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Notary Public Services

In Australia, a public notary’s seal carries international legal weight. It denotes a document’s authenticity beyond domestic borders.

Not all legal practitioners are qualified to offer notary services; it requires additional accreditation and expertise. This distinction ensures the highest standard of document certification.

Businesses and individuals often underestimate the complexity involved in having a document notarised. A notary public’s role encompasses more than just witnessing signatures; it involves thorough identity verification and legal knowledge.

Understanding Public Notary Services

Public notaries operate within a specialised framework of legal services that cater to the certification of documents destined for international use. They are empowered by law to administer oaths, certify copies of original documents, and witness signatures with an authority recognised globally. Their services are essential when you are engaging in transnational business, ensuring your documents are acceptable to foreign authorities and institutions.

Notarial acts performed by a public notary are stamped with an official seal that provides a layer of authentication. This mark confirms that the comprehensive checks and legal formalities have been dutifully observed. The presence of such attestation on your documents can be indispensable when dealing with overseas legal matters.

What is a Notary Public? And what do they do?

The Supreme Court appoint a Notary Public, under the Public Notaries Act of Western Australia. Notaries authenticate, verify, and certify legal acts in one jurisdiction for the purposes of an international jurisdiction. For example, authenticating and witnessing:

  • affidavits for foreign courts.
  • foreign powers of attorney.
  • execution of cross border contracts and company documents.
  • divorce
  • estate and trust related documents.
  • dealing with property, shares, and other assets in other countries; and
  • maritime law related documents.

As officers of the law, notaries play a pivotal role in witnessing oaths, certifying documents, and deterring fraud, thus bolstering international legal transactions.

Their unique position bridges domestic legality with foreign regulatory requirements, enabling cross-border commerce and personal affairs with assured legal standing.

Murray Thornhill and Simon Creek: Public Notary services at HHG Legal Group

Excellence, Trust, and Care in Notarial Services – Our Pledge of Excellence

At HHG Legal Group, we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards in legal services, and these values are embodied in Murray and Simon’s approach to notarial services. It ensures that every document and transaction managed is approached with the utmost precision and attention to detail, adhering to the highest standards.

Murray Thornhill has made notarial services a particular focus of his practice. He is a long-standing committee member of the Public Notaries society of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Australian & New Zealand College of Notaries.

The government of Western Australia also has a listing of notaries public authorised in this state

The Role of a Notary Public – Authenticating Documents

Our notaries authenticate and certify a wide range of documents. Their services include certifying copies of original documents, witnessing signatures, administering oaths, and preparing and certifying powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts, and other legal documents.

Their expertise is not limited to certification; he can also verify the authenticity of documents, ensuring that each one is legally compliant and valid.

The Notarisation Process

The notarisation process begins with the accurate identification of the individual requesting the service. A strict verification protocols are adhered to, which may involve inspection of government-issued identification documents, to unequivocally ascertain the signatory’s identity. This fundamental step prevents fraudulent activities and is a cornerstone of notarial services.

Following identity verification, the notary public witnesses the signature of the document, affixes the notarial seal, and annotates with the official stamp. This certification confirms the authenticity of the document for international recognition and use, thereby fulfilling its intended legal function.

Steps Involved in Notarising a Document

Step 1

Initially, the document requiring notarisation must be presented to the notary public by the individual. The contents must be understood and agreed upon by the signatory before any notarial act is performed.

Step 2

Thereafter, the notary public will verify the identity of the signatory through acceptable forms of identification, such as a passport or driver’s licence, to ensure the person present is indeed the signatory.

Step 3

Next, the document signatory must sign the document in the presence of the notary. The notary public will then witness the signing process, which is a critical aspect for the notarisation to be valid and legally binding.

Step 4

Upon witnessing the signature, the notary public applies their official seal or stamp, and in certain cases, a notarial certificate may be attached. This attests to the notary’s witnessing of the document and confirms its authenticity.

Step 5

Finally, the notary public will record the notarial act in their official register, creating a permanent record of the transaction for accountability and future verification if necessary.

Verifying Identity and Content

In the realm of notarial services, stringent verification processes are paramount.

