What to Expect

Make sure you bring adequate proof of your identity (see Before the Appointment). If there is more than one person involved it will usually save time and minimise cost if all attend the same meeting. I can arrange to see you in your home or office, but this may cost more.

At the appointment

Bring any document or documents which require my seal and signature, and any correspondence you have received from the lawyer who has prepared the document with details of what is required. It is very important to not sign anything beforehand as everything has to be done in my presence, so that I can certify that I have seen it done.

Foreign Languages

It is essential that I am able to satisfy myself that you understand the document that you are being asked to sign or the affidavit or declaration you are being asked to make. This means that not only must you understand it but:

  • I must be able to understand it, and
  • I must be able to understand what you are saying to me, and
  • You must be able to understand what I am saying to you.
  • Where the document is not in English it will be necessary to obtain a
  • Where English is not your first language it may be necessary to employ an

All my notarial certificates will be in English.


Once the document has been notarised it is likely that further formalities will be required before it can be used in a foreign country, this process is known as legalisation. It confirms that the signature and seal I have put on your document is genuine.

An increasing number of countries will accept a certificate issued by the Foregign and Commonwealth Office known as an apostle. There is a fee payable to the FCO for an apostle.

The FCO has particularly strict rules for attaching an apostille to a degree certificate or other educational qualification requiring the notary to check its authenticity with the issuing body and extra time may need to be allowed for this.

In other countries the procedure varies. Usually it will involve the embassy or consulate of the country in which it is intended the document will be used. Some countries insist on legalisation by both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK and their own embassy or consulate. The fee charged by the embassy or consulate for this varies from country to country.

Some countries, however do not require legalisation at all.

You can deal with the legalisation of your document yourself, or if you wish I can arrange it for you. Whichever option your choose please allow sufficient time for your document to be legalised before you need to use it.

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