Execution of Documents and E-signatures: Is it as straightforward as we would all like it to be?
The use of e-signatures is becoming much more common but is it as simple as forgetting about the traditional methods and simply using e-signatures on all occasions?
The working conditions resulting from the Covid-19 lockdown have brought into sharp focus the differing ways in which documents can be executed. Anyone who has been involved in a transaction – purchase or sale of a company, a business or a property, lease of a property, issue of shares, loan facility etc – will know that these often involve large numbers of documents. Some of these documents will need witnessed, some will involve several parties and the transaction will not be able to be concluded until all the documents have been executed and the various lawyers have confirmed that they are all satisfied with the process.
Even before the pandemic changed our working conditions, it had become more common for transactions to be conducted by email and for documents to be executed remotely from the lawyers. It used to be the norm that completion of a transaction involving multiple documents would have the parties physically meeting together – the completion meeting – and actual documents being passed around and signed. Email has greatly reduced the number of physical completions but when they do happen it can often be a much more efficient process than rounds of emails. The increase in non-physical completions of transactions has brought an increase in questions on how documents should be executed and challenges in following the traditional methods.
We have taken an in-depth look at the execution of documents, both by traditional methods and by use of electronic signatures under Scots law and you can read the full article by following this link.
If you would like to discuss any matters relating to the execution of documents and e-signatures, please contact a member of our Corporate Team.