You may have provided information in advance, which I always recommend, but it is also essential that I see you in person or, if it is a business matter, you or someone else who can represent your business. At our meeting, I will need to check:
- Your identity
- Whether you are acting on your own behalf
- If you are acting on your behalf, your willingness to do so
- That you understand the documentation (also see Verification)
- The identity of your business
- The authority of the person in front of me to act on behalf of your business
- That person’s identity
- The legal ability of your business to carry out this transaction
- The willingness of your business management to complete the process
- That your business representative understands the documentation (also see Verification)
In all circumstances, I will also need to be clear about what the foreign authority requires from us.
When we meet, please make certain that the documents I am relying on are originals, not copies. I will need to see:–
- The document or documents requiring my seal and signature. Please do not sign any documents or have any of them witnessed beforehand. It is imperative that everything is done in my presence
- Instructions given by the lawyer who prepared the document. These can include unusual requirements such as having to sign each page or stipulating the colour of ink to be used
- Evidence of the identity of the person who appears before me. This should be available in the following ways –
The person’s passport. If they have no passport, a government-issued document which bears their photograph, such as an EU photographic driving licence, will be acceptable
A document proving where the person lives, such as a recent utility bill or bank statement
If original documents like these are unavailable I will need to ask what evidence of identity can be provided to prove that the person I am seeing is who they say they are
For businesses – documents which prove the authority of the person before me. For small companies this will simply be the company details, which can be checked online. For large organisations or unregistered businesses, I will need signed minutes confirming a board resolution or some other authority granted by the business to the person meeting me.
- For businesses – a certificate of incorporation, a certificate of good standing or other comparable evidence. I need this to verify that your business was formed and continues to exist. In the case of UK registered businesses, I will usually be able to conduct independent checks online to satisfy myself regarding formation and continuation. This will incur a small charge.