Q&As

If I can’t meet the people I am contracting with to sign a contract, how do I execute a contract by virtual means?

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Published on LexisPSL on 18/03/2020

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

  • If I can’t meet the people I am contracting with to sign a contract, how do I execute a contract by virtual means?
  • The Law Society guidance
  • Electronic signature

Many businesses are closing their offices or recommending their staff work from home in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This will mean parties may not be able to meet in person to execute contracts.

The Law Society guidance

The Law Society provides guidance on how to execute documents when one or more parties to a contract are not physically present. It envisages exchanging copies of signed signature pages via email: Law Society Guidance: Execution of documents by virtual means. The available methods will depend on whether the document to be executed is a deed, guarantee to be executed as a deed or a contract for the sale and transfer of real property.

Option 1 is appropriate for the execution of deeds, contracts for the sale and transfer of real property, simple contracts and all types of guarantee. It is only possible to use this option where the parties to the document have already agreed all of its terms and

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