Introduction to this document

Electronic signatures

The ability to sign documents electronically is essential to the smooth-running of many businesses. Use our guide to ensure that your contracts are validly executed.

The legal position

The Law Commission has cleared up the confusion surrounding the legal validity of electronic signatures, issuing a report endorsed by the Lord Chancellor as confirmation of the current legal position. Our guide explains how to make sure your e-signatures are valid, including what is accepted by Companies House and the Land Registry.

Security concerns?

Although some signatories may have security concerns about using e-signatures, the more sophisticated forms can be more secure than manual signatures because they are unique and traceable. There are organisations regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office that provide “trust services”, including the creation of e-signatures.

It is for the person challenging a contracts execution to prove that it was not properly executed. Although a wide range of forms of electronic signature is legally acceptable, more secure methods of execution will be less vulnerable to challenge. Therefore, it is worth choosing a secure form of e-signature, such as a unique signature generated for use on a secure online electronic document platform, which would be harder to challenge than a typed signature. Parties may wish to retain supporting evidence of their chosen execution method, including evidence of any delegated authority, in case a dispute arises.




Electronic signatures

11 Oct 2022
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