Contracts and Deeds are only valid if they are executed and signed
correctly. If you have ever wondered if you are following the correct
formalities to sign a contract and/or a deed, and/or whether they can be
signed electronically, two new subfolders have been added to the Property
Folder which contain helpful Guidance Notes on this topic. These Guidance
Notes are practical guides to getting it right when it comes to the process
of executing agreements.
In today’s modern high-tech corporate world, people want to make extensive
use of modern IT facilities whenever possible, both for convenience and
speed. They do not want to be held back by having to create and sign
documents in the traditional way. Fortunately, the law allows use of
electronic means to enter into valid and legally binding contracts, and in
some instances, deeds. Please note that those documents which are required
to be registered at the Land Registry still require “wet ink signatures”
and cannot be executed electronically.
The Guidance Note: Formalities for Signing Deeds and Contracts looks at the
different types of written contracts and their features and also provides
helpful signature blocks for use by individuals, companies, attorneys,
partnerships and LLPs when signing agreements and/or deeds to make sure
they are valid whoever is required to sign.
The Guidance Note: Electronic Signature of Deeds and Contracts looks at
which contracts, deeds and other documents will be valid if in electronic
form and signed electronically (rather than in hard copy form) and how they
may be created and signed in such form.
The Law Commission issued a report in September 2019 on electronic
execution of documents. These Guidance Notes take into account the
conclusions and views of the Law Commission’s recent report.
If you read both Guidance Notes together, they will help you to decide
whether and how you can validly create and sign a document electronically.
You will find these Guidance Notes in the Business and Corporate Folders.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific