How To Convince The Land Registry That You Are Not An Imposter. Or, How To Protect The Land Registry. Form ID1.

How To Convince The Land Registry That You Are Not An Imposter. Or, How To Protect The Land Registry. Form ID1.

I have blogged a few times now, about the consequences of the decision of the Government that the Land Registry must do away with “Title Deeds” as evidence of Land ownership, after October 2003.

Here are some of those blogs, – read and weep. –Link Here –  – And Here –  – And Here-

It does seem to me that the Land Registry has abandoned a system based on paper – or sometimes parchment if not actual vellum [google it!] – for systems based upon computerisation more for reasons of appearing to be “up to date” than for any actual good purpose.

Because a fraudster is not going to be able to persuade a purchaser that he is the owner of land to which he holds no title deeds, if title deeds are necessary to prove ownership.

But since the abolition of the need for title deeds, all a fraudster has to do is to pretend to be the real owner of the land. This is of course still difficult but it is a whole lot easier than it used to be.

Hence the rise in frauds.

There have been many frauds when unwitting solicitors have been instructed to act. And as the cases which I have blogged about show, when those frauds have come to light, the solicitors have usually been made to pay all the compensation.

And because the solicitors have done nothing wrong, the Courts have been inconsistent, sometimes ordering the fraudster’s solicitor to pay, sometimes ordering the honest party’s solicitor to pay, and sometimes ordering the money payment to be split between them. The inconsistency arises because there is in truth no moral reason why either firm of solicitors should pay, so it is necessarily all a bit random, however the judges have tried to dress it up in veneer of logic.

And thus generally no Government department usually loses out when this kind of fraud takes place if there are solicitors involved to carry the can.

Therefore we can understand the concern of the Land Registry when a transaction is put forward for registration, where one or other of the parties has acted for themselves without a Solicitor involved.

No whipping boy, oh dear oh dear, it may think.

And hence their requirement of form ID1, [Identity 1] to accompany every land transaction worth over £6000 where a party acts for themselves.

In an attempt to make sure that any fraud will be underwritten by a professional insurance policy, the Land Registry ask all Buyers and Sellers of land who have done their own conveyancing to go see a suitable professional person and get that person to certify their identities.

Then of course if A is pretending to be B, sells B’s house and runs away, the person who identified him on Form ID1 to be B, and who has not run away, is in a spot of bother.

Now there are people who don’t like using Solicitors, so it must seem to them to be a bit of a catch 22 if in order not to use Solicitors when buying or selling land, they have to go and see a Solicitor anyway.

And it is a bit odd, to ask a Solicitor to do this. The role of a Solicitor is to act for a Client. If a Solicitor acts carelessly then that Solicitor must compensate C.

Traditionally, the only person to whom a Solicitor is liable is C. Or, if he botches the writing of a Will for C, he may be liable to C’s intended beneficiaries. But that is it. There is no concept that a Solicitor is liable to the whole wide world for the consequences of his or her mistakes.

So in the worst case can the Land registry actually sue a negligent or fooled Solicitor when all he has done is unwittingly fill in a form ID1 for a crook: – but who is not acting for the Land Registry, who has no contract with the Land Registry, who is not even being paid by the Land Registry? I really wonder.

Properly, it’s a job for a Notary. Just to say, you can come see me instead. Notaries are in the business of authentication and the authentication of identity is number one on our list of what we do all day. And we –Notaries – are liable to compensate anyone who loses out by relying upon our certificates.

There’s a song about it. – If you want to know who we are – Link Here –

And as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world as well as forms ID1 in England, do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website



People do ask – what is the difference between a Notary and a Solicitor?

People do ask – what is the difference between a Notary and a Solicitor? [a -Training and Exams]– Why must this document for use abroad be made by a Notary? [a -Because Foreign Law says so]

The situation in England is further complicated in people’s minds by the fact that there are few if any Notaries who are not or have not also been Solicitors. So what difference does it make which hat they have on?

One of the most fundamental differences, is the mental attitude which is brought to bear.

When S/he is a Solicitor, Mr/s NP will approach your documents with the aim of ensuring that they achieve your purpose. S/He is acting for you and for your best interests. Whilst s/he will not lie for you, s/he will keep your secrets and release information only after you have authorised doing so. If there are aspects to your documents which are very much to your advantage, and which s/he reasonably suspects are aspects which “the other side” may not have noticed, s/he will not point out any bear traps to them.

When S/he is a Notary, Mr/s NP should not act for you if s/he is also your solicitor.

