Notary Public Solicitors for You

Facilitating your legal affairs abroad

If you are working, studying, getting married, buying or selling property abroad, you need to be sure that your documents will be accepted.

Our Notary Public, Tom Sharkey, can prepare, certify and authenticate the key documents you need to be able to smoothly carry out your personal affairs in foreign jurisdictions. We can help to ensure there are no unexpected barriers or delays that could cost time, money and a lot of unnecessary stress.

Get in touch with our Notary Public in Bristol

To speak to our Notary in Bristol, contact Tom Sharkey or complete our online enquiry form.

Our Notary Public service

Our Bristol-based Notary Public can help facilitate a wide range of legal matters abroad, including:

  • Certifying copies of documents (e.g. passports, degrees and educational qualifications)
  • Authenticating a wide range of legal documents for use in foreign jurisdictions
  • Helping prepare documents to allow you to get married abroad
  • Authorising Powers of Attorney for dealing with property abroad
  • Administering oaths and affidavits, declarations and acknowledgements
  • Assisting with visas for working and studying abroad
  • Certifying travel consents for children travelling abroad
  • Assisting with sale and purchase agreements for overseas property
  • Preparing and authorising documents for use in foreign court proceedings
  • Certifying translations of official documents
  • Dealing with overseas deceased persons’ estates

Notary Public FAQs

Notary Publics are qualified lawyers appointed in England and Wales by the Court of Faculties. Their primary role is the preparation, validation and/or certification of documents and transactions under an official seal, meaning they will be accepted in countries outside the UK.

While most Notaries are qualified solicitors, it is in fact an entirely separate branch of the legal profession. This means that an individual has to be a separately qualified as a Notary Public in order to carry out this role.

Notaries will be needed if you require someone to witness a signature, prepare copies of paperwork or authenticate documents that will need to be legally recognised in a foreign jurisdiction.

Common reasons for using a Notary Public include:

  • To buy or sell foreign property
  • When opening a bank account in another country
  • When getting married abroad
  • Certifying translations of documents
  • Certifying a Power of Attorney for use abroad
  • Setting up a business agreement in another country

It is strongly recommended to consult with a Notary Public when considering carry out any personal matters abroad to ensure you know exactly what documents you will need to rely on and can have these properly prepared, certified and/or authenticated. This helps to minimise the chances of any problems or delays later.

Very few solicitors are qualified Notaries, with only around 850 currently working across the UK.

Unless your solicitor is a qualified Notary Public, they will not be able to prepare, authenticate or certify documents for use abroad, meaning you will need to seek out a qualified Notary.

An apostille is a stamped official certificate attached to a document by the UK government’s Legislation Office. This certificate confirms that the document has been correctly notarised by a registered Public Notary, helping to ensure that it will be accepted in foreign jurisdictions.

Before issuing the apostille certificate, the Legislation Office will check that the Notary Public who prepared the document is registered in the UK and that the signature on the document matches the one on record for them.

Not all documents to be used abroad will need an apostille, but a number of foreign governments and other organisations do require them. It is therefore essential to check this before attempting to rely on any documents abroad.

Our Notary Public can advise you on whether legalisation by apostille is required in your circumstances and take care of this for you where necessary.

This is entirely dependent on the circumstances, including the type of document, how many documents you need notarised etc. We recommend contacting our Notary Public at the earliest possible opportunity so we can advise you exactly how long the notarisation process is likely to take. Appointments are available at short notice for urgent matters.

Our fees

Our Notary Public Tom Sharkey’s current hourly rate is £240, and his minimum fee is £90. He does not charge VAT. In the case of straightforward matters, we can offer fixed fees. We will agree these with you before carrying out any work.

If the matter proves to be more complex during your appointment, i.e. there are more documents or people involved than previously indicated or further stages of work are required, we reserve the right to renegotiate the fee or agree to charge the work at the hourly rate instead.

For a no obligation quote for a specific Notary Public service, contact Tom Sharkey or complete our online enquiry form.


You are responsible for all payments which we make on your behalf, i.e. legislation fees paid to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Companies House fees or special postage charges. We will not charge for these disbursements without obtaining your consent first.

Further information

Our Notary Public can usually complete notarial work at one appointment. Please be aware that the obtaining of apostilles or embassy legalisation can take up to 7-10 days, or longer for some embassies.

Notarial services can often be provided at short notice. Where matters are particularly urgent, it is possible to use consular agents to obtain apostilles/embassy legalisation, although the agents do charge a premium fee. We can provide a quote for express legalisation upon request.

Our notarial services are covered by the firm’s Professional Indemnity Insurance in the sum of £10m.

To speak to our Notary Public in Bristol, contact Tom Sharkey or complete our online enquiry form.

Our Notary Public is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.


    How can we help you?

    We’re here to help. Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Or call us on 0117 325 2929.

    Get Started Online

    Ready to make a start? Our online system allows you to get started anywhere, any time.

    Start Now