Q&As

I have just heard that not all required signatories can be physically present at the signing meeting. How can I get my documentation signed?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/06/2016

The following Banking & Finance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • I have just heard that not all required signatories can be physically present at the signing meeting. How can I get my documentation signed?
  • Virtual execution of documents and implications of the Mercury Tax case
  • Using powers of attorney when not all signatories can be physically present at a signing meeting
  • Using electronic signatures when not all signatories can be physically present at a signing meeting

I have just heard that not all required signatories can be physically present at the signing meeting. How can I get my documentation signed?

From a logistical perspective it is preferable for all parties to be physically present in the same place at a signing meeting. However, this is often not possible, particularly in cross-border transactions when signatories could be located anywhere in the world.

In this scenario, the use of virtual execution, powers of attorney and/or electronic signatures should be considered.

Virtual execution of documents and implications of the Mercury Tax case

To get around the problem of signatories being unavailable, it can be tempting to execute signature pages in advance or to transfer the signature page from a draft of a document to the final version of it. In this context, it is important to bear in mind the decision in Mercury Tax Group which states that a deed can only be signed in its final form. The court in that case did not look specifically at this procedure in the context of simple agreements but it did express doubt that transferring signature pages from an earlier version of a document would be effective even for simple agreements.

Following Mercury Tax Group the Law Society produced guidance on the practicalities of virtual signings and the legal effect of attaching signature pages to later versions of documents.

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