Q&As

In what order should the execution clause and signature block appear?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/11/2015

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

  • In what order should the execution clause and signature block appear?
  • What are they and what is the correct terminology?
  • Is it necessary for my document to include an execution clause?
  • Are there any legal requirements on the wording of the execution clause?
  • Does the execution clause always need to appear directly before the signature block?
  • Should the execution clause and signatures go after or before any schedules?
  • Where can I find precedent wording?

In what order should the execution clause and signature block appear?

Written agreements should be signed by the parties and accompanied by an appropriate testimonium or execution clause. Market practice differs on the exact wording to be used and on where the execution clause and signature blocks are located in the agreement. There are no legal requirements on placement and so most considerations are of a practical nature. This Q&A answers common questions on this topic in the context of current market practice in the United Kingdom.

What are they and what is the correct terminology?

The testimonium is the short sentence which precedes the signatures (for example: 'Agreed by the parties on the date set out at the head of this agreement'). The term originates from the wording eujus rei testimonium ('in testimony of which') which is no longer used. The modern title given to the testimonium is 'execution clause'.

The attestation is the wording and space provided for the parties to apply their signatures. The modern title given to the attestation is 'signature block'.

This Q&A uses the modern terminology, but both forms are still used in practice.

Is it necessary for my document to

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