A Notary, also known as a Notary Public, is a lawyer who is authorised by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to authenticate legal documents usually for use in a foreign jurisdiction. Their conduct is regulated by the Court of Faculties under Acts of Parliament from 1533 to 1990.
Notaries are the oldest branch of the legal profession, going back to Roman times, when they were appointed to help protect people at a time when few were literate.
Nowadays, notaries are usually solicitors who have undertaken additional post-graduate training and supervision to qualify and practise in the authentication of legal documents.
A Notary will verify the identity of each client, their legal capacity, that they understand the document they are signing, and their authority if signing on behalf of another party such as a limited company.
Following this the document will be authenticated, signed and an official seal applied to the document.
Richard Drake became a Notary in 1985 and provides notarial services to clients in Berkshire, Wiltshire and surrounding areas. He is based in our office in Hungerford but can attend your office or home if appropriate.
Legal documents intended for use in a foreign country or state will usually need to be authenticated by a Notary before they’ll be accepted.
This could include documents such as powers of attorney, sworn statements, contracts, property documents and certificates of law. The documents may have been prepared in the UK or by a foreign lawyer.
As a qualified lawyer, the Notary Public services Richard most commonly provides include: