Practice Areas

We carry out all aspects of Notarial Practice, particularly in relation to the following areas:

Notarial Certification and Legalisation

The purpose of notarial certification is to verify or prove the execution of legal documents.

Generally, this is required to enable particular documents to be accepted abroad by courts, registries and other notaries.

The form of the notarial certificate varies substantially according to the document and the country in which it is to be used.

Our Service

We certify documents for use in all jurisdictions.

All Scrivener Notaries are qualified in at least two foreign languages and specialise in acting as a bridge to other legal systems, so we aim to ensure that the document and our certificate meet the particular requirements of the country where it is to be used. This includes arranging for legalisation of the documents, another level of authentication which is performed by the Foreign Office and/or the consulate or embassy of the relevant country.

The range of documents which may need to be notarially certified is vast, but most common are:

  • Documents transferring property rights, such as bills of sale, mortgages and assignments;
  • Powers of attorney;
  • Affidavits, oaths and statutory declarations.

As well as merely certifying such documents, we frequently advise clients on the wording and form of the document itself.

We also produce certificates in public form for certain civil law jurisdictions.


As a simplified guide, signatories if not known to the Firm must produce evidence of their identity (such as a passport) and, if they are signing on behalf of a company, then evidence of their authority to sign.

Details of cost, time taken, and what evidence must be produced to the notary all vary enormously, depending on the type of document and where it is to be used.

Legalisation is the verification by the Consulate of the destination country or the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the signature and seal of the notary (or other public officer) on a document in order to evidence to the appropriate authorities in the destination country that the notary is indeed a notary. Find out more

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.

Electronic Notarisation

Saville Notaries are at the forefront of adopting new technologies to suit your business and personal needs. With the increased use of electronic signatures in everyday transactions, the firm has in place the required software to issue our notarial certificates electronically and is the first Scrivener Notary firm to successfully have an e-notarised document accepted abroad.

For all matters where e-notarisation is suitable, the firm will liaise with local counsel in the foreign jurisdiction to ensure that the execution of documents complies with both English law and the requirements of the country where the documents are to be used.

For more information on the process or to arrange an appointment to be onboarded please contact Rob Kerss. Rob is a member of the Technology Committee for the Society of Scrivener Notaries and contributed to the recent Law Commission’s report on the electronic execution of documents.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.


We issue notarial certificates and legal opinions on many aspects of corporate law. We also provide general corporate advice, which includes advising on:

  • UK and offshore company formations;
  • UK and overseas branch registrations;
  • General company administration;
  • Cross-border mergers.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information. 


We act for many banks, especially in connection with:

  • Taking and releasing security in foreign jurisdictions;
  • Setting up investment vehicles;
  • Submitting documents to receivers, registrars and courts in connection with general banking activities;
  • Submitting withholding tax forms and other statements to fiscal authorities;
  • Application and submissions to regulatory authorities.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.


Saville & Co. has particular expertise in a wide range of shipping matters, including:

  • Notarial certification of bills of sale, ship mortgages and registration forms for the registries of all the major flags of the world;
  • Acting for ship operators of all sizes in connection with registration of newbuildings or of change of ownership of all vessels, from yachts to tankers;
  • Advising shipowners at all stages of sale & purchase and ship finance transactions, liaising with ship registries and brokers as required;
  • Acting for financial institutions in connection with taking and releasing security;
  • P&I clubs.

Please contact any of our notaries for further information, or send an enquiry .


The Firm acts for many insurance companies and for the Lloyd's market:

  • Our main work is the certification and authentication of documents which have to be produced to the regulators of foreign insurance markets.
  • We also work for insurers in setting up foreign branches or subsidiaries.
  • In addition we are frequently requested to prepare, translate and certify documents in connection with insurance litigation.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.

Certified Translations

Within the office we have native-language or fluent speakers of Bulgarian, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. If another language is required, we have long-standing contacts with a number of external translators who can undertake the work, normally at short notice.

Translations can be notarially certified in one of two ways: if the notary is qualified in the language in question, he or she can certify directly the accuracy of the translation. If the document is in another language, the translator himself will produce a certificate as to the accuracy of the translation, and a notarial certificate confirming his identity will be added.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for general information. For advice in connection with a particular language, please click one of the following links:

Bulgarian Chinese | French | German | Italian | Polish Portuguese | Russian | Spanish

These links will send an email to two or more people in our office who deal with the particular language concerned.

Agents for Service of Legal Process

Saville & Co. are frequently asked to act as agents for service of legal process by parties to international agreements. The appointment of an Agent for service of legal process is advisable where there is a legal relationship between two or more parties without a place of business within the United Kingdom and their contract is governed by English law. If the parties appoint an agent within the United Kingdom to receive service of any legal writs or claims on their behalf, it avoids difficulties connected with service outside the jurisdiction.

Saville & Co. provide two services in this regard:

  1. Parties to loan agreements often ask us to act in connection with a one-off transaction, particularly ship financing transactions, where we are requested to act on behalf of the borrower(s), the manager and the guarantor(s). A single fee is charged, and we act only in respect of the particular transaction.
    Click here for an application form - specific transaction appointment

  2. Overseas banks and financial institutions request us to act as their agents within the U.K. on a continuing basis in connection with all transactions governed by English law which they enter into in a particular year. An initial fee is charged, and a per annum fee for each year thereafter.
    Click here for an application form - general appointment

Trademarks and Intellectual Property

We act for clients in preparing and certifying assignments and powers of attorney required in connection with the registration of trademarks and patents throughout the world, liaising where necessary with lawyers and patent agents here and abroad to give effect to global assignments.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.

Sale and Purchase of Property Abroad

We act for companies, financial institutions and private individuals in connection with the acquisition and transfer of real property and immovables situated abroad.

We frequently act in conjunction with foreign lawyers, notaries, tax advisers, land registries and other public bodies to enable such transactions to be completed.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.

Foreign Succession

We act for many private individuals in connection with the winding up of estates, transfer of property abroad on death, often in liaison with property lawyers, notaries and tax advisers.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.

Negotiable Instruments

Although they are now used less frequently than in the past, negotiable instruments (bills of exchange, promissory notes or cheques) still play an important part in commercial transactions.

If a foreign negotiable instrument is dishonoured - that is, if it remains unpaid after it has become due - it should, as a requirement of English law and in order to preserve the holder's rights, be noted and protested by a notary.

Noting or protesting remain subject to a formal procedure laid down by law; the noting must take place on the day on which the instrument falls due or the next succeeding business day.

Please contact any of our notaries or send an enquiry for more information.