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Notary Public

Very few people know anything about notaries - that is until they need one. Notaries form a totally independent branch of the legal profession - there are less than one thousand in this country.

BHP Law’s Notary Public Services

The first time most people come across the words “Notary Public” is when they want to buy a property abroad.

Notaries are mainly concerned with foreign matters, and with the verification of documents and information that will be used in other countries, for clients who have business or property overseas or who are involved in litigation in foreign courts, foreign adoptions or shipping matters.

Generally, if you are involved in a foreign transaction, your solicitor abroad will send you a package of documents, telling you that they must be signed before a notary.

The notary public’s first task is to make sure he can identify you properly, usually checking your passport, so you must take this with you to any meeting with a notary public.  He then has to ensure you fully understand the document you have to sign before witnessing your signature and affixing his official seal.

If the document is in a foreign language that you and he do not speak, a translation must be obtained from a qualified translator - otherwise it is very difficult to be certain you know what you are signing!

The notary public then copies the document, “notes” the document in his notarial register and checks to ensure whether "legalisation" is required at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the embassy of the country where the document is to be used.

A specimen of the notary’s signature and official seal is lodged at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and most embassies, so that they can double check it is definitely him who has seen and signed the document.

In cases where companies are involved the notary public must check with Companies House that the company exists, has power to enter into the document and that the person from the company who has signed the document has been properly appointed.

Once the document has been witnessed and sealed by the public notary (and if necessary legalised) it is recognised as authentic in the country where it is to be used.


Contact Us About Notary Public Services

For further information about our notarial services contact Peter Blackett on 0800 590 019.


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