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A notary public is a legal officer whose principal function is to authenticate documents, prepared by him or others, so that they can be absolutely relied upon by the public or judicial authorities, and the interested parties, in the country and place where they are to be used.
A notary must ensure that the contract, power of attorney, declaration or other document that he draws up, verifies the proper execution of, and/or certifies, exactly reflects the true intention of the parties, and that the parties are genuine, that the parties have the necessary authority and capacity to enter into the transaction, and that the parties do so otherwise than as a result of duress or fraud.
A notary does not have a duty to advise his client in relation to the proposed transaction. But a notary does have a duty to ensure that the transaction is entirely authentic and that any documents that he signs and seals (notarises) can be absolutely relied upon.
Therefore a notary must be satisfied that his client understands the full implications of the document to be notarised and, where necessary, that they have been advised by a lawyer competent in the relevant law.
The charge is based on the time taken in dealing with the matter, including the time taken to carry out necessary searches and inquiries and where applicable travelling time. The Notary’s current charging rate is £300.00 plus VAT per hour. Notarial services are subject to a minimum charge of £90.00 plus VAT. This fee is subject to annual review and might be changed.
The Notary’s liability in respect of notarial services shall not exceed his professional indemnity insurance limited currently in force (currently £2million).
Notary services are regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.