Martin John Tomsett

Notary Public

Notarial Services

Most people need the services of a Notary Public to witness their signature of documents they have received from abroad, for example, documents relating to the sale or purchase of overseas property or to legal proceedings in foreign courts. Others may need a Notary Public to certify the authenticity of a copy of a document (such as a passport or marriage certificate) or the due execution of a deed for use in a foreign jurisdiction.

For the purposes of witnessing the signature of a document, I must be satisfied as to the identity of the person signing. This means that, at the time of signature, I need to see photographic evidence of identity, such as a current valid passport together with a recent Council Tax or utility bill as evidence of address. These documents must be originals and not photocopies. I also need to see the person sign, so documents should not be signed in advance.

I must be satisfied that the person signing understands the document, especially if it is not in English. If I am to certify that a copy of a document is authentic, I must see the original.

I can read and understand French and have a basic knowledge of Spanish. I can therefore assist in translating the text of any document in those languages. However, I cannot advise on the legal content of documents prepared abroad. It is the responsibility of the person who prepares them to ensure that they comply with the relevant foreign laws.

I do not carry out conveyancing or probate work.

I neither prepare nor notarise any document, such as a "Notice of Understanding and Intent and Claim of Right", which claims for the signatory the status of "Freeman on the Land".

Some foreign jurisdictions require documents I have notarised to be legalised (counter-signed) at their embassy or consulate. When the country concerned is a signatory to the Hague Convention, legalisation is carried out at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in Milton Keynes which affixes a certificate known as an apostille. Legalisation simply means confirmation that the signature and seal or stamp on a document are genuine. I can arrange legalisation through the post, or in urgent cases, through an agent. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office's current charge for legalisation is £30 (£40 with effect from 1st January 2024) per document plus return postage.

Charges made by embassies and their opening hours vary substantially and can be ascertained upon enquiry.


The cost of notarisation depends upon the nature of the documentation required and the time notarisation takes. I am not registered for VAT and do not charge VAT on my fees which are based on my hourly rate of £225, subject to a minimum of £75. At the outset, I will provide give a best estimate to enquirers and in some cases may ask for any document(s) which require notarisation to be sent to me in advance of an appointment for this purpose. Please note that charges for legalisation (see above) are payable in addition to my fee and that I am not able to accept payment by credit or debit card.