Services and Fees

The following notes are for the assistance and guidance of clients.

1. Notarial Fees

My current hourly charging rate is £220.00. The current minimum fee per matter is £80.00. Many routine assignments can be carried out for the minimum fee. As indicated in my Terms of Business, these charges may be subject to variation.The practice is not registered for Value Added Tax.

2. Notarial Responsibilities

A Notary's professional work requires a high standard of care, as reliance on such work is made by clients, other parties and foreign governments and officials. The Notary has responsibility to protect against error, omission, alterations, fraud, and forgery.

A Notary's job is not a rubber stamping exercise and the necessity for accuracy and validity cannot be dispensed with on the grounds of urgency, inconvenience and expense.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, notarial responsibility is limited to the notarial formalities and does not extend to legal advice on or drafting of documentation or on the matter under consideration.

3. Proof and Identification

In order to ensure the high standard of notarial acts, the Notary is required to obtain proof (to his discretion and satisfaction), of identity, any represented legal capacity and authority, clients understanding of documentation, interpretation/or translation into or from other languages, effectiveness of documentation, validity, signature and witnessing, observance of required formalities both in England and abroad, and the requirements of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or any relevant consular or similar authorities.

In the case of individuals, proof may be required, with production of appropriate certificates where applicable, of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, deed poll on change of name, or statutory declaration.

Individuals should produce a current passport or, in exceptional cases, other proof of similar validity and reliability, which may include identification by third parties known both to the individual and to the Notary, together with a recent utilities bill to confirm current address.

In the case of companies, details of the proof and information required, depending on the circumstances and service required, should be discussed in advance with the Notary. Notarial attendance at a company board meeting may be required in some cases.

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office endorsement, called "Legalisation", (and/or the endorsements of the relevant High Commission/Embassy/Consulate of the country in which it is proposed to use the document the subject of a Notary's work), is required in some cases for use abroad, as an additional authentication to notarised documents. This is usually obtained by the client and is usually obtained by post. In urgent cases clients may have to instruct agents. As an example of legalisation costs,  after the client has sent them the notarised document, The Apostille Service, Legalisation Agents, based in Coventry currently ( December 2023), charge £82 , ( this includes the FCDO fee of £40 ), to obtain one Apostille and post the legalised document to the client. The FCDO fee is £45 if the client instructs FCDO direct.

4. Documentation

Preparation of documentation for signature is formal and prior preparation of documents or draft documents may be required.

Early discussion of requirements with the Notary is advised.

Time, expense, and error, may be saved if clients, or their advisors, provide, in advance of any personal consultation, the originals or exact and complete photocopies of:-

Copies of documents produced ancillary to or in support of notarial signature may be required for retention, as may copies or original duplicates of all documents, as part of the notarial register in support of his work.

Documents to be notarised should not be bound as the Notary may have to re-bind them with a covering notarial certificate.

Translations may be required of some documents, at the client's expense. The Notary can usually  advise on how to obtain a translation if required. This is because The Notary has a professional responsibility to ensure that you fully understand the contents of a document which you are signing

5. Consultation

An initial appointment and then second visit to finalise the documents may be required, particularly if documentation has to be prepared in formal style.However, many straightforward documents can be notarised at the time of the visit to the office.

Personal attendance at my office will usually be required. In exceptional cases, other attendance arrangements out of the office can be made.

Travelling and travelling time will incur additional expense to the client. Please telephone to discuss charges for outside visits.

The Notarial practice is located at the offices of Gibson & Co. Solicitors, 77-87 West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 6PR, Tyne and Wear.

6. Solicitors

James Bowyer is a retired solicitor and has no direct connection with Gibson & Co. Solicitors.

The notarial practice and Gibson & Co. are independent of each other.

Premises and reception staff are shared with Gibson & Co. In accordance with notarial practice guidelines, any client referred by the Notary to that solicitors' practice does not have any of the protection attaching to the client of a Notary, but benefits only from the practice rules applicable to a solicitors' practice and will be subject to the Terms of Business of Gibson & Co.

7. Witnesses

Some documents, for example powers of attorney require one or two witnesses in addition to the Notary. As the Notary is a "one-man practice", it will be necessary for you to arrange to bring witnesses with you. This can be discussed when you telephone to arrange an appointment.

8. Photocopies & Faxes

If you need photocopies of any documents, or need to send faxes from our offices, please advise at the time of making an appointment. A charge would be made for this service.

9. Preparation of Documents

If this task is required then it will usually be necessary to allow a couple of days for this work to be done and an extra fee will be payable. I can not offer a copy typing service.