Other Practice Areas

Notary Services

In addition to the firm providing a comprehensive range of legal services, one of our partners, Mel Ferguson, is appointed and constituted as a Notary Public for the City of Dublin and surrounding Counties and can offer a full notarial service to include preparation and/or witnessing of documentation, arranging for the affixing of Apostille where appropriate, and the legalisation of documents. Mel can be contacted at fergusonm@sheehanandco.ie or by phone at +353 1 6616922.

Attendances can be at our Clare Street offices, your place of business, or other convenient location. The times at which persons can be attended on is completely flexible and, in most cases, can be arranged at short notice. A schedule of notarial costs is available on request.

What is a Notary Public ?

A Notary Public is a public officer constituted by law and appointed by the Chief Justice of Ireland to serve the public in non contentious matters usually concerned with foreign or international business. A Notary Public is empowered by law, and custom and the usage of notaries through the ages to adminster Oaths and to :

  • Attest signatures
  • Authenticate documents
  • Give notarial acts
  • Take affidavits
  • Take affirmations and declarations generally
  • Receive and make protests under
  • Maritime Law
  • Draw up Powers of Attorney and other legal documents customarily prepared by a Notary
  • Public and the issue of notarial certificates in respect of documents and persons.

The Acts of a Notary Public have worldwide recognition.

Proof of Identity

The Notary will require the usual proofs of identity and residential address and will normally accept an original passport or drivers licence as sufficient evidence of identity with a copy of a utility bill no more than three months old as sufficient evidence of address.

Foreign Language Documents

The Notary does not need to understand the foreign language in which the document is written. The Notary however will seek an assurance from the person signing the document, that they understand the document and if the Notary is so satisfied, he will stamp the foreign language document with a statement to the following effect “the notarial act applied to the within document extends only to verification of the identity and legal capacity of the appearer(s) and the due execution of the document unless otherwise expressly stated in the English language”. This endorsement is to protect the person and the Notary in case the language of the document or the practice of the country in which the document is to be used would suggest that the Notary is doing or saying more than either the Notary or the person understands.


Legalisation is an internationally recognised procedure for certifying the authenticity of official signatures and/or official seal applied to a public document. It operates by means of an unbroken chain of verifying signatures commencing with that of the first signatory to the document and ending with the signature of the diplomatic or consular representative of the state in which the document is to produced and acted upon.

The legalisation procedure usually commences with the attestation by a Notary Public of the signature of a person to a formal document e.g. a Power of Attorney. The Notary Public having subscribed his or her name and affixed his or her official seal to the document by way of notarial act arranges for the document to be produced to the Registrar of the Supreme Court for the purpose of having the Notary’s signature and official seal verified.

The document is then produced at the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin for the purpose of having the signature of the Supreme Court Registrar verified and finally it is produced to the diplomatic or consular representative in Dublin (or London) of the foreign country in which it is intended the document shall be produced for the purpose of having the Irish Consular Officer’s signature legalised.

When all the foregoing steps have been completed, the document is said to have been legalised.

Other countries in which the Apostille procedure applies may be checked on the Hague Convention website, where a list of countries adhering to the Apostille system abolishing the need for legalisation, and also those countries not Hague Convention Countries Adhering.



Mel Ferguson – Partner