  1. Review of Identification: The notary must meticulously examine valid, government-issued photo ID to confirm the signatory’s identity.
  2. Document Scrutiny: The document’s contents are thoroughly inspected to ensure their accuracy and completeness.
  3. Signature Witnessing: It is imperative that the signatory executes the document in the notary’s presence.
  4. Seal and Certification: The notary affixes their seal and issues a notarial certificate to endorse the document’s legitimacy.

Identity verification is not a mere formality but the foundation upon which notarisation is predicated.

Notarial acts fortify the integrity of the documents, fostering trust and authenticity in international and domestic affairs.

Building Trust through Expertise: A Trusted Advisor

Murray Thornhill is a trusted figure in the realm of notarial services. His commitment to integrity and legal compliance provides clients with a sense of security. He guides clients through the notarisation process with transparency, ensuring they are fully informed and comfortable with every step.

This trust is enhanced by Murray’s personalised approach to service. He understands that each client’s needs are unique and offers tailored advice to meet those specific requirements, whether for personal or corporate or other business documents.

This level of care is important in notarial services, as accuracy and attention to detail are essential. Murray’s meticulous approach provides clients with the assurance that their documents are managed professionally and with the utmost care.

Engaging Murray Thornhill for notarial services means gaining a partner who will guide you through this process with professionalism and ease. We are here to support you, ensuring that your experience is seamless and efficient.

Examples of duties that can be conducted:

  • Administer Oaths & Affirmations
  • Take Affidavits, Acknowledgements & Statutory Declarations
  • Verify Documents
  • Attest Documents & Identities
  • Authenticate & Certify Documents
  • Witness Documents & Signatures (excludes Foreign Academic Credentials)
  • Business Documents & Deeds
  • Certify Passport Copies & Driver’s Licence Copies
  • Verify Fingerprints
  • Certify & Attest Power of Attorney
  • Certify Forms
  • Certify & Attest Mortgage Documents
  • Certify & Attest Property Purchases
  • Certify & Attest Alive Certificate
  • Certify & Attest Adoption Documents
  • Witness Company Documents
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Certificate of Identity Proof
  • Certificate of Signature Proof
  • Certificate of Address Proof
  • Certify Documents

Fee Structures and Payment Options

Fees vary by complexity and notary discretion.

Public notaries in Australia operate within a fee structure that is typically defined by the service rendered. Notaries are at liberty to set their fees based upon the complexity and nature of the notarial act, the time required to perform the service, and any ancillary costs that may occur. Consequently, charges can differ substantially from one notary to another.

Payments are made in Australian dollars.

The accepted modalities of payment are diverse and cater to convenience. Payment may be rendered through cash, EFTPOS, bank transfers, or credit card transactions. Certain notaries may also provide invoices for services rendered, particularly in instances where ongoing or multiple notarisation services are required.

Quotes are provided upon request.

Potential clients are advised to seek out a detailed quote prior to commencing the notarial service. A quote will generally outline all anticipated costs, mitigating the risk of unexpected fees. Transparency in pricing is a hallmark of reputable notary services.

Service fees can be structured differently.

Understanding the fee structure is critical – whether it is per signature, per document, or an hourly rate – as it could substantially impact the overall cost. For complex services requiring additional verification or travel, the fees can be particularly variable. Clients should feel empowered to discuss billing methods directly with the notary.

Fees are subject to changes in the regulatory environment.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge that fee structures for notarial services may adapt to changing regulations or market conditions. Especially with the introduction of new legislation or industry standards, fees may be revised. Clients should confirm the current structure and anticipate potential changes when engaging in long-term or repeat notarial services.

History of Notary Services: A Legacy of Trust and Legal Expertise

Notaries Public has its roots in ancient Rome, where “notarius” recorded public proceedings and state documents are one of the oldest legal professions. Originating as scribes and recorders in Roman times, they evolved into respected legal officers known for their expertise in documentation and authentication.

This office, surviving through the ages including the Dark Ages and Renaissance, has been integral to the legal systems across Europe and South America. In medieval Italy, the notary became a pivotal figure in civil law, a tradition that continues today.

England, developing its common law system, introduced notaries in the 13th and 14th centuries, initially under the Papal Legate and later under the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Reformation shifted this power from the Pope to the English monarchy, further evolving the role.

Today, in common law countries like England and Australia, Notaries Public play a crucial role. They are legal professionals skilled in drafting and executing important legal documents. Their duties encompass preparing and certifying contracts, wills, and powers of attorney; administering oaths; witnessing affidavits; and notarizing documents for international use.

