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These Terms of Business describe the terms of the Business relationship between the Appearer (you) and me, the Notary. They will be incorporated in the Acknowledgement of Terms of Engagement which you will sign when you retain me as a Notary Public.

Why a do you Need a Notary Public?

It is almost always the case that you have been asked to see a notary because you have a document that needs to be used abroad. Seeing a notary is never a mere rubber-stamping exercise.  The international duty of a notary involves a high standard of care.  This is not only towards the Appearer but also to anyone who may rely on the document and to Governments or officials of other countries. 

These people are entitled to assume that a notary will ensure  compliance with the relevant requirements both here and abroad where possible; and to rely on the notary’s register and records. Great care is essential at every stage to minimise the risks of errors, omissions, alterations, fraud, forgery, money laundering, the use of false identity, and so on.

Engaging My Services

I offer appointments during business hours and outside of business hours on arrangement. I am also prepared to visit corporate Appearers at their place of business, at my discretion and by agreement.

I may not be able to see you within the deadline you require, or I may decide that I am not able to act for you in which case I will advise you that that is the case and will provide you with the necessary information to locate an alternative notary.

Signatures

Much of the work of the Notary Public requires the authentication of the signature and identity of the Appearer. I act therefore as the witness for the foreign client or receiver of the documents. Please do not sign the document(s) in advance of your appointment with me because I will be unable to authenticate the signed document(s) and / or may therefore be unable to act for you.

Papers Must be Sent in Advance to Me

It will save time, expense and mistakes if, as long before the appointment as possible, you can let me have a PDF by email of the originals (or photocopies) of:

  1. The documents to be notarised;
  2. Any letter or other form of instruction which you have received about what has to be done with the documents;
  3. Your evidence of identification.

If papers cannot be sent in advance, you must understand that delay in notarising the documents will be unavoidable in many cases. 

Identification

I will need you to produce by way of formal identification the original;

  1. your current passport (or, if not available);
  2. A current new driving licence (with photo) or national identity card;
  3. An utility bill, credit card or bank statement showing your current address or correspondence from the Revenue Commissioners, which should not be more than 3 months old
  4. If a passport or driving licence are unavailable, some other document issued by the state with your photograph, name, and ​signature. Social Welfare Cards are not acceptable. Failure to produce a current passport or driving licence may delay the completion of your business.

You Must Also Bring Any Other Means Of Identification Required

Any document referred to in the papers sent to you as being required such as a foreign Identity Card, must be brought to our meeting. I may also ask to see further evidence of identity and will advise you of this if necessary.

Proof of Names

In a case where the name on the document is different from the name you are currently using, or there has been a variation in the form of spelling of the name over the years, please provide me as appropriate with Certificates of Birth, Marriage, or Divorce Decree, or Change of Name Deed, showing all the different names that you use.  If there has been a change of name, then I will need to see a copy of the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration which dealt with it.

Advice on the Document

When you bring a document to me for authorisation as a Notary, I will advise you as to the formalities required for completing it. However, I will not advise you about the transaction itself. It is a condition of these terms of business that you seek any legal advice required from another legal professional.

Foreign Language Documents

It is essential that you understand what you are signing.  If the document is in a foreign language which you do not understand sufficiently, it is your duty to present an English language version of the document. I do not offer legal advise on the document which is to be notarised, or on the foreign language version of it, or on the law of foreign countries. As a notary my duty and power is limited to authenticating the document as presented in the English language version.

If You Arrange For a Professional Foreign Language Version or English Version of a Foreign Language Document.

I as a notary will not attest to the accuracy of any foreign language documents or the English language version of a foreign language document.

Companies, Partnerships, Bodies Corporate, Unincorporated Associations

If a document is to be signed by you on behalf of a company, a partnership, a charity, club or other incorporated body, there are further requirements on which I may have to insist.  Please be prepared for these and telephone with any point of difficulty before attending on the appointment.

In each case: 

  1. Evidence of identity of the authorised signatory (as listed above);
  2. A copy of the current letterhead (showing the registered office if it is a company);
  3. A Letter of Authority, Minute, Resolution or Power of Attorney, authorising you to sign the document, presented on the company notepaper.

Identity of Companies

Certificate of Incorporation and of any Change of Name, a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Details of Directors and Secretaries, are all key to the identification of companies.  In all instances I will be carrying out various company searches, which will effect the level of fees charged.

Identity of Partnerships, Unincorporated Associations

In all instances I will be carrying out due diligence and will require a copy of;

  1. A Partnership Agreement;
  2. or relevant Trust Deed;
  3. or Charter;
  4. or Constitution/Rules.

Notarial Charges and Expenses

Details of my charges are set out below.

  1. If the matter is simple I will endeavour to charge a fixed fee to include disbursements such as legalisation fees, postage, consular agent fees, courier fees, travelling expenses, translating costs and so on.
  2. In other cases the fee will be based on my hourly rate, subject to a minimum fee, plus disbursements. The fee charged may include time spent on preliminary advice, drafting and preparation time, making and receiving telephone calls, correspondence written and received in all formats, arranging legalisation and record keeping.

Disbursements

You are responsible for all payments which I make on your behalf.  Typical examples are legalisation fees paid to the Department of Foreign Affairs, relevant embassy/consulate, legalisation agents’ fees, Companies Registry Office fees, courier fees, special postage charges, and any travel costs.  However, I shall not incur these expenses without first obtaining your consent to do so.

Payment

Payment will be made by electronic funds transfer or via credit card in most cases, though cash or cheque may also be acceptable if agreed in advance.  Payment of my fee and disbursements is due when the document has been prepared which I will retain pending payment in full.

What if an Unforeseen or Unusual Issue Arises?

Examples of this may include where additional documents are required to be notarised, additional foreign language versions or legalisations are needed to meet the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction, third party fees are adjusted to reflect external factors such as fuel price changes and so on. I will notify you of any changes in the fee estimate as soon as possible.

Stages of a Notarial Transaction:

Each notarial matter is different and the requirements and timescales will vary greatly according to whether the client is a private individual or a company and in particular according to the processing times of third parties such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, legalisation agents, and couriers, etc.  Some of the typical key stages are commonly:

  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 the Companies Registration Office 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 the signatory to verify the person’s identity and to ascertain that the signatory understands what he is signing and that he is doing so of his 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 notarial practice.

Notarial Records and Data Protection

I am required to make an entry in a formal register, which is kept by me as a permanent record of all work done for you.  I will retain a copy of the notarised documentation with that record. Personal data received from clients is held securely. Data collected as part of notarial records is used solely for the purposes of meeting professional legal responsibilities as Notaries Public. For full details of my PRIVACY POLICY and data processing terms please see: josephrichardson.ie/privacy-policy.

Insurance

In the interests of Appearers under the requirements of the Faculty of Notaries, I maintain professional indemnity insurance.

Termination / Your Right 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 must be discharged on termination.

Termination by Me

I reserve the right to terminate my engagement by you if I have good reason to do so, for example, if you do not pay a bill or comply with my request for a payment on account or you fail to give me the co-operation which I am reasonably entitled to expect.

Complaints

I am a member of the Faculty of Notaries to whom any complaints regarding my professional services should be addressed.