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Personal Law

If you are managing your personal affairs abroad you will most probably require a Notary in the UK to certify your identity and signature. You might find that you need to use the services of what is called a Notary Public to authenticate or ‘notarise’ a legal document.

Whilst notaries are often solicitors, it is a separate profession and regulated by the faculty office of the Archbishop of Canterbury rather than the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

When might you need a Notary?

The principal role of a Notary is to provide independent proof of documents, transactions and facts to the satisfaction of authorities overseas. For individuals this will usually involve dealing with the requirements of lawyers or others overseas who have advised that you need to get a document notarised or legalised.

You may require notarial services for Power of Attorney, certification, attesting and legalisation purposes. The following are further examples of when you may require a Notary:

  • Buying or selling property overseas. The Notary witnesses powers of attorney to enable the appointment of lawyers overseas.
  • Applying for work overseas. The Notary verifies and certifies copies of academic qualifications in support of applications.
  • Proving your identity to an organisation overseas. The Notary certifies copies of passports and other documents that may be needed.
  • Sponsoring a friend or relative to bring them to the UK. The Notary drafts and/or witnesses the sponsorship declaration to satisfy UK entry requirements.
  • Freedom to marry abroad. The Notary certifies affidavits and declarations in support of marrying overseas.
  • Adoption applications relating to a child overseas. The Notary drafts and witnesses the often extensive application documents.
  • Share dealings or time shares in the USA. The Notary witnesses the signing of an acknowledgment in support of applications.
  • Legalising documents at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or relevant embassy. The Notary can make the application (also known as obtaining an Apostille or consular legalisation) on your behalf
  • Taking oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations. The Notary can prepare and administer these for use in foreign jurisdictions or court proceedings.
  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). The Notary drafts and witnesses declarations in support of applications.
  • Pensions from an overseas provider. The Notary confirms the continuing existence (proof of life) of those entitled to overseas pensions.
  • Deceased relatives with overseas assets. The Notary provides Certificates of English Law to enable the estate to be administered.
  • Consent to travel. The Notary drafts and witnesses the appropriate document.

Girlings has an arrangement with two local Notaries, Andrew Johnson and Lindsay Sharp. They are both members of the Notaries Society of England and Wales and are able to provide a full range of Notary Public Services to both Private and Corporate Clients.

For more information, please visit:

Andrew Johnson: tel: 01227 811713

Lindsay Sharp: tel: 07884 497220