FDR Law Legal Clinic Legal advice from Stephen Poyner, Notary Public based at our offices in Warrington
Q: What is a Notary and why might I need one?
A: A Notary or a Notary Public is a qualified lawyer who provides a legal service for businesses or individuals involved with international trade.
Notaries are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties. Notaries adhere to similar rules that govern solicitors in that they are insured for the protection of their clients and the public and must comply with stringent rules of practice, conduct and discipline.
The main function of a Notary is to “notarise” documents, meaning to formally witness or verify. Predominately this procedure is used in situations where a document is required for international use. For example a business may need papers relating to an overseas commercial or property transaction verifying.
Having a document notarised is not just a rubber-stamping exercise, the international duty of a Notary requires a high standard of care, not just to the client but also to anyone involved in the transaction process, which may include Governments or officials of other countries.
Notaries must act independently as the overriding duty is the transaction. Therefore great care is essential at every stage to minimise the risks of errors, omissions, alterations, fraud, forgery, money laundering and the use of false identity. Their duty is to ensure that full compliance is reached with the relevant requirements both in the UK and aboard and will maintain full records and a register of works carried out.