When S/he is a Notary, Mr/s NP is acting for “the Transaction” regardless of who is actually paying the fees.

That means – not giving advice to anyone. Checking that the person in my room tells me that they fully understand the significance of the paper they wish to sign and has taken all legal advice they consider necessary.

Then the Notary will give a certificate without regard to the interest of anyone or anything other than the truth.

An example from my mailbag is an enquiry from a Notary who asks what should be done in this case:-
“The Managing Director of a large Public Limited Company has made a Statutory Declaration relating to setting up an overseas company before me yesterday. The content is the document was typed in by his staff. Now it transpires there was a small* typo –an error in his Date of Birth. His secretary is quaking (apparently God answers to this Managing Director rather than the usual arrangement) and as he has flown to USA this morning he cannot simply make a fresh Declaration today. They want to know if they can hand-amend the Date of Birth, having checked with the receiving party that would be acceptable to them. My strict view is that if – as he has – the declarant has declared the information contained in the Declaration to be “true, accurate and complete” then no amendment should be made. Am I correct?”

*NB “small” – his words, not mine!

Now wearing the Solicitor’s hat you might think this is an answer:-
“If, as I assume would be the case,
1. You would have been happy to simply add your initials (together with those of the declarant) to a correction, by hand, to the date, at time of its declaration and
2. The recipient is happy to accept the correction with the initials of the declarant alone, then I really don’t see a problem, as long as you obtain a copy of the final version for your own records.
And – Why re-date it? If I understand you correctly, the MD is in the US, with the Stat Dec (dated yesterday), and the recipient will be happy with the manuscript amendment being initialled by the Declarant alone. What’s the problem?”

As a Notary however, my reply must be:-
It is your sad duty to explain to him that, he having made a false statutory declaration, he must now serve a prison sentence.
No exceptions, not even for God’s boss, who is too important to read the words of his own Declaration.

Or, less flippantly,

Why can a new Statutory Declaration not be made in USA? There are Notaries in every coffeehouse, very reasonable fees.

AND the problem is that the date is now different, all that happened yesterday, and today God’s boss is in the States and cannot initial the amendment nor its re-dating.

BECAUSE – the inconvenience of the situation is neither here nor there to the Notarial mindset. All that matters is the truth of the transaction and the paperwork surrounding it,

And BECAUSE A statutory declaration is an oral statement made in front of a Notary. The fact of the oral statement is documented on paper. Therefore, no change to the paper can alter what was declared orally in my room; alteration can only provide a false documentation of the oral declaration.

If a man has made a statutory declaration in my presence, he has averred something to be true and has accepted that if he speaks falsely then he is in peril of jail for perjury.

If he later sees that because of carelessness, the statement contains a falsehood such as an incorrect date of birth then the way to correct this is to destroy the false document and make a new true one.

And certainly, if he instead chooses to make and initial an amendment to the false one then that is nothing to do with the Notary and I certainly don’t want him to tell me about it.

He cannot expect me to replace my protocol copy of what actually took place, with a copy of his defaced – he would say corrected – original, which now appears to document a declaration which in fact never took place.

I mean – if I gave him a fiver in his change, he can cross out £5 and write £10 and initial it if he wants. Nothing to do with me though is it?

There is no place in notarial work for the somewhat solicitorial perception that the correct thing is to do “what is needed to get the job done”, acting from the point of view of the “client”.

Maybe I was never cut out to be a Solicitor. When I was one, some years ago, I once was asked by a client to give advice after he discovered that he had bought a plot of land which did not have the rights of way he thought it had. And he thought it had, because he had not read the paperwork and had refused to let me “waste time and increase the bill” by explaining everything to him before he went ahead with the purchase.

My advice to him was that he “should now live with the consequences of his mistake”.

That went down well.

Hey ho, it’s Christmas, goodwill to all etc. So here –Link Here – is a splendid song: Have a Happy Christmas and New Year.

I will blog again in 2018.

Remember, if you require our services or if you have any queries on any of the services that we offer then please so not hesitate to email us and

Or alternatively please telephone on 0113 8160116 or 07715608747. Please also feel free to visit our website

Morrison Supermarkets Dropped In It Again! Look Out Data Controllers. Look Out Insurance Companies. And Indeed, Look Out, Everyone Who Pays For Insurance.

Morrison Supermarkets Dropped In It Again! Look Out Data Controllers. Look Out Insurance Companies. And Indeed, Look Out, Everyone Who Pays For Insurance.

