Welcome to Notary Public Knightsbridge
We offer Notary Public services to customers in Knightsbridge and the surrounding areas.
Appointments are available either at our offices or at a location to suit you.
For a quotation or to make an appointment please visit the contact page.
Services are offered to clients in Knightsbridge and throughout the neighbouring districts.
Welcome to our service. Our highly skilled notaries are independent lawyers authorised to officially act as impartial witnesses in the signing of your legal documents. Such documents commonly include affidavits, property deeds, wills, trusts and Power of Attorney to name a few.
Generally, the bulk of our work deals with taking affidavits and statutory declarations, oaths, affirmations, and authenticating documents. Below is a sample of the services we provide:
- Authenticating documents for marriage and or divorce
- Authenticating the contents of documents for adoptions
- Attesting (witness) signatures and execution of documents
- Attesting documents and or signatures
- Authenticate documentation for work visas
- Consulate Authentication Services
- Administer oaths and declarations
- Authenticating documents / execution of documents
- Foreign transactions
- Verification of translations
- Powers of Attorney Service
Today, notaries are primarily used in the deterrence of fraud. However, they have an ancient and rich origin. The office of Notary is traced back to the Roman Empire where they evolved from being court officials who helped the judges, to taking over the judicial duties of authenticating documents with their own special seal. The use of an individual seal is still part of a notary’s manifesto.
After the Reformation and the split in the catholic Church, the Papal Office passed the appointment of notaries to the British monarch in 1533. The Crown mandates the Archbishop of Canterbury to oversee the appointment through the Court of Faculties in London.
QUALIFYING AS A NOTARY
People often ask how you become a Notary. This is a good question. A degree in Law is a perfect starting point. If you refer to the Notaries (Qualification) Rules 2017, it provides that an applicant must be ‘of good character’. Also, requisites in the Act are that a Notary:
“is at least 21 years of age and has satisfied the requirements of these rules; and
Has taken the oath of allegiance and the oath required by Section 7 of the Public Notaries Act 1843; and
Is, except where such application is made under rule 4 (ecclesiastical notaries) or rule 8 either a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, or a barrister at law or a Chartered Legal Executive or holds a Degree”.
It is no surprise that most applicants are solicitors. Over 90% of notaries are practising solicitors. Legal professionals, or those with a recent qualifying law degree and Legal Practice Certificate (LPC), can apply for an Exemption from the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury from studying core legal subjects. Applicants progress to study the Diploma in Notarial Practice. This is a two-year distance learning course that is currently offered by several institutions such as UCL, where students’ study both Private International Law and Roman Law in year one, and Notary Practice in the second year.
The professional body; The Notaries Society, states that “all newly appointed notaries shall, for the first two/three years after their appointment, have their practice as a notary supervised by another notary”. This is a reassuring policy that ensures all notaries meet the highest standards.
Will you provide a Notary or their contact details?
- We will provide you with a Notary in your immediate area, or as close as practicable.
- All our notaries regulated legal professionals and members of The Notaries Society.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
- It is a legal requirement that notaries must be able to identify the person before them. Therefore, they require:
- Proof of Address dated within the 90 days
- Photographic I.D. such as a Driver Licence/ Passport
- Some clients may need extra proof(s)
- All our notaries will enquire as to your legal capacity in transactions, your understanding of the documents that you require notarising, and answer any questions. Please note you may need to prove the requisites as required, e.g. Power of Attorney.
- Notaries must see original documents so please ensure no copies are presented.
Why not make an enquiry today and we will answer your individual questions. We can also book an appointment on your behalf.
Is it Confidential? What about Data Protection?
- Of course. All notaries are statutory data-controllers. Therefore, when you attend with one of our notaries all work is recorded in a formal ledger. This is required by the Regulator. Your notary will make a true copy of all documents and safely store these as part of the legal record. All data is kept in a safe, incorruptible format, and only shared as per the lawful terms set down by the Regulator, or with authorities if lawfully demanded.
I need a document translated. Do notaries do this?
- Official translation services are something we offer in connection with our notary services. Please note specific rules bind the provision of notarised translation.
What about companies or entities?
- Your notary will require certain proofs if you are signing on behalf of a body, company, charity, or other entity.
- Documents such as official letterheads, Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association, Trust Deed, etc. may be required in addition to usual proofs. These will be explained in simple terms ahead of your attendance.
Can a solicitor notarise my documents?
- While most notaries are solicitors; most solicitors are not notaries. While objectively it might appear that a solicitor can do the task, legally they often cannot offer special notary services. Notaries are impartial and deal solely with authenticity of documents as opposed get involved in contentious issues. We respect all our fellow legal professionals and the work they do. Unfortunately, unless they are a specially trained notary, they cannot notarise.
What is Notary Authentication or Legislation?
- This certified that the notary’s seal and attestation are genuine. Namely, the document is originates as claimed. National Consulate offices usually stamp the document(s) for you in this regard.
- Signatory countries to the Hague Convention have agreed to accept what is called an Apostille instead. This may not be the case in several exceptions. Always check with us and we will be happy to help.
So, what is an Apostille?
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues special certificates called Apostilles. These confirm the signature on the document is genuine and that the signature is original and genuine too.
What is a Power of Attorney?
- The Powers of Attorney Act 1971 and the Companies Act 2006 govern Powers of Attorney (POA) within England and Wales. A POA confer power onto another person to act on your behalf or for a company. The POA is a legal document.
Do I have to attend a particular office? How long does it all take?
- An appointment will last less than an hour in most cases. If you wish, or needs demand, we are happy to arrange for a notary to call to your home or business. We ask for enough time to meet this specific request.
Can a Notary give legal advice?
- That is a good question. The role of a Notary is to certify, prepare, attest, and authenticate documents designed to be used in international transactions. However, the role of a notary comes with limitations and they are unable to give certain advices to their clients. Notaries should remain neutral and impartial. Notaries can advise on the formalities of the process(es) involved though.
- Please note that solicitors who act as notaries do not usually advise clients on the documentations used in transactions. It is best practice to seek independent legal advice.
How much does a Notary charge?
- Fees vary according to the nature of any work done by your notary.
Please note you may need to pay other costs, such as translators. Contact us for a quotation.
Do the Bar Council or Law Society regulate notaries?
- The Faculty Office at the Archbishop of Canterbury regulate notaries as per the guiding legislation, not these bodies.
- All notaries are regulated under the Legal Services Act 2007.
- Notaries must renew their practising certificates annually and can only do so if they have complied with the statutory obligations.
- They are professionally insured via indemnity cover for the protection of their clients and the public. Client funds are kept separate from their own and they must comply with strict rules of practice and rules relating to conduct.
REGULATION OF NOTARIES
The Master of the Faculties within the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury holds the statutory power for regulating notaries. The Master is also the Dean of the Arches. Their power originally derives from the 200-year-old Public Notaries Act 1801, an Act introduced to statutorily oversee the regulation of notaries. The Act’s preamble then described it as “for the better Regulation of Public Notaries in England”. Today, the Legal Services Act 2007 and the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 oversee all regulation statutorily.
If you have a complaint please contact The Faculty Office at the Archbishop of Canterbury in London.