Public Notaries Act 1997 – Section 11 – Employed Public Notaries are Not to Carry Out Certain Work

Section 11 of the Public Notaries Act 1997 (NSW) is the first section of Part Three of the Act. Part Three deals with the regulation of the conduct of Notaries Public as they perform notarial work. Section 11 outlines a restriction as to whom the Notary Public cannot provide notarial service to. It reads:

(1) Except as provided by subsection (2), a public notary must not carry out notarial work for the public notary’s employer or a client of the employer.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to a public notary who is employed by a law practice within the meaning of the Legal Profession Act 2004 or by a person, or in circumstances, prescribed by the regulations.
(3) For the purposes of this section, if a public notary is employed by a corporation, the corporation includes a related body corporate, and “corporation” and “related body corporate” have the same meanings as in the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.

Essentially, if a Notary Public in New South Wales is employed by another person or corporation, that Notary Public cannot provide notarial services to his employer or his employer’s clients. The corporation is defined in section 57A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in the following terms:

(1)  Subject to this section, in this Act, corporation includes:

(a)  a company; and
(b)  any body corporate (whether incorporated in this jurisdiction or elsewhere); and
(c)  an unincorporated body that under the law of its place of origin, may sue or be sued, or may hold property in the name of its secretary or of an office holder of the body duly appointed for that purpose.

(2)  Neither of the following is a corporation:

(a)  an exempt public authority;
(b)  a corporation sole.

(3)  To avoid doubt, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation is taken to be a corporation for the purposes of this Act.

Under section 11(3) of the Public Notaries Act 1997 (NW), “corporation” is also to be interpreted as a “related body corporate.” This subsection points to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) for the definition of this term. The term “related body corporate” is defined in section 50 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in the following terms:

Related bodies corporate
Where a body corporate is:
(a)  a holding company of another body corporate; or
(b)  a subsidiary of another body corporate; or
(c)  a subsidiary of a holding company of another body corporate;
the first-mentioned body and the other body are related to each other.

However, if the Notary Public is employed in a law firm, or in circumstances prescribed in the Regulations to the Act, the restriction in subsection 11(1) does not apply.

Sydney notarial services (mobile in CBD, Broadway and surrounds) can be provided to meet a business’ demands, such as the witnessing of agreements, the authentication of documents, the taking of declarations, as well as the production of other notarial acts which are intended to be used by overseas authorities, non-government organisations (NGO) or other private institutions based outside the Commonwealth of Australia. If you are looking for a Notary Public in Sydney, we look forward to hearing from you.

The explanatory information published here is based on reprint No. 1 (9 May 2006) of the Public Notaries Act 1997 (NSW) as in force at 17 July 2009. This short article is published for general knowledge purposes only and is under no circumstances to be interpreted as formal or final legal advice. This short article is copyright to the writer.