David Ian Searle

Notary Public practising in Plymouth and Avonwick
tel: 07921 846000 or 01364 649254
e-mail: david.searle@notaryplymouth.com

Hello and welcome to my website.

If you require the services of a notary in Plymouth, east Cornwall or west Devon I shall be happy to assist you.

Services offered.

I provide general notarial services to the public which concern the preparation and witnessing of documents for use abroad. The most common notarial services which I carry out are:

I can also arrange through consular agents for dowments to be Apostilled by the Foreign and Commonwealth office and legalised in foreign embassies and consulates in London where these procedures are required by the receiving country.

The Apostille is a certificate issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth office which authenticates the notary's signature and seal, and currently costs £30 or £75 per document depending on the service level required. The FCO website is at www.fco.gov.uk.

About David Ian Searle.

I was granted my faculty to practice as a notary public in 1978 and have since that time been practising as a notary from offices in Plymouth and at home in Avonwick where I have also practised as a corporate solicitor.

From 2014 I have dealt exclusively with notarial work, having retired as a practising solicitor in that year.

My address details are:


I can arrange to see you at the offices of Bright LLP, solicitors, or at my home office at the addresses above. I can also arrange to see you at your home or place of work, normally within 20 miles of the centre of Plymouth. A workplace or home visit may incur an additional charge which I will agree with you in advance.

Most appointments last approximately 30 minutes but longer if the work requires.
It is usually possible to arrange meetings with me at short notice, generally within 24 hours.
Weekend appointments can also be arranged.

You will need to bring with you to your appointment:

  1. The document or documents which require my seal and signature. Please do not sign the document or have it witnessed beforehand. It is imperative that everything is 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. You passport or if you have no passport a government issued document which bears you photograph such as a modern driving licence and a document which proves where you live such as a recent utility bill or a 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 are the person you say you are.
  4. If you have received the document electronically, please forward the document to me by e-mail to david.searle@notaryplymouth.com in advance of the appointment. Please check the document carefully for errors in your name, address and passport number. If I have received the document electronically I should be able to make any necessary amendments to the document.

Terms of Business.

  1. FEES: In the case of straight forward matters I may agree with you beforehand a fixed fee. If at the appointment the matter proves to be more complicated, or there are more documents or people involved than you had indicated, or if legalisation is required, I reserve the right to renegotiate the fee or agree to charge you at my hourly rate which is currently £240. I have a minimum fee of £90.
  2. VAT: I am currently not registered for VAT.
  3. DISBURSEMENTS: You are responsible for all payments which I make on your behalf. Examples include legalisation fees paid to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or an Embassy, legalisation agents’ fees, Companies Registry fees, couriers fees and other postage charges. I shall not, however, incur these expenses without first obtaining your consent to do so.
  4. PAYMENT: My charges are normally payable on the signing of the document or on the receipt of the notarised document. If I produce an invoice in respect of the work, payment will be due when you receive it. Payment by credit or debit cards is not possible.
  5. TIME CHARGE: This includes all work undertaken on your matter including preliminary details and advice, preparation, drafting, attendances, correspondence including phone calls, emails, faxes, copying documents and the completion of my register and protocol. Letters, emails and phone calls are charged at a minimum of six minute units or otherwise by the time taken.
  6. PREPARATION: includes checking and dealing with any documents presented by you, any instructions accompanying the documents, consideration and drafting of documents before, during or after attendances, attending to any amendments or completing any blanks in the documents, binding the documents securely and dealing with any special requirements or formalities of the foreign country.
  7. PROFESSIONAL ADVICE: It is not my responsibility to give you legal advice concerning the document. My role is to be satisfied that you understand the content of the document and that you intend to be bound by it. You are advised to seek first the advice of your own independent legal or other competent professional adviser who practises in, or is skilled in the law of the jurisdiction to which the document will be sent.
  8. MY RESPONSIBILITIES: I have to be satisfied as to your identity, your legal capacity, your authority and your understanding and approval; in certain rare instances I may require a translation; I shall try to ensure that the document, in the manner of its execution, its form and substance will achieve its purpose; I must be satisfied that it is your voluntary act and that no fraud, violence or duress are involve and that other stipulated formalities either under English or foreign law are observed. If I am not satisfied about any one of those things I can refuse to undertake the matter.
  9. FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE AND/OR CONSULAR LEGALISATION: Some countries require a document to be legalised. This the process by which a state agency confirms that my seal and signature are those of an English notary. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office attach an apostille to the document. Sometimes the document then has to go to the London Embassy or consulate for the country to where the document will be sent. The Embassy or consulate will then attach its own certificate to the document. Your lawyer will probably advise you of the need for legalisation. If not, you should ask him about it. I shall be able to obtain the necessary legalisation and shall discuss with you time scale and whether we should use legalisation agents or couriers if speed is required. However you can deal with legalisation yourself if you wish.
  10. REGISTER & PROTOCOL: At the end of the matter, I make a written entry of the main details in my register and I keep copies of public notarised documents and proof of identity in my protocol.
  11. MY LIABILITY: I carry professional indemnity liability cover of £1,000,000 pounds which meets the level of cover specified by the Master of the Faculty. I therefore limit the level of my liability to you to £1,000,000 pounds.
  12. DELAY: I can give no guarantee or warrantee for the timing of delivery of documents to third parties but will use reasonable endeavours to indicate the likely timing of such delivery. I shall not therefore be liable for compensation or other cost in the event of unforeseen delay in documents reaching the receiving party or for their loss.
  13. THE RELEVANT LAW: The law which governs my relationship or contract with you is English Law and it is hereby agreed that any dispute relating to my services shall be resolved exclusively by the English courts.

Contact me.

If you complete the form below I will contact you as soon as possible.