Deeds – what formalities are required?
If a contract or other document is intended or legally required to be in
the form of a deed, it must be in writing and executed by an individual in
the presence of a witness, or if by a company it must be executed by a
director in the presence of a witness or by two directors or by a director
and the company secretary. To be a valid deed, a document must also state
that it is intended to be a deed and that it is executed as such, and it
must be “delivered”.
Some types of document must be in the form of a deed in order to be valid
but sometimes the parties to a document choose to put their document in the
form of a deed, although it is not legally necessary to do so for it to be
Whilst deeds must be set out in writing and signed and witnessed, they will
be valid if in, and executed in, electronic form unless these deeds are
required to be registered at the Land Registry in which case a “wet ink
signature” is still required. The signatures of those executing the deed
and witnessing that signature may be in electronic form.