Legalisation and Apostille

It is often a requirement of a receiving jurisdiction that a Notary’s signature is itself authenticated by the country receiving the document. There are two methods for doing this; Legalisation or the Apostille process.


The legalisation process whereby the Embassy of the receiving jurisdiction either in London or if there is no such Embassy in a neighbouring European country certify that the Notary is properly registered and has authority ti grant the authenticating certificate that is being considered. This requires the Notary to be registered with the Embassy in question and often requires the authority of the Notary to be first confirmed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


In the 1960’s a more streamlined process was introduced whereby the home state authority adds their own certificate (called an Apostille). Countries which are signatories to the International Convention should accept the certificate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in this regard. This is a more straight forward and streamlined method.

Whichever system is required Charles B Neal can assist, advise and undertake the work necessary to obtain legalisation or Apostille, as the case may be. Please note that this process can take time and whilst there are, in some cases, the options for speeding up the process this usually involves personal appearance at an Embassy, Consulate or the Foreign Commonwealth Office and invariably involves additional charges. As always we are in the hands of the relevant organisation and most follow their timetable.

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