The Staff of the Faculty Office
The Master of the Faculties is the overall head of the Faculty Office and is the Approved Regulator of Notaries in England & Wales. The Master is Morag Ellis QC, appointed in 2020. As the most senior ecclesiastical judge in England, she is Dean of the Arches and Auditor of the Chancery Court of York.
Morag has a strong ecclesiastical law practice and has held a number of senior positions within the Church of England. She was appointed Commissary General of the Diocese of Canterbury in 2011, and Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Southwark in 2013. In 2015 Morag was appointed as a Panel Chair to Clergy Discipline Tribunals and became a member of the Legal Advisory Commission of the General Synod in 2016. She was appointed as QC Church Commissioner in 2019. She is also a Reader licensed in the Diocese of Chelmsford.
The Master is responsible for all major policy decisions relating to Notaries, both in England & Wales and overseas. She holds a monthly meeting with the Staff of the Faculty Office, and is in regular contact with the Staff at all times.
The Role of the Master
The Master is the judicial officer holder in charge of the Faculty Office.
The role of the Master can be traced back to the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 but now the Master mainly derives their authority (as regards notaries) from the Public Notaries Acts 1801 and 1843, the Courts & Legal Services Act 1990 and the Legal Services Act 2007.
There are two important features which distinguish the regulation of notaries by the Master.
- The Master and the Faculty Office are entirely separate from the Notaries Society and the Society of Scrivener Notaries who are the two societies which represent notaries and scriveners. Practice fees to register and remain as a notary are collected by the Faculty Office and solely fund regulation of notaries. Unlike the fee arrangements for solicitors and barristers, there is no cross subsidy between regulation and representation.
- All powers are vested in the Master personally and not in an organisation such as the Bar Council (as for barristers). The Master is a senior judge, experienced in acting fairly and dispassionately. The Master is not a notary. Rules and regulations are issued in the name of the Master.
Howard is a solicitor with experience in governance and regulatory matters. He also has expertise in ecclesiastical, education and charity law. He also serves as a diocesan registrar for several dioceses.
Howard Dellar is the Registrar of the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Role of the Registrar
The Registrar is the legal official responsible for the operation and management of the Faculty Office. The Registrar:
- sets policy in concert with the Master and implements it
- engages with partner bodies, governmental institutions and the notarial societies
- is the registrar of the Master’s Qualifications and Advisory Boards
- oversees disciplinary proceedings against notaries accused of misconduct
- oversees the staff of the Faculty Office in conjunction with the Deputy Registrar and Chief Clerk
Ian Blaney is the Deputy Registrar of the Faculty Office, and assists the Registrar and deputises for him in all of his roles.
He is also involved in the formulation of policy and new procedures and the writing of new rules and policies. He has served in the Faculty Office for over ten years and helped build the policies and procedures which were necessary on the enactment of the Legal Services Act 2007, as well as in changes to the law in marriage and higher education (which relate to the non-notarial aspects of the Faculty Office). He was one of the authors to the Faculty Office publication on the law of Anglican marriage.
He is a solicitor and fulfils a number of other functions and roles outside of the Faculty Office where his specialism is ecclesiastical, charity, education and burial law.
He previously worked for 22 years as a residential property lawyer. He was admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 1999. Neil joined the Faculty Office in 2011, and became Chief Clerk in 2018.
He is a member of the Association of Diocesan Registry Clerks and the Ecclesiastical Law Society.
The Role of the Chief Clerk
- manages the day to day operational capacity of the Faculty Office
- engages with partner bodies, governmental institutions and the notarial societies
- participates in the formulation of policy and in its implementation
- is the key contact for anti-money laundering enquiries, notarial misconduct and other sensitive matters
- oversees the day to day correspondence and activity of the Faculty Office clerks
- facilitates the qualification, admission and practice of notaries under the rules
organises the disciplinary arrangements for notaries accused of misconduct
- provides the specialised knowledge and expertise in the operation and development of the regulatory and (the non-notarial) legal work of The Faculty Office
Mili has a compliance and enforcement background. Her experience includes providing guidance on regulatory requirements, instigated disciplinary proceedings and investigating complaints of misconduct relating to accountancy service providers and chartered surveyors.
Mili's responsibilities as Risk, Compliance and Investigations officer and Deputy Chief Clerk include:
- the regulation and administration of the notarial profession (the Master of the Faculties, acting through the Faculty Office, is the Approved Regulator for all notaries in England and Wales and in certain overseas jurisdictions), including, qualification, admission, complaints and discipline, with a particular focus on risk and compliance within the regulatory framework of the Faculty Office in furtherance of the Legal Services Act 2007 and best regulatory practice, including relations with the Legal Services Board, Legal Ombudsman, Ministry of Justice and other regulatory bodies
- the supervision of the notarial profession in relation to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations 2017 (the Faculty Office is the designated Professional Body Supervisor for notaries in England and Wales), including relations with the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision, HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs.
Stephen Borton is Consultant to the Faculty Office having been until recently the Chief Clerk. He has particular expertise in the law of marriage, and notarial regulation. He has been a member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society since 1994. He provides advice to the Faculty Office, drawing on three decades of experience.
Susan Black has a financial and legal background having worked in trustee, executor and investment management and in legal costs as a law costs draftsman and legal costs consultant. Susan joined the Faculty Office in 2015 as a clerk where she assists with applications for Special Marriage Licences and providing guidance on marriage law. Susan is a member of the Association of Diocesan Registry Clerks and the Ecclesiastical Law Society.
He also serves in the diocesan registries of the Bishops of Liverpool and Guildford. Patrick holds a PhD in English Literature. Patrick is also a contributing editor to the UK Poetry Archive, and works in his spare time as a reviewer and critic.
Patrick Roberts joined the Faculty Office as a clerk in May 2016. He processes applications for Special Licences and clerks the meeting of the Notarial Qualifications Board.
He is a member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society.
Kevin Diamond joined the Faculty Office in January 2018. Prior to this, he worked in a number of roles with the Archbishops’ Council’s National Church Institutions in Westminster, most recently having completed 13 years as a National Adviser for Selection for Ordained Ministry. Kevin is originally from Canada, and moved to the UK in 1990. Outside work, he enjoys travel and making time for maintaining friendships.
Andrea Amory joined the Faculty Office in August 2018. She is the Administrator for Special Marriage Licences as well as undertaking other clerical duties within the Faculty Office. Andrea has a longstanding secretarial and administrative background and worked within the NHS at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital for a number of years. Outside of work Andrea enjoys spending time with her family and friends, travel and movies.