What is a Notary?

A Notary Public is a specialised, highly qualified lawyer and a member of the oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales. Notaries are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Notaries are primarily concerned with the authentication of documents and signatures for use abroad. The signature and seal of a Notary Public verifies to the authorities in that country that the appropriate checks have been carried out and that documents have been properly signed.  Notaries are also authorised to conduct general legal practice.   

The majority of Notaries are also solicitors but they will have undertaken many years of additional legal training in order to qualify as a Notary Public. This differs from other countries in the world where the training and regulation can be far less onerous.


If you have business or personal interests overseas, you may well need a Notary in England to authenticate facts and documents under his or her signature and seal.

Some legal activities that are carried out in England and Wales are reserved. This means that they can only be carried out by appropriately qualified individuals. Angharad carries out the reserved legal activities of notarial work.

Common transactions that require a notary include:

  • Buying and selling foreign property
  • Authenticating company and business documents
  • Powers of Attorney for use abroad
  • Certifying copies of passports , academic qualifications and other personal and corporate papers
  • Marrying in a foreign country
  • Adopting children from abroad
  • Taking statements, affidavits and oaths for use in overseas jurisdictions
  • Immigration, emigration and entry requirements
  • Attesting and authenticating the signing and execution of documents and deeds
  • Dealing with change of name documents
  • Confirmation of fingerprints

For further information about the services that Angharad offers, see Business services and Individual services.


If a document requiring notarisation is in a foreign language, it is usually necessary for the document to be translated into English by an official translator. The translator will then certify that it is a true translation of the original. I can arrange for documents to be professionally translated from almost any language to enable them to be notarised.


Angharad will advise you what you need to provide in your circumstances but, in all cases, you will need to bring good evidence of your identity. This will include your original current passport and recent confirmation of your address. You will also need to provide a copy of the documents to be notarised in advance and send me a copy of any instructions that you have received from your foreign advisors. The advantage of providing such information in advance is that Angharad can carry out any necessary checks before the meeting. This will be more cost and time effective.  Generally the meeting will take between 15 and 30 minutes.

Angharad will send you her terms of businessand a quote before starting work.


Angharad is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. For information on how to contact the regulator, please see the terms of business.


Angharad takes any complaint very seriously and all complaints will be dealt with in a prompt and considered way. Please contact Angharad immediately if you have a complaint about the services and she will do her utmost to resolve the issue to your satisfaction. In the very unlikely event that it cannot be resolved, the terms of business set out the next steps to take.



Angharad Palin

 Notary Public