John Uskglass wrote:
allegedly witnessed by a solicitor at Vinson and Elkins of London, someone who does exist it appears and who really is a qualified solicitor but why she would choose to put her signature to this document, well, I just don't know.
As I understand it, and this seems to back me up, all a solicitor witnessing a signature is doing is confirming the identity of the person signing.http://www.lawoffice.co.uk/witnessing.aspx
Thanks for the interesting link which states the following;
Solicitors often witness documents. The signature of a solicitor on a document is regarded as giving it a high standard of verification because it is not given lightly.
Before a solicitor can sign to witness a document he must be satisfied as to the identity of the person making the document.
US/Canadian Sov Cits seem to place great reliance on having their documents 'signed off' by a Notary Public.
Whilst there are Notaries in the UK they don't seem to get used as much by the Footle community. Solicitors though, that's another matter.
Would the documents in question (these ones
) have any more or less veracity whether or not they are witnessed by someone legally qualified? I'm not entirely sure.
I do think - and I may be mistaken - the intent here on the part of Mr. Michaels in getting this document or at least, his signatures on them witnessed by a solicitor is to imply some sort of legal endorsement of the content. After all, if its just a question of the identity of the person making the document then no real need to use m'learned friends. In fact Mr. Michaels does not feel the need to prove his identity this way on any of the other myriad documents he sends to his bank.
It is revealing and possibly supportive of this view that these particular letters starts off, after the usual Principal/Agent guff with;
This is a LEGAL NOTICE and not a letter
My point is that most legally qualified practitioners might be expected to carry out at least a little due diligence regarding the overall import, intent and content of letters and their enclosures in which their signatures are to feature. The solicitor in question isn't just witnessing signatures but endorsing hand-made alterations within the letters.
In this case it didn't really matter because the bank just asked for actual payment, not a simple promise to pay but the linked guidance does say that a lawyer's signature is a "high standard of verification because it is not given lightly
". Or, perhaps more to the point, it's not given free of charge! - solicitors regularly relieve me of £10 to witness signatures on affidavits.
The documents in question (two promissory notes) were also the prime basis of Paul's ultimately unsuccessful trip to the appeal courts so would have been widely considered, at least within the legal community.