The following Commercial practice note produced in partnership with Stuart Hatcher of Forsters LLP and Miri Stickland of Forsters LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Under English law, legally binding agreements can be made orally, in writing or by deed.
This Practice Notice considers the circumstances in which a deed is necessary or desirable and the formalities that must be complied with.
What is a deed?
When a deed is required
Formalities (1): in writing
Formalities (2): face value
Formalities (3): execution
Formalities (4): delivery
Failure to comply with formalities and other defects
For information on the execution of deeds in various jurisdictions outside England and Wales, see Practice Note: Execution of deeds—jurisdictional guide.
We have produced a toolkit that is a comprehensive, interactive resource to help users identify and work through the concepts and common issues when executing documents, including the execution of deeds. Each section or phase includes practical guidance, precedent clauses and Q&As relevant to that section. For more information, see: Execution toolkit.
A deed is a written instrument which is executed with the necessary formality and by which an interest, right or property passes or is confirmed, or an obligation binding on some person is created or confirmed.
A deed is technically a type of ‘specialty’: a term historically applied to contracts for debts or to contracts entered into under seal.
Deeds should be contrasted with simple contracts under English law that (unlike a deed) may be made in writing without the formalities required for a
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