Tuesday, 6 July, 2021

We are in a period of transition in our response to COVID-19. While legal regulations are being cut down, there is increasing responsibility on individuals to take appropriate precautions to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and to protect those who are vulnerable.

I continue to provide notarial and legalisation services where this can be done safely and within national guidelines. These services can be critical for people and businesses who need to manage their overseas legal affairs. 

Some notarial acts can be done remotely, for example where I am certifying a Companies House certificate. Most notarial assignments involve me physically witnessing a person sign a document. In most cases this cannot be done remotely, in part because most destination countries would not recognise it. I am offering notarial services provided that:

  • I am free from COVID-19 symptoms and not isolating.
  • You confirm that you and your household are free from COVID-19 symptoms and are not isolating.
  • Everyone at the appointment wears a face covering, uses hand sanitiser and maintains a suitable distance. 
  • Preparations can be done in advance by remote means.

I am currently seeing clients in Gosforth (NE3) and not in Time Central. I will provide directions when an appointment is made. Please let me know if a meeting at a different location is needed.

The Government’s Legalisation Office is currently open for the issuing of apostilles and is providing an excellent service within about a week. Most embassies and consulates are offering consular legalisation services, but for some this is taking longer than usual.

Sending documents overseas

Monday, 28 September, 2020

Documents that are authenticated by a notary public are almost always for use overseas. This raises the question of how to send them to the destination. The options are ordinary airmail, Royal Mail “Tracked and Signed” and courier services such as FedEx and DHL, which deliver to the addressee. If I am instructed to send a document overseas for a client, I will only use FedEx or DHL. This is because they reliable and fast. Sadly, each year a number of of my clients send their documents by some form of mail which fails to deliver and causes the client, delay, extra cost and sometimes consequences of missing a deadline. All systems are fallible, but the courier services very rarely fail to deliver and the cost is usually much less than having to repeat the document formalities.

Philippines – Legalisation update

Thursday, 9 January, 2020

Until recently, legalising a document for the Philippines was a two-step process, involving an apostille from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and then consular legalisation from the Philippine Embassy in London. The Philippines has recently joined 117 other countries with accession to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. Accordingly, documents originating in the United Kingdom that are going to the Philippines only require an apostille issued by the FCO.

Christmas 2019

Sunday, 15 December, 2019

My office will close at noon on Tuesday 24th December 2019 and will re-open on Thursday 2nd January 2020. Please contact me by email if you wish to make an appointment either before or after the Christmas and New Year holiday.

How to find Time Central

Sunday, 15 December, 2019

If you use the what3words app on your smartphone, and you navigate to tones.answer.places, you will find yourself at the front door of Time Central.

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.