Here We Are – The Final Quarter of 2014 – What Are Your Plans For 2015?

Here We Are – The Final Quarter of 2014 – What Are Your Plans For 2015?

What are your plans for 2015? Maybe considering working overseas? Maybe looking to invest in property abroad? Expanding your business abroad? Whatever your plans might be you are more than likely going to need to see a Notary.

Or even – booking a holiday? It should be noted that if you have children who are wishing to travel overseas without one or both parents, perhaps with family friends or with grandparents, then increasingly the border guards and Airlines are requiring a “Notarised Consent to Travel” for that child/children. See my earlier blog here  If you are unsure as to whether a Consent to Travel would be required then my advice is don’t risk it but get one prepared. I can arrange for this to be prepared for you and Notarised at the same time.

If you are considering working overseas – then it is highly likely that you will need to produce Notarised documents in relation to your educational qualifications. Once Notarised sometimes depending on the country further legalisation is required i.e. Apostilles (stamps issued by the Foreign Office) and Consular stamps. My job is to deal with Notarisations and I can also obtain any further legalisation that may be required. If you require further guidance as to a particular country’s requirements i.e. whether “Notarised and legalised” or just “Notarised” then please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are proceeding to purchase a property abroad then please note any paperwork which you are required to sign can be done here in Leeds [or at your office or home] in my presence. You do not need to travel to that particular Country to deal with this. My signature and seal is recognised throughout the world. Dealing with documentation with me negates the need for travel thereby saving you time and money. The same applies should you wish to sell property overseas.

Expanding your business – if you are looking to expand abroad then no doubt you will have instructed Lawyers in that country. Again, any paperwork that needs to be signed or authenticated can be Notarised with me. Do note, that a Solicitor cannot do this. Indeed, even some Solicitors are unaware that their writ extends only to the boundaries of England and Wales.

I can liaise directly with your Legal advisers in England and abroad as necessary. I have access to Company House documents and most International Registries and can download what verification might be required and Notarise accordingly.

The function and purpose of an English Notary is to help people in England and Wales to deal with documentation here for use abroad. I am a full time Notary [I was a Solicitor but have retired from that profession] and therefore keep my diary clear for international paperwork only. I deal with it promptly and efficiently. Please do get in touch if we can help. and (T) 0113 816 0116

The Law is a Monkey – and You Thought it was an Ass.

The Law is a Monkey – and You Thought it was an Ass.

The law has been referred to as an Ass since as long ago as 1837 when Mr Bumble the Beadle coined the phrase (Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist).

The latest anthropomorphism of the law is to suggest that the law is a bit of a Monkey.
If you have not heard of it, do google the phrase “Monkey selfie”. This photograph of an inquisitive monkey smiling into a camera was actually taken by the Monkey. It has “gone viral”.

The poor old [human] photographer had set up his camera amongst a group of monkeys who then bullied him out of the area and started messing with the photographic equipment in the course of which the said monkey took the famous selfie.

Since the story and the photograph have travelled the world with millions of people viewing the image this could have made the fortune of the photographer who had assumed that the copyright in the photograph belonged to him.

However, Wikipedia has published the photograph and is arguing that it is not the photographer but the Monkey who owns the copyright. Because the Monkey took the picture. In effect it is saying that the photo is not copyright protected as Monkeys cannot own assets – or take legal action to protect them.

It occurs to me that what the photographer should have done is set his camera equipment to video. [Because the copyright in movies does not belong to the photographer but to the person who has produced the movie]

It seems extremely random that when the monkey takes the still shot there is no copyright in the image but if the monkey had set the video running then the copyright in any freeze-frame image in the video would belong to the photographer.

But then again we are not looking for logic are we, not when the law is a monkey, or an Ass, or whatever animal it is this week.

Dare I say the Motto – “Don’t Monkey Around, See a Notary”. Groan. But – The Law, Especially Foreign Law, is Rarely What You Think It Is.

If you are entering into dealings with any Foreign Country you need Expert Assistance. I have a wide network of contacts all around the World – Start with me – contact me at +44 (0)113 816 0116

Make Your Will – It’s Still Important. [New Law – But No Real Change!]

It must be a least a week or so since I last wrote a blog to suggest that all adults should make a Will – so it must be time to do so again!

I have pointed out in earlier blogs, just how often I have met clients who are not married, or are married with children, but who have never made a Will. When I ask them why not, they say there is no need to because “my partner will get everything when I die”. I cannot say too often or too loud that this is quite simply not the case.

Even the survivor of a married couple with children cannot assume that this will be true.

There is a new law coming into effect early in October 2014 called “The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014” – this will probably receive coverage in the press and television and it is true that as a result of this new law a surviving spouse with children will receive a greater maximum share of the estate of the first to die.

