What is Notarisation? Louise Goes Back To The Basics.

What is Notarisation? Louise Goes Back To The Basics.

Just what exactly, is “Notarisation”?

We see many clients who bring various documents in to our office and ask for them to be “Notarised”. Because that is what a foreign jurisdiction has asked for. Perhaps a new prospective employer in the United Arab Emirates, or a Spanish Lawyer has requested this, with no real explanation of exactly what they want or why.

In fact, anything a Notary writes on a document is a “Notarisation” – what we require to know is what is the Notary required to say about your document/s?

For example:
Education certificates – do you require the Notary to verify them and say they are genuine? If so, we need to get in touch with the University of course.
Do you require the Notary to make certified copies of the certificates you bring to him and confirm that they are true copies not verified?

Some foreign jurisdictions are not very clear with their requirements and it is usually up to the Notary and the client to try to figure out what is needed. However please note it is not a Notary’s function to give advice in any way and it is certainly wise to ascertain as much information about your Notarisation requirement as you can before your appointment with us.

In relation to documents such as Affidavits, Declarations, Powers of Attorney etc then we can be pretty sure that the foreign jurisdiction requires the Notary to attest, certify and witness execution of such documents.

The Notary’s function in this scenarios is to identify the person who is to sign the document and if the document is to be sworn under oath [you saying that the facts contained in the document are true, upon penalty of imprisonments for liars! yes very seriously] then the powers invested in the Court are passed to the Notary who can administer the Oath and certify that he has done so.

Why do you need Notarisation?

A Notarisation an insurance policy for the transaction – the Notary in effect does not act only for the client who pays him or for the foreigner who requires Notarisation – the Notary acts for “the transaction”. The Notary is confirming identity and recording the facts of what happened in his office that day. A Notary’s certification can be relied upon in any country of the world.

Why not a Solicitor you might say – well the short answer is a Solicitor has jurisdiction for England and Wales only and act for his clients – he has no remit to undertake work outside of England and Wales and does not owe any insurance liability to anyone other than his client and perhaps, intended beneficiaries of his Client’s Will.

A Notary’s signature and seal is recognised and valid abroad.

Where will I find a Notary?

There are not very many Notaries around – I believe at last count around 800 in England as opposed to well over a hundred thousand Solicitors!

The Notary is governed by Faculty Office which has a website http://www.facultyoffice.org.uk/notary/find-a-notary/ where you can search for your nearest Notary – obviously if you need a Notary in West Yorkshire then please contact us http://www.atkinsonnotary.com and we will be very happy to help.

Most Notaries are also practicing solicitors – some Notaries have retired as solicitors and just deal with Notary duties only – this is the case for our Notary Mr Christopher Atkinson – So, without a busy solicitor’s schedule to contend with we can see clients promptly and deal with documentation efficiently.

What to expect at your appointment?

Please phone 0113 8160116 to make a convenient appointment with us – we require clients who are attending to bring in identification – usually a passport and a proof of address.

We also suggest that the document(s) to be dealt with be emailed to us prior to the appointment – this can save time as most documents require some input before Notarisation – so if there are any amendments or sections to be completed in the document then we have it on our computer to be able to deal with this and print out for Notarisation.

After your appointment

Once your appointment has concluded and if no further legalisation is required then you can take away your Notarised documents or we can dispatch them to the foreign end user by FedEx courier.

As a matter of course we take full scans of all the Notarised papers which we email to you along with a fee receipt.

Of course if your document requires further Legalisation and/or Consular Authentication then we can deal with that for you also.


So:- for Personal or for Business needs – for accurate Notarial acts and records, please do contact me or Louise whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Going To Russia? If You Use Prescription Medication, See a Notary.

Going To Russia? If You Require Prescription Medication, See a Notary.

This week’s Blog is somewhat specialised, but it does contain news which could be very important if you are travelling to Russia.

According to the NHS website link here almost half of adults in England take regular prescription medication. SO, if you are travelling to Russia, there is a 50-50% that this Blog is important to you.

The message is, from June 2016 ANYONE carrying prescription drugs into Russia, is required to carry a translation into the Russian language, of their prescription WHICH MUST BE DULY NOTARISED.

There is a link on the UK government website here which makes a further point. Some of the drugs which are openly available over the counter in England, still require a prescription from a Doctor before they are legally permitted to be used in Russia. So, these also will need to be prescribed for you by your Doctor, then the prescription translated and Notarised, if you want them not to be confiscated on your arrival into Russia.

