Coronavirus (COVID-19)—HMLR now accepting ‘Mercury’ signing approach for deeds

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—HMLR now accepting ‘Mercury’ signing approach for deeds

The Law Society has confirmed that HM Land Registry (HMLR) is, as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, accepting the ‘Mercury’ signing approach for deeds in relation to conveyancing.

The Law Society Practice Note on virtual signings sets out how ‘Mercury’ style signings operate, and Practice Guide 8 on the execution of deed has been updated with further information.

The Law Society has also published an article on its position on the 'use of virtual execution and e-signature during the coronavirus pandemic', which sets out the following:

• a pragmatic and accessible statement of the law

• views as to best practice

• suggestions as to how the interests of clients may be best served in the current climate

• suggestions as to how contracts may be entered into in an effective manner where it is not possible to follow the traditional methods

Additionally, HMLR has also introduced temporary changes to requirements to make it easier to verify identity for land transactions, with full details set out in the new Practice Guide 67A

Source: HMLR changes to property transactions during coronavirus (COVID-19)

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