What is a Notary Public?

In England and Wales, Notaries are largely concerned with the verification of documents and information that will be used in other countries in the world, for clients who have business or property overseas, or who are involved in litigation in foreign courts.

Notaries form an independent branch of the legal profession, although most are solicitors. Their practice as Notaries is quite separate from their practice of any other profession or business, and is not controlled by the rules affecting solicitors.

While Notaries have the powers of a Commissioner for Oaths, the work that they do is mainly concerned with foreign matters and their procedures are entirely different.

Notarial requirements about signature and certification of documents vary from country to country.

A Notary's job includes:

    • Witnessing the signature of documents

    • Authenticating the signature of documents

    • Authenticating the content of documents and facts recited

    • Administration of oaths and declarations

    • Powers of attorney, corporate records, contracts

    • Verifying (via translator) translations of documents into English and from English

    • The provision of notarised copies of documents

    • Advising on "Legalisation" via Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and foreign embassies/consulates