Q&As

One of the documents in my transaction has not been witnessed. What should I do?

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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:

  • One of the documents in my transaction has not been witnessed. What should I do?
  • When is a signature on a document required to be witnessed?
  • What is the impact of a signature not being witnessed as required?

One of the documents in my transaction has not been witnessed. What should I do?

If a document has not been witnessed, check first whether it was necessary given the legal nature of the relevant document and the type of entity signing it.

When is a signature on a document required to be witnessed?

Simple agreements do not have to be witnessed.

Unless expressly required by statute, there is no general rule that the execution of a deed must be attested by a witness. The two most common situations in which attestation of a deed is required are execution by an individual and execution by an individual director on behalf of a company.

For more information on execution requirements (including witnesses) and sample execution clauses for specific types of entities, see Signing—overview.

Having a document witnessed is a way of proving its execution so even though not all documents have to be witnessed, as a matter of best practice, commercial documents usually are.

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