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8 Reasons to Manage Your International Affairs from ‘Blighty’

Dec 01, 2015
  1. A Notary Public is often required when dealing with assets outside of England and Wales, such as the creation of a subsidiary company in a foreign jurisdiction, selling shares administered by an overseas company, closing an offshore bank account or commonly an overseas property transaction.
  2. A Notary Public is a qualified lawyer who holds an internationally recognised public office.  Notaries prepare, authenticate and certify documents for use anywhere in the world.  They represent one branch of the legal system in England and Wales, which includes solicitors, barristers and Commissioners for Oaths.
  3. The Notary’s principal duty is owed to the recipient of the notarised document, most frequently to ensure the authenticity of the documents involved.  However, this may also extend to verification of the identity of an individual to whom the documents relate and/or to ensuring that the individual has an understanding of the transaction concerned.
  4. For example, a company wising to establish a subsidiary company abroad will often require a Notary Public to authenticate the company resolution authorising the transaction, to administer the execution of a power of attorney and to arrange for legalisation of the documents so as to ensure they are acceptable to the relevant foreign authorities.
  5. A Notary Public is trusted in this way to facilitate transactions anywhere in the world is because, whereas a solicitor’s primary duty is to the client, a Notary Public’s primary obligation is to the transaction being facilitated in another jurisdiction.
  6. It may not be clear to you as to whether you need a Notary Public, a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths particularly when you need documents certified.   A Notary Public will advise you as to whether or not they are the most appropriate professional to assist you.  This will depend upon the nature and purpose of the documents, the transaction and the country in which the documents are required. 
  7. A Commissioner for Oaths is a person commissioned by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths or take any affidavit for the purposes of any court matter in England.  All solicitors/legal executives that hold a valid practising certificate may perform this function also.  However, if any part of the transaction involves an overseas element then using a Notary Public is more likely to find favour with the overseas recipient. 
  8. A meeting with a Notary Public to have documents authenticated can eliminate the need for the individual or company directors to travel abroad to deal with their affairs. 


Fiona Spinks

About the author

Fiona Spinks

Fiona joined Nockolds in 2011 and is a Notary Public and Principal Associate. As a Notary Public, Fiona is able to authenticate documents for use ...

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