Every Dutch notary is a member of The Royal Dutch Association of Civil-Law Notaries (KNB) and their duties are different from those of other legal practitioners, such as Dutch lawyers, attorneys or tax advisers. Most importantly, notaries are independent and are required to act impartially.
Notaries in the Netherlands have a law degree
and may specialize in certain areas such as family law, real-estate or company law in the Netherlands
. Whenever necessary, Dutch notaries may employ the services of more specialized legal practitioners, such as a Dutch law firm
. Notaries cannot exercise duties attributable to lawyers, thus they cannot represent clients in court. Also, Dutch notaries cannot act as attorneys in the Netherlands.
Notaries and junior notaries in the Netherlands
Dutch notaries are entitled to sign notarial acts, unlike junior notaries who do not have this authority. Notaries are also allowed to have their own notary office in the Netherlands. Although they have their own offices, notaries in the Netherlands are not considered entrepreneurs.
Junior notaries are usually notaries who are in training to become a notary. A period of serving under a fully accredited Dutch notary is required. Although they also have a law degree, junior notaries can choose to remain under a notary and continue their work in this capacity, rather than opening their own notary office.
Tasks of a notary in the Netherlands
Dutch notaries must act in the best interest of all parties when concluding agreements or performing transactions. Much like Dutch attorneys and doctors, notaries cannot betray the client confidentiality clause
Dutch notaries draw up and execute notarial acts. Apart from issuing such documents to the interested parties, notaries must also keep a copy of the act. After drawing up a notarial agreement, notaries must update the appropriate registers (for example, in case of marriage contracts, registers for public and private companies, etc.)
Dutch notaries have extensive knowledge and are experts in certain fields, thus they can also qualify as legal advisers. Although they cannot substitute the service of a Dutch lawyer or attorney, they may offer advice to clients regarding the signing of a notarial act.