Society's News


Bristol law students win £1m in welfare benefits for clients

Student volunteers at the Avon and Bristol Law Centre reached £1 million this week in welfare benefits won for people wrongly declared fit for work by the Department for Work and Pensions. The students have become a familiar sight at Bristol’s Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, where they represent clients at their benefit appeals in front of a judge and … more


Summer Party – A Sold Out Success

Held at the Mud Dock, the BLS Summer Party saw more lawyers than you could shake a stick at enjoy fine weather, fine food and drink, and fine company and conversation. Sold out for weeks, the party was the highlight of the season so far. Delighted BLS members won many a prize in the raffle. The Summer Party was sponsored … more


Bristol Law Society Past Presidents 1931 – 1950

Jack Lyes, himself formerly a Past President of Bristol Law Society, has been looking at the records and archives held in the Bristol Records Office to find out more about Past Presidents of the Bristol Law Society. Here he summarises information held on those who held office between 1931 and 1950. 1931 Henry Reginald Wansbrough. See 1905. Twice president of … more


A NOTARY’S LIFE FOR ME


Michael Gupwell of Gregg Latchams is a Notary Public. In this article, he draws back the veil of secrecy and introduces the role of a Notary.

Notaries public are a distinct type of lawyer, separate from solicitors or barristers, whose origins date back to Roman times.

A notary public’s role is to execute or certify documents where required, which is usually when the documents are for use in a foreign jurisdiction.  The notary will identify the appearer and verify their authority and capacity, before ensuring that they understand and intend the purpose of the document for execution.  They will then ensure that the document is executed validly for the jurisdiction where the document is to be used and notarise the document with their signature and unique seal.

Certain jurisdictions have further requirements before the documents can be used and a notary can advise about what might be required and help the appearer arrange for the further steps to be undertaken.

Most notaries are or have been solicitors, but it is not a necessary requirement.  However, the notarial qualification has certain obligatory elements, some of which are completed as part of becoming a solicitor or barrister.  The other learning elements are covered on the Notarial Practice Course, which will be run by University College London from the Autumn of 2012.  The best way to find out more, and a requirement for passing the course, is attendance at one of the Notaries Society Open Days.

After passing the Notarial Practice Course and meeting the requirements to be awarded their notarial faculty, a notary then has to successfully complete a 2 year period of supervision before finally being able to practise fully independently.

For further information, contact Michael Gupwell at michael.gupwell@gregglatchams.com