Use of full names

Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Many legal documents require the signatory to use their full name. A person’s name can be quite a complex issue, because of changes of name, not commonly using a middle name and changes of status, such as marriage. If a person’s name on a notarised document (for example a degree certificate) does not match EXACTLY the name in identity documents, then further evidence may be needed by the person or body receiving the notarised document in another country. I can provide a statutory declaration if required to explain the situation.

It is good practice always to use all middle names in all officials documents. It can save a lot of trouble at a future date in explaining why a person uses different names.

Where I am being asked to notarise a document which contains a different family name, I will need to see evidence of the change of name. For example if a person’s name has changed on marriage, I would need to see the marriage certificate.

Typically, French documents relating to property transactions use a woman’s family name before marriage. Where the woman is using her married name, and that is the name on her identity documents, again a copy of the marriage certificate will be needed in order to authenticate the document.



GDPR & Data Protection

Thursday, 24 May, 2018

There are many legal requirements relating to the data necessarily held by notaries, including the General Data Protection Regulation. Notarial services, like any legal services, depend on high standards of discretion and data protection. Therefore, we (Jonathan Kemp Notary Public) treat your personal data as if it was our own and in accordance with GDPR and other applicable laws.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner with registration no. Z1237397.

Please email if you have any queries.

Christmas and New Year

Friday, 22 December, 2017

The office will be closed over Christmas and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.


Wills and succession in the EU

Tuesday, 7 November, 2017

If you live in the UK and own property overseas you should take steps to find out what would happen to that property if you died and what tax consequences would follow. The position will be different to the position in the UK and may be unexpected. A good starting point is to read an accessible publication called “Cross-border successions: A citizen’s guide: how EU rules simplify international inheritances”. This can be easily be found on the Internet. However, with BREXIT in the pipeline, it is important to obtain specialist advice on this, possibly from one of the overseas advisers practising in this country. I work with many such advisers to notarise and arrange legalisation for succession documents, so they are in a form that is acceptable in the overseas country.


Thursday, 7 September, 2017

Legalising documents for Guatemala is about to become easier. Guatemala is joining over 100 other countries, including the United Kingdom, in the 1961 Hague Convention. This means that notarised documents will be acceptable in Guatemala with an apostille from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Embassy legalisation will no longer be needed.

China – teacher qualifications

Monday, 31 July, 2017

If you are looking to work as a teacher in China, you will need to provide the school with proof of your degree and your UK criminal record check. You will need to meet the school’s requirements, which do vary and which evolve over time. Currently, most schools request a copy of the degree certificate and the original criminal record check, both authenticated by a Notary Public and then legalised. Notarial authentication involves the notary checking the existence of the degree (usually with Higher Education Degree Datacheck) and the authenticity of the criminal record check with the issuing body.

Legalisation involves obtaining an apostille from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and then a further certificate from the People’s Republic of China Embassy (which requires certain supporting documents). You choose whether to arrange the legalisation yourself or to have it done for you by my consular agent.

If you require these services, please let me know and I will provide you with further details.

Signing your new UK passport

Tuesday, 13 June, 2017

The latest form of UK passport requires the holder to sign, unless the holder is aged 11 or under  or is unable to sign because of a disability (in each case the passport will state that no signature is required). The passport will not be valid for travel until it is signed. Instructions as to signing should be received with your new passport. If your passport is being used as identity for notarial work, it must be signed.

For further information please see:

Payment by cards

Friday, 5 May, 2017

I am now able to accept payment by cards.


Travelling with prescription drugs to Russia

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016

The Foreign Office travel advice website reports that anyone travelling with specified prescription drugs must have a notarised translation of the prescription. Please see: