What Does A Public Notary Do?

We connect people to other legal systems. A Public Notary provides a point of connection to other legal systems. Because other countries recognise the care we take, they trust us to witness documents and certify facts.

Notarisation of the execution (signing) of a document means that the Public Notary has checked:

  1. your identity; and
  2. your capacity to sign; and
  3. your understanding

But this does not mean that the Public Notary has advised you as to the wisdom or otherwise of signing the document. If, for example, you are buying a property in a foreign country, you will still need legal advice from a lawyer in that country. You may also need valuation or other advice.

Notarisation by certification of documents or facts can be taken to mean that the Public Notary has checked the originals so that any certification should make clear whether or not the Public Notary has done so.

In some specialised instances, Notarisation is also required in England.

When You Might Need A Public Notary

If you want to move to, live in, or do business with a foreign country then you may require an English Public Notary to help with the bureaucratic processes at your destination country.

Businesses often need a Public Notary to help with the execution of required documents. The following are the most likely scenarios where a Public Notary is needed:

  • Trade with foreign countries: including appointments of agents or franchises and other business agreements
  • Set up businesses abroad, including the appointment of local agents or company officers or the formation of foreign companies
  • Buy or sell premises abroad, including Powers of Attorney, contracts and transfers of title
  • Bringing or defending court cases in other countries: by Notarisation of sworn statements for use in foreign courts
  • Dealing with shipping registrations and protests and Bills of Exchange protests

Individuals usually need a Notary Public when dealing with foreign property, getting married abroad, emigrating or immigrating, working overseas, dealing with foreign pensions or litigation.

  • Buying or selling property abroad: if you are buying or selling property abroad, but you wish to sign the papers in England, then your signature will almost certainly require notarisation. In most European countries, this will involve giving a Power of Attorney.
  • Getting married abroad: you may need to produce evidence that you are free to marry. Some jurisdictions require this to be confirmed by a declaration made before a Notary Public.
  • Working abroad or emigration: you may be required to produce notarised evidence of qualifications, work experience or character. The Notary Public is obliged to check the authenticity of any documents which you produce to him for authentication or otherwise make clear if he has not verified the original.
  • Immigration: A Notary Public is frequently asked to authenticate or witness sponsorship forms for entry visas. Please note that the Home Office does not require notarisation of sponsorship forms. Despite this, clients frequently request sponsorship because the applicant for entry visa has been told by Foreign Office staff in the country of origin that notarisation is necessary.
  • Pensions: If you are in receipt of a foreign pension, you may be required to produce notarised evidence that you are still alive
  • Foreign litigation: If you need to provide written evidence for use in a court case abroad, you may need to have your signed statement witnessed by a Notary Public

What Do You Need To Do?

To do our job properly, we need your co-operation. Notarisation is widely accepted because of the care that notaries take. For example, if we certify copies of documents others may assume that we are satisfied as to the authenticity of the originals. Again, others may rely on the Notarisation of signatures to show;

  • that we have established your identity
  • that you understand any documents which you have signed
  • and that you have the required capacity and authority

These are some of the ways you can help:

Personal attendance
Almost without exception, you need to see me personally at my Central London office. For an agreed fee, I can come to designated places in within Central London for your convenience.

Because I must establish your identity and usual address, you will need to produce your passport and correspondence (ideally two bills from utility providers) linking you to your address as stated in any relevant documents

I will need to understand any document you sign so that I can establish your understanding of it. You may, therefore, need to be patient while I carefully read any documents which are put in front of me. In certain cases, this will require the use of translators. The translators I use offer a speedy and efficient service. Translation fees will be agreed with you in advance

If you are acting for a third party (for instance as Director of a limited Company) I will have to establish your authority to do so. There may be some delay and inconvenience while I examine original company documents or perform the necessary searches with Companies House.

Italian Matters

I have worked as a Notary Public with the Italian legal system for some 30 years now, overseeing property transactions, personal matters and business deals a thousands of clients. Now fluent in Italian and conversant with the Italian legal approach, I can offer specialist Public Notary services in this area.