on any papers or documents of the client which are in my possession, until payment has been made. Interest is chargeable from the date of the invoice on invoices outstanding for more than 7 days at 4% per annum above the Base Rate from time to time in force of NatWest Bank Plc.

7. Termination

The client may terminate instructions in writing at any time. I will decline to act any further on behalf of a client if:

1. payment not being made for an invoice or on account as requested;
2. in the event of the client’s bankruptcy or insolvency;
3. a conflict of interest becomes apparent;
4. the client fails to instruct me properly;
5. non-compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

I may exercise the lien that arises on any papers or documents of the client which are in my possession until payment for any outstanding charges has been made.

In contentious matters I may apply at any time to have my name removed from the court record.

8. Payment liability

Where a client requests that an invoice is to be paid by a third party on behalf of a client and such third party does not pay the invoice within 7 days of issue of invoice the instructing client will immediately be liable to discharge that invoice.

In the event I accept instructions from a limited company, I may require personal guarantees in relation to its fees and disbursements from appropriate directors or shareholders (or other individuals or companies) at any stage in the transaction or proceedings.

Where the person instructing does so on behalf of two or more persons, each of those persons shall be jointly and severally liable for the obligations imposed by these terms of business.

9. Notarial Service

The notarial practice is regulated by:

The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury
The Faculty Office
1, The Sanctuary
Westminster
London
SW1P 3JT

Email

Website www.facultyoffice.org.uk

I intend to provide a prompt and proper service to clients. Any client who has cause for dissatisfaction or complaint should immediately notify me in the first instance.

If the matter cannot be immediately resolved I will refer your complaint to the Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a complaints procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. Please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to:-

Christopher Vaughan,
Secretary of The Notaries Society,
P O Box 7655
Milton Keynes
MK11 9NR

Telephone 01908 803527

Email:

Website: www.thenotariessociety.org.uk

After your complaint has been considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, OR after a period of eight weeks from the date of making the complaint to me, make your complaint direct to the Legal Ombudsman (whose contact details are set out below) if the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333

Email:

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

10. Data Protection

As a notary I comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 2018. Clients’ personal data may be used and disclosed by me to third parties in the course of providing services to the client and for regulatory purposes. As a notary I am required to maintain personal data for regulatory and insurance purposes for a period of time after conclusion of provision of services to the client. Some clients’ files (and personal data therein) may occasionally be made available on a confidential basis to an external quality assessor or auditor. I am entitled to carry out such credit or other searches in respect of clients as I consider appropriate.

Documents are digitally copied and stored via NotarySAFE, a secure online storage facility for notarial documents. It uses encryption software and has same level of security as an online bank, NotarySAFE ensures the absolute privacy of your data. NotarySAFE is approved as an appropriate storage solution for notarial documents by both the Faculty Office and the Notaries Society. NotarySAFE was built exclusively for members of the Notaries Society.

11. E-mail

It is my policy use e-mail wherever possible.

Where a client has provided an e-mail address, I may use that address for the sending of unencrypted sensitive or confidential correspondence or documents to the client. I may, during the course of a matter, send unencrypted sensitive or confidential information to other persons involved, unless specifically requested by them or the client not to do so. All e-mails sent by me and attachments thereto should be scanned for viruses by the recipient.

12. Money Laundering Compliance

I operate a money-laundering reporting procedure as required by law whereby, in the event of any suspicion as to money laundering, information will be revealed to the appropriate authorities. All payments to the office account must be made via a UK clearing bank. Cash payments will not be accepted. Clients will be required to provide satisfactory proof of identity and full details of the source and proposed destination of funds. Pending this, funds may be frozen. I will not accept any responsibility for loss or delay caused by the failure of clients to provide such information promptly.

13. Professional Indemnity, Limitation on liability

13.1 No liability for loss (including, but not limited to, damages, costs and interest) to clients or other parties, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise will be accepted in relation to any matter in the absence of specific written agreement to the contrary referring to this term and signed by me in excess of the lower of:

13.1.1 The sum of £1,000,000 for any one claim.

13.1.2 The amount of my professional indemnity insurance cover from time to time. The present cover is for not less than £1,000,000. Specific cover for higher limits may be obtainable in certain circumstances at the expense of the client.

