Frequently Asked Questions

Here is some information on commonly asked questions.

Question: Do I need an appointment?

Answer: Yes you will need to make an appointment which can be done by either phoning or emailing us using the contact details listed on each page of the website.


Question: What is Legalisation?

Answer: Legalisation is the verification by the Consulate of the destination country or the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the signature and seal of the notary on a document in order to evidence to the appropriate authorities in the destination country that the notary in question is indeed a notary.


Question: Must a notary be present when I sign?

Answer: Yes it is normally necessary that Hatten Wyatt Notaries see the person sign the document so that we can identify them and also witness the signature. It is particularly necessary that the document is executed in the presence of the notary where this is required either by English or the applicable foreign law for the formal validity of the document. However, when the notary does not need to state expressly that the document has been signed before him/her, and when the notary has a record of the signature, a notary may certify the authenticity of a signature without witnessing the signature.


Question: What is the difference between a notary and a solicitor?

Answer: Notaries form a small, highly specialised branch of the legal profession, whose area of specialisation is the certification of documents so that they may be used effectively abroad.  Solicitors form by far the largest part of the legal profession and provide advice and representation to their clients on a wide variety of legal issues. An important difference is that whereas a Solicitor's primary duty is to his client, the Notary's primary duty is to the transaction and the authenticity of the documents.


Question: What types of personal identification are acceptable?

Answer: You will need you to bring good evidence of identity. Generally this will have to be a current valid passport and something like a Council tax or electricity bill to confirm your address (if you are unable to produce the above, then contact us and we will advise you as to other documents which we will need to see).


Question: What supporting documentation is required?

Answer: Hatten Wyatt Notaries will need to see proof of identification where we do not have the details of the individual or have his or her signature in our records. In addition we will also need to see proof of capacity of an individual and existence of the organisation where a person is signing the document on behalf of an organisation.


Question: Do we need to come to your office?

Answer: Hatten Wyatt Notaries will make appointments for meetings at our office and are also happy to attend your offices or those of third parties if this is more convenient. However, once the documents have been signed, it is essential for us to take the documents back to our offices to complete the certification and recordation of the documents before returning the documents to you or wherever else they may need to be sent.


Question: How long does all this take?

Answer: If the document is straightforward, already prepared and in the correct form we are likely to need to see you for a minimum of 15-20 minutes and complete it in half an hour. Obviously it takes longer if the document is not straightforward, or and we have to draw up the document or make a proper copy. Many countries want documents to be countersigned by their London Embassies (legislation) and this will take several days unless you want to take them to the Embassy in person and wait in line. The fees and procedures for this vary widely but we should be able to give you a reasonably accurate idea of the time and cost.


Question: What are your fees?

Answer: We charge a minimum fee of £150. For most matters we shall advise you of fee in advance. For complex matters we will tell you how his fee will be assessed – usually based on how long we will have to work on your matter. In addition there may be fees to pay third parties, such as the Foreign Office, an Embassy or translators/interpreters.


Hatten Wyatt Notaries request a 50% non-refundable deposit on receipt of instructions.


For further information please call to speak to one of our experts on 01474 335515