Guidance Note: Electronic Signature of Deeds and Contracts
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
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 purposes.
As an exception to the following guidance about electronic documents, the
Land Registry has its own requirements in relation to documents required to
be filed with it.
You are advised to check the Land Registry’s guidance at
, or seek advice from a legal professional, before drafting and executing
any document that is to be submitted to the Land Registry.
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 Deeds and 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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