What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a qualified lawyer and subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties.
At Lester Aldridge, notary services are provided by Oliver Phipps, who is qualified to practise as a solicitor as well as a Notary Public. Oliver is a Partner and head of the International Private Client team.
The role of a Notary Public
English notaries are primarily concerned with the authentication of signatures and documents for use overseas.
Notary services for individuals
The following are examples of documents that we can assist with:
- Certifying university degree certiﬁcates and educational qualiﬁcations for use with foreign job applications;
- Witnessing powers of attorney for use overseas. This is a common requirement for individuals purchasing or selling property abroad;
- Preparing certiﬁcates of freedom to marry where individuals wish to celebrate their marriage abroad;
- Notarising documents to deal with the administration of the estates of people who are located abroad, such as birth, marriage and death certificates;
- Execution of Wills for jurisdictions that require a notary, for example Spain and Jersey;
- Administering oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations for use abroad;
- Arranging translations;
- Certifying identity documents such as passports and driving licences.
Notary services for companies
English companies who trade internationally may encounter the need for a notary for a wide range of documents used in international trade. The following are examples of documents that we notarise for our corporate clients:
- Authenticating constitutional documents, such as certificates of incorporation, change of name certificates, resolutions and articles of association;
- Powers of attorney where a company wishes to appoint an individual abroad to act on behalf of the company;
- Witnessing documents signed by directors for use abroad;
- Shipping documents.
Apostilles and legalisation
The person or institution requesting a document to be notarised may also require the signature and seal of an English notary to be authenticated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is known as an, “apostille”.
In addition to the apostille, the recipient may also require authentication from the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the document is to be used – this process is known as legalisation. Oliver will be able to advise in advance what form of legalisation is required and the cost.
The duty of a Notary Public involves a high standard of care and is not a mere rubber-stamping exercise.
Once a copy of the document or description of the document is received, we will usually be able to quote a fixed fee.
For all notary enquiries, please contact Oliver by email: oliver.phipps@LA-law.com or by telephone: 01202 786351.