Notary Public, Legalisation & Translation Services
Comprehensive services for businesses and individuals, in London and Reading
Doyle Clayton's Notarial team is led by Partner, Sukhpal Matharoo a highly experienced notary public. His team provides notarial, legalisation (and apostille of documents) and translation services for both organisations and individuals from our Mayfair, City, Canary Wharf and Reading offices.
A UK notary public is typically a solicitor or barrister that has taken an additional qualification (through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury) to join the Roll of Notaries and become a notary public.
Notaries, unlike solicitors (who provide a wide range of advisory services to their clients) focus on a single specialised area - the certification, preparation and legalisation of documents in order for them to be used in the UK or another country. Documents prepared by a notary public may be of a personal nature (passports, wills, degree or diploma-related documentation) or of a corporate nature (deeds, certificates of incorporation etc.).
A notary public's duty of care lies with the document they are notarising (using a notary seal) and ensuring that it is authentic and legal. A solicitor's primary duty of is to their client and always acting in the client's best interests.
Do I need - a notary public or a solicitor?
It may not always be clear as to whether a document needs to be signed before a notary public or a solicitor.
Usually you will have been sent a letter or email of instruction advising you as to who you need to see regarding your document by the person or business who has asked for your document to be authenticated.
If you haven't this should be checked and confirmed either personally or by a notary public. As a general rule of thumb, if a document is to be used overseas and you have been asked to have it “certified”, “attested”, “verified” or “notarised” it almost certainly needs to be dealt with by a notary public.
Notarisation - what is it?
Notarisation is the official fraud-deterrent process that assures a document is authentic, can be trusted and that its signature is genuine. It also confirms that its signer acted without duress or intimidation and intended that the document's terms should be in full force and effect.
(Notarisation is required to enable a specific document to be be accepted abroad by courts, registries or other notaries/lawyers who will only recognise a document once it has been signed by a notary public.)
The form of notarial certification will vary according to the document and the country in which it is to be used. Generally, the notary public is certifying the genuineness of the signature(s) on the document, the identity and capacity of the person signing and, if applicable, their authority to represent the company or entity they are signing on behalf of. It may also be necessary for the notary public to certify that the document has been correctly executed in accordance with English law which requires an understanding of the formalities of executing deeds and documents. A notary public can also certify true copies of original documents and the truth and accuracy of translations. In all cases, a notarised document bears the notary’s signature and official seal of office.
The process of notarisation consists of three parts - vetting, certifying and record-keeping. Notarisations are also sometimes referred to as "notarial acts."
We can help with all official company or personal documents that need to be notarised officially, including the following:
- Powers of Attorney
- Statutory Declarations
- Copy Passports
- Copy Documents
- Written Statements
- Application Forms
- Education certificates
- Mortgage Documents
- Property Purchases
- Company documents
- Certificates of Incorporation
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Trademark Assignments
- Bills of Sale
- Maritime Bills of Sale
- Ship Mortgages
Recent notarisation work for organisations includes:
- Advising company clients as to how best to notarise documents for use abroad to ensure their acceptance in the relevant jurisdiction.
- Attending clients at their homes or offices for their convenience and/or in order to turn around documents in minimum time. This has included being contacted by a client and attending their offices and notarising their documents on the same day and where required on the same morning or afternoon.
- Notarising company documentation including certificates of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association for a company client looking to set up an office in Saudi Arabia. Also obtaining a certificate of good standing in respect of the company from Companies House and notarising that document. This work needed to completed at short notice and was completed within 24 hours of the initial instruction.
- Meeting with company directors at their offices in London to certify documents including powers of attorney to authorise employees at a subsidiary company in France to act on behalf of the company.
- Notarising patents and trademark documents for a pharmaceutical company for use in over 20 different countries. In total approximately 100 documents were notarised for the client. This included visiting my client at their offices in Reading and in Cambridge to witness their signatures to the documents concerned. The work including both sets of visits and the notarisation of all of the documents was completed within a week.
- Certifying ID documents and academic certificates for company directors for use in connection with setting them up as directors of an entity of the company in Spain.
Recent notarisation work for individuals includes:
- Notarising powers of attorney documents signed by individual clients in respect of the purchases and sales of properties overseas.
- Notarising consent to travel documents signed by one parent allowing the other to travel abroad with their children.
- Certifying ID documents such as passports and driving licences for various purposes including immigration applications to live and work abroad.
- Certifying academic certificates for individuals who would like to work abroad and are required to have their academic documents verified.
- Attending clients at their homes or at work where required in order to notarise the documents in a manner and place convenient to them.
Drafting and reviewing documents
As well as notarising and certifying existing documents, we can prepare documents for you from scratch, including powers of attorney, company resolutions and statutory declarations. Alternatively we can review documents which have been prepared and advise if any changes may be required.
