Q&As

Is there a requirement under law that a deed has to be physically dated (ie printed out and dated with agreement by all parties who have signed remotely), or can the dating also be done electronically after parties have signed in counterpart?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/06/2020

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

  • Is there a requirement under law that a deed has to be physically dated (ie printed out and dated with agreement by all parties who have signed remotely), or can the dating also be done electronically after parties have signed in counterpart?
  • Counterpart
  • Escrow

Is there a requirement under law that a deed has to be physically dated (ie printed out and dated with agreement by all parties who have signed remotely), or can the dating also be done electronically after parties have signed in counterpart?

We have assumed that: the query relates to the execution of a business-to-business commercial agreement subject to the laws of England and Wales.

In our searches we can find no requirement for a ‘wet ink’ date to be applied to an agreement instead of an electronic date stamp.

A date is not essential to the validity of a deed (Morrell v Studd & Millington). A deed takes effect on the date of its delivery (section 1(3) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989). The concept of delivery means that it is possible for a deed to be valid even if it has not been dated. If a deed is not dated, external evidence is admissible to prove the correct date from which it was intended to operate (Silver Queen Maritime Ltd v Persia Petroleum Services plc)

Where a date is inserted, it is presumed that the date is the date on which it took effect. However, this presumption may be rebutted by evidence to the contrary (Browne v Burton (1847) 17 LJQB 49 (not reported by LexisNexis®)).

Delivery may be conditional or unconditional (see ‘Escrow’

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