Terms of engagement
1. THE DUTY OF A NOTARY: The international duty of a notary involves a high standard of care, not only towards you as the client but particularly to the transaction itself, as well as towards other parties, and governments or officials of other countries. Vigilance is essential at every stage to minimise the risks of errors, omissions, alterations, fraud, forgery, impersonation, money-laundering, etc.
2. SIGNATURE/SEALING: Your signature/sealing should normally be witnessed by the notary - do not sign the document in advance of your appointment with the Notary Public.
3. DOCUMENTATION TO BE SENT TO ME IN ADVANCE: It can save time, expense and mistakes, if you/your advisers arrange for me to receive, sufficiently before the appointment date/time, the initial drafts and/or originals/exact photocopies of:
3.1. the documents to be notarised;
3.2. any covering correspondence or forms of instructions from the destination country;
3.3. your identification evidence (see 4.below).
4. IDENTIFICATION: Please produce by way of formal identification (a) at the outset and (b) again, essentially, when you attend to sign the documentation:
4.1. Up-to-date proof of (1) your present (permanent) address and (2) any temporary or other address specified in the document(s) to be notarised - for example, (a) small selection of correctly addressed latest accounts for Gas, Electricity, Water, Telephone, Council Tax, etc.; and
4.2. your current passport; or
4.3. your signed current driving licence;
4.4. any other means of ID particularly specified in the documentation;
4.5. if the above do not incorporate a good photographic likeness, you will need to provide me with a spare print of a satisfactory recent photograph for retention on my records.
5. PROOF OF NAMES: You should also produce relevant certificates re your names (especially where there have been name changes or variations of the spelling or the sequence of your names) e.g. certificates of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, examinations, qualifications; and any deed poll or statutory declaration made on change of name.
6. FALSIFICATION ETC: Notaries need to guard against the increasing trend of (1) impersonation; (2) falsification of documents / certificates / qualifications / photographs / signatures; (3) Appearers acting (innocently or otherwise) without due authority etc.
7. NOTARIAL INDEPENDENCE: is paramount, in the interests of all concerned. The notary’s duty extends to (1) yourself as the client, (2) any other party, (3) each intended recipient, and (4) all to whom the notarised documentation may come; with (5) an overriding duty “to the transaction” itself.
8. EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE: Careful examination by the notary is required to check whether the evidence produced is original, genuine, valid, complete, accurate, and unaltered; such as (1) the document(s)/certificate(s) to be notarised; (2) the personal I.D. evidence of each Appearer.
9. INCOMPLETE/INEFFECTIVE DOCUMENTS: The notary has to check that each document to be notarised is fully and duly completed. Unfortunately, many documents produced as ready for signature are inadvertently defective/incomplete/inadequate. This occurs even when they have been prepared by professional advisers/agents, who are possibly in too much haste or (not surprisingly) not quite au fait with current notarial practice, procedure and developments.
10. WRITTEN TRANSLATION:
10.1 I am a French national and French is my first language so I will not require any translation for any documents in the French language. I reserve the right however to increase my fees to take into account my expertise in the French language.
10.2 In cases where I do not have knowledge of the language in which the document is written, official translations will be required before and/or after execution of the documentation. However, I can arrange/advise as to professional translators.
10.3 Foreign documents (including covering correspondence and instructions) should be translated into English before execution of the documentation.
10.4 English texts may need to be [re-]translated - here or abroad - into the foreign language after execution.
10.5 As a general rule, it is unsafe to rely on informal or amateur or “specimen” translations.
10.6 Professional translators should include their names, address, relevant qualifications and/or experience and should incorporate their own certificate, signed and dated, to the effect that document B is a true and complete translation of document A the original [or a true copy] of which is annexed [t]hereto. Failing this, the reliability of the translation is unproven, it may be suspect and it may be rejected.
10.7 Translations may need to be declared or sworn by the maker in proper form, according to circumstances.
11. ORAL INTERPRETER: Similarly, arrangements may have to be made for a competent professional interpreter to be available at interviews.
12. SEPARATE ENTITIES: In the case of an entity such as a company, partnership, society, club, etc. Verification will be required as to the current authority for its representative(s) to sign/seal on its behalf - including proof of (a) its original formation, (b) its current continuing existence, (c) its present powers and regulations for undertaking this type of transaction, (d) its actual authorisation of this specific transaction, (e) which office holders are authorised to sign etc.; (f) proof of the valid appointment of the present holders of such office(s) etc.
15. RESPONSIBILITY AND LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY: Subject to the foregoing general guidelines, my responsibility is limited to the Notarial formalities and I will not provide you with legal advice.
15.1 I assume no liability (whether in negligence or otherwise) for any loss not reasonably foreseeable before my retainer commences, nor any loss of profit, opportunity, goodwill, reputation, business or savings you may make, distress, inconvenience, frustration, anxiety, displeasure, vexation, tension, aggravation, wasted expenditure or data being lost or corrupted, direct, indirect, consequential or punitive damages.
15.2 I do exclude my liability, if you took or did not take an independent legal advice in relation to the content and its meaning of the notarial act and its further use in England or in a foreign country.
15.3 I do not accept any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, (all three of which terms include, without limitation, pure economic loss, loss of profits, loss of business, depletion of goodwill and similar loss), costs, damages, charges or expenses, directly or indirectly incurred as a result of any acts or omissions, howsoever arising of any agents, subcontractors, couriers or other third parties, whether or not appointed by me at your request or appointed by you or your representatives to legalise and/or deliver the notarised documents to the end recipient unless such acts or omissions arise as a direct result of my wilful default. The risk in the notarised documents shall at all times remain with you.
15.4 Any liability I assume (including liability for negligence) is limited to the amount covered under my insurance policy.
15.5 I do not assume any liability (including liability for negligence) for the acts or omissions of the providers of telecommunications or postal services or for faults in or failures of their networks and equipments, including but not limited to services of: power, office space availability, communications, transport or strikes, which delay the notarial act.
15.6 Any or all notarial acts, to which the consents were or are given erroneously, fraudulently, maliciously or under intimidation or false pretences will be invalid or void. I reserve a right to refuse to notarise them. If I have a suspicion that the notarial act involves any money laundering, I will report it to the appropriate authority, as this obligation is imposed on me by the law.
15.7 I do not accept any liability to third parties, even so if I am told or notified of them, according to the Law of Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act, 1999 regarding privacy of contracts.
15.8 The law that governs this contract is the English law and all parties agree to submit any difference related to my services to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
15.9 No liability will be accepted for any claim first brought in either the USA or Canada.
15.10 Each provision of this paragraph 12 operates separately and is to be read and construed independently of the others.
16. CONFIDENTIALITY:Information passed to me is confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except as authorised by you or required by law. If on your authority I am working in conjunction with other professional advisers I will assume that I may disclose any relevant aspect of your affairs to them.
17. COMPLAINTS ABOUT MY FEES OR SERVICES:
If you are dissatisfied with my services you should notify me immediately. A prescribed form relating to complaint procedure is enclosed with this pack.