In Australia, the appointment of notaries has evolved from colonial state governors to, in most states, the Supreme Courts. Queensland remains an exception, still following the traditional appointment by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As a key part of the legal framework, Notaries Public ensure that critical documents are prepared with professional accuracy and legal integrity, upholding the principles of trust and excellence in the legal profession.


What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a public officer, appointed by law, to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually about estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business.

What services does Murray Thornhill provide as a Notary Public?

Murray offers services such as authenticating documents, witnessing signatures, administering oaths, and preparing legal documents for international use.

Why do I need a Notary Public for international documents?

Many countries require documents to be notarised before they can be legally recognised. This ensures the authenticity of the document.

How can I be sure of the legitimacy of the notarisation process?

Murray Thornhill is a Fellow of the Australian & New Zealand College of Notaries, and a long-standing committee member of the Public Notaries society of Western Australia. Murray Thornhill is an experienced Notary Public, ensuring that all notarial acts adhere to standards.

Can a Notary Public provide legal advice?

While a Notary Public can offer guidance on notarial acts, they should not replace legal counsel where specific legal advice is needed.

Is an appointment necessary for notarial services?

Yes, we recommend scheduling an appointment to ensure that Murray or Simon are available to help you.

How long does the notarisation process take?

The duration can vary depending on the document’s complexity and the specific requirements. We aim to deliver a same-week service, and will take on urgent, priority matters whenever possible.

Are there any documents that a Notary Public cannot notarise?

A Notary Public cannot notarise documents that are illegal or bear false statements. A Notary Public must be always, completely independent of the legal issue or transaction being addressed.

Can Murray Thornhill notarise documents for any country?

Yes, he can notarize documents for use in most countries, subject to the laws of the destination country.

What is the cost of notarial services?

The fees depend on the nature and complexity of the notarial act needed. The fee schedule is set by the government of Western Australia. For individuals, costs start at $165. More complex documentation such as Bills of Exchange or Ships protests cost from $275 and $330, respectively.

What should I bring to my notarisation appointment?

You should bring the document to be notarised, valid identification, and any other material required for the notarial act.

How do I know if my document requires notarisation?

Typically, documents intended for international use or legal matters in foreign jurisdictions require notarisation. A lawyer or government office in the country in which the legal act or document(s) is required, typically advises on the forms and documents required to be notarised.

Can a Notary Public refuse to notarise a document?

Yes, for example, if the document is illegal, contains false information, or the signatory is not acting of their own free will.

What makes HHG Legal Group’s notarial services unique?

Our notarial services are grounded in our firm’s values of excellence, trust, and care, ensuring a superior client experience.

How can I contact Murray Thornhill for notarial services?

You can contact him through HHG Legal Group’s website or at our office to schedule an appointment.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

We are delighted and more than satisfied with the service provided by Aimee at HHG Mandurah.

Ours was a complex estate transaction that I was a little nervous about. I needn’t have worried. Aimee explained the complexities of the process with great clarity with the fee structures being totally transparent and clearly itemised. I will be forever grateful to Aimee and the HHG staff for their professionalism and competence.

We could rest easy knowing we were in safe hands.


Thank you so so very much from the bottom of our hearts for all that you and your team have done Aimee.

Can’t say I am not relieved to not see an email from you but I will be in touch soon to sort our wills out. Lesson learned on that part!


Thank you so much for all you have done to assist us through this very complex journey, Aimee. 

You made this process so much easier for us to navigate, especially with all of the really complicated legal requirements. You genuinely took some pressure off us when life was happening around us.


I’d like to thank all that were involved in my case, especially Lisa, she did a top job and I will never be able to thank her enough.  It is much appreciated and thanks again.


“I highly recommend HHG Legal Group. Lisa Riley has provided the best legal advice.”


“We are extremely pleased that Lisa Riley was recommended to us.  Lisa was very upfront with us as regards possible outcomes, kept us informed along the way, and successfully achieved the best possible outcome.  She was dogged in her pursuit of justice and we found her to be honest, helpful, caring, diligent, and very professional in all our dealings with her.

We would strongly recommend her (and her support team at HHG) to anyone needing to engage a top-quality criminal lawyer.”


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