Recent drafting and reviewing for companies includes:
- Preparing Powers of Attorney for use abroad and thereafter notarising these and arranging legalisation (if required). We regularly work with lawyers overseas to ensure that the documents we have prepared will be accepted overseas.
- Preparing Board Resolutions and Board Minutes – these are often required to confirm the authority of the signatory to sign a document (such as a Power of Attorney) on behalf of a company.
- Preparing affidavits and statutory declarations for use where the overseas country requires an individual to confirm the authenticity of documents referred to in the affidavit or declaration. Affidavits and statutory declarations can also be used by the signatory to confirm the truth of truth of documents under oath or by means of a declaration. This is often required for commercial litigation disputes.
- Reviewing and amending pre-existing documentation to ensure its accuracy and compliance with UK law.
Recent drafting and reviewing work for individuals includes:
- Preparing Powers of Attorney in respect of the appointment of an attorney abroad to act on behalf of a UK signatory. This is often prepared in the context of providing authority for family, friends and advisers based abroad to buy, sell or manage property.
- Preparing consent to travel documentation to be signed by a parent that will not be travelling with their child overseas and consenting to such travel.
- Preparing affidavits and statutory declarations as to the to the authenticity of documents or as to the truth of a particular issue. This is often required for clients involved in legal claims or for the purposes of an overseas marriage or a change of name.
In many cases, your documents may not only require to be notarised but also legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or by the embassy of the country where the documents will be used.
If your documents need to be legalised or apostilled we will be able to liaise with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the appropriate embassy or consulate on your behalf.
We appreciate that our clients often require this work to be done in a hurry or do not have the time to deal with the legalisation process. We can therefore handle all of these steps for you.
Recent legalisation work includes:
- Advising clients on legalising notarised documents to ensure that they are not rejected.
- Obtaining legalisation of documents by means of apostille within 24 hours for clients. One company client we recently dealt with required a document notarised, apostilled and in Spain within 2 working days as part of a business sale. This was achieved using an expedited apostille process and express courier.
- Obtaining consular legalisation of documents at Embassies in London including the following: China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Qatar. Our notary’s seal and signature is registered at the majority of Embassies in London which means that documents that he notarises will be accepted for legalisation at the relevant Embassy.
- Obtaining bulk legalisation of multiple documents for use in several different countries. Co-ordinating the process to ensure that the relevant documents are sent to the correct embassies and managing the legalisation process to ensure the swiftest turnaround time.
Translation of documents
Our notarial services are normally required by those involved in transactions or dealings overseas. This means that some of the documents you need to have notarised might also need to be translated into the relevant language. You may also have documents that don’t require notarisation but nonetheless still require translation.
We offer a translation service using qualified translators for the translation of any existing documents you have in order to make them acceptable for any overseas jurisdictions where they may be required. We can also notarise the accuracy of documents translated by qualified translators.
Recent translation work for companies includes:
- Arranging the translation of company documents from English into Arabic for use in Saudi Arabia for a company client based in the British Virgin Islands and then notarising the translated documents. Translation obtained with 24 hours and notarisation within 1 further day meaning that the work was completed in three working days.
- Arranging the translation of company documents for a French company into English for a French company client for use in the United States and then notarising the translated documents.
- Arranging the translation property documentation from English to Spanish for use in Panama for a law firm client. Notarising the translated documents and arranging legalisation.
Recent translation work for individuals includes:
- Obtaining the translation of birth and marriage certificates from English to Mandarin for a client to be used in China as part of an application to go to work in China. Notarising the translated documents and obtaining legalisation at the Chinese Embassy.
- Obtaining a translation of academic qualifications from Hindi to English for an individual proposing to emigrate from the UK to Australia. Thereafter notarising the translated documents.
- Obtaining a translation of copies of ID documents from English into Russian for a client planning to move to Russia to work. Notarising the translations and obtaining apostilles.
Advantages of using our service
We’re used to working to tight deadlines and turning documents around swiftly. We’re also happy to travel to your offices to carry out notarial work. We also have offices in London (Mayfair, City, Canary Wharf) and in Reading if you would prefer to meet at one of our offices. As mentioned above, our comprehensive service includes obtaining legalisation of documents, as well as arranging for them to be translated and couriered anywhere in the world if necessary. Sukhpal is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi as well, if you need.
If you have regular documents needing notarial services, we can streamline the process to make it easier each time you need to use us.
Recent articles and news
- It's summer so it must be time for a holiday! But do you need to get a consent to travel in respect of your child first?
- Need to notarise or apostille a document? Then act now!
- Legislation changes.
- Apostille - delays.
- The need for speed.
For more information or to discuss your requirements please contact Sukhpal Matharoo at email@example.com, or call on +44 (0)118 959 6839 (Reading) or +44 (0)20 3696 7171 (London-Mayfair) or +44 (0)20 7329 9090 (London-City) or connect with him on LinkedIn.
You can find out more about our notarial and legalisation services from our Notarial and Legalisation Services brochure.