Updated 18 March 2019
Words you may need to know
Notary Public – this is a legally qualified person who is able by experience and qualification to carry out certain legal duties. Not all lawyers are a Notary Public
Civil Law - law other than criminal, often referred to as private law
Power of Attorney - A legal right you give to someone to act on your behalf or manage your affairs
Jurisdictions – Places such as territories, bailiwicks, districts etc
Certifies – agrees they are original, accurate or legally correct
Affidavits - a sworn statement by someone
Migration - moving to another country to live
Unincorporated - a group of people with no legal status like a partnership or club
Notarial work comes from Roman law. Notaries Public were in the beginning scribae (or scribes) who copied or translated documents for use in court trials and who, because of their knowledge and skill, took more of a role in public and private dealings.
Notaries Public are sometimes said to be members of the oldest branch of the legal profession.
For historic reasons, Notaries Public in Jersey are agreed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are controlled by the Court of Faculties. Notaries Public in Jersey, are not officers of the Royal Court of Jersey or members of, or controlled by, the Jersey Law Society.
Despite coming from the same profession, the role of Notaries Public in Jersey is different to that of “Latin” notaries in at least one important way – in civil law jurisdictions, few legal dealings can be carried out without needing a Notary Public and this is not the case in Jersey.
Duties and powers
A Notary Public is an officer of the law who confirms or certifies deeds or other documents for use anywhere in the world.
Documents include wills, powers of attorney, affidavits, declarations, etc…
The importance of Notaries Public in Jersey is not so much in the duties they carry out in Jersey, but the link they provide between organisations in Jersey and overseas.
For Jersey purposes, the typical tasks of a Notary Public include:
(i) witnessing the swearing on oath of an affidavit;
(ii) witnessing the carrying out of a will or deed poll (e.g. to change your name);
(iii) witnessing the carrying out of a power of attorney which needs to be registered in the Public Registry under the Powers of Attorney (Jersey) Law 1995;
(iv) confirming that personal documents are original.
For international purposes, the typical functions of a Notary Public include:
(i) witnessing (or stating, confirming or certifying) a power of attorney for use overseas;
(ii) stating, confirming or certifying personal documents for use overseas (e.g. migration, marriage, property or estate purposes);
(iii) stating, confirming or certifying personal, company or business documents for foreign dealings.
This role which is carried out by the Notary Public is called “notarisation”.
Notarisation is often needed in international dealings where the identity and official role of the parties need to be checked so there is less risk of fraud. There is much more demand for notarisation because of worldwide anti-money laundering and “know your client” requirements.
A document for use overseas must also sometimes be notarised to be accepted in that country.
Notarisation will broadly take two forms:
(i) A notarial act in the public form:
This is where the Notary Public writes the whole document such as a notarial certificate which confirms that statements made in the document are true
(ii) A notarial act in the private form:
This is, usually, where the Notary Public simply adds his confirmation onto a private document signed by the client.
The Jersey Notaries Society
The Jersey Notaries Society is the unincorporated association which speaks on behalf of Notaries Public in Jersey. The current joint secretaries of the Jersey Notaries Society are:
1st Floor, Mielles House
La Rue des Mielles
Jersey JE2 3QD
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 76304 / 300
Advocate Natalie Sullivan is joint secretary with Shaun Ryan
Her details are:
Le Mont Suzanne
S.L. JE3 1HH
Legalisation and apostille
Just like a Notary Public will check the identity and role of the person signing a document for use abroad, foreign authorities may want to check that the notary is who they say they are and is qualified to do the job.
This can be done in two ways (depending on whether the foreign country is a party to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961):
This is the way in which, in Jersey, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office checks and confirms the signature and seal of the Notary Public.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is c/o States of Jersey Customs & Immigration Service, Customer and Local Services, Phillip Le Feuvre House, La Motte Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8PE. A fee of £21.00 is currently charged for this service. The Notary Public will also be able to arrange this for an extra fee.
This is the way in which the government departments of the country in which the document has to be given, check the signature and seal of the Notary Public. Charges and fees will be on a case-by-case basis.
It is usual for most countries, to accept the Apostille. This is the fastest and more cost-effective process. The Notary Public will be able to tell you which is needed.
You should check beforehand if the foreign countries need this. This is important as they may not accept a document you have had notarised without this.
A notarial act in the public form (see above) will usually be dearer than a notarial act in the private form (see above). This is because the Notary Public will have to produce a notarial certificate.
A Notary Public will usually charge you for the number of documents being notarised rather than on how long something takes to do. Because of this a Notary Public may be cheaper than a lawyer who will charge by the hour.
There are no set fees but a Notary Public should tell you beforehand how much they are going to charge. It does not cost to get in touch and you can call those below to discuss what you need.
Notaries practising in Jersey
6. Notaries practising in Jersey as at January 2015
|Advocate E C G Bennett||Bedells||814814|
|Robert Harman||Cornwall and Harman, De Carteret House, 7 Castle Street, St Helier, JE2 3BT www.notary.je||766077|
|Advocate C Parslow||Parslows||630530|
|Advocate S A Pearmain||Appleby||888777|
|Gio Pollano||Mourant Ozannes||676380|
|Mr P C P Scally||Le Gallais & Luce||760734|
|Advocate Ian Strang||Voisin||500300|
Advocate Zoe Bloomfield
|Viberts, Viberts House, Don Street, St Helier||888666|
|P.J. Matthams||Carey Olsen||888900|
|Keith Dixon||Carey Olson||888900|
You can access a list on the JR Directory here http://www.jtdirectory.com/s/notaries+public-in-channel+islands