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Notary Public Services

Facilitating your legal affairs abroad

If you are working, studying, getting married, buying or selling property or carrying out any other kind of business 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 or professional 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.

As well as being a qualified Notary Public, Tom is also a highly experienced solicitor and Barcan+Kirby partner working in our Private Client department. He is member of STEP and holds the STEP Advanced Certificate in advising vulnerable clients and is a legal representative under the Law Society Mental Capacity Welfare scheme

This expertise means Tom is able to offer an exceptional level of service for legal matters related to probate and other inheritance issues involving foreign jurisdictions, as well as matters involving vulnerable people and mental capacity issues.

Whatever your requirements, we aim to offer a swift, efficient service, giving you complete confidence that when you need to carry out personal or business affairs abroad, you can do so effectively.

Get in touch with our Notary Public in Bristol

To speak to our Notary Public 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 business and personal legal matters abroad, including:

  • Certifying copies of documents (e.g. passports, driving licences, professional qualifications)
  • Authenticating a wide range of legal documents for use in foreign jurisdictions
  • Confirming a person’s single status to establish their legal right to get married abroad
  • Authorising powers of attorney for dealing with property abroad
  • Administering oaths and affidavits
  • Assisting with visas for working and studying abroad
  • Certifying consent letters for school trips abroad
  • Validating and attesting international trade agreements
  • Assisting with sale and purchase agreements for overseas assets
  • Preparing and authorising documents for use in foreign court proceedings
  • Verification birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates and adoption documents
  • Certifying translations of official documents
  • Preparing certificates of residency

Our Notary Public fees

Some of our notary services can be provided on a fixed fee basis, while others may be charged at an hourly rate, depending on the nature and complexity of the matter with which you need assistance.

For a no obligation quote for a specific Notary Public service, please get in touch.

Notary Public FAQs

What is a Notary Public?

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.

Why do I need a Notary Public?

Notaries can be useful for a variety of reasons, both personal and business. In most cases, they 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 or across national borders

It is strongly recommended to consult with a Notary Public when considering carry out any business or 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.

Can’t I just use my own solicitor to certify my documents?

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.

What is legalisation by apostille?

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.

How long does having a document notarised take?

This is entirely dependant 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. That way, you can be confident you will have the documents you need when you need them.

Contact our Notary Public in Bristol now

Our Notary Public works with clients all over the UK and can be available to meet with you at any of our 6 offices spread across Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Clifton, Horfield, Kingswood, Queen Square and Thornbury. We can also arrange visits at your home or business premises for your convenience.

To discuss your requirements and/or book and appointment, contact Tom Sharkey or complete our online enquiry form.

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