Notaries Public of England and Wales are qualified lawyers who each hold a law degree and who have passed several postgraduate exams including in Roman law and Private International Law. Prior to The Access to Justice Act 1999, Scrivener Notaries had sole jurisdiction to practise within the City of London. All Scrivener Notaries must first qualify as a general notary public of England and Wales. As the biggest UK companies historically kept their registered office in the City of London, and as all Scrivener notaries have passed further exams to prove their competence to issue certification directly in two foreign languages besides English, German notaries and company registers grew accustomed to receiving such certification from Scriveners. However, since The Access to Justice Act 1999, the purpose of which was to open up and make legal services accessible to the entire population in the UK, all general notaries of England and Wales have jurisdiction to issue certification throughout England and Wales, including in the City of London, and are completely and incontrovertibly authorised to issue certification directly into any language they are competent in. However, many textbooks aimed at German trainee notarial assistants (Notarfachangestellte) in Germany have still not been updated to reflect this important change.
Our notaries are competent to issue certification throughout England and Wales, in the languages they are competent in.
Our notaries’ status as currently qualified notaries with the jurisdiction to exercise the office of the public notary throughout all of England and Wales is also confirmed by affixing an apostille to our documents. An apostille is a sticker affixed to the underside of the notarial certificate, sealed and signed by an officer of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The apostille confirms the Notary’s seal, signature and current practising status of the Notary and validates the document to be used abroad pursuant to the 1961 Hague Convention. To have the document apostilled, we need to first take the hardcopy to the (FCDO) in person who issue and affix the apostille. We will then send you a scan of the document and the tracking number for the courier of our notarised and apostilled document to your lawyer or notary in Germany.