The Court case described in this Blog is very timely, for me, since it directly deals with the obligations and liabilities of Companies and individuals in relation to Data Handling, Data Storing and Data Protection, the subject of my most recent two Blogs, Link Here and Link here.

And also you may remember my fairly recent Blog when I wrote about what seemed on the face of it to be a very unfair case from the point of view of the Supermarket. Link to my Blog. Link to the case report. Mr Mohamud –v- WM Supermarkets plc

This was the case of an employee of Morrison working in one of their petrol service stations who seemed to take exception to being asked if he would be willing to print out from a USB stick. A polite “No” would have done it. But, he attacked and beat his customer.

Hardly what he was employed to do.

However I suppose that if Morrison had not been held liable then the poor customer victim would probably have been quite unable to obtain compensation for his injuries. Possibly, as a rule of thumb, maniacs who work in petrol stations and subject random customers to random violence, are not the kind of people most likely to have “high net worth”.

Now this month it turns out that Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc doesn’t seem to be the luckiest when it is comes to defending claims of vicarious liability – just now in the past week they have lost another one, this time in the area of Data Protection.

The facts seem similar – an employee who was trusted to do his job properly, suddenly turned rogue.

In this case, Mr Skelton was a trusted employee in the IT and data handling department of Morrisons, trusted to liaise with the Company accountants and supply sensitive data when necessary.

Although the Company knew that Mr Skelton had recently been disciplined for sending his own personal postage through the firm’s post room [even though he had paid for the stamps he used] and also knew that he felt that the treatment he had received was unnecessary and unfair, it had no reason to suppose that ideas of revenge would lead him to release the entire employee personal database contents onto the internet.

The Court heard that Mr Skelton has been jailed for eight years. He has denied the charges, but the Courts are satisfied that he deliberately intended to cause financial and reputational harm to Morrisons.

Indeed, Morrisons has already spent over £2million in rectifying the data breach both internally and on the internet, so he has deliberately cost them that money.

Of course, he also risked causing untold damage to the over 100,000 supermarket employees whose salaries, bank detail and NI Numbers he sent to newspapers and posted on data sharing websites, exposing each and every one of them to the risk of data theft which is on-going.

A full transcript of the Court case decision is here – link here – I found it fascinating, almost like a novel, in setting out what has happened, and what should be done about it and why.

The first Court decision is, that Morrisons are not themselves in breach. Of all the possible reasons why they might have been found in breach of the Data Protection rules, only one stood up to merit any kind of examination, this an alleged breach of Data Protection Principal No. 7.

Which says “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data”

And after considering that in the context of the particular case, the Judge found that – yes – there is room to criticise Morrisons in that PP No 7 requires “appropriate technical and organisational measures” and in this case the court did not find a measure in place to require Mr Skelton to both delete the sensitive data after a reasonable time nor that he was required by Morrisons to prove that he had done so. BUT see paragraph 120 of the judgment: the Court also found that this “failure” neither caused nor contributed to the data breach.

So, there is it, – subject to only one failing which was not material , the Court found that Morrisons had done nothing wrong.

But that is not the end of the case. Just like in the case of Mr Mohamud, where Morrisons had done nothing wrong either.

Because the law is the law, and it includes the concept of vicarious liability —-
For example, in an engineering works, imagine that the Management requires machines to be used only with safety guards in place. Staff are regularly reminded of this, there are signs all over the place. Then, because he is under pressure, or whatever, a worker A uses a machine without a guard and worker B passing by is hit by hot metal from the machine and blinded. A guard in place would have prevented that. Worker A is behaving in a way the management would never condone. Worker A will get into trouble, might be sacked, and management has tried as hard as it reasonably can to prevent this happening, but the management is vicariously liable.

Unfair on management, fair on worker B, it’s the law.

What may send a quiver of worry through businesses and insurance companies alike is the rather scant regard the Judge gives to worries that these data protection cases might bankrupt your business, or cause huge increases to your insurance premiums.

He says in para 158 – “I note that I have not been referred to a single case in which it is said that vicarious liability had overwhelmed a company. I HAVE NO DOUBT THIS IS BECAUSE MANY COMMERCIAL ENTITIES WILL COVER THE POTENTIAL LOSSES BY APPROPRIATE INSURANCE WITHIN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF TRADING.”

So that’s all right then, eh?

Motto is, eyes like hawks at all times.

But managing employees is an exercise in herding cats, and the cleverer they are the harder it can be.

If your employees are holding mad grudges and are determined to fool you and to “take revenge upon you”, for the time being at least [pending an appeal] it seems that you will have to pay in the end.

