As a Notary Public in London I am often asked how someone may qualify as a Notary. I hope this brief article will shed some light on the process.
There are slightly in excess of 900 Notaries Public in England and Wales, and approximately 30 who are a Notary Public in London.
The overwhelming majority of Notaries Public are qualified solicitors or legal practitioners. A Notary Public in London, or elsewhere in England and Wales for that matter, must first complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Notarial Practice.
To the best of our knowledge, the only place offering such a Notary diploma is Cambridge University. The course is conducted as distance learning via the internet and with group teaching sessions at Madingley Hall in Cambridge. It lasts for a two year period, and is open to solicitors and barristers in general private practice, and to those with a recent qualifying law degree and Legal Practice Certificate. All Applicants should hold an up to date and complete Certificate of Exemption obtainable from the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
There are three core subject areas to study. The area is Roman law, which is covered in year one, along with Private International Law.
Notarial Practice forms the basis for the second year of study.
There are written assignments of 2,000 words for both Roman Law and Private International Law, followed by an examination, and three assignments for the Notarial practice course of 3,000 words each.
The final assessment stage to become a Notary Public is a two hour written exam held in Cambridge.
For further details on how to become a UK Notary Public in London or elsewhere, please contact Matthew Pryke through the usual channels.