Notary Public Walsall, Stafford, Cannock & Lichfield

Richard Meere

notary public Walsall, Stafford, Cannock & Lichfield
notary public Walsall, Stafford, Cannock & Lichfield

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01543 682 010

01922 720 333


07831 265 089


Notary Public FAQ

Below is information covering some frequently asked questions about Notaries. Please click on a link below to see the answer.

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is an officer of the law who holds an internationally recognised public office. By virtue of the international status of his qualification, the signature and seal of a Notary Public is accepted in all countries of the world at various levels as evidence of a responsible legal officer.

History of the Notarial profession

Notaries are the oldest branch of the legal profession. They hold an historical office, which can trace its origins back to the occupation of Britain by the Romans and indeed to Ancient Rome itself, where its holder was known as one of the “scribae” or “notarii”.

The notarial profession in England and Wales is best understood from a historical perspective. Until 1533 notaries were appointed on papal authority by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Following the break from Rome, appointments continued to be made by the Archbishop of Canterbury - but on the authority of the Crown. The Archbishop's jurisdiction was, and is, exercised through one of the oldest of the English Courts - the Court of Faculties, now physically located at the Precinct adjoining Westminster Abbey in London. The Court is presided over by the Master of the Faculties who is the most senior ecclesiastical judge and usually also a judge of the Supreme Court. Since 1801 the appointment and regulation of notaries has been underpinned by statutes enacted by Parliament.

The Notary profession is thus regulated, not by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which supervises solicitors, but by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop, based in Westminster, to whom I am answerable.

It is worth mentioning that the laws of many continental countries (such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Greece) are based on Roman law and these are known as civil law jurisdictions. There, the Notary Public plays a greater role. In contrast with that, the laws of England and Wales, along with Australia and most other English speaking countries in the world, including members and former members of the British Commonwealth, have developed substantially from what is known as the Common Law. This has been created, not by the imposition of Codes, whether by Roman emperors like Gaius or Justinian, or French ones like Napoleon, but rather through the application of scholarship and wisdom by members of the Inns of Court and the decisions and judgments issued, and precedents set by, judges in the highest of the Royal Courts themselves.

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Why do I need the services of a Notary Public?

The services of a Notary Public are required because many countries see the Notary as being at the pinnacle of the independent legal professions.

Any document required for use overseas but signed for in this country normally needs to be done in the presence of a Notary Public. A Notary Public will also sign and validate the documents and finally they will be sealed with a unique stamp.

Should the document need to be validated by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office or a Foreign Consulate I will ensure that this process is completed.

For most overseas documents it is not sufficient for a solicitor to authenticate the information.

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Common examples of when you may require a Notary?

  • Buying and selling property abroad
  • Investigating title to land in this country or abroad
  • Affidavits and declarations
  • Change of name by Deed Poll
  • Winding up Estates and Estate Planning

See the Notarial services page for more information about services offered.

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How much does it cost to get my documents Notarised?

My charges are calculated principally by the amount of time I spend on the matter, but can be subject to increase to reflect any special factors such as high value, particular importance, complexity, speed or special skills.

In addition, there may be extra payments (called disbursements) which I have to make, to include such things as fees paid for legalisation, and to agents used in connection with that process, as well as postage, courier charges and other ancillary expenses incurred in carrying out the work. You should be aware that some foreign countries charge considerable fees for legalisation through their embassies. I can supply details in relevant cases.

You will be advised of the amount of the fees and likely disbursements, or where they cannot be accurately specified, an estimate of them, before work commences. Please be aware that you may be required to pay for disbursements in advance of that expenditure, or any liability for it, being incurred by my office.

Please note that payment, in full, of all fees and disbursements must have been received, in cleared funds, before any documents will be released from my possession and control.

For a quotation please contact me.

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Important information when seeing me

The following tips will help save me time and you cost:

  1. Do not under any circumstances sign any document in advance of seeing me. I must see you sign when you are with me.
  2. Only original certificates (as opposed to copies) will be acceptable as evidence of public records such as those of birth, marriage and death
  3. Please provide me, as early as possible before you see me, with a copy of the document(s) that you want me to deal with, together with any other correspondence or advice/requirements that you may have received from any third party, such as a foreign lawyer or agent.
  4. Please try and allow me a reasonable time to study the document(s) and correspondence. This will also help me in considering and telling you what procedures and formalities are required, and also helps to reduce the cost to you; I appreciate that this will not always be possible – for example in the case of an emergency.
  5. You will need to see me personally to complete everything. I can arrange to visit you at your address, if required, but this will inevitably be more costly for you.

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Typical stages of a Notarial Transaction

Each notarial matter is different and the requirements will vary according to whether the client is a private individual or a company. Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:

  1. Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions you may have received
  2. Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. information from Companies House or foreign registries, powers of attorney etc)
  3. Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who is to sign the document
  4. If a document is to be certified, checking with the issuing authorities that the document/award is genuine. In the case of academic awards, this would entail checking with the appropriate academic institutions.
  5. Meeting with the signatory to verify their identity and to ascertain that they understand what they are signing and that they are doing so of their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly
  6. Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document 
  7. Arranging for the legalisation of the document as appropriate
  8. Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019.

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