Richard Ollis LL.B, T.E.P. - Notary Public


Notary Services

Notarial practice is a separate and distinct element of legal service in England and Wales. It cannot be provided by solicitors. Most often it concerns the attestation, authentification or verification of documents, facts or events in circumstances which involve a foreign legal element. The form of certificate, authentication or other document or instrument prepared by a Notary is known as his “notarial act”, and may be, according to its nature and effect, either a public act or a private act.

The presence of the Notary's signature, often in combination with his unique official seal, will render the document in question, or the facts or circumstances attested by him therein as acceptable proof for the purposes of the judicial or other public authorities in the foreign country in which they are to be used.

The notarial services I provide include:

  • authenticating the due execution of documents and, in some cases, their binding effect under English law
  • authenticating the truth, accuracy and /or reliability of the contents of public and private documents
  • authenticating personal identity
  • preparing powers of attorney (or their equivalent) for use in foreign jurisdictions. In civil law jurisdictions they often take the form of a public act.
  • advising on testate and intestate succession to property abroad
  • preparing commercial agreements and deeds to take effect in foreign countries
  • certifying corporate records and resolutions of UK companies for the benefit of foreign courts and public bodies
  • taking evidence from witnesses in England for use in foreign courts
  • taking affidavits, oaths and affirmations
  • noting and protesting bills of exchange
  • dealing with immigration formalities
  • preparing notices of protest following damage to ships or cargoes at sea
  • securing what is called “legalisation” of acts at foreign embassies and consulates in London or by “Apostille” at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • keeping records. You may be surprised to hear that public acts must be preserved for ever

The preparation and completion of notarial acts requires a very high standard of care, since they are likely to be relied upon, not only by the client but also by third parties and officials at home and abroad. The Notary has to protect against the risk of inaccuracy, error, interference, forgery, dishonesty, money laundering and fraud.

In my practice as a Notary, unlike as a solicitor, where the Solicitors Regulation Authority exercises jurisdiction, I am regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Practice Rules issued from there from time to time. My notarial records, including client specific information, are kept separate and distinct from the accounts and records of Lodders. We do however share limited amounts of client personal data (names and addresses only) for the purposes of marketing the respective services which we separately provide.

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