No doubt insurance companies are sharping their pencils to increase premiums on data protection insurance matters, as you are reading this.

Final thoughts: – there is no doubt the Judge has real concerns about all this.

He has not failed to notice that in finding against Morrisons, he is doing exactly as Mr Skelton hoped he would.

Para 198, “The point which most troubled me in reaching these conclusions was the submission that the wrongful acts of Skelton were deliberately aimed at the party whom the claimants seek to hold responsible, such that to reach the conclusion I have may seem to render the court an accessory in furthering his criminal aims.”

Food for thought, when it is the law which is giving this criminal what he wanted.

The case decision contains the words that “no earlier case of vicarious liability has gone quite so far as this one in holding an employer liable for the consequences of an act of an employee designed specifically to harm that employer.”

[Compare the more usual case, of the unguarded machine say. There, the careless worker would probably have been trying to maximize production and minimise delays, which would ultimately benefit the employer. Also, the management could have done more. Machines can be set up to be inoperative if the guards are not in place.]

The Judge is clearly not pleased to be Mr Skelton’s accomplice. Nor that the facts of this case might give comfort to malcontents nutters and even terrorists seeking ideas to undermine the financial stability of companies from within.

Funny old world, innit.

Here’s the song [ It’s not my fault ]

And as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website


Part 2 – GDPR Compliance. Health and Safety for Data.

Part 2 – GDPR Compliance. Health and Safety for Data.

OK it’s not the most riveting subject, but sometimes that’s life. To resume from last week, the issue is that by May 2018, all of us who have European clients or contacts and hold data, will have to be compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679.

And to focus all of our minds, the fines which can be imposed on those whose lack of attention to the rules have contributed to a data loss, could close down our businesses entirely.

If we assume that the steps discussed in my Blog last week – link here – have been taken, then you have your Data Protection Policy written, and a Privacy Notice ready to give to each new client or contact.

So that’s all fine, but no business can operate in a vacuum. Imagine how many third parties are in the chain between Amazon, say, and its customer who has ordered a new watch. Banks, couriers, web search engine operators, third party suppliers, all need to be sharing some aspect of the data which has been given to Amazon.

In my own case, I use agents to attend Consular offices, and I use Couriers. And of course I cannot mend my own computers or set up my office network or website. So there are boffins who occasionally need to get inside my computer remotely. Which means of course that everything I store on it – absolutely everything I know about my clients – can be stolen if I let the wrong person have that access.

So next to protect yourself so far as possible, you obviously need to choose these people as carefully as you can. And in the modern world, after everything has gone wrong in spite of your best precautions then you will be required to document the basis upon which you have reached your final choice. I suspect that “we just googled the cheapest” will not cut it.

Therefore, you will be wise to create a “Policy upon Appointing Suppliers” document. Of course, that will be a rod for your own back, if having created the document, it turns out that one of your employees just “Googles the Cheapest” anyway. You need to ensure that every person in your business who can make deals with suppliers, reads the policy and acts upon its principles every time.

This can be the hardest part of the whole endeavour. If you have bright independent-minded work colleagues and employees, one of the most frustrating things a manager is faced with is getting them to behave in accordance with the policy in the manual. The phrase “herding cats” sums it up. It really will be necessary to refer to the data protection policies of your business as a routine item at every board meeting and team meeting to keep it in the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Industry has taken on board the responsibility it has to health and safety; now it really must give the same attention to the safety of the data it holds. Doing so will protect the financial health of your business.

Once you have your policy as to how to choose a supplier you will need to consider how to apply that policy in a particular case. Sometimes, businesses will consider that the specialist knowledge of the supplier is so far removed from their own that the best practical measure is to issue a questionnaire. At the least, you can seek the supplier’s assurance that it is aware of its own Data Protection responsibilities and has its own policies and measures in place.

The cynical will say that the whole thing is an exercise in CYB – Cover your Back. But honestly, even if everyone does have covering their own backs as the primary motive for compliance with the rules that’s not such a bad thing.

Same as driving within the speed limit, it doesn’t matter if the motive is to avoid fines and disqualifications – still the result may be that nobody died.

Every business is different so each one will have to come up with its own policies, rules and questionnaires, and decide for itself how many meetings to hold and how often.

But a most important point is, that everyone, repeat everyone, needs to be included in the process.

I imagine that a hacker would probably not try to scam data access from the Chief Executive Officer of your business. If your part time receptionist has a computer, then that is as good as the CEO’s computer, and it may be an easier task to scam access there. By, pretending to be “from IT” or whatever.

