Michael Lightowler Notary PublicAs a Notary I am asked to perform a wide variety of services mostly in connection with peoples’ affairs outside the United Kingdom, although I believe there is an increasing role for notaries within our own country and this could give rise to new areas of business.

A principal task of the Notary is to render your documents acceptable in the country in which they are to be used, subject to being provided with the relevant paperwork and information in the necessary format and details of any special requirements of the recipient. All Notaries are subject to professional rules and regulations and must act independently and impartially at all times.

It is important to appreciate that the role of a Notary will often include checking the identity of the person signing as well as his or her legal capacity, authority and understanding of the document. A Notary’s duty is to the transaction (rather than to individual) and it is important to ensure that people who are signing documents do so freely and voluntarily and without pressure or duress.

Only after the Notary is satisfied on these points, can he provide the necessary certificate. Our acts and instruments are recognised throughout the World and may be relied upon by many parties. That is why it is important for Notaries to make all the necessary checks beforehand. A Notary may be required to prepare documentation (including his Notarial certificate) in order to give full effect to the particular transaction.

The oath a Notary takes when he is admitted to practice, requires him to exercise his duties faithfully and to the best of his skill and ability, and to make contracts or other documents for or between any parties without adding or altering anything that may alter the substance of the facts set out in the document without their prior approval. A Notary may not make any such contract or document, if undue influence or fraud is involved.

The following are examples of the types of work I undertake most of which fall into the general categories of verifying, certifying or authenticating signatures, documents and various acts and events.

  • Authentication of identities, signatures and authority in relation to business and personal transactions
  • Preparation and execution of Powers of Attorney and other documents for use abroad
  • Taking declarations, sworn statements and affidavits for use abroad
  • Witnessing and attesting the execution of foreign wills
  • Authentication of transfers of patents and trade marks
  • Preparation of sponsorship forms for visiting foreign citizens
  • Legalisation service with the Foreign Office (“Apostille”) Foreign Embassies and Consulates
  • Certifying copy documents including passports and academic and other certificates and many kinds of commercial documents
  • Letters consenting to minors travelling abroad

This is not an exhaustive list but examples of the kinds of services which I am mostly called upon to provide. If you are uncertain about what you need to do, I will be happy to discuss it with you.

I keep copies of all official documents that I prepare or authenticate, which serve as a record and I am required to make these available to all those who have a proper right to see them.

Documents that I deal with may be in a foreign language. If so, I have to ensure that both I and you understand their meaning and effect. Notaries do not generally give advice; this is the job of the foreign lawyer engaged in the transaction. It is important that you show me any correspondence or advice that has been provided to you and which may have a bearing on how your documents are processed.

Types Of Work I Undertake

  • Shipping

    Preparation and noting of protest and authenticating shipping documents and certificates.

  • Certification

    Certifying copy documents including passports and academic and other certificates.

  • International Wills
    International Wills

    Witnessing and attesting the signature of foreign wills.

  • Parental Consent
    Parental Consent

    Letters consenting to minors travelling abroad.

  • Business Transactions
    Business Transactions

    International Business Transactions.