However the new law falls far short of what the Law Commission had been recommending.

The Commission had proposed that unmarried partners who had lived together for 5 year (or for 2 years if they have children) have the right to inherit each other’s money on death without a Will.

This provision has NOT been implemented whatsoever and realistically nothing important has changed – the new Law makes no difference whatsoever to what must be any Lawyer’s advice – DO PLEASE – FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE YOU LOVE – MAKE A WILL

Please feel free to  contact me to discuss any aspect of this blog – and, of course, whenever you require your legal documents for use abroad to be Notarised and/or endorsed with the FCO Apostille – email or phone +44 (0) 1138160116

Cloud Storage – Safe? Or Sorry?

Technology moves at its own pace – a lot faster than most people can keep up with.

Does your television link with the internet and Netflix and You-Tube? Mine neither – when I go into an electrical shop I don’t know what some of the machines even do.
Computer technology is no different tablets, pcs, laptops, netbooks, Android, Apple OS Lion, Android Cupcake, Do-Nut and KitKat. Crikey!

For most of us the model of a computer is still what it was over 30 years ago (just faster). A box full of documents and information. It probably links to the internet for information and communication but all of its data is still held inside it.

For the “techies” that is a laughably outdated model. Welcome to the world of a thin client, a basic machine holding no data but accessing your “virtual” data box in “the Cloud”. Automatically updating so need for virus data protection. No problem if the machine is stolen as there is no information in it anyway. The computer can be cheap – see the range of ChromeBook machines.

Last month the Economist magazine published an enthusiastic report called “the impact of the Cloud” . According to it the Cloud is only just beginning and its impact in future years will revolutionize the way in which tech is used – read the link here

But call me a Luddite – why is there no mention of the issues that for me and so many people I meet make us feel wary about the Cloud – worrying whether we are trusting our treasured data to Guardians we neither know nor understand.

Personally I am disappointed that the report is silent about:
* A conflict with the American Patriot Act (the US government demands access to all data stored on computers in the USA)
* The conflict with the Professional Regulators’ requirements for Notaries, Solicitors, Accountants and other professionals to maintain and manage their storage of data safely and securely for many years
* Where is the Cloud anyway? – in China, Russia? A war zone?
* Does your Cloud talk to my Cloud? It is only relatively recently that the world has got used to having one major word processing program – “Word” – and now we can all read each other’s documents when they are emailed – Do we have to start all over again?
* The ability of the owners of the Cloud hardware to ransom my data – to hike up the storage price at whim. To withhold access in the event of any dispute or, on a larger scale, wars or conflicts between countries.
* We all still remember the issues and discussions about Kindle – whether justified or not the worry remains in many minds that Amazon are in a position simply to delete your treasured digital collection of books. Is the fact that they have promised not to do so adequate if they actually have the power to do so?
* Most recently, we have the hacking of Celebrity “Selfies”. Not proven that the theft was from Cloud Storage, but it is presumed by many commentators.

As a Notary responsible for safely storing my data (which is, of course, also your data) I personally think I need to know a lot more about the Cloud before I can rely upon it and abandon the tried and tested method of multiple backups to discs drives in my possession. In my research on this topic I have come across a very succinct definition of the fears that I am trying to articulate. “The Cloud works better, but it fails worse”

Whenever you need your documents notarized in England for use abroad, do contact me at +44 (0)113 816 0116

Blogging is Good – Spam is Very Bad Indeed

Blogging is Good – Spam is Very Bad Indeed.

You receive my regular blogs because your email address is in my list of contacts. Probably you are a client of mine or have recommended work to me; at any rate we have a relationship and I am not emailing you “out of the blue”. All reputable bloggers and mass-email companies work this way.

But as we all know there are many spammers out there who are not reputable at all. They buy lists of emails, they send millions of messages sometimes looking for legitimate work and sometimes “phishing” for criminal purposes. Most of us, business people, computer literate, are savvy enough to delete this stuff.

But others, particularly the elderly, perhaps with slight confusion or with dementia, can be panicked. This constant spam can blight their lives – every day receiving these emails or letters or worse still phone calls. “You have won a raffle”. “You need to claim about your accident”. I have met people who have been plagued with this stuff and who have become very anxious and worried. Spending hours, days even, trying to claim prizes that don’t exist. Phoning children with the good news that they are going to give them the new BMW that will be delivered shortly.

If you know about anyone who is in this position do contact The Information Commissioners Office and report it – 0303 123 1113
Click below and read at least a little bit of good news, of a raid last week on a “claims management call centre” which has sent over six million spam texts. Link here

In the meantime – thank you for reading my blogs!

Do please contact me whenever you require your legal documents for use abroad to be Notarised and/or endorsed with the FCO Apostille – email or phone +44 (0) 1138160116