In today’s high tech world, business 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 agreements and other documents in many cases.
The Law Commission issued a recent report on the electronic execution of
documents. Therefore, the opportunity has been taken to add a new guidance
note to the portfolio of documents - the Guidance Note: Electronic
Signature of Deeds and Contracts. It supplements the existing Guidance
Note: Formalities for Signing Deeds and Contracts which has also recently
The new Guidance Note fully takes into account the conclusions and views of
the Law Commission’s recent report.
The new Guidance Note: Electronic Signature of Deeds and Contracts and the
updated Guidance Note: Formalities for Signing Deeds and Contracts can both
be found in each of the Business, Corporate and Property folders.
The Guidance Note: Electronic Signature of Deeds and Contracts sets out the
legal basis for electronically creating, executing and communicating
certain types of contracts, deeds and other documents. As it explains, not
only are many types of document in electronic form as valid as if they were
in hard copy form, but also “electronic signatures” appended to them are
also just as valid as traditional hand-written signatures.
If you read both the new and the revised Notes, they will help you to
decide whether and how you can validly create and sign a particular
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