The German Notar does not like to be compared to the notary public known to the anglo-saxon legal system. While some traits of the profession may be similar - we identify people and authenticate documents - we follow roman law principles. The profession is often translated into english as civil law notary. All Notare are qualified to be judges or trial lawyers and have undergone additional education.
Approximately 8,000 legal practitioners work as civil law notaries in Germany today. They are state-appointed officials providing independent, impartial and objective advice for important legal transactions. Todays legal foundations go back to the 18th century which has led to different types of notarial offices in different parts of Germany. In Berlin all notaries are also active attorneys and admitted to practise as such. In larger offices such as Knauthe the notaries tend to work almost exclusively as notaries but all have worked as trial lawyers in the past.
You will require a Notar whenever you buy property, form a company or sign matrimonial agreements under German law. Even by German standards the laws involving notaries and their participation are complicated and might seem bureaucratic or byzantine. We find that each system has its advantages and disadvantages and are happy to help you through whatever difficulties may occur.
Uwe Fischer, Rainer Klingenfuss and Juliane Müller are all fluent in English. We can and do carry out notarizations in English. However, we find that often it is more efficient (and cheaper) to work with the help of a certified translator rather than have deeds drawn up in English only to have them translated for the land registry, commercial register or family courts who will only accept German language documents