Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Notary Public?
Notaries are the oldest European legal profession, with a continuous history going back to Roman Times.
The specialist work of English Notaries principally concerns work in the preparation of various legal documents for use overseas, and formal involvement in their execution.
The Notary must always satisfy himself of the identity of the parties; that they have adequate understanding of the document or transaction and that they enter into it of their own free will. The Notary will also make a copy and keep a register of every transaction. This record has high evidential status and copies can be provided to any person who has a proper interest in the transaction upon request.
Notaries are a small profession. I am one of less than 1000 English Notaries. I am available to private and commercial clients to assist in facilitating your transaction wherever in the world it may be. Contact me. I am usually available on quite short notice.
What is Legalisation?
Certain documents for use overseas require what is called "legalisation" which involves the impression of a seal by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (known as an "Apostille") and/or by the receiving country's embassy. The purpose of this further process is usually to verify the status of the English Notary to the receiving jurisdiction.
We will discuss this with you and take such further action as you may wish should this be required.
What is the difference between a Solicitor and a Notary?
English Notaries are international lawyers, their work is specialist and as well as being the interface with overseas jurisdictions, their acts have recognition overseas in a way solicitors' may not. The consequences of not engaging a Notary when one should have been involved can range from inconvenience to catastrophe.
Therefore if you are a client or a solicitor, if in doubt consult me - better safe than sorry!
Solicitors can refer clients on the clear understanding and assurance that I will respect that they will remain your client.
Notaries may also act in most areas of non-contentious business and in this respect their jurisdiction overlaps considerably with that of solicitors. Many Notaries are also solicitors, but I now conduct all my legal work as a Notary Public.