FAQs

Price – Our fees

Our Fee is based on our time engaged – we do not charge “per document” – the minimum fee for 20 minutes of the Notary’s time is £80 plus VAT. If we take longer than 20 minutes then this goes up pro rata. When you attend for your appointment that is when we commence work and that is when the clock will start – we prefer to deal with the papers in your presence. The clock usually starts when a client is in attendance however if requested we can consider documentation before the appointment but we will time accordingly. If further legalisation is required then there will be additional costs/disbursements and these fees can be quoted before the appointment.

What is a Notarisation?

A Notarial Certification is to authenticate legal documents. This is required to enable particular documents to be accepted abroad. The form of Certification varies according to the document and the country. Generally, the Notary is Certifying the genuineness of the signature(s) on the document, the identity and capacity of the person signing and also maybe their authority to represent the company or entity they are signing for. We can also Certify true copies of original documents and the truth and accuracy of translations. In all cases, a Notarised document bears the Notary’s signature and seal

What is the difference between a Notary and a Solicitor?

Solicitors are the usual lawyers used in England. Notaries public are qualified Lawyers, most of whom are also Solicitors, who have passed additional examinations. Our main area of specialisation is the certification of documents so that they can be effective abroad. A solicitor is not a proper person to certify documents which are intended to be used outside England and Wales – this is the role of a Notary. A Notary must always be independent and impartial. A Notary’s acts can be relied upon as an accurate statement of the facts the world over. On occasion it has been noted that the advisers overseas instruct their client to see a “solicitor” – this is incorrect. Often because their own lawyers are Notaries, they think that the English word for Notary is Solicitor. What they mean is always a “Notary”. All documentation certified in England for use outside of England and Wales should only be dealt with by an English Notary and NOT by a Solicitor.

What ID is required?

For our own purposes we require to see your passport and/or photo-card driving licence. We also ask to see a utility bill/bank statement showing your name and address. If this is difficult or you do not have these pages then please contact us before our appointment to discuss.

Our location?

We are just outside the main shopping centre of Leeds – within walking distance of the railway and bus stations. Our building is Josephs Well and is very near to Park Lane College and the Clarendon Wing of the Leeds General Infirmary [please see “CONTACT US” page for more information]. Also, we can email you a map.

It should also be noted that we do have free parking for our clients and the parking entrance is facing the entrance to Park Lane College.

Are we able to Notarise a foreign language document i.e. not written in English?

Yes - but we do require to have an idea of what the Foreign document says. We suggest that in this circumstance the document be emailed to us in MS word “format” and we can obtain an internet translation. Once we are satisfied that the document is a proper “legal document” we will be happy to proceed to Notarise.

Are we able to translate and Notarise your documents?

Yes. We have agents who can provide us with whatever translation we require. In order to be able to tell you the cost of translation we would require that an emailed scan of the document be provided or a hard copy be sent to us and we can obtain a quote for the translation. Once the document is translated we are able then to Notarise this as a true translation. The Notary’s fees are as above.

Can we prepare documents for use overseas?

Please note it is usual for documentation to be prepared in the country it is intended for i.e. -If you are wishing to give a Power of Attorney to someone overseas then we suggest that a legal adviser be instructed in that country to prepare the necessary Power of Attorney. They can email it direct to us for you to sign here in Leeds and have it Notarised. Please note it is not a Notary’s function to give advice and all advice required should be given to you by your legal adviser. However we can sometimes, if instructed, prepare a form of wording in English language which might be acceptable in a foreign jurisdiction.

Can we travel to see you at your home/place of work?

If you are unable to get to our office or if it is more convenient for us to come to you then we will be very happy to do this. In this case we would request that a scan of the document(s) be emailed to us beforehand. We also would require to know whether legalisation is required i.e. Apostille and any consular stamps. Please note however that we do make a charge for travel time.

Appointment availability

Mr Atkinson, Notary has retired as a Solicitor and therefore deals with Notarial duties only – this enables us to be able to react to your requirements without delay. We can usually see you on the same day as your request or certainly very soon after (subject to holidays). To make an appointment please can you either ring 0113 816 0116 or email louise@atkinsonnotary.com.

Legalisation – what is an Apostille?

Many clients telephone to enquire about our legalisation service and seeking more information about the “Apostille”. If the Country your document is intended for has signed up to The Hague Convention of 1961 then the likelihood is that an “Apostille” will be required.

Once Notarisation has taken place the document will then need to go to the British Foreign Office for the “Apostille” to be placed upon it. This is a stamp which confirms that Mr Atkinson is indeed a Notary Public and the recipient abroad can be assured that you and we have dealt with the document in the correct manner. The Apostille contains a unique number which the recipient can check online.

Consular stamps:

Some countries require the Notarised [and, sometimes, Apostilled] document to be sent to that Country’s consulate in London for its stamp also. Again, we can deal with this for you. We have agents in London who are able physically to take the document to any consulate and obtain the stamp – full fees of this service can be given on request.

If you are unsure as to what stamps your document requires then please do contact me and I can give you guidance for that country.