13.2 The amount of any liability is to be reduced so far as may be appropriate to take account of the degree of responsibility of any other professional or other advisers whom the client has consulted in relation to the matter as if I had successfully claimed contribution from them under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 taking no regard for any limitation agreed between the client and such advisor, and they had the resources to meet the same, provided that I shall not be obliged to make or pursue any such claim for contribution.

13.3 No liability whatsoever will be accepted in relation to any loss, damage or liability whatsoever caused directly or indirectly to any party other than the client for whom the firm has agreed to act in connection with the relevant matter. No third party shall have any right to enforce any contract by me to provide advice or services or to rely upon any advice given or opinion expressed by me. The application of any legislation conferring on third parties contractual or other rights, including the Contract (Rights of Third Parties Act 1999) shall be excluded insofar as permitted by law.

13.4 In any event, no liability whatsoever will be accepted by me where such liability either arises from any instructions or information given by the client or by any third party being incomplete, inaccurate or incorrect; or where such liability is for any indirect, economic or consequential loss or damage, costs, expenses or other claims for consequential compensation whatsoever or howsoever caused which arise out of or in connection with the services provided by the firm or for loss of profit, loss of business, loss of data, depletion of goodwill or loss occurring in the normal course of business or otherwise.

13.5 All searches of the Register of Companies carried out me are made using the Registrar of Companies’ on-line service. To the extent that the Registrar does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions arising from use of the online service, I accept no responsibility or liability arising from reliance upon the results of such searches, if they should subsequently be found to be inaccurate or incomplete.

These limitations will apply notwithstanding any express or implied term of business or any collateral agreement or warranty, whether express or implied.

14. Force Majeure

I will not be liable for any loss or damage arising as a direct or indirect result of the supply of services being prevented, hindered, delayed or rendered uneconomic by reason of circumstances beyond my control, including but not limited to Act of God, war, riot, strike, lock out, trade dispute or labour disturbance, accident, breakdown of machinery, fire, flood, storm or difficulty or increased expense in obtaining information or services of any description.

15. Interpretation

English law shall be the applicable law and the English courts shall have sole jurisdiction in the case of any dispute. If any provision of these terms is held by any court or other competent authority to be void or unenforceable in whole or part, these terms shall continue to be valid as to the other provisions thereof and the remainder of the affected provision.

16. Confidentiality

I attach great importance to dealing with clients’ affairs in strict confidence. However, some files may occasionally be made available on a confidential basis to an external Quality Assessor in connection with quality control. I can arrange to withhold any particular file from random selection for such inspection, upon request. The professional body regulating Notarial practice also has rights of inspection to ensure good practice and conduct. From 2022 until the end of 2024 I will be supervised during my professional practice as a Notary Public. My supervisor, who is a Notary Public, will have access to data and files.

17. Foreign Law

I do not advise on foreign law but act in an evidential, authentication capacity.

18. Consumer Rights

A notary public is a trader, as defined by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Consumer clients who receive notarial services are subject to this Act. Anything said or written to the consumer client, by or on behalf of me (the notary), about the notarial practice or the notarial service being provided, including information provided by me (the notary) in accordance with regulation 9, 10 or 13 of the Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, is treated as a term of the contract if it is taken into account by the consumer when deciding to enter into the contract OR it is taken into account by the consumer when making any decision about the service after entering into the contract.

19. Limitation of Liability

I maintain a professional indemnity insurance of £1,000,000. Any liability to you and / or to any third party for any loss, injury or damage of any nature whatsoever whether direct or consequential, including without limitation in respect of negligence or breach of any duty I may owe you, is limited to this sum in respect of any one claim or series or related claims.

In dispatching documents for legalisation by the FCDO (Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office) or delivery by post / courier or entrusting them to agents on your behalf I assume no liability for their loss or any direct, indirect or consequential loss incurred by you as a result of any failure or delay by the FCDO, post, courier, or agent.

20. COVID-19

By signing up to my terms and conditions, you confirm that you have not tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been in direct contact (less than 2 meters and for more than 15 minutes) with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and you hereby agree to notify me if the situation changes at any time prior to or within 7 days after our meeting. I hereby reserve all rights in the event that you have breach this condition thereby causing injury to me or to others.

21. Photocopies

If I am required to make a copy of an entire passport (copying every single page) I charge £20.00 for this administration cost. Please note: I cannot accept a photocopy taken by someone, as I cannot confirm that it is a genuine copy of the passport that has been verified by me.