Notaries are appointed by the UK Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Faculty Office is an administrative body at the head of which is the Master of Faculties, and it is responsible for the governance of Notaries. The Notarial profession is subject to regulation by the Master of the Faculties, who is a High Court judge, and Gibraltar notaries observe these rules as good practice, although these are not technically applicable in Gibraltar. These stringent governing notarial practice are similar to the rules affecting solicitors and aim to ensure the protection of clients and the public through stringent requirements including those that relate to conduct, insurance and discipline.
The Registrar of the Faculties Office is responsible for issuing the annual practicing certificate that permit notaries to practice and oversees the training and qualification of notaries. Notaries are obliged to renew their certificates every year, and they can only obtain renewals if they have complied with the strict rules.
Notarial acts bear a very serious responsibility since foreign governments and officials, as well as clients and any other parties rely on the accuracy of these acts. This means that the Notary is responsible to ensure protection against errors, omissions, alterations, fraud and forgery. Notaries must work to a very high standard of accuracy and their integrity must be impeccable.
As notaries, we have to make sure that:
It is therefore essential that we have sight of the documents to be notarised and any related documentation, and, if necessary if these are in a foreign language, that an accurate translation is obtained.
We are required by law to obtain full proof of the identity of all our clients, and this means that we will need to see original documentary evidence such as passports, identity cards or photographic driving licenses as well as documentary proof of address, such as a bank statement, tenancy agreement or a letter from the rates authority or government tax authority. For corporate clients, there is an additional requirement to provide original documentary evidence of the identity of the corporate entity and the client’s authority within the company.
From time to time, our services involve verification of the authenticity of documents and of the identity of our clients, whether as individuals or as directors or officers of a company. This occasionally includes obtaining and checking independent evidence to support the stated facts, In order to do this, we will require your cooperation. This is a situation that occurs, for example, in the authenticating of copies of qualifications and degrees.
We work to the high standards of Gibraltar’s Data Protection Regulations and clients can have full confidence in our discretion and thoroughness.