Our experienced multilingual team will be delighted to explain and guide you to simplify the process
We are at the heart of the international community in London.
Our notable multilingual team members can speak to you in English, Italian, Greek, Spanish, French, German, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, and Arabic.
We arrange for private and corporate documents to be certified by our Notaries Public.
We can assist you with the legalisation of your documents, whether by way of Apostille, Consular Legalisation or a combination of Legalisation at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and further stamping at the relevant Consulate.
With our same day service, we can arrange for documents to be notarised and legalised in 12 hours ready to be shipped abroad or right back to you.
Our Process Explained
The first step to have your document notarised (UK spelling for ‘notarized’) is to send a scan or Microsoft Word draft of your document to us by email at [email protected]. We will quickly review the document and provide you with a quote, process and estimated timeframe, and we will let you know which supporting documents we will need to process your documents and if we need to schedule an appointment.
In most cases, the client needs to meet one of our notaries in person, (either at one of our West End, City of London or Victoria offices or externally at your office, residence, or other agreed location) and show the notary their original passport and proof of address (not a photocopy). Once we have seen your drafts, we will confirm the exact process and exactly which documents you will need to show us. If you would like to meet one of our notaries outside of our office, we will provide you with a quote for this once you provide the postcode for the meeting and the proposed meeting time and date.
If we need to verify your document, such as an academic certificate, this may take a few weeks while we wait for the issuing institution to confirm the genuineness of your document to us.
Meeting Stage 1: Identification, Due Diligence and Payment
At the meeting, the notary will ask for your consent to take a copy of your passport and proof of address* and will see you sign your document. The notary will take payment by cash or card if you are a new client, or send you an invoice if you are a returning client. If your document needs to be apostilled or legalised, your appointment will not last more than 20 minutes and we will retain the hard copies of your documents so that we can notarise them and take them to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in person to be apostilled, or to the relevant foreign Consulate in London to be legalised for use in that country.
*Proof of address can be an original photocard driving licence, or an original bank or credit card statement, utility bill or council tax bill which was received by post and which is dated no more than three months before the appointment. If a bank or credit card statement is used as proof of address, this must show more than a £0 balance.
Meeting Stage 2: Notarisation
The “notarisation” process refers to the notary writing a certificate confirming how the notary identified the signatories and witnessed the signatures, or how the notary verified the documents; such certificate is then signed by the notary and affixed with the notary’s professional seal and stamp, and this certificate is either written directly onto your document or printed on a separate piece of A4 high-quality certificate paper and permanently bound to your documents using a holepunch reinforced with a metal eyelet which is then tied with ribbon and secured by another of the notary’s embossed professional seals.
If your document does not need to be apostilled or legalised, only notarised, your appointment will take around 20-60 minutes, depending on the number of your documents, and the notary will immediately prepare a notarial certification which will either be written or typed onto your document or which will be permanently bound to your document by metal eyelet, ribbon and the notary’s professional seal, which helps protect you and your document, preventing tampering and fraud. You will be able to take this with you after the appointment. Documents for use in Commonwealth countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand are often accepted without any apostilles or legalisation stamps.
Apostille & Legalisation
If your document needs to be apostilled for use abroad, we need to first take it to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) which issue and affix the apostille. An apostille is a sticker affixed to the underside of the notarial certificate, sealed and signed by an officer of the FCDO, which 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.
If you need to use your document in a country which has not ratified the 1961 Hague Convention and which is not part of the Commonwealth, you may need to have the document stamped by the Embassy or Consulate of the country where your document is to be used, to supplement the apostille, e.g. for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China or the United Arab Emirates. The process for legalisation differs for each country, please send us the draft of your document by email and we will revert with the full process as quickly as possible.
Electronic Document Notarisation Process
If you would like to notarise electronic documents remotely, please email us the PDF scan of these documents, and the DocuSign/HelloSign certificate of completion, if available, we will then confirm the full process and any supporting documents we may need.
The service provided by us is that of a Notary Public carrying out all permitted notarial activities including, where appropriate, arranging legalisation of documents and/or sending them to their final destination. An essential part of a notary’s role is to maintain and keep records.
Each notarial matter is different, and the requirements will vary according to whether you (“the client”) is a private individual or a company. Some of the typical key stages are likely to include:
If a document is to be certified, checking with the issuing authorities that the document/award is genuine. In the case of academic awards, this would entail checking with the appropriate academic institutions.
Liaising with your legal advisors or other bodies to obtain the necessary documentation to deal with the document (e.g. information from Companies House or foreign registries, powers of attorney etc).
Meeting with the signatory to verify their identity and to ascertain that they understand what they are signing and that they are doing so of their own free will and ensuring that the document is executed correctly.
Arranging for the storage of copies of all notarised documents in accordance with the requirements of the Notarial Practice Rules 2019.
Arranging for the legalisation of the document as appropriate (FCDO apostille service and further Consular legalisation for specific jurisdictions when needed).
Receiving and reviewing the documents to be notarised together with any instructions we might have received.
Checking the identity, capacity and authority of the person who is to sign the document.
Drafting and affixing or endorsing a notarial certificate to the document.