As a Notary Public I am a qualified lawyer with additional notarial qualifications awarded by the University of Cambridge, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and subject to both the Court of Faculties and stringent notarial and solicitors’ practice rules.
Notaries work for international commercial businesses as well as private individuals preparing and witnessing documents for use abroad and authenticating commercial and individual transactions, documents and events. A Notary Public can do all legal work except court litigation.
A Notary authenticates or certifies a transaction or document by signing and sealing it with a seal unique to the individual notary. What the Notary does, whether drafting, witnessing, certifying or authenticating, is usually called the “notarial act”.
Notarial acts for use in Europe or foreign countries have to be “legalised” or authenticated further by Her Majesty’s government. This is done by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the UK embassy of the foreign country in which the document will be used adding an apostille or certificate which confirms that the acting Notary’s seal and signature are authentic.
Notarial work will not be carried out unless original documents evidencing your identity and residence in accordance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (as amended from time to time) are produced at your first appointment.
Individual identification of each person appearing before the Notary must be made by inspection of a current passport; driving licence or firearms licence or armed forces pass (with photograph) together with a bank statement or utility bill as proof of residence. Corporate identification will usually be by inspection of original certificates of Good Standing and Incorporation or Partnership Agreement and an on-line search of records held at Companies House.