STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
1. The Notary’s fees are based on the time he spends in dealing with a matter. Time spent will include: meetings with you and others, any time spent travelling and waiting, considering, preparing and working on papers; correspondence, making and receiving calls and carrying out company searches.
2. The Notary’s current hourly rate is currently £300. On 1st May each year this hourly rate is reviewed to take account of changes in overhead costs.
3. Routine letters and e-mails that the Notary writes and receives and routine telephone calls that he makes and receives will be charged as units of 6 minutes. Other letters, e-mails and calls will be charged on a time basis.
4. Except in the most routine cases, it is difficult to estimate how many hours of work will be required to complete a matter, bearing in mind the variety of circumstances that may arise. However, guidance as to likely costs will be given in advance. Any estimates given will be based on the information available to the Notary at the time and, although given in good faith, will not be binding. Variations in the instructions given, including requests for additional work or unexpected developments and/or inexperience, incompetence or lack of co-operation on the part of other parties or their advisers may increase costs.
5. The Notary’s fees may also include an additional element reflecting other factors including value, importance, speed, complexity or special skills.
6. Separate charges are made for any disbursements or expenses incurred on behalf of clients.
7. The Notary may request a payment on account for charges and expenses. Such funds are held in the Notary’s Client Account until such time as an invoice is submitted or a payment made on a client's behalf. Credits to the Notary’s Client Account should be made in sufficient time to allow for bank clearance before they are required.
8. Where the Notary accepts instructions from a limited company, the Notary 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 unless the company has deposited sufficient funds on account as described in 7 above. Where the person instructing the Notary does so on behalf of two or more persons, each of those persons shall be jointly and severally liable to the Notary for the obligations on the client imposed by these Terms.
9. If instructions are terminated for any reason, a charge will be made for all work carried out to date.
10. The Notarial practice is not registered for Value Added Tax and any expenses and disbursements incurred will be charged gross.
11. Fees are normally 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.
12. 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.
13. In the event of payment not being made as requested, the Notary reserves 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 his possession, until payment has been made.
14. Interest is chargeable from the date of the invoice on invoices outstanding for more than 7 days at 5% per annum above Lloyds TSB Bank Plc’s Base Rate from time to time in force.
15. Where outstanding for more than 7 days from issue the Notary’s invoices are assigned by arrangement to Hugh James, Solicitors and are collected by that practice.
16. If the Notary is asked to retrieve documents from storage he may make a charge based on time spent producing stored documents to you or another at your request. He may also charge for reading such papers, entering into correspondence or other work necessary in relation to the documents retrieved.
17. The Notarial Practice complies with the Data Protection Act 1998. Clients' personal data may be used and disclosed to third parties in the course of providing services to the client, and marketing those and other services provided by him to the client (e.g. seminar invitations and newsletters) and for regulatory purposes. The Notary is required to maintain personal data for regulatory and insurance purposes for a period of time after conclusion of provision of services to the client. If a client does not wish personal data to be used for marketing purposes as mentioned above, the client should notify the Notary in writing. Some clients' files (and personal data therein) may occasionally be made available on a confidential basis to an external quality assessor or auditor.
18. The Notary operates 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 Notary's client account must be made via a UK clearing bank. Cash payments in excess of £500 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 and the Notary will not accept any responsibility for loss or delay caused by the failure of clients to provide such information promptly.
19. It is the policy of the Notary to use e-mail wherever possible. Where a client has provided the Notary with an e-mail address, e.g., by sending the Notary an e-mail, the Notary will assume that he may use that address for the sending of unencrypted sensitive or confidential correspondence or documents to the client. He may also, 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 the Notary and attachments thereto should be scanned for viruses by the recipient.
20. All searches of the Register of Companies carried out by the Notary are effected using the Registrar of Companies' on line service. To the extent that the Registrar or other provider does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions arising from use of the on line service, the Notary accepts 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.
21. The law of England & Wales shall be the applicable law and the courts of England & Wales 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.
22. The Notary attaches 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. The Master of the Court of Faculties regulating Notarial practice also has rights of inspection to ensure good practice and conduct.
23. In the unlikely event of you having a complaint about the service offered by the Notary or the fee charged, and you are unable to resolve the problem with the Notary himself, the complaint may be referred to The Master of Faculties, The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT.