Coat of Arms

Dr John Kirkhope
Notary Public
Weston super Mare & North Somerset

Regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

My entry on the Faculty Office website

Member of the Notaries Society.


My entry on the Notaries Society website

About me.

After pursuing a number of careers I qualified as a Solicitor in 2000, from which I am now retired, and was granted my faculty to practice as a Notary Public in 2004.

In addition to my practice as a Notary Public I also further my studies in Constitutional Law.

Contact Me

I work from:

33, Clarence Road North
North Somerset
BS23 4AW
Tel. No. 01934 645576
Mobile 07775 911094

Note: There is easy parking.


I normally arrange to see clients at my offices but alternatively I can see you at your business address or at home subject to an agreed fee.

What you will need for the Appointment:

  1. The document or documents which require my seal and signature. Do not sign or have it witnessed beforehand. Everything must be done in my presence.
  2. Any instructions which have been given by the lawyer who has prepared the document. There are sometimes requirements about signing each page or even the colour of the ink.
  3. Your passport or if you have no passport a government issued document which bears your photograph such as a modern driving license and documents which proves where you live such as recent utility bill or bank statement. If you have difficulty producing such original documents I shall need to discuss with you what evidence of identity I shall need to see to satisfy myself that you the person you say you are.
  4. If you have received the document electronically please forward to my email address in advance of the appointment. Please check the document carefully for errors in your name, address and passport number.


A Notary is, like a solicitor, regulated and insured. A Notary must ensure, unlike a simple witness, the client provides evidence of identity, they have mental capacity are not acting under duress and have read understood and agreed to be bound by the document they are about to sign. Thus when a client sees a Notary first a form must be completed then a photocopy of the proof of identity is taken then if necessary the Notary will discuss the document to be notarised.

After the document has been signed it is necessary for the Notary to attach his or her signature and seal. The notarised document must then be copied and the details entered in a register.

Like a solicitor Notary charges are based on the time spent. Potential clients will often phone or e-mail and ask for a quote to notarise a document. As a notary I deal with differing documents for various countries and I always ask that either the document to be notarised is attached to an email or explained on the phone so that I can provide a detailed quote.

What is an Apostille?

Some countries require a document to be legalised. This is a process by which a state agency confirms my seal and signature as those of an English Notary.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office attaches an Apostille to the document.

Some countries require a document then to be stamped at their London Embassy in addition to the Apostille.

The process will normally take three days for an Apostille and up to an additional week if an Embassy stamp is needed.

Terms of Business (2020)


Terms of Business (2020)

It is necessary for every Notary Public that acts for you to give you information about their services, fees, insurance cover and what to do if you wish to make a complaint. I undertake work for clients on the basis of my standard terms and conditions which are as follows

  1. Notarial Fees

    My fees are based on the type and number of documents, checking and verifying information and the time needed to prepare notarial act. In some cases, my fees may include an additional element reflecting factors including value, importance, speed or complexity and travel.

    I will provide an estimate of my fees to you at the start of the matter. Generally speaking, it is unlikely that the fee for any transaction will be less than £70 although simple matters, for example, notarising a copy passport will be much less. My practice is not registered for VAT and this will not be charged.

    In addition to my fees, third party expenses and fees (shown as disbursements on your invoice) will be charged such as charges of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Foreign Embassies and Consulates, any agents dealing with the legalisation of documents, registry searches, photocopying, postage and courier charges.

    My charges are payable on presentation of an invoice which is usually prior to our meeting. Payment can be made in cash or by credit or debit card (with a 1.5% transaction fee). Details for direct bank transfers will be on the bottom of my invoice.  Documents will not be released until the invoice has been paid and funds cleared. Interest at a rate of 4% above the Bank of England Base Rate will be charged on invoices that are over 7 calendar days old.

    I reserve the right to ask for money to be paid on account of work to be done, disbursements to be made or expenses to be incurred. Such funds will be held by me until such time as an invoice is submitted or a payment made on your behalf. 

  2. Client’s Money

    To comply with my obligations under the Criminal Justice Act 1993, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 1993, 2001 and 2003 I reserve the right to ask for evidence of the source of any funds involved in the transaction.

  3. Notarial Responsibilities and Verification

    Part of my role is to check the facts in the documents I notarise. Sometimes this means that I need to seek independent verification from other sources and I will need your full cooperation with this. If it is necessary to add qualifications to my certificate to make it clear that there are facts which I have been unable to verify, the notarial certificate may be of less benefit and no liability is accepted if this is the case.

    Unless otherwise agreed in writing, my responsibility is limited to the Notarial formalities and does not extend to advice on or drafting of documentation or on the matter under consideration.

  4. Proof and Identification

    I am required to obtain proof of your identity and any represented legal capacity and authority. To this end you should produce a current passport or drivers licence and a utility bill or bank statement not more than 3 months old when we meet. I may also require other identification and evidence about you and/or the entity which you are acting for and I will advise you about specific requirements before our meeting.

    In particular, company searches may be required in support or proof of certain acts. I will obtain these directly. Time should be allowed to obtain these in advance of any personal attendance.

  5. Legalisation

    United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation (and/or legalisation of the relevant High Commission/Embassy/Consulate of the country in which it is proposed to use the document the subject of a Notarial act), is required in some cases for use abroad, as an additional authentication to notarised documents. This can be obtained by me for a fee of £40 and is usually applied for by post. In urgent cases I can arrange couriers.

  6. Email

    It is my policy to use email wherever possible. Where you have provided me with an email address, e.g., by sending me an email, I will assume that I may use that address for the sending of unencrypted sensitive or confidential correspondence or documents to you. I may also, during the course of a matter, send unencrypted sensitive or confidential information to other persons involved, unless specifically requested by them or the client not to do so. All emails sent by me and attachments thereto should be scanned for viruses by the recipient.

  7. Data Protection

    Whilst I attach great importance to the provision of a highly confidential service to my clients, I am legally required to keep certain electronic or paper records of your matter. You consent to these records being kept by me, including your personal details and copies of your identification. I may also keep a copy of our correspondence and any other associated documents. In limited circumstances I may need to share this information with a translator, a legalisation agent, my supervisor, my regulator or other third parties and you consent to this by accepting these terms.

  8. Insurance cover and limitation of liability

    As required by regulations, I maintain professional indemnity insurance cover for my services worldwide.

    No liability for loss (including, but not limited to, damages, costs and interest) to you or other parties, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise will be accepted by me in relation to any matter in the absence of specific written agreement to the contrary referring to this term and signed by me in excess of the lower of:

    The sum of £1,000,000 for any one claim; or

    The amount of my professional indemnity insurance cover from time to time. The present cover is for not less than £1,000,000. Specific cover for higher limits may be obtainable in certain circumstances at your expense.

    The amount of any liability is to be reduced so far as may be appropriate to take account of the degree of responsibility of any other professional or other advisers whom you have consulted in relation to the matter as if I had successfully claimed contribution from them under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 taking no regard for any limitation agreed between you and such advisor, and they had the resources to meet the same, provided that I shall not be obliged to make or pursue any such claim for contribution.

    No liability whatsoever will be accepted in relation to any loss, damage or liability whatsoever caused directly or indirectly to any party other than you for whom I have agreed to act in connection with the relevant matter. No third party shall have any right to enforce any contract by me to provide advice or services or to rely upon any advice given or opinion expressed by me. The application of any legislation conferring on third parties contractual or other rights, including the Contract (Rights of Third Parties Act 1999) shall be excluded insofar as permitted by law.

    In any event, no liability whatsoever will be accepted where such liability either arises from any instructions or information given by you or by any third party being incomplete, inaccurate or incorrect; or where such liability is for any indirect, economic or consequential loss or damage, costs, expenses or other claims for consequential compensation whatsoever or howsoever caused which arise out of or in connection with the services provided by me or for loss of profit, loss of business, loss of data, depletion of goodwill or loss occurring in the normal course of business or otherwise.

    All searches of the Register of Companies carried out by me are made using the Registrar of Companies' on line service. To the extent that the Registrar does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions arising from use of the on line service, I accept no responsibility or liability arising from reliance upon the results of such searches, if they should subsequently be found to be inaccurate or incomplete.

    These limitations will apply notwithstanding any express or implied term of business or any collateral agreement or warranty, whether express or implied.

