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De Pinna - London Notary Insights

by Allan Carton 31 May, 2017

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). 

2]  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.




by Allan Carton 04 Apr, 2017

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.

by Allan Carton 04 Apr, 2017
As a London notary public, we notarise documents to be used in other countries on a daily basis.   Having an insight into the legal system operating in a particular country and being able to speak the language is of real benefit to the notary and his or her client.  As a leading provider of notarial services London, De Pinna is often asked to notarise documents for Italy.  Our specialist Italian department are on hand to provide this service.

Some of the questions clients often ask us are:

Q:  I need to sign a document which is entirely in Italian. I don’t speak the language. Can you help?

A:  The answer is yes, absolutely. One of the primary duties of a London Notary Public is to ensure that the client fully understands the content of any document signed before him or her. De Pinna has a team of notaries and support staff who are mother tongue or fluent Italian speakers. We also work closely with a highly skilled panel of translators. Where clients do not speak Italian, we are able to arrange a suitable English translation of the text.

Q: I speak Italian but my lawyer and the notary in Italy do not. Does this mean I need to have the notarisation translated into Italian?

A:  The notaries at De Pinna always issue notarial certifications which are to be used in Italy; directly in the Italian language (unless instructed otherwise). This saves the time and expense involved in having an Italian translation made of a notarial certification issued in English.
 
Q:  I have an Italian friend / family member / client who needs to sign a document in front of a notary but s/he doesn’t speak English. Can you help?

A:  Yes, our bilingual team is able to communicate with clients in Italian during meetings and also in any correspondence before the meeting takes place.

Q:  What documents can you notarise for Italy?

A:   There is no exhaustive list of documents De Pinna can notarise. In truth, a provider of notarial services London will react to the requirements of the country where the documentation is required. A London notary public will generally deal with a mix of both private and corporate client documentation and this is no different for the Italian Department at De Pinna. Powers of Attorney, Declarations, Board Resolutions, Certified Copies of Academic and Professional Qualifications are just some of the documents we see on a regular basis.

Q:  I’ve been told that I also need to get an “Apostille” after the document has been notarised. What is this and can you help?
 
A:   The “Apostille” was established by the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents of 5th October 1961. Both the UK and Italy are members to this treaty and as such public documents (including acts issued by a London notary public) issued with an Apostille stamp in one country will be accepted in the other. In the UK, the Apostille is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The Apostille essentially confirms the authenticity of a notary’s signature and seal. De Pinna has a team of messengers who attend the FCO each day to obtain Apostilles on our client’s behalf.

Q:  What do I need to bring to the appointment?

A:  This will vary according to many factors such as the nature of the document and whether it is a private or corporate matter. Our Italian department will be able to advise you fully prior to any meeting taking place.

Q:  How much will it all cost?

A:  The fee charged by providers of notarial services in London will vary according to the nature and complexity of the work carried out as well as the time it takes. Please email us copies of all the documentation in advance in order to obtain a cost estimate.

For more information, please call us on +44 (0)20 7208 2900.

by Kaya Thompson 04 Apr, 2017
Posted:   18th September 2014
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