Q&As

Can a deed be signed abroad and witnessed by a foreign national?

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Produced in partnership with Cecilia Xu Lindsey of 9 Stone Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 24/11/2020

The following Commercial Q&A produced in partnership with Cecilia Xu Lindsey of 9 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a deed be signed abroad and witnessed by a foreign national?

Can a deed be signed abroad and witnessed by a foreign national?

This response assumes that the deed is executed by an individual.

This response excludes execution under seal, by electronic signatures, by corporation, company, partnership, local authority, charity, registered society, individuals of incapacity and through an agent.

The short answer to this question is that a deed can be signed abroad by a foreign national and can be witnessed abroad by a foreign national. Having said this, the requirements must be heeded to ensure formalities of a valid deed. First, it is worth noting that signing one’s signature in the deed (ie executing a deed) and witnessing the signing are two different requirements for a valid deed.

Both statutes and common law have defined deeds and their execution. Section 1(3)–(4) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (LP(MP)A 1989) sets out the formalities governing the execution of a deed by an individual. The UK’s Land Registry also has prescribed execution clauses for use by individuals in HM Land Registry Practice Guide 8—Execution of Deeds, at paragraphs 2.2–2.4, which set out requirements affecting deeds relating to registered land. As can be seen, a deed is not prohibited from being signed abroad, signed by a foreign national or witnessed by a foreign national. What is crucial is that the signatures to a

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