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What is a Notary Public?

So, you’ve been told you need a Notary public. And you’re wondering what on earth one of those is…..

Well, a Notary is a qualified lawyer – many also practise as solicitors – and a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales appointed by the Court of Faculties and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mostly, they deal with documents for use abroad and deal with sometimes baffling overseas legal systems on clients’ behalf. So if you’re buying a holiday home in Spain, for example, they’ll come in very handy.

Their work, for both business and private individuals, includes:

  • Authenticating powers of attorney for use abroad
  • Dealing with buying and selling property abroad
  • Authenticating foreign wills
  • Authenticating personal documents for immigration or emigration or if you want to work or marry abroad

Notaries, there are only about 850 in England and Wales, can basically notarise anything – providing authentication and a secure record for almost any transaction.

Apparently, a rural notary once notarised a fish so that his friends in the pub had no choice but to believe he really had caught a whopper!

  • If you need the help of a Notary Public, please contact Michael Gupwell at Wards Solicitors.
  • For more detailed information about the role of the Notary Public go to The Notaries Society

Get in Touch

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If you’d prefer us to call you back, just use the form below to give us your number and the best time to call. It would also be useful if you could give us some idea of what you’d like to discuss.


UPDATE August 2020

Wards Solicitors is open and our teams continue to work on existing cases and take on new business and clients.

From early August, we are pleased to announce that we will slowly be starting to re-open some of our branches to clients, but all appointments must be pre-booked.

Availability for face-to- face meetings in branches will be limited, and remote contact with teams – via phone, email or video call – is preferred wherever possible.  Our prime concern remains the safety of our clients and our staff.

Please note that all visitors to our offices must, by law, wear a face covering.

We cannot accept drop-in appointments.

How to get in touch:

  • Please email or telephone your usual lawyer or team, or
  • Please telephone the branch most convenient to you between 9am and 5:30pm, or email info@wards.uk.com at any time and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you.  A list of our 11 branches is available here.

Thank you.

Wards Solicitors LLP