“Notaries Public are internationally recognised as the people to witness and certify documents for abroad.”

Tim Howarth LLB
Director, Solicitor, Notary
th@davisg.co.uk

Tim Howarth LLB

What are Notaries?

We are an independent (and the oldest) branch of the legal profession, with origins in Roman times.

Notaries Public exist throughout the world, but they have different functions and qualifications in different countries. In ‘civil law’ countries (eg most of Europe), they are central to property transactions, Wills, company formations and other matters. In the USA, most of the 4.5 million notaries are not lawyers, and are involved in acting as witnesses to official documents.

In common law countries such as the UK, the main role of notaries is to deal with international matters, but even then there are many differences. In Scotland, for example, most solicitors are also notaries.

In England and Wales we are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are regulated by the Court of Faculties. There are only about 900 practising notaries in this country. Most of us are also solicitors, but our work as notaries is separate and is not controlled by the rules affecting solicitors.