The COVID-19 pandemic has made the in-person signing of deeds and documents impractical and created a nation of ‘remote’ workers.
Mercury-compliant ‘virtual signings’ (where the signature page of a hard copy document is signed in wet-ink and a PDF of the signed signature page is typically sent by email to the signatory’s lawyer following the guidance in the Law Society’s 2010 practice note on the execution of documents at a virtual signing or closing) are the preferred method for many businesses executing transaction documents. However, the use of electronic signature platforms such as Adobe Sign, DocuSign, HelloSign, and Namirial can, in many circumstances, provide a viable, and arguably often more user-friendly, alternative and they are gaining increasing traction in the market.
This commentary is an edited, updated and extended version of an article originally written by Richard Oliphant (consultant, CMS) and published by Practical Law (Thomson Reuters) in March 2020. Please be aware that since the Statement of Law, HM Land Registry’s position has been updated. Please consult the E-signatures Guide for HM Land Registry’s current position. The Statement of Law is reproduced under Crown copyright and contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.