Q&As

My company needs to enter into a document as a deed but everyone is working from home. Is it possible to execute a deed 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:

  • My company needs to enter into a document as a deed but everyone is working from home. Is it possible to execute a deed by virtual means?
  • What is a deed?
  • What are the formalities for a deed?
  • How can a deed be executed virtually?

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 documents.

What is a deed?

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. 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 deed or orally. 

Deeds are required for:

  1. powers of attorney

  2. leases and transfers of land

  3. mortgages and charges over land

  4. appointment of trustees

They are also often used for guarantees or where there is no consideration given in exchange for a contractual promise or there are doubts as to the adequacy of the consideration (eg gift

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