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:- 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)