  9. Termination of retainer

    You may terminate instructions to me in writing at any time. In the event of payment not being made for an invoice or on account as requested, or in the event of your insolvency or the insolvency of the entity on whose behalf you are acting or if a conflict of interest becomes apparent or if you fail to instruct me properly, I may decline to act any further for you. I may exercise the lien that arises on any papers, documents, money or securities which are in my possession until payment for any outstanding charges has been made. In contentious matters I may apply at any time to have my name removed from the court record.

  10. Quality of Service and Regulation

    It is my aim to provide an excellent service to my clients. Any client who has cause for dissatisfaction or complaint should notify me immediately.

    If the matter cannot be resolved, you can complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member. Please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to:-

    The Secretary of The Notaries Society
    Old Church Chambers
    23 Sandhill Road
    St James
    NN5 5LH

    Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure or after a period of eight weeks from the date of making the complaint to us, make your complaint direct to the Legal Ombudsman (whose contact details are set out below) if the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction:

    Legal Ombudsman
    Edward House,
    Quay Place,
    Birmingham B1 2RA
    Tel: 0300 555 0333

    My notarial practice is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

    The Faculty Office
    1, The Sanctuary
    SW1P 3JT

  11. Interpretation

    English law will apply to the contract between us and the English courts shall have sole jurisdiction in the case of any dispute.

Complaints Procedure

  1. My Notarial Practice is regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:
    The Faculty Office
    1, The Sanctuary,
    SW1 3JT
  2. If you are dissatisfied about the service you have received please do not hesitate to contact me.
  3. If I am unable to resolve the matter you may then complain to the Notaries Society, of which I am a member, who have a Complaints Procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. This procedure is free to use and is designed to private a quick resolution to any dispute.
  4. In that case please write with full details of your complaint to:
    The Secretary of the Notaries Society
    PO Box 7655
    Milton Keynes
    MK11 9NR
    Tel: 01908 803527
    If you have any difficulty in making a complaint in writing please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/Faculty Office for assistance.
  5. Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society Approved complaints procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, or after a period of eight weeks from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied make your complain to the Legal Ombudsman, if you are not happy with the result:
    Legal Ombudsman
    Baskerville House, Centenary Square,
    Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2ND
    Tel: 0300 555 0333
  6. If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman within six months from the conclusion of the complaints process.

What is a Notary?

Notaries are a separate branch of the legal profession. To become a notary under the present regulations, as well as satisfying the Qualifications Board of your existing qualifications as a lawyer you must successfully complete a two year post graduate diploma at Cambridge University.

Notaries can trace their roots back to the 13th century. The link with the Archbishop of Canterbury arose because notaries were originally appointed by the Pope. When Henry VIII appointed himself head of the Church in England he passed the duty of appointing notaries to the Archbishop.

The status of a notary is recognised throughout the world. Often documents which are to be sent to foreign jurisdictions will only be accepted if they bear the seal and signature of a notary.

The notary’s prime responsibility is to ensure that his notarial act may be relied upon by anyone in the world who may receive the document.

This differs from the responsibility of a solicitor whose main duty is to his client.


These links will open in a new window or tab in your browser:

The Faculty Office:

The Notaries Society:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

Website Privacy and GDPR Statement

This privacy statement sets out how Dr John Kirkhope, Notary Public uses and protects any information that you give when you use this website.

I am committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected in accordance with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

A copy of my GDPR statement may be viewed using this link (opens in a new window).

I may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 1 May 2018.

Information that I collect.

I do not collect any personal information on this website.


I am committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, I have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information I collect online.

How this website uses cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. This website does not use cookies.

Links to other websites

My website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave my site, you should note that I do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, I cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Downloads & Media Files

Any downloadable documents, files or media made available on this website are provided to users at their own risk. While all precautions have been undertaken to ensure only genuine downloads are available users are advised to verify their authenticity using third party anti virus software or similar applications.

I accept no responsibility for third party downloads and downloads provided by external third party websites and advise users to verify their authenticity using third party anti virus software or similar applications.

Contact & Communication With me

Users contacting me by email do so at their own discretion and provide any such personal details requested at their own risk. Your personal information is kept private and stored securely until a time it is no longer required or has no use.

Where I have clearly stated and made you aware of the fact, and where you have given your express permission, I may use your details to send you products/services information through a mailing list system. This is done in accordance with the regulations named in 'The policy' above.

I will not use your email address for marketing and will not pass it on to third parties without your express permission.