As useful as it would be, there is no rule or provision in this country that neatly sets out what types of documents a notary can or cannot certify.
The one fundamental principle
, however, is that there must be some form of document that is intended to have legal effect and which will be relied upon by another party. For example, a power of attorney is a document frequently encountered and certified by notaries. A work of art, on the other hand, would not fit this description. Against the backdrop of this general position a London Notary Public will assess whether there is any fraud, violence or other illegality involved, such as money laundering or tax evasion. If any of these points come to light the particular notary may decline to act and, if applicable, contact the police or file a disclosure with the UK’s National Crime Agency etc.
Those documents which may be notarised can be divided into two broad groups.
1] The first group concerns those documents where a Public Notary in London witnesses a signature taking place . This could range from a private client granting a deed of gift (where the notary will certify the signature, identity and capacity of the person making the gift as well as the binding nature of the act) to a company trade mark assignment (where the London Notary will attest the signature and identity of the appearing party, the legal status of the company being represented, its capacity to enter into this type of document, the signatory’s authority to act and the valid execution of the document).
The second group, by contrast, relates to documents which can be issued by notaries without the need for any party to sign in front of them
. Examples of this include the provision of a certificate of law or the notarisation of a UK-registered company’s memorandum and articles of association following an inspection of the appropriate file at Companies House.
Whilst there is no exhaustive list of what documents can be notarised , the following are those which are frequently attested by notaries: statutory declarations and affidavits, powers of attorney, corporate minutes and resolutions, deeds of transfer of title, share purchase agreements, loan and finance agreements and certified copies.
Notaries in London have a wealth of expertise when it comes to what documents can be certified and what procedure must be followed. It is frequently the case that notaries familiar with the subject-area will be able to provide advice on the nature and effect of a document, its drafting as well as its correct execution. A London Notary Public will then usually be able to offer clients additional "legalisation" services . This means that these notaries will be able to assist not just with the certification of a specific document, but also its inter-country validation through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (known as the “Apostille” procedure) and/or a particular Embassy or Consulate.
We deal regularly with documents relating to protection of patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial designs when clients want to protect their brand, products and service in markets across the world. If you trading abroad, this video gives a useful introduction to steps you should take. We can help you notarise, legalise and translate documents; and with the benefit of our experience and global contacts, we can also help you find lawyers, patent attorneys and others advisors to help you get this right first time.
Notaries form the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales. Despite this, the role they play and the services they provide remain relatively unknown to many in this country. However, due to London’s position as a major global trading centre, for many firms in the capital the services of a notary are invaluable when conducting business around the world. Calling upon the services of a London notary public will be a regular occurrence for Company Secretarial and legal departments of companies with international interests.
The notary’s role is to make certifications of fact and law so that they may be relied upon by others. As opposed to Solicitors whose primary duty is to their client, the notary’s primary duty is to the transaction itself. In the vast majority of cases, it will be a party overseas who is the ultimate recipient of the notary’s certification. In the case of Scrivener Notaries – a specialist, linguistically trained, branch of the profession providing notarial services in London – the notarial certification will often be issued directly in the language of the country in which it is to be used.
The form the notary’s certification takes will depend on the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction. The most common form of “notarisation” requires the Notary to certify the signature, and where appropriate also the capacity and authority of one or more parties to a legal document.
MEETING A NOTARY
Where a London notary public is required to certify signatures, the signatories will usually need to appear before the notary in person. The signatories will also need to identify themselves to the notary by production of a valid passport, national identity document or other acceptable proof of identity. In addition the notary will also need to see proof of the signatories’ residential address such as a recently issued bank statement, utility bill or council tax bill. It’s advisable to clarify what proof of identity and address will be acceptable to the notary before booking an appointment.
The notary may also need to ascertain that the signatories appearing before him have the necessary capacity and authority to act, particularly where they are representing a company or other legal entity. In such circumstances the notary will be able to advise what further documentation is required.
"REMOTE" NOTARIAL SERVICES LONDON
The certification of signatures is not the only type of attestation that an individual or company might require from a provider of notarial services in London. Notaries are often called upon to certify the authenticity of documents such as academic qualifications or copies of corporate documents held on file by the UK Commercial Registry – Companies House. These services can often be provided remotely through email correspondence.
In addition a London notary public may often be called upon to provide certified translations of legal and commercial documents or arrange legalisation by “Apostille” or at the Consulate or Diplomatic Mission of the country where the document is to be used. Again, it will often be possible for this to be arranged without the need for a meeting between the client and notary.For more information, please call us on +44 (0)20 7208 2900.
You can assure your clients and your own senior management team that documents entrusted to us will be kept secure and confidential when they leave your possession.
There are more risks today than ever before that their security and confidentiality could be breached, so that assurance is critical. We can give it … with confidence.
As specialist multi-lingual notaries working with businesses that operate internationally – including more than a third of all the FTSE 100 – we handle an array of often commercially sensitive documents; for example, related to new intellectual property registrations, new business launches, mergers and acquisitions in countries around the world for companies operating out of the UK..
“Our ISO 27001 certification (probably unique amongst specialist Notary practices) demands that De Pinna focus constantly on maintaining and improving our information technology and security techniques, by implementing, communicating and pro-actively monitoring Internationally Recognised Best Practice Information Security Controls.” ( Phillip Journeaux, Partner )
It is essential that these documents remain secure; that their confidentiality is protected and kept away from prying eyes as they are processed through us for a) notarisation, b) legalisation at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and relevant Consulates and c) translation in local languages for the countries where these documents are to be used, where that is needed or can be beneficial.According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, May 2015: 23% of people open phishing emails and 11% open the attachments in those emails.
“Our people know not to .. and they don’t!” (Nick Georgoulis, IT Manager)
Risks of breaches in security and confidentiality are on the increase; significantly, primarily from “cyber breaches” on one way or another. In spite of all the talk about “hacking” and “phishing” (which are serious risks that need to be guarded against) the biggest risk to security and confidential data arises from the activities of employees; either through intentional mischievous and illegal acts or, more frequently, down to negligence, error, indifference and carelessness.
The IT-related threat believed to have the greatest impact on an organisation’s ability to be cyber resilient and the most likely to occur is human error. ( Ponemon Institute Research Report, Jan 2016
It is well worth registering for and reading that Ponemon report “The Cyber Resilient Organisation in the United Kingdom: Learning to Thrive against Threats” as there are some excellent pointers there on how to tackle document and data security issues in any business.
“Getting engagement from partners and employees to adopt the disciplines that are essential to protect data and documents is the most difficult challenge – but we have managed that successfully!” (Ryan Moody, Partner)
Just some examples of the steps we take to ensure protection of data and documents:
… and much more.
Ensuring document and data security and confidentiality is a strategic commitment from the management team. Day to day compliance is now routine for all employees and an integral part of the business. (Phillip Journeaux, Partner)
If you want to find out more about our journey to achieve and maintain ISO 27001, how it can help you and your clients; or even how what we have done might inform your own plans for introducing ISO 27001 or more effective data security in your team or your business – please feel free to call me on my DDI: +44 (0)20 7208 2943, get in touch here or at email@example.com