Notary Public

Terms of business/Services



Lazarus House

14 Princes Street



Notary Services

As a Notary Public my main duty is to authenticate documents and facts for use both within and outside England and Wales.  This can include providing a notarial certificate certifying the genuineness of signatures and execution of both private and business documentation and of copy documentation.  I also attest the execution of documents, take international declarations, affidavits, oaths and acknowledgements.

I am appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in accordance with the relevant Acts of Parliament and am regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury whose correspondence address is The Faculty Office, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT.

I am normally available between 9.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays although I am able to see clients outside of these hours and at weekends should the need arise by prior arrangement.  All appointments must be pre-arranged however to avoid inconvenience.  My appointments are usually held at my offices or at mutually convenient locations, i.e. business premises.

Services Information

Each notarial matter is different and the requirements will vary according to whether the client is a private individual or a company.  Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:

  1. Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions you may have received
  2. Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. information from Companies House or foreign registries, powers of attorney etc.)
  3. Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who is to sign the document
  4. If a document is to be certified, checking with the issuing authorities that the document/award is genuine.  In the case of academic awards, this would entail checking with the appropriate academic institutions.
  5. Meeting with the signatory to verify their identity and to ascertain that they understand what they are signing and that they are doing so of their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly
  6. Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document
  7. Arranging for the legalisation of the document as appropriate
  8. Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019


In my capacity as a Notary Public it is my duty to ensure that clients appearing before me are fully and properly identified.  Where possible I require sight of the original of each client’s valid passport together with an additional form of identification by way of a current photo driving licence or recent utility bill/bank statement which must be no more than 3 months old.

If the above forms of identification are not available it is necessary that I have discussions with my clients to establish what satisfactory evidence can be produced.  This will determine whether I am able to accept instructions.

For transactions dealing with limited companies, similar evidence of the identity of the appearing officer of the company i.e. Director is required including the Resolution of the company authorising the transaction which I will also require sight of.  I will make a search at Companies House to check the status of the company and its officers as part of my procedures.

Given that a number of the documents are for use in another jurisdiction, I do not advise on the contents or effects of the said documents I am being asked to authenticate and in those circumstances advice should be sought from competent advisors from the receiving jurisdiction, often a foreign lawyer acting for the appearers in the transaction, prior to the document being notarised and completed. 

My duty is limited to ensuring the appearing clients understand the nature, type and effect of the transaction they are entering into.  On occasions the document I am asked to notarise is in a foreign language.  I will only proceed to notarise that document providing I am satisfied that the appearing clients totally understand the document and the language it is written in.  In circumstances where the client does not fully understand the foreign language the document is written in, which I also do not understand sufficiently, I may have to seek assistance from a translator or limit my authentication and note that on the document.  There may be additional fees payable should a formal translation be required.

A record of all documentation notarised is retained by me and recorded in a central protocol register.  A copy of my records can be made available for a fee to the parties to the transaction and to anyone else who can prove they hold an interest in the matter.  However, I may need to seek approval from my Regulator, The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury before releasing copies or information about an Act or I may be required to request a Court Order for the release of that document.

Under the legislation in relation to money laundering, some transactions may be reported to The Serious Organised Crime Agency.


Some countries require notarised documents to be legalised (usually termed ‘an Apostille’) by the Legalisation section of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).  The FCO is based in Milton Keynes.  Please see the FCO website for more details https:/

Other countries also require an additional form of legalisation by their Consulate/Embassy.  At your request I can arrange for an Apostille/legalisation to be obtained if required.  This does include an additional fee payable to me and to the relevant authorities.  This is also the case if Consular legalisation is required.  Please note where an agent is used for legalisation at both the FCO and an Embassy (often due to time constraints) additional fees are charged by the agent and these will be included with my fee quotation.

Time Scale

I will discuss the best options with you based on your timescales and cost requirements and I will provide you with an estimate of the time that it should ordinarily take to legalise your documents depending on the receiving country and other information known to me at that time.

Usually notarial documents are completed on the day of the appointment. 

However, where legalisation is required from the FCO this can usually take up to 5 working days for a document to be returned to a UK address.  Where a return address is situated outside of the UK, depending on the destination country, this can take anything between 5 – 10 working days for the document to be received.

Other Terms

  1. Basis of the Retainer
    I contract only on the basis of these conditions with you, the client.
  2. Notarial Independence
    Although I am a Practising Solicitor and the Senior Director of Malcolm C Foy & Co Solicitors, 51 Hallgate, Doncaster and of 2 Upper Millgate, Rotherham, the work I do for you as a Notary Public does not involve giving any legal advice.

    However notarial independence is paramount, in the interests of all concerned.  My duty extends to (1) you 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.
  3. Fees and Disbursements
    The fees charged are based on the time taken to complete the notarial act (including considering the initial draft documentation at our meeting and then if necessary applying for legalisation) which is based upon my hourly rate, currently £250 per hour.
    There is no VAT payable on my notarial fees and as such my notary public business is not registered for VAT as it is not necessary.  I do however reserve the right to vary my hourly rate from time to time, usually annually.  A more detailed breakdown of my fees are set out on the document information and quotation sheet you have signed and received. 
    As far as possible, I always ask for sight of the documents that I am required to notarise before providing an upfront quote. 

    As stated, I can arrange for the legalisation of your documents which will attract an additional administration fee of £30.  I also charge out of pocket expenses for example fees payable to the Foreign Office, foreign Embassies or agents dealing with legalisation of documents, including postage and courier charges, such disbursements also being set out on the above sheet.

    Travel expenses to and from my appointments away from my usual place of business are also charged in accordance with my hourly rate. 

    My bill must be paid on presentation unless terms of payment have been agreed in advance of notarisation of the documentation.  Documentation may not be released until the fees have been paid in full.

    My costs and expenses must be paid in either cash, direct transfer or by cheque with supporting bank card.  I will not however accept cash payments in excess of £500.

    For regular business clients I will accept payment within 30 days by BACS.  Bank details will be provided upon request.
  4. Postage
    Should documents require legalisation at the FCO or an Embassy, the documents will be sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery unless otherwise instructed by you.  You will be responsible for any additional postage costs over and above this if the document is particularly urgent i.e. by courier or express Royal Mail guaranteed delivery.  Please note that any documents posted by me on your behalf are posted at your risk.  If a document is therefore lost in the post you will be responsible for any costs and disbursements incurred in the preparation and completion of any new/replacement documentation required.
  5. Client’s Money
    I do not hold client’s money on account except where fees have been paid on account of third party costs for agreed disbursements only, and as detailed within the quotation provided.
  6. Verification of Facts
    As part of my role as Notary Public, it is necessary that I check the facts in the documents notarised for my clients and this can involve obtaining evidence or proof from sources independent of the client.  If this is necessary I require your full co-operation.  The time taken to verify documents will depend on the information provided by you and also the speed at which the third party authority can respond.  If it is necessary to add disclaimers to the document to make it clear that there are facts which I have not been able to verify, the document may be of no use for the receiving jurisdiction or of less benefit to you and I will not accept liability if this is the case.
  7. Ceasing to Act and Declining Instructions
    In some circumstances I may consider that I need to decline instructions or stop acting for a client i.e. if the client cannot give clear or proper instructions on how I am to proceed.  I may decide to stop acting only with good reason for example, if the matter on which I am instructed involved fraud or violence or if the client did not pay the bill.
  8. Termination/Your Rights to Cancel
    You may terminate your instructions to me at any time by giving me reasonable written notice.  All fees and disbursements incurred up to the date of termination will be charged.

    Consumer Cooling Off Cancellation Period – Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (“CCR”):

    Where the CCR apply (typically where you are an individual consumer and my contract with you was concluded either at or following a meeting with you or by a form of distance communication) you have a cancellation period of 14 days after the date you sign my retainer letter or the date on which you continue to give me instructions, whichever is earlier.  You can cancel your contract within the cancellation period by giving me a clear statement and I will reimburse all payments received from you by the same method that you used, at no cost to you, without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which you inform me of the cancellation.

    If you ask me to begin work during the cancellation period, you can still cancel but you must pay me an amount in proportion to the work which I have performed and this proportion will not be reimbursed to you.
  9. Storage of Documents
    I will store without charge to you a copy of any notarial act for a period of twelve years from the date the documentation was completed.  I will not always keep a full copy of the client’s own documents but I reserve the right to do so.  A charge will be payable for any requests for further copies of documentation held by me.
  10. Limitation of Liability and Redress Information
    I maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance in the sum of £1,000,000 (One Million Pounds).  Save as provided under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, my liability to the client for any loss, injury or damage of any nature whatever direct or consequential, including without limitation in respect of negligence or breach of duty to the client, is hereby limited to such sum in respect of any one claim or series of claims (save in the case of fraud, where no such limit shall apply)  the terms of business and any disputes or claims arising out of or in connection with them and the provisions of services to you are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.
  11. Confidentiality and Privilege
    As a Public Officer I am bound to retain copies of documents which may not be protected by confidentiality and privilege which means that I will have to provide copies to any person or organisation having a legitimate interest in the documents.
  12. Complaints
    My notarial practice is regulated through The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Faculty Office, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT;  Telephone: 020 7222 5381; Email:, Website:

    If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me.  If we are unable to resolve the matter then you may complain to The Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a complaint procedure which is approved by The Faculty Office.  This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute.  In that case please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to Christopher Vaughan, Secretary of The Notaries Society, Old  Church Chambers, 23 Sandhill Road, St. James, Northampton, NN5 5LH,

    If you have any difficulty making a complaint in writing, please contact The Faculty Office on the above number for assistance.

    Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society approved complaints procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, or after a period of six months from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman at Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ, Telephone: 03005550333/ If you decided to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and six years from the date of act/omission; or three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (only if the act or omission took place more than six years ago).  Please note certain kinds of commercial entities are not eligible to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.  Please refer to the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules or consult The Faculty Office should this be appropriate.
  13. Professional Indemnity Liability
    As stated above I carry professional indemnity liability cover of £1 million pounds therefore I limit the level of my liability to you of £1 million pounds, unless you are inured or die as a result of my negligence, in which case my liability is without limit.
  14. Data Protection
    Your personal data will be processed in connection with notarial and associated services and related business activities.  A copy of my Privacy Policy will be provided prior to completion of notarisation of the documentation and the Consent Notice requested to be signed.  The Data Protection Privacy and Consent Notice sets out details of how I collect, process and retain personal data in the course of providing notarial services to which you have consented.
  15. Acceptance of these Terms
    Your instructions to me to carry out notarial services will amount to your acceptance of these terms of business.