12 April 2012
I have to sign a legal document, involving a foreign transaction, in front of a notary public in Singapore. I approached a legal firm and was told that the fee is $40 to witness each signature on each copy of the same document. The total fee for four copies is $160 plus GST. I guess that the actual work would probably take less than five minutes of the lawyer's time.
I checked with another lawyer and was told me that this is the standard rate recommended by some authorized body. I am puzzled, as there is a competition law in Singapore that is supposed to prevent collusion in setting unreasonably high fees.
I do not understand why a lawyer needs to charge $160 to witness a signature on 4 copies of the same document and why this simple task should only be done by a lawyer.
Tan Kin Lian