My enquiries have not been able to shed light on a query that is causing great debate within the profession.

It relates to the intention behind the wording of section 2 of the Commissioners for Oaths (Authorised Persons) (Fees) Order 1993.

It is clear that the fee is £5 per affidavit/declaration per deponent, however it then states ‘plus £2 for the exhibit per deponent’. My query relates to whether the wording ‘in addition’ means ‘likewise’ – ‘per deponent’? For example, if there is one will and three executors, would this mean £21 (that is, solicitor and three deponents sign the oath (£5 x 3) as well as each signing the will/exhibit (£2 x 3)? Some practices suggest that the fee should be £5 x 3 for the will plus £2 (not £2 per deponent, simply £2 per exhibit) so the total would be £17 in this example (£5 x 3 plus £2).

I would be extremely grateful if someone could clarify the above or possibly point me in the direction of where I might find such an answer.

Nina Sperring, Bartletts Solicitors, Chester