Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the Foreign Office involved?

A: It is the UK mainland monopoly provider of apostille legalisation and also needed for many non-apostille countries.

Q: How do I get translations?

A: This is one of the most important services traditionally provided by notaries. Fishers has contacts with a number of firms of translators, and translations of most languages can usually be arranged quite easily and quickly but this will be at the client's cost. Please enquire at the office about the availability of such facilities.

Q: What does escritura mean?

A: This is a Spanish (or Portuguese) word popularly believed to mean title deed to real property, but actually only means an instrument in writing.

Q: What is a Bill of Exchange?

A: This is a negotiable instrument of declining importance in trade finance but dishonoured (unpaid) Bills of Exchange are still noted and protested by notaries.

Q: What is the Faculty Office?

A: This is the regulatory body for all notaries practising in England and Wales. The current rule structure covers essentially similar ground to solicitors and accountants i.e. ethical practice, client monies, discipline as well as training and admission.

Q: What is a general notary?

A: These are notaries public in England and Wales who are not scrivener notaries.They are usually solicitors though this is not a requirement.

Q: What does Protest mean?

A: This is a form of certificate used to record dishonour of a Bill of Exchange.

Q: What is a Protocol?

A: This is a special form of register of notarial acts drawn up in the civil law "authentic" form. Also adopted on a voluntary basis by notaries.

Q: What records are kept?

A: Notaries must keep extensive records (but not necessarily full copies) of all their certificates and annexed documents, in some cases permanently. These are all private records available only to clients or under statutory exceptions.

Q: Must I visit your office?

A: Notaries do not only see clients at their office but also attend at client premises. This is on a fee basis but avoids management down-time. Terms of Business click here

Q: What does wax mean?

A: This is a skilful but messy way of annexing certificates. Thankfully obsolete.

Q: Is there a limit on professional negligence indemnity cover?

A: All notaries have a limit of £1,000,000 for each claim.

Q: What do I do if I want to complain about the service?

A: Click here to see the standard complaints procedure.