News and Events

Do I Need A Solicitor Or Notary Public?

  • Posted

We at Wainwright and Cummins LLP have been tasked numerous times to sign documents for both new and existing clients, only for that document to later be returned because it was not signed by a Notary public.

As many people don’t know that they will need a document signed by a Solicitor or a Notary Public we have wrote this short article to help clear up any lack of understanding. As there are a number of factors that come into play in regards to the need of a notary’s signature, rather that a solicitor.

What is a Notary Public?

They make up a small and specialised area in the law field. A notary public is usually a Solicitor who has under gone a additional qualification. There are several notaries who are not Solicitors, but this is rare.

One important difference between a Notary and a Solicitor is that whereas a Solicitor’s primary duty is to his client, the Notary’s primary duty is to the transaction and the authenticity of the documents. As Notaries Public are recognised worldwide, they have to maintain absolute integrity and impartiality to maintain the standing of the Notarial profession.

What does a Notary Public do?

The main function of a notary is to certify or certify documents and signatures. In many cases, attorneys can do this work, but it is not unusual for overseas institutions to insist that the notary sign the document.

‘However A Notary may only have limited knowledge of foreign legal systems and is therefore usually unwilling to draft technical documentation for use abroad.’ 

Why would you need a Notary Public?

You will normally require the services of a Notary Public when you have documents that are to be used abroad. The Notary’s signature and seal will verify to the authorities in that country that relevant checks have been carried out and that the document has been properly signed.

You may need to see a Notary to:

  • Get a certified copy of a passport
  • Certify copies of other documents
  • Sign documents regarding to the purchase, sale or transfer of foreign property
  • Sign a Power of Attorney for use abroad
  • Make a statutory declaration or swear an oath or affidavit
  • Confirm your single status in order to marry abroad
  • Obtain duplicate documents for lost passports or other important documents
  • Assign patents, trademarks or domain names
  • Any other documents for use abroad, which require Notarisation 

What are the cost?

The cost varies greatly. Our solicitors will usually charge between £5-£10 to sign documents. Notary people can charge a fee of £ 50-£ 100.

An early indication of the costs can usually be given in advance but so that we can establish the charges please tell us the following:

  • What service you need – witnessing signatures, certifying copy documents, etc
  • The type of documents concerned – e.g. Power of Attorney/ Change of deed?
  • Who is signing/presenting the documents – are they Personal/Company papers?
  • How many documents are there?
  • Which country they are to go to? 

Robert Wood is our in house notary republic; you can book an appointment and get your entire document signed and notarised. Mr Wood has a keen eye for detail and for no additional fee he will run through the document and make sure that you have fill it in correctly. If you are in need of a notary republic please contact use on 020 7095 5700 and ask for Robert Wood, or if you are in the Brixton area feel free to pop into our office.