Most documents which require notarisation are for use in foreign jurisdictions. For this reason, if a Client has significant questions about the drafting, meaning or purpose of a document, I will normally advise that these be resolved with the Lawyer who drafted the document before it is signed, or with another Lawyer practising in that jurisdiction. In some cases I can provide details of foreign Lawyers practising in the UK or in the relevant foreign jurisdiction.
I can advise on the notarisation process, requirements for legalisation (see below) and help arrange the delivery of documents. My colleagues at DMH Stallard can advise on the English law aspects of commercial and private transactions. I can also put Clients in touch with Lawyers in most European and some other countries through LE International (lei-network.com).
If you are uncertain about any aspect of the Notarial process, or any document you will be signing, please ask. As indicated above, I cannot normally advise on the legal requirements of or draft documents for use in a foreign jurisdiction, but will try to help in contacting a lawyer who can assist.
Proof of Identity
Unless you are a regular Client, I shall require proof of identity (usually a current passport) and of address (recent utility bill, bank statement or similar) when we meet. If possible, please bring copies with you (passport, identification page only).
Documents for Companies etc
If you are signing a document on behalf of a Company, Charity or other organisation, I will need to check that you have authority to do so (e.g. a company resolution). In the alternative, I will carry out a company search; this may cause some delay and result in an additional fee.
Please ask for advice, if you need it, when making an appointment.
Authentification of Original Documents
If you need me to certify the authenticity of an original document (academic or professional certificates, etc.), I will need time to contact the relevant institution. Again, if you can raise this when making an appointment, this may save time for us both. Please note that response times vary widely, and some bodies may take up to two weeks to reply, when asked to confirm the authenticity of a document. In some cases it may be necessary to go through this process when I am asked to certify copies of original documents, if the foreign organisation to which you will be sending the certified copy requires this.
Notarised documents may be intended for use in important legal transactions, or to confer powers on third parties. Some Notaries have had recent experience of false or forged documents being produced to them. I therefore reserve the right to check the authenticity of any document should I feel it necessary to do so before signing or releasing it. This may also apply to documents proving identity.
I will charge on a set fee basis for notarising documents and arranging legalisation or authentification. For drafting documents, detailed advice, travel to appointments, liaison with other lawyers etc. I will normally charge on a time basis. I do not charge VAT. Please ask about fees when making your appointment.
Fees are payable at the time of the appointment, by cash, cheque or online bank transfer, unless we have agreed other arrangements.
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