This Guidance Note: Electronic Signature of Deeds and Contracts provides an explanation of the legal basis for creating
and executing certain types of contracts, deeds and other documents
electronically, taking account of the Law Society’s 2016 and Law
Commission’s 2019 legal opinion and guidance on the subject.
As explained in this Note, in certain situations, not only will many
documents in electronic form be valid and binding as if they were in hard
copy form, but also an “electronic signature” appended to them will be as
valid as a traditional signature. This Guidance Note: Electronic Signature
of Deeds and Contracts Note also defines what is meant in
law by “signature”, “electronic signature” and “in writing” for present
As an exception to the following guidance about electronic documents, in
relation to land and property, certain documents required to be filed with
the Land Registry do need to contain wet ink signatures.
It is also important to note that where a deed needs to be signed in the
presence of a witness, the witness should be physically present for the
signing of the document, even where the signature is made electronically.
This Guidance Note refers to, and in effect supplements, the Guidance Note:
Formalities for Signing Contracts in this subfolder. If you read both
Notes, that will help you to decide whether and how you can validly create
and sign a particular document electronically.
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