Birkett Long boost as Ben becomes Notary Public

Solicitor Ben Parmenter has qualified as a Notary Public, becoming one of just 800 members of the oldest and smallest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales.

Ben, 41, who is Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Birkett Long’s Colchester office, becomes one of two notaries practising within the leading law firm’s experienced team.

Ben, who qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and has worked for Birkett Long for nearly ten years, said studying for his notarial exams at University College London was far tougher than law school. “I was lucky that Birkett Long supported me through two years of intensive study,” he said, “as well as being able to call on the expertise of two experienced Notary Publics within the firm.

“It is important for us to be able to assist clients with all of their legal needs. If a client needs the services of a Notary Public, maybe for a foreign land sale or commercial contracts for use in different jurisdictions, Birkett Long is able to help.”

Ben, who is married with two young children, spent eight hours per week studying Roman Law, civil law, private international law and Notarial practice, while continuing his day job as a solicitor. 

“The notary profession is quite distinct from the better-known solicitor or barrister arms of the legal profession,” Ben explained. “After starting the academic stage, it quickly became clear this was going to be a tough course. This may be why there are almost 120,000 solicitors practising throughout England and Wales and only 800 Notary Publics!”

Notaries, who take an oath of allegiance to the Archbishop of Canterbury, are required to authenticate and certify signatures, especially on documents for use abroad. They are authorised to conduct most general legal practice and may also exercise the powers of a Commissioner for Oaths.

Birkett Long Managing Partner Adrian Livesley said: “Birkett Long’s strategy is to be a full-service law firm, so we are delighted that Ben has successfully passed his exams and qualified to practise as a Notary Public, adding to the experience and services we offer. We appreciate the hard work Ben put into this achievement.”

What is a Notary Public?

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