A notary public is a qualified lawyer appointed in England and Wales by the Court of Faculties to primarily prepare, validate or certify documentation and transactions under an official seal so they become effective in countries outside the United Kingdom.
Whilst many Notaries are also qualified solicitors, the actual role of a notary represents the oldest and smallest branch of the legal profession and plays an important role today in supporting international trade.
In addition to international trade agreement validations and attestations, Notaries play an ever more important role for individuals in validating personal documents, for example:
- powers of attorney for use overseas
- sale and purchase agreements relating to overseas assets
- affidavits and similar documents for use in foreign court proceedings
- copies of passports and other documents of identification
- certifying degree and educational certificates for use abroad
- verification of documents relating to births, deaths and marriages
- verification of adoption papers
- statutory declarations and supporting documents for marrying abroad
- certified translations
- certificates of residency
- administration of oaths and declarations
Whilst there are under a thousand Notaries throughout England and Wales, Chattertons has two lawyers also qualified as Notaries who can be contacted either by completing our online enquiry form or by telephoning us using one of the numbers shown on this page.
Complaints and Regulation
The principle rules that govern the work of a Notary are the Notaries Practice Rules 2014. Notaries are regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Faculty Office may be contacted at 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT, by telephone on 020 7222 5831, www.facultyoffice.org.uk or by email faculty.office@1TheSanctuary.com
If you do have any concerns then these should be directed to your Notary in the first instance, but if the complaint cannot be resolved then a complaint to the Notaries Society will provide a quick resolution to any dispute.
Even where a complaint has been considered pursuant to the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure or after a period of eight weeks from the date of making the complaint to your Notary, then refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at: Legal Ombudsman, Baskerville House, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2ND
Tel : 0300 555 0333 or firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.legalombudsman.org.uk