Notary Lawyer

I need a Notary but why can’t I use a solicitor?

A Notary is a qualified lawyer – a member of oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales. Notaries are appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Master of the Faculties. The rules which affect Notaries are very similar to the rules which affect Solicitors. They must be fully insured and maintain fidelity cover for the protection of their clients and the public. They must keep clients’ money separately from their own and comply with stringent practice rules and rules relating to conduct and discipline. Notaries have to renew their practising certificates every year and can only do so if they have complied with the rules.


Notaries are primarily concerned with the authentication and certification of signatures, authority and capacity relating to documents for use abroad. They are also authorised to conduct general legal practice (excluding the conduct of court proceedings) such as conveyancing and probate. They may exercise the powers of a Commissioner for Oaths. The majority of Notaries Public also practise as solicitors but the Scrivener Notaries do not, nor do some 150 of the general notaries.

How does this differ from the role of a Solicitor?

Foreign jurisdictions do not normally accept documents completed by solicitors and will require those documents to be authenticated and certificated by Notaries. Some jurisdictions may also require Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmation of the existence of the Notary or even approval thereafter by their own consulate in the UK.

Thomson Webb & Corfield

We are pleased to announce that we now work with a Notary Brendan O’Brien and can support your foreign jurisdiction document requirements. Please call either Brendan O’Brien or Elizabeth Dawson on 01223 578070

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