Palmers Solicitors LLP

Bridging the gap

Notary Services

What Is A Notary?

A Notary, otherwise known as a Notary Public, is a qualified lawyer – a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. Notaries are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are regulated by the Court of Faculties. Their origins can be traced back to the time of the Roman occupation of Britain. Notaries have been appointed by legal authority in England and Wales since the thirteenth century. Just like Notaries in countries with Civil Law jurisdictions, Notaries in England and Wales are authorised to carry out all kinds of non-contentious legal work. Accordingly they can carry out all types of legal work carried out by Solicitors apart from litigation. They are effectively Civil Law Lawyers and are a bridge between the various Civil Law Jurisdictions and the Common Law Jurisdiction of England and Wales.

The Official Seal of a Notary

Notary Seal

A Notary holds an official seal. Notarial Acts under the signature and seal of a Notary have probative force and are recognised as evidence of a responsible official legal officer in all countries of the world. The Rules of the Supreme Court provide that "A Notarial Act or Instrument may be received in evidence without further proof as duly authenticated in accordance with the requirements of the law unless the contrary is proved".

What Does A Notary Do?

A Notary usually deals with the preparation and authentication of documents for use abroad. Notaries are recognised internationally, although for historical reasons, they play a lesser role in United Kingdom domestic matters. They also have all the powers of a Solicitor, other than the conduct of litigation.

A Notary prepares Notarial Acts, including Authentic Acts, which are documents executed in England and Wales for use everywhere in the world. The Notary's work includes drafting, reviewing and explanation of legal documents for use outside the UK.

There are two basic types of Notarial Act; those in Private Form and those in Public Form.

The Private Form is when a Notary attaches a Notarial Certificate by way of authentification to a document thus converting it into a Notarial Act.

The Public Form is an Authentic Act/Instrument drafted by a Notary, which will include verification of identity, legal capacity and understanding of the document and awareness of the contents and confirming authority to enter into the transaction eg. in the case of a corporate body and also authenticating the contents after verifying the same.

Getting Ready To See One of our Notaries?

Each case will be different, but usually the Notary will:

  • expect you to make an appointment
  • need you to bring evidence of identity as detailed in our Explanatory Note about Identification Requirements for Individual Clients such as at least a current valid passport, a driving licence and official document showing your National Insurance Number and proving your address.
  • need to be satisfied that you understand the document(s), particularly a document which is not in English.
  • want to see any relevant papers or documents that relate to the matter

If you want one of our Notaries to come to your office or home this can be arranged, but there will be an additional fee

What Does It Cost?

The fee will be based upon how much time it is necessary to spend on your matter.

Where only one visit to the Notary is required, it is expected that you will pay the Notary's fee at the time of your visit.


Both of our Notaries are authorised and regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury of 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT and are members of the Notaries Society (of England and Wales).

Why Choose our Notaries

Both of our Notaries have many years of extensive Notarial experience and all of them qualified as solicitors before qualifying as Notaries. They are both long standing members of the Notaries Society (of England and Wales).

Our Notaries long experience with Notarial work means that we are very likely to be familiar with your requirements and will be able to guide you in order to achieve your objectives in the most cost effective and efficient way.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Our Notaries are covered by Palmers Solicitors LLP's Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy.


Our Notarial Practice is not registered for VAT and so no VAT is payable on top of our fees.

Terms of Business

In all cases we only act in accordance with our Terms of Business