What is a Commissioner For Oaths?3968310

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In the United Kingdom and many other Common Law jurisdictions certain documents need to be sworn before a qualified legal person recognized as a Commissioner for Oaths. This is an ancient office which is appointed by the lord Chancellor for the jurisdiction in England and Wales.

The office of Commissioner for Oaths is granted to the following professional lawyers topic to certain conditions:

- Barristers in practice - Solicitors in practice - Notary Public - Legal Executive (conditional) - Licensed Conveyancer (conditional)

An essential point to be conscious of is that a Commissioner for Oaths should not use these powers in any proceedings in which they are currently acting for any of the parties or in any procedure in which they have an interest.

From time to time people and companies find that they have a requirement for the services of a Commissioner for Oaths to witness the signing and swearing of documents but might be unclear exactly where to find one. The simplest course is to attempt a local solicitor or two.

On a practical note discovering one to actually do something for you is becoming increasingly tough. This is simply because the official charging structure suggests nominal payments of £5 for swearing an affidavit and £2 per exhibit including VAT

Most solicitors, who are in fact the biggest group of lawyers, charge in 6 minute units so for an typical solicitor charging £150 + VAT per hour, two 6 minute units would usually be worth £30 +VAT. The result is many refuse to do this sort of work or contrive to charge higher fees.

So you will know when you require one but can you effortlessly find one to act for you? If one turns you down just maintain trying.

Commissioner For Oaths