Background to electronic signature of documents
As well as using conventional “wet ink” signatures on paper documents, for
speed and convenience business people increasingly use documents in
electronic form and an electronic means to “sign” those documents.
The Law Society and the Law Commission have dispelled the uncertainty that
existed until 2019 as to the legal validity of such electronic documents,
and it is now clear that documents can be created and signed using
electronic means. The Government might at some stage codify the relevant
law so that the relevant law becomes more accessible.
The following paragraphs explain how to validly create, execute and use
certain types of document electronically, but they cover only certain types
of commercial contracts and other documents, not consumer or other
documents. As to other types of document, you should seek legal advice.
For fuller details, please read the Guidance Note: Electronic Signature of
Deeds and Contracts which you can reach by clicking
Please also see the Guidance Note: Formalities for Signing Deeds and
Contracts on the various means by which deeds and contracts may be executed
or signed in order to ensure that they are legally enforceable. You can
We recommend that you take professional legal advice if you are uncertain
about any aspect of these topics.