De Pinna Terms of Business

Website Terms of Use

1.                    Application

These terms of business apply to all services provided to you our client by us De Pinna Notaries of 35 Piccadilly, London W1J 0LJ and Level 33, 25 Canada Square, London E14 5LQ (VAT registration number GB 243 2744 74).

2.                    Responsibility for work and duties

2.1.              The partners of our firm are ultimately responsible for the conduct of business, although other personnel will act on instructions on a day-to-day basis.

2.2.              We will:
  • keep you informed of progress made on your file,
  • advise you of delays and, where possible, explain why such a delay is occurring,
  • advise you where it becomes necessary to change the basis on which our fees are payable or calculated.

2.3.              You shall:
  • provide us with written instructions wherever reasonably practicable,inform us if there is any significant change in your situation.
  • provide us so far as relevant with full and accurate information regarding your affairs,
    • a passport
    • national identity card
    • photocard driving licence
    • marriage certificate or divorce judgment and/or
    • a recent gas, electricity or other bill or bank statement (for proof of address)

3.                    Notarisation & identification

3.1.              A primary function of a notary is to identify the client. In the case of individuals, we require proof of residential address and will, therefore, request personal documentation that can include:-
  • a passport
  • national identity card
  • photocard driving licence
  • marriage certificate or divorce judgment and/or
  • a recent gas, electricity or other bill or bank statement (for proof of address)

3.2.              We will also need to establish that your company or organisation exists and that the signatory has authority to represent it. In the case of companies or organisations based in the United Kingdom, we will generally conduct our own checks. In some cases (particularly for companies or organisations established overseas) we may ask you to produce certain documents. These might include a certificate of incorporation, good standing certificate and other similar evidence. If we have to certify the signatory’s authority to represent a company or organisation, additional documentation will be requested, for example:-
  • constitutional documents (e.g. memorandum and articles of association)
  • a power of attorney
  • board resolutions
  • authorised signatory book (in the case of banks) and/or
  • extract from a commercial register (generally for foreign companies)
We will be happy to advise exactly what will be required in any particular case.

3.3.              Notaries are affected by UK legislation enacted to prevent terrorism and combat organised crime and money-laundering. This requires notaries and other lawyers to report suspicious transactions to law enforcement agencies. A notary who knows or suspects, or has “reasonable grounds” for suspecting, that a person has committed any of these offences must make a disclosure as soon as is practicable to the appropriate law enforcement agency. For this reason, there are compulsory checks which notaries have to make of their clients which in many cases go beyond the identification standards which notaries have traditionally applied. Being asked for additional identification does not mean you are under suspicion. The identification requirements apply to all clients when they are asking notaries to authenticate documents or undertake other types of work. A notary is entitled to refuse to act (or issue a restricted certification) if he or she has any doubt as to the facts or law.

4.                    Legalisation

4.1.              If a document is notarised in the United Kingdom and is intended for use in another country, there may be a further formality of recognition. The procedure is generally described as a legalisation although it is sometimes referred to as “consularisation”.

4.2.              Countries which have accepted the international convention on legalisation (signed at The Hague in 1961) have abolished the requirement for consular legalisation. It is replaced by a single certification – known as an “apostille”. An apostille is currently issued in the United Kingdom by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We arrange legalisation for our clients using both a standard service and a premium service. In either case, the documents are nearly always delivered and collected by our staff from the relevant government office.

4.3.              Some countries require notarial documents to be legalised by their own authorities, and the document must in these circumstances be presented to the consulate or other diplomatic representation of the country where the document is to be used. We can arrange for legalisation at all such consulates and diplomatic missions in London. The documents are nearly always delivered and collected by our staff from the relevant consulate or diplomatic mission.

4.4.              Consulates, diplomatic missions and government departments are often indifferent to commercial pressures and clients may have cause to complain about the treatment of their documentation, which can include loss, delay or refusal. Although we will make reasonable efforts to carry out our instructions, we cannot accept liability for the actions (or the lack of action) of such bodies.

5.                    Fees and payments

5.1.              Fees are calculated using our own scale which is reviewed from time to time and which is, on request, available to you. Also, on request, we can provide you with a fixed price for certain work. However, we reserve the right to make additional charges if we are required to carry out additional work or if the matter proves to be unusually difficult or time consuming. Translation costs are chargeable on a “per word” basis. Disbursements incurred on your behalf (including but not limited to apostille charges, consular fees, courier and postal costs, and charges incurred at registries) will be passed on to you. Miscellaneous costs such as bank charges or major photocopying may also be passed on to you. In any event, we will to the extent reasonably practicable make known to you in advance the basis upon which our fees will be calculated.

5.2.              Fees and costs are subject to VAT at the relevant current rate.

5.3.              If our work is terminated before completion, we will charge you a fair proportionate amount for any work being carried out.

5.4.              We may ask you to settle the full amount pertaining to any given instruction, including our fee and associated disbursements (such as Foreign and Commonwealth Office apostille costs and consular charges etc.), before we release your documentation from our possession.

5.5.              Fees will not be reduced unless previously agreed with one of our partners.

5.6.              Our terms for payment of all invoices rendered are that they be settled within 7 days. Should settlement not be forthcoming 30 days after the date of issue of the invoice, we reserve the right to charge interest at 4% per annum above the base lending rate of our clearing bankers accruing on a daily basis on all sums outstanding from the date of the issue of the invoice until payment in full. We also reserve the right to suspend or terminate our services if any sum is overdue from you.

5.7.              Even if someone else has agreed to pay or is responsible for paying all or part of your legal costs, we may address our invoices to you and you will, in any event, be responsible for paying them. Whether or not we accept that any third party will pay any part of our invoices, we will not assume any responsibility to them, unless we expressly agree to do so.

5.8.              There are circumstances where we are entitled to retain property which belongs to you. This right of lien may be exercised by us at any time while fees or expenses are unpaid.

6.                    Termination of instructions

6.1.              You may at any time terminate our engagement in writing.

6.2.              We may decide to stop acting for you with good reason: for example, if you are overdue in making payment, if you fail to give clear or proper instructions on how we are to proceed or you give us instructions which conflict with our rules of professional conduct. We will notify you of any such decision.

7.                    Exclusions and limitations of liability

7.1.              The contract you make is with us, De Pinna Notaries. You agree to pursue only De Pinna Notaries for any claim in connection with our services, and you will not bring any claim, however arising, against any of our individual employees, consultants or partners personally in respect of losses which you suffer or incur, however arising, in connection with our services. This will not limit or exclude our liability for the acts or omissions of our employees, consultants or partners.

7.2.              You agree that our aggregate liability to you together with any third party as mentioned in clause 5.7 for claims in connection with our services relating to a particular engagement, however arising, shall be limited to £1 million in total in respect of all such claims or, if greater, the amount recoverable under our professional indemnity insurance. This aggregate liability of us and all of our employees, consultants and partners collectively shall be no greater than our aggregate liability alone.

7.3.              “However arising” covers all causes giving rise to liability, whether arising by reason of non performance, delay, negligence, misrepresentation, other tort, breach of contract, breach of statutory duty or otherwise.

7.4.              We shall not be liable to you to the extent that we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control including without limitation industrial action (other than solely by our personnel) act of God, war, civil commotion, terrorism, theft, malicious damage (other than by our personnel) accident, failure or breakdown of computers, machinery, systems, extreme weather conditions, power failure or failure of telecommunications (“Force Majeure”). In the event of any Force Majeure affecting us, we shall notify you as soon as reasonably practicable.

7.5.              Rights as a consumer as defined in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 shall not be adversely affected by these terms to the extent prohibited by those Regulations.

7.6.              In view of the exclusions and limitations of our liability in these terms, we recommend that you consider taking out your own insurance in respect of those risks for which we exclude or limit liability.

7.7.              Nothing will affect our liability for fraud or otherwise to the extent prohibited by law.

8.                    Confidentiality

8.1.              We owe a duty of confidentiality to our clients. You agree, however, that we may, when required by our auditors, insurers or advisers, provide details to them of any engagement, and that we may also disclose confidential information if required to do so by law or regulation.

8.2.              Sometimes we ask sub-contractors or other third parties to do translating, typing, photocopying or other support services. We will have a confidentiality agreement with them but, if you do not want us to use them, just tell us in advance.
8.3.       In accordance with our professional rules, a copy of a notarial act or of the record of a notarial act retained by us may, upon payment of a reasonable fee, be issued upon the application in writing of any person or authority having a proper interest in the act.

9.                    Documents, copyright and communications

9.1.              We will store your file (electronically or otherwise) for such time as we judge reasonable in view of the law and any applicable regulations, after which we may destroy it.

9.2.              Unless we agree otherwise, the copyright in the original materials which we generate for you belongs to us. Subject to payment of our fees for that material, you are permitted to make use of those materials only for the purposes for which they are created.

9.3.              We may communicate with you by email, except to the extent that you instruct us not to do so. We will not encrypt our outgoing email unless you tell us to do so and we are able to agree with you and implement a mutually acceptable encryption method.

9.4.              Any reference in these terms to “writing” shall include fax and email.

10.                Data Protection and Compliance with the Notaries Practice Rules

10.1.          We shall collect from you some or all of the items listed at clause 3.1 including copies thereof as appropriate and any additional personal data as we reasonably require (the “Personal Data”).

10.2.          We shall comply with any obligations we may have under the Data Protection Act 1998 in respect of your Personal Data.

10.3.          We shall store copies of your passport and other Personal Data cited in the Notaries Practice Rules 2014 in accordance with all requirements listed therein.

11.                Third Party Rights

Other than an employee, consultant or partner wishing to rely on paragraph 7, no third party shall have any right to enforce or rely on any provision pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. The notification or consent of any third parties shall not be required in order to rescind or vary our contract with you.

12.                Assignment

12.1.          The performance and benefit of our contract with you may be assigned by us to any person who continues all or part of our business.

12.2.          Subject to this, neither you nor we have the right to assign the performance and benefit of our contract with you without the written consent of the other.

13.                Associates

In relation to any engagement, unless we agree otherwise, you accept the provisions of the contract on your own behalf and as agent for each of your group undertakings (as defined by Section 1161(5) of the Companies Act 2006) who is a recipient of our services (“Associate”). You warrant that you have or will have necessary authority on behalf of each Associate. You will procure that each Associate will act on the basis that they are bound by the contract. References to “you” apply to you and all Associates together.

14.                Severance of terms

If any provision shall be declared to be invalid or unenforceable in any respect, the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not be impaired.

15.                These Terms and variations

These terms supersede any earlier terms of business we may have agreed with you and, in the absence of express agreement to the contrary, will apply to the current services and all subsequent services we provide to you.  Amongst these things, your continuing to instruct us to act for you will amount to acceptance of these terms. From time to time it may be necessary to amend or supersede these terms by new terms. When this is the case, we will notify you of the changes and, unless we hear from you to the contrary no later than 14 days after such notification, the amendments or new terms will apply from the end of that period.

16.                Complaints

We are confident that we will provide you with a satisfactory service but should you wish to complain, you should write to the firm’s Senior Partner, Mr Andrew Robinson. You also have the right to make a complaint to the office which regulates scrivener notaries in England and Wales: The Clerk, The Scriveners Company, HQS Wellington, Temple Stairs, Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2PN. This is subject to the Scrivener Notaries Complaints Procedure. You may obtain from us or from our website the current copy of this and a Notice of your right to make a complaint. At the end of the complaint procedure or after a period of 8 weeks from the date you first notified us that you were dissatisfied, you can make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman ( but this cannot normally be later than the earlier of (i) 6 months from the conclusion of the complaint procedure, or (ii) 12 months from when your problem occurred or, if later, from when you should reasonably have become aware of your problem. Nothing in the complaint procedure shall affect your right to have the complaint dealt with by a court, as provided in clause 10.

17.                Applicable law and jurisdiction

The contractual relationship that arises when you instruct us shall be governed by English and Welsh law. In the event of a dispute, the English and Welsh courts shall have jurisdiction.

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