But of course, the main worry is in respect of drugs which are keeping you alive, or reducing your risk of stroke or heart attack.

For these people, failure to comply with the new Russian requirement, will mean making a decision to return immediately, or to risk your life in order for your holiday or business meeting.

So the sensible thing is to get your new prescription well before your travel date, then bring it to me. I will then get in touch with your Doctor [because part of the notarisation process is to certify that the document is genuine] then get it translated. After adding my certification I can obtain the necessary Foreign and Commonwealth Office Apostille. [for more explanation about the Apostille see this link]

A final point is that when you do travel, do please ensure that the prescription medication is carried in its original packaging and not transferred into, say, a pill dispenser in your washbag. This is because if the Russians are not sure whether the pills you are carrying are actually the ones prescribed, they may be confiscated anyway.

The whole process is likely to take a working week, even less in an emergency, but I do suggest that the earlier the process is started, the less worry will be caused.

And stay away from this chap link here.

So:- for personal travel or for Business – for accurate Notarial acts and records, please do contact me or Louise whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

What Use is a Notary? Did you know? – Everyone Can Trust a Notary!

What Use is a Notary? Did you know? – Everyone Can Trust a Notary!

To many a busy business owner, the need to have documents Notarised when trading abroad is in the category of buying petrol for the car. Something you would happily do without, if only you could.

Looking at it from your immediate point of view, I can sympathise. Come into my office, sign your name, get my Seal and give me money. What’s that all about?

And what’s more, I give no advice.

[I am not allowed to give legal advice – I must be disinterested and not take sides].

So why has the Notarial profession been going for over a thousand years, if that’s all that happens?

The point is, that the Notary is checking the proposed transaction. Checking, so far as possible, all aspects of it. He is doing this to protect all of the parties, not just the persons in his office. In truth, least of all for them.

Because, by issuing a Notarial Seal and Notarial certification, he is adding insurance protection to the transaction. In international trade the risks of fraud and loss are very high, and Notarial warranties/insurance add the necessary trust.

An example from a colleague’s desk last month gives an example of theory and practice – this was the case of two people turning up in the Notary’s Office in England, wanting to sign papers for use in Spain. The sort of thing that happens every day.

In this case, the signers were the Director and Secretary of an English Limited Company. They explained that the Company owned a property in Spain and the Company had decided to sell that property to the signers. So they had held a Board meeting and wanted the Notary to certify a Minute of the resolution of the meeting, to go ahead with the sale.

Also, they explained that the Company some time earlier had given a Power of Attorney to its Spanish Lawyers so that the lawyers there could look after the Company’s interests in Spain. Now that the sale was going ahead, they explained that a new Deed was needed to state that the earlier Power remained fully valid.

What those Company Officers had not counted upon, was that the first thing the Notary did was make an enquiry [search] of the English Registry of Companies. This revealed that the Company had recently gone into liquidation. In consequence the right to run the Company has passed to the Liquidator.

Note that this is not the case in the Corporate Law Regimes of all other Countries.

In some Countries the powers of Directors are suspended upon Liquidation, in others the Officers stay in office in order to take winding up steps, in others again they can take active in sales of the assets of the Company, and do so even after a “Dissolution” of the Company in USA. [In USA the meanings of the words “Liquidation” and “Dissolution” of a Company appear to be transposed as compared to the British- English language meaning of the words]

So the purpose of the Notary is also to explain, for those relying on his certificates abroad, the impact of the Law of England upon the facts of the case.

In this matter, it was accordingly not possible for the Notary to proceed with any of the proposed paperwork and he duly refused to do so.

The attenders were warned that their behaviour certainly appeared to be criminal and if it wasn’t criminal, then it was misguided to say the least. They were invited to leave, and to discuss their intentions and requirements with the Company’s current only executive officer, the Liquidator.

The matter was then reported by the Notary to the Liquidator, and to the National Crime Agency.

So, very far indeed from just adding a signature and getting a payment.

Just one example of the way in which Notarial work provides day to day essential protection to Companies, and to their Creditors, and to foreign Lawyers, and to purchasers of property owned by foreigners.

So all together now – Trust me. Link here.

So:- to Business – for accurate Notarial acts and records, please do contact me or Louise whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)