Making it easier to execute documents

Many readers will be surprised to learn that electronic signing of documents is something that is still being considered by government.

It is possible that trust deeds and many other legal documents will move into the 21st century, as the Law Commission has published a report on electronic execution of documents. The Commission Report has found that the law does accommodate electronic signatures and it appears to have accepted that this needs to happen, but is recommending a working group to consider the practical issues.

Amongst other things, they expect the working group to consider potential solutions to the obstacles. An obvious area of difficulty is that which requires deeds to be signed ‘in the presence of a witness’, meaning the physical presence of that witness, even if both are executing electronically.

It is hoped that any working group will reach its conclusions swiftly, that common sense conclusions can be reached, and that the necessary protections against fraud will be preserved. A careful balance needs to be maintained, but the law is moving with the times - albeit slowly and carefully.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.