The Law Commission confirms that electronic signatures are valid

The Law Commission confirms that electronic signatures are valid

Electronic Signatures are valid

The Law Commission has swept away any lingering uncertainty surrounding the validity of electronic signatures. Yesterday it published a Consultation Paper titled ‘Electronic execution of documents’ that sought to allow all businesses to speed up transactions by fully digitising execution.

The Law Commission’s initial discussions with stakeholders found that many businesses use electronic signatures only for low-value, low-risk transactions whilst others refuse to use them at all where there is a statutory requirement for a signature. This approach is deemed out of date and inefficient.

The consultation, open until late November, proposes new technologies to further assist signing documents where a witness is required or where the document is a deed. Witnessing electronic signatures via video-link and the formation of a Government-backed industry working group to consider the ongoing practical issues around electronic signature are proposed.

Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis said:

“Contract law in the UK is flexible, but some businesses are still unsure if electronic signatures would satisfy legal requirements.

We can confirm that they do, potentially paving the way for much quicker transactions for businesses and consumers.”

Elemental regularly uses electronic signature technology to execute legal documents.

Further information

The Law Commission’s project page can be accessed here.

The relevant press release can be accessed here.

Elemental Cosec – 22 August 2018

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