Vigilance as ever is the key and as I said last week, I am very open to ideas and suggestions from you. Do please get in touch and tell me how you and your business are facing up to GDPR for 2018.

And in the meantime, as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website




Are We All Ready for Compliance With GDPR? I’m Not!

Are We All Ready for Compliance With GDPR? Oh, You Are, Are You? Good For You.

If you are all ready for GDPR, Feel free to leave the room.

For the rest of us, read on.

The deadline for compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (“GDPR”) is approaching, and Brexit will not save us.

On 25th May 2018 any business with European clientele needs to comply with the principles of the Regulation. Or what? you ask. A slapped wrist and a formal letter requiring you don’t do it again?

How does a fine of 20 MILLION Euro, or 4% of your turnover whichever is GREATER sound?

That’s going to make people take notice I think: speaking for myself, I am not too keen on dropping 20 million every few weeks.

Now I am not claiming expertise in these matters, I imagine that I am in the same boat as most of my readers who are in business and interact with clients on the internet. Which is, aware of the existence of the Regulation, aware of the need to comply with it, and a bit concerned as to how to go about that.

So if I share my thoughts with you, can I ask you to share with me please? Do please tell me how you are setting your own businesses up.

Seems to me, that the requirements at base are that each business must
1 Comply with the GDPR, and
2 Be able robustly to resist any suggestion that it has not done so.

Or to put in a different way, if challenged, or if any data is ever stolen from us, we must be able to show evidence that we have considered the requirements of the regulation, decided how best to comply, and actually complied.

The best, perhaps only, way to demonstrate this is to start from the position of having a business-wide DATA PROTECTION POLICY.

This is a document which does not need to be published or available on the internet for everyone in the world to read, but it needs to be agreed by the business, shown to all employees, available to all at any time. And once it has been prepared, it needs to be followed.

So whilst the document above does not need to be published, there is then a further document which very much does need publication. Every existing contact now, and then every new contact of the business, for whom you hold any data (so that’s all of them) needs to be made aware of their rights and your obligations in respect of those rights.

You need to issue this, the PRIVACY NOTICE.

This explains what data you will retain and how you will process it. It gives contacts the option of saying “I don’t agree” – in which case they can chose to go elsewhere. Much like the website boxes we all tick to say – I agree with your terms and conditions. What do you mean, you never read terms and conditions? Shame on you.

And in order to avoid that 20 million Euro fine, it would be handy to be able to prove that the Privacy Notice has actually been issued. The obvious way is to include it [or a link to it on your website] in every email sent from your business.

That still leaves the occasional contact who wanders into your office in person, or the person who has not yet joined the internet/email revolution. Yes, they exist.

Those people need to be handed written copies of the Privacy Notice, and ideally you might give them two, one to keep, and one to sign and return to you for your file.

Whether or not your Privacy Notice says so [and I would say it should do] your contacts will have rights – rights to view the data you hold, rights to correct mistakes in it, sometimes rights to have it erased. You need to understand what rights they have, so that you can implement them on request.

So if you do all that this week, come back next week for part two.

As I have said, I am learning this as I go, so if I am one page ahead of you, that’s fine.
If I am actually far behind you, do please drop me an email and help me to catch up!

And in the meantime, as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website


Authenticating Your Educational Certificates – “Help please I am overseas!” Louise Morley Assists.

Authenticating Your Educational Certificates – “Help please I am overseas!” Louise Morley Assists.

Many clients email me from overseas requesting assistance in verifying, notarising and legalising copies of their English Educational Certificates i.e Degrees, Transcripts as genuine.

The main concern is that they are not in England and need to deal with this remotely – i.e by email.

This need not be not a problem – we can usually do this for you.

Upon hearing from you, we will contact the educational institution which has issued your certificate(s) – Degrees, Diplomas, Exam results etc, to confirm authenticity.

Each University and school will have a standard procedure which needs to be followed and they usually charge a small fee of around £10.

If you are already overseas then this is not an issue – we can deal with this remotely i.e by email.

The norm is that the University will require that the student sign a consent authorising them to release the verification details to us.

We will prepare any necessary consents and email them directly to you for signing and dating and scanning and emailing directly back to me if this is allowed, otherwise you may need to post the “wet signed” consent back to us.

Upon which country you require to use your notarised certificates depends the process which next must be followed – different countries have different requirements and it is our job to keep up to speed with the latest guidance for notarisation and legalisation – if you are unsure as to the requirements for notarisation and legalisation then why not ask the experts! (And that would be us by the way!)

An example of a country that does continuously change the process necessary to obtain their certification stamps would be The People’s Republic of China “PRC”.

Their strict guidelines must be adhered to. Not just one Authorisation needs to be provided but two! – Also if there is any discrepancy with your name listed on the certificate and the name listed in your passport [often we find that your University will have omitted your middle name from your Degree Certificate. Why do they do that?] then again the PRC will reject. They will require an Affidavit is prepared and sworn before a Notary confirming that the name discrepancy is an error and the certificate is yours.

Another example UAE – UAE will not have any bundling of documents whatsoever – so if you have a degree and a related transcript then you may think they both could be attached together to make one document thereby saving on legalisation fees as the UAE charge £37.50 for a private document and a whopping £500 for a commercial document – but no, the UAE will not accept any bundling – all documents must be separate. And separate fees must be paid.

All I am trying to say is don’t be worried. If you are overseas or of course, if you are in England, and you need your certificate(s) verifying, notarising and legalising for use abroad – then why not let me worry about the requirements and instruct me to proceed on your behalf?

As always, Please do contact me or Chris whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for any of your Documents– at – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)


Power of Attorney and other Deeds for use in Foreign Countries

Power of Attorney and other Deeds for use in Foreign Countries

Probably the work we are asked to assist with more than anything else is the witnessing of the execution of Deeds of Power of Attorney.

It’s not surprising really. We are in Leeds, our clients are local, and they want to complete transactions abroad.

Realistically, unless you can afford the time and money which you would have to invest in going to the foreign country, and staying there until all of the necessary paperwork has been prepared and completed, you will have to appoint someone else to do the paperwork for you.

Usually, that will be a lawyer qualified and working in the foreign Country concerned.

Otherwise, it may be a friend of yours there , a relative, or a business partner .

Either way, you will have to execute a paper authorising that person to act on your behalf. “Execute” means in this context, sign it in the presence of a Notary Public .

Typical problems we come across on a regular basis include:-

The foreign party give a vague instruction to our client along the lines of “just sign a letter of authority”. Yeah, right.

If you go down this road, expect them to respond in due course along “Your letter of Authority is nearly right. But we can’t use it because ……..”

Really the best advice I can give is that if you are told from abroad to “just sign a short letter of authority” then you should say – Please draft the wording you need me to sign.

That way, your Turkish, Afghan, whatever agent must produce the form of authority which they require. And if they later say – “oh it’s not quite right” for any reason at all, then you are perfectly justified in saying – “Well, we signed the form you sent us, so if it’s not right, ok, but you will have to pay the wasted fees”.

There are many many rules and wrinkles which we in AtkinsonNotary are well aware of.

For Example, for Spain, sign each page. For Florida and California and India and Zimbabwe and South Africa, you need two witnesses as well as the Notary.

In Italy and South Africa, if you do not use black ink, your document will be rejected however correct it may otherwise be. Conversely, in Florida, you should use blue ink. Yes, I know.

And once the paperwork is correctly executed in England there is the question of legalisation.

For most countries of the world, a Foreign and Commonwealth Apostille is necessary. We can get this.

For many countries, the Apostille is not enough. For example, UAE will also require a consular stamp and currently a fee of £500.00 if there is a commercial aspect to the case.

There is increasingly a tendency for the Consular offices of different Countries to apply their own somewhat random rules.

China will need a certified copy of the passports of the signatories. And of the passport of a Company Director if any Company is the subject of the notarisations. It has recently decided to request two additional separate application forms to accompany each stamp application.

Bolivia needs every non-Spanish language document to be accompanied with a translation into Spanish, and the Consulate will charge for each. It is cheaper therefore to ensure that each Bolivian paper is written in two columns, one column being the Spanish text.

The Dominican Republic needs a Spanish translation or else the Consulate will prepare a translation and charge you for it.

Angola needs all of the above and will still reject the document if the translated languages are sewn into the document in the wrong order, – The Portuguese text must always appear first.

So there you are. It’s easy if you know what to do. [And we do] And it’s impenetrably difficult if you don’t.

What can I say? Come to AtkinsonNotary and we will sort your documents. First time, no hassle. Honestly, you will thank us for it. See the testimonials on the AtkinsonNotary website, and our Google reviews. Every one 5 star. [Tempting fate? I hope not].

Well if we don’t blow our own trumpet, who will?

So the song this week – In a Foreign Land.

As always, Please